As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt worldwide, an increasing number of businesses are allowing their employees to work from home.
But recent data shows that even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, remote work had been on the rise. For example, according to a recent Gallup poll, 43% of Americans spend at least some of their working hours outside the office.
Even when COVID-19 passes, it seems likely that social distancing restrictions may be with us for some time and businesses may look to continue with flexible working arrangements.
In fact, there are some benefits to having a remote workforce that must be considered. One factor is that it allows your business to draw from a potentially larger labour pool, as you are not restricted to hiring those in your geographical area.
Another is that evidence suggests that remote workers are more productive. A recent study by Airtasker found that, on average, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month (or 16.8 more days every year) than those who worked in an office.
Furthermore, on those work-days, they spent more time getting things done. According to the study, office workers and remote employees lost 37 and 27 minutes to breaks, respectively. The study also found that working from home presents other benefits such as eliminating commutes and allowing employees to have healthier lifestyles.
The right tools for the job
While the world comes to grips with COVID-19, the good news is that are tools that can help your business survive and even thrive. From communication tools to video conferencing and document management, here are five tools that will help your business stay on track.
- Document Management System
Sending and receiving documents over email can result in multiple different versions of the same file being worked on simultaneously, creating confusion. Document Management Systems provide ways of storing, managing, and tracking files via a central repository. Such systems improve efficiency, reduce manual processes and save businesses time and money.
DocuWare: DocuWare is a world-leading provider of digital document management and automated workflows to organisations of any size and across all major industries. With availability in 16 languages and supporting cloud and on-premise deployments, DocuWare currently serves 14,000 customers across 90 countries with a global network of over 650 partners.
- Real-time communication
While working remotely, it is essential that employees are able to keep in touch with each other at all times. As email can be a little clunky, many are turning to apps that make it easy to form groups, chat, and collaborate in real-time.
Slack: There are dozens of chat apps available out there, but one of the most robust and versatile is Slack. The app, which describes itself as a ‘collaboration hub’, organisations conversations by topic, project, team, or whatever makes sense to your business. With channels, the right people get the right info at the right time and information doesn’t get lost. Slack also integrates with other popular apps and services such as Google Drive, Salesforce, and Asana.
- Video conferencing
With real face-to-face meetings currently impossible or at the very least extremely restricted, there has been a massive surge in video conferencing. Although it isn’t ‘the real thing’, there are several advantages of video conferencing such as reduced travel time and costs, optimised attendance and the potential for more structured interactions.
Zoom: Zoom is a leader in modern enterprise video communications, providing an easy-to-use and reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing across mobile devices, phones and room systems. Zoom features quick adoption meeting capabilities that make it easy to start, join and collaborate on any device at any time and with anyone.
- Project management
Having trouble keeping track of who has done what and when? In addition to DocuWare, which can also help in this regard, there are a number of standalone project management tools out there designed to track any projects your team is working on.
Basecamp: Basecamp is a simple-to-use yet advanced project management system that allows teams to break up their work into separate projects. Each project contains everything related to the work at hand, including the people involved, discussions, documents, files, tasks and important dates.
- Time management
One of the challenges of working from home is time management. Although it is nice to be spending more time with our families, there is also significant potential for disruptions when working remotely. Babies crying, postmen coming to the door, and other such distractions mean that work may become fragmented throughout the day. Luckily, there are tools that can help you stay on top of your time.
Everhour: Everhour promises a quick setup and integration with all major collaboration tools. Everhour’s time tracking controls appear on the right side inside of each integration, making it easy for workers to track time. Changes are synced automatically, meaning that reports will always show the most up-to-date data.
Ready to improve your work from home capabilities?
Docuworx is the only Platinum Partner of DocuWare in Australia. We support businesses of all sizes across Asia Pacific with their digital transformations. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.