How to effectively work from home. How to start working remotely. Useful tools

As remote work grows in popularity, the need for remote work tools becomes more apparent. How can your team maintain communication, manage projects effectively, and share work quickly when each staffer is located in a different place?

Many employees are rejoicing as remote working gains popularity. It’s a dream for those who love flexibility and freedom, but it can be intimidating for employees who consider themselves extroverts or are used to going to an office every day. How to start working remotely?

As software developers we started working remotely years ago. Throughout this time we've gained some perspective and experience onto how to effectively work from home or any other place that is not an office.

Slack, one of the best communication tools

Slack allows making company-wide announcements, notifying everyone about them, create different channels and group chats for different projects. It’s a great way of collaborating in small teams. This will give you the feeling of a real office. But the learning curve for Slack might be bigger for new users, especially non-techies/busy people. Plus be careful with it, since it’s a real-time communication tool and if you have a large team, you might not be able to catch up to what is being said and done by the team on Slack. It’s a good idea to set up rules and guidelines for using Slack. Your employees should be able to use Slack in a way as not to distract others or get distracted themselves.

Google docs, a collaborative document tool

Google Docs is a free cloud collaboration product by Google. Once you create a Google ID or Gmail account, you can get started using Google Docs. One of the best things about having your documents on the cloud is that you can access your files on any device. You won’t panic if your laptop goes down! If you’re familiar with Microsoft Word, Google Docs will feel familiar to you. It has a top bar filled with all of your editing and formatting buttons that you’re familiar with. Google Docs has collaboration built-in, making it easy for your team or clients to collaborate. Once you create a document it’s easy to share it with others via email or a shareable link.

Trello, todo lists and tasks

If you need to manage a team remotely, you need a decent tool to help you. Trello enables you to let everyone know what they need to do through a system of task cards and checklists. You can assign tasks, deadlines and projects to individual members of the team, keeping everyone accountable, plus the ability to upload files from Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box helps to keep everything running smoothly. Best of all, Trello is easy to use and has a great mobile app.

Zoom, meetings for teams

Zoom is ideal for anyone who works remotely or has remote team members. Zoom allows for simple, easy setup meetings or regular meetings in your personal meeting room. Quickly create and share a private meeting link with an individual or team and connect remote team members through video.

Asana, advanced project management

Asana is one of the most popular project management apps available today for a good reason. The cloud-based tool is extremely simple to use, helping you to improve communication within your team and manage projects. Asana allows you to break down projects into specific tasks and assign them to your team members. The Premium version of the app also includes workflows that allow you to automatically move projects along through the system without having to babysit them.

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Author: Peter

I'm a backend programmer for over 10 years now, have hands on experience with Golang and Node.js as well as other technologies, DevOps and Architecture. I share my thoughts and knowledge on this blog.