Not everyone is cut out for remote work. It takes a specific type of person to handle it, and when you’re in your comfort zone, working in an office environment will always feel easier than working remotely.
But the growing popularity of remote work has prompted many companies to embrace this new way of doing things; so, if you want to stay competitive in the job market, it’s probably time to get on board with that whole remote work thing.
To help you get started, here’s a compilation of tools that can make life easier for people who work remotely:
1. High-Speed Internet
Perhaps the biggest problem that remote workers face is a slow internet connection. Good, fast internet is essential for the modern worker, as it’s now possible to do most of your work from anywhere with a good enough connection.
Ideally, you’ll want a connection of about 10 Mbps for uploading and 30 Mbps for downloading. If you’re working as a video editor, you might need a faster connection for uploading, but this is very doable if you’re working as a writer or designer. A slower connection of about 2 to 5 Mbps is perfectly fine for most people.
2. HD Webcam And Microphone
A webcam and microphone are other crucial tools for remote workers. If you want to take live questions during training or hold group video calls with your team members, you must have good quality equipment. The better the quality of these tools, the more you’ll enjoy using them.
The most critical factor in webcam quality is its frame rate, measured in frames per second (FPS). You’ll want a device with at least 30 FPS for video calls and conferencing, but 60 FPS gives better results. As for the mic, the more sensitive it is, the better.
3. A Great Time-Tracking App
Once you’ve got your high-speed internet, webcam, and mic sorted out, what’s next? Well, an essential part of any remote job is making sure you meet your deadlines. Of course, it’s much more complicated than usual to track when and where you’ve worked when you work from home, so you need an excellent time-tracking app.
The best time tracking apps are easy to use, don’t take up too much of your bandwidth, and can be accessed from any device, whether Mac or PC, an Android smartphone, or an iPhone. Furthermore, you’ll want one that offers helpful insights into how you work so that you can make adjustments if necessary.
4. A Great Online Faxing Service
Faxing is an essential part of doing business, but it’s usually not very practical for remote workers. Sending faxes generally requires you to print out the document, put it in an envelope, write down your recipient’s fax number, and send it through regular mail; so, if you don’t live near your recipient, this can cause problems.
Online fax services like MetroFax solve this problem by allowing you to send and receive faxes from your regular email address, so there’s no need for expensive fax machines or access to a local printer shop. They’re usually much cheaper too, as they charge per page rather than per minute – although the cost will vary depending on how frequently you use fax.
5. Secure Cloud Storage
Since you don’t have a supervisor looking over your shoulder constantly, it can be easy to think that security isn’t essential for remote workers. But just because someone can’t physically see what you’re doing doesn’t mean they can’t access your information.
Secure cloud storage is essential for remote workers to use, as it secures your files and makes them accessible from anywhere you happen to be.
Most remote workers use a secure cloud storage service to keep their files safe. A simple Google search will provide more information on how any specific service works.
6. An Instant Messaging App For Your Team
Since most of your communication with your colleagues is likely to be online, it’s essential to use instant messaging. If you have an excellent online faxing service, your team members may store their files on the same platform as well, which means you can communicate using the app itself.
There are numerous free services available, so be sure to research before settling on one. There are many instant messaging apps to choose from, though, so something is bound to fit your needs.
7. A Great Project Management System
Any remote worker should have some project management system. You’ll need to work out what works best for you and your team based on the workload that needs to be done remotely.
Project management software can help you save time and money by streamlining the entire process. For example, one of the best features is its ability to create task lists—so no more forgetting what needs to be done today, tomorrow, or next week.
A great project management system should provide you with a way to collaborate on projects as a team and track the progress of those projects. It should also work on all devices and be easy to pick up.
8. A Scheduling App
Scheduling is a big part of working from home, as it’s moderately challenging to stay on track without being able to see your colleagues’ faces or share screens. If you can’t physically see your co-workers, scheduling is one of the most necessary tools to have in your arsenal.
Several apps work well for remote workers, which allows you to send out multiple polls so that different team members can pick their preferred time slots. It even sends out reminders before each one closes.
9. Conference Calls On The Go
Whether you’re just starting remote working, or if it’s your tenth year doing so—chances are that you’ll occasionally need to use a conference call app when there isn’t anyone around to schedule a meeting time with. With such apps, you can host the conference call yourself and set up multiple audio and web-based endpoints.
10. Password Manager
It would be best if you’re highly organized to enjoy working from home, especially your passwords. If your colleague is also a remote worker, there should be no reason for you not to share passwords with them so that they can quickly help you out if you’re stuck on something.
A password manager will help you quickly log in to websites without remembering your login details. For example, one of the best features is that it saves your passwords automatically so that you don’t have to do it manually – meaning that if you forget, someone else can simply send them over to you quickly.
Nothing is set in stone in working remotely, so you need to be open to trying new things. It’s up to you (and your colleagues) what tools work best for you and your team. You can even develop some of your ideas if none of the existing ones tickle your fancy. It helps keep everything simple and organized so that you know where to find what information when, no matter how far apart your remote team members are.