10 Tools and Apps for Work from Home
Companies small and large, start-ups as well as individuals have come increasingly aware about the need to work from remote locations rather than from an office. This has become necessary due to billions of man-hours going waste every year on long commutes between home and workplace. Prolonged commutes are notorious for detrimental effects they have on staff or business productivity.
Thanks to advances in Internet technology and widespread availability of free and paid applications, working from home is fast gaining momentum worldwide. Further, smart-phones are becoming cheaper by the day, with manufacturers churning newer handsets alarming alacrity.
Hence, working from home and other remote locations with smart phones is also becoming very common.
Working from home is not just limited to Employees but for Women Entrepreneurs who are handling their family and career together, working from home is no lesser than any boon. With all these favorable conditions growing around, many opt to do work from home jobs as it requires low investment and saves a lot of energy and time.
This in return has created a demand for various tools, apps and software that make working from home more productive and efficient.
Best apps and tools
Regardless, hundreds of very useful apps are now available for your computer, Android-based smart-phone or the chic iPhone. Here we list 10 most popular apps and tools that can help you work from home.
Regardless of whether you work for a company, own a start-up or run a small home-based business, these apps can help boost both- productivity and profits.
Indubitably, communications forms the most vital component of any job and business. Here, we recommend Workplace by Facebook, which is rather simple to use and does not consume much space on your computer or smart-phone memory.
Workplace by Facebook is a fairly new entrant into the market but its popularity outstrips most other contenders in the category. Workplace by Facebook is a great team collaboration platform. It allows team members the facilities of messaging, voice and video calling, and newsfeed features.
Project and team management
Should you be an individual planning to launch a start-up, have a small business of team member of a large company, project management is an essential function. For this purpose, we recommend Asana.
You can use Asana from your computer as well as smart-phone. Since its launch in 2011, Asana continues to retain its topmost position among project and team management software and app. Asana enables every work team to create their own workspaces, that contains projects and its related tasks.
Connected and authorized users can post their comments and observations about these tasks as well as modify work or technical patterns, wherever necessary. All users of Asana can track real-time progress of their project.
Small and large companies, start-ups and home-based businesses are increasingly susceptible to cyber attacks with ransom-ware. Additionally, computers and smart phones where you store data can also malfunction due to a plethora of reasons.
In such circumstances, it is best to back-up your data and important files. You may also need to share files with your teammates or business associates and service providers. For this purpose, we highly recommend Google Drive.
All you need to log-in to Google Drive is a valid Gmail ID. Google Drive generally offers 2GB free space that can be expanded to 5GB later. Google Drive cloud storage allows you to safely share files including word documents, designs, images, audio and video, spreadsheets and other data with other authorized users.
Design and development
Mainly, because they can review your design and development, offer necessary feedback and help you amend the codes you have developed. This facility is essential, particularly for home-businesses and start-ups in the IT sector.
You can share your design and development codes safely through GitHub. Topmost software and app reviewers of the world term GitHub as the ‘Ultimate Tool’ for developers and code writers to host their designs and developments online. It is also the best known tool for users to share information online with potential clients and remote workers.
Generally, people working from remote locations, owning a start-up or a home based business are not bound by conventional office hours. Meaning, they can work during hours they find convenient.
Unfortunately, this freedom has its flipside too: You can end up wasting lot of otherwise productive hours on fruitless pursuits.
RescueTime actually rescues you from wasting your time, money and effort on unproductive ventures. RescueTime can be installed on your computer or Android-powered smart phone. Unfortunately, RescueTime is unavailable currently for iPhone.
This software helps you keep tabs on the amount of time you spend on each website or app. It also recommends how and where you have wasted time and areas where you could have better spent your time on a particular task.
This helps in optimal use of time online by helping you curb visits or hours spent on futile work. Hence, RescueTime helps in greatly enhancing your productivity.
Best work location
Freedom to work from remote locations or having your own business often tempts people to attend to other unrelated, personal tasks. This can be either in the place of your residence or some other distant location. Understandably, Internet connection and speed tends to vary at every place.
Tardy or unreliable Internet connectivity means, you will be unable to complete a given task or respond to problems within a specified deadline. You therefore will need to operate from places that offer excellent, reliable and high-speed Internet connectivity.
Having a quality laptop that you can take anywhere effectively gives you more mobility and freedom to where the internet connectivity is the strongest and stablest. Of course, you’ll have to search your area for establishments and workspaces with decent internet speed and stability, where you can work without distractions.
Also Read: The Best Tools to Make Your Startup Even Better
You can easily find such locations with WorkFrom. User-friendly WorkFrom operates on your computer and mobile. It helps find the nearest and best location from where you can access WiFi networks that offer best connectivity. This app is especially useful for people on the move or if you are on a holiday away from your hometown.
Feedback and suggestions
Require feedback and suggestions from your team, business associates or clients? Doodle ranks as the best software and app for this purpose. You can do a lot of stuff with Doodle.
One of them is posting your works on this web and smart-phone based platform for easy access by your target audience. Doodle alerts other connected and authorized users about your post. Once feedback and suggestions from concerned entities are posted, you also receive alerts.
This helps you make any corrections and amendments to your work. Further, Doodle enables you to receive vital feedback from customers of potential clients as well as their suggestions.
Every business, small and large, requires aggressive marketing of its products and services. Moreover, if you are working from a remote location or own a business, you will require excellent marketing software and app.
In this category, the clear winner is SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud. SAP Hybris offers you the full suite of customer engagement and multichannel e-commerce solutions. It helps you market products and services Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Customer (B2C).
Currently, a variety of small and large companies engaged in the financial sector, telecom, manufacture and marketing are using SAP Hybris solutions. They rank as the best for online marketing, since they are customer centric.
Obviously, working from home for a company or your own venture requires high quality financial management. You can get several web-based software and mobile apps for accounting. One such popular software and app is Yodlee MoneyCenter.
Available for personal account keeping, Yodlee allows you to maintain a detailed list of all your transactions. It also gives you a user-friendly analysis of your expenses. Additionally, you are alerted about any withdrawals and high value transactions that are recorded from your bank and credit card accounts.
With Yodlee MoneyCenter, you can also set up your own budgets by stipulating a fixed sum for any particular expense such as food, utilities, telephone, travel and entertainment. Hence, you are warned about where you can cut costs.
To use Yodlee MoneyCenter, you need to link the software or app with your main bank and credit card accounts. This helps access your financial data. However, you need to maintain a very high level password protection and ensure your mobile handset containing the app is not lost, for additional security.
Online interviews and tests
Working at remote locations or from home often entails interviewing jobseekers or conducting online tests to determine their eligibility. In this category, the time tested and proven software and app remains Skype.
Through Skype, you can conduct an online, video interview with a jobseeker. Video interviews through Skype can also be conducted simultaneously by several interviewers located in different parts of the world. This facility helps interviewers gauge the body language of the job seeker.
Additionally, you can administer eligibility tests through Skype by sending test material such as Microsoft Word document, pictures and video or other data. Skype also allows you to monitor time taken by a candidate to complete the test.
We are all well aware of the stiff competition that prevails between software and app makers worldwide. Understandable, since everyone wants to excel in their specific sphere. Before you select any software or app, we recommend you read user reviews on some of the top and reliable websites operating in this sector: You may come across a tool or app that better suits your requirements than the ones we list.
Remember, some apps and tools are free while others are available at a price. Try some of the software and apps that are available on free trial for a week, fortnight or a month. Understandably, they may lack some features of the paid versions. However, they will give you a better understanding about how they operate and ease of use, among others.
Since working from home invariably involves finances, it is better to protect your device- computer or smart phone with proper anti-virus and anti-spyware/ hacking software. Unprotected computers can cause leaks of sensitive data related to your work or result in financial losses.