In today’s era, we can communicate with almost anyone at the touch of a button. We can send an email, tweet, or call by phone. More importantly, we can do this almost anywhere, anytime, whether on the top of a skyscraper, a mountain, a beach, or an office. It is safe to say that the world has shrunk a lot than it was decades ago.
In the past few years, the rapid development of technology has brought about a new trend-remote work, sometimes called telecommuting. Globally, at least 70% of remote work is done every week. In the United States, this figure is close to 50%, but by 2027, freelancers are expected to make up most of the workforce.
Telecommuting has many benefits and potential challenges. People are usually attracted to this way of working mainly because of their flexibility rather than the strict 9-to-5 schedule. Among the 2,500 respondents in the 2019 Buffer report, about 99% said they would like to work remotely, while 95% said they would recommend it to others. Also, telecommuting excites people because it allows people to work from home (13%) or almost anywhere with an internet connection (30%), or spend more time with friends and family (14%).
Of course, some people may like to move around at work, temporarily live in new locations, explore new cultures, and embrace digital nomadic terminology. On the other hand, others are closer to home.
They may have families and young children to take care of, or they may just be more settled. In any case, they are not located in the office, more or less independent of location.
Work-related to telecommuting can be very diverse, but it is almost always done via the Internet. These can include blogs, content writing, IT experts, web developers, consultants (named whatever you like).
All of them need to use different types of software to make their work easier and more efficient. Below are some useful software tools to help you work remotely.
Slack – Regarding freelancers, Slack is the most widely used platform for chat and regular communication. It has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, mainly used for quick and easy conversations, file sharing, etc. Internal communication has a large number of functions and third-party integration to make it fully functional. It also has a convenient mobile app version.
Skype – This tool needs no introduction and has become a must-have tool for large and small businesses over the years. Although there may be other software that is technically more efficient or easier to use, Skype still provides many free features for high-quality communications around the world. More importantly, it is usually a tool used by most customers and partners and an essential tool for every commuter.
Google Hangouts – For video conferences for most people (about three people or more), it is the default tool in most cases. It is also integrated with Slack, so you can use it directly from the platform.
Youtube Live – If you need to record fast videos, hold training meetings with your team, or live broadcast, Youtube Live is a great tool. It is very suitable for large-scale broadcasts on a global scale and provides many functions such as location tagging, automatic subtitles, or real-time chat replays. If you want, this is a Google Hangout on steroids.
IDoneThis – a very useful tool when you want to keep your team in sync. It provides daily check-ins, progress reports, regular status updates, and many other features to help you complete your work on time. It allows you to report operations that could not be completed on time and why. The reports it generates will provide you with a comprehensive view of the team’s progress over time.
Trello – This tool is perfect for repetitive projects that require a clear arrangement of all repetitive items. You can create separate lists with separate tasks. You can set deadlines, add attachments, create checklists and notes, or choose other tags. All of these can help you keep an eye on everything from start to finish and make sure that things don’t slip through the cracks.
Cloud Storage & File Organization
Google Drive – Like Skype, Google Drive needs no introduction. It provides you with valuable file storage and sharing capabilities, allowing you to organize documents and collaborate with colleagues in real-time. You can share documents, spreadsheets, presentations with everyone you want, and access them from any location.
Box – Another popular online storage service that provides users with 10GB of free storage space. It can be used on Windows, macOS, and almost all operating systems, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and other mobile functions. The best part is that you can store almost everything in it, including documents, photos, videos, sensitive information, etc.
OneDrive – This is also an online storage service, this time supported by Microsoft. If you have an Outlook or Hotmail email address, OneDrives will automatically provide 5GB of free storage space. Like Google Drive, it allows you to store and share files with others.
Dropbox – remote workers usually use this service to organize large files according to various conditions (including month) and send you a message after submitting a new job. With its Paper app, it allows users to collaborate in real-time (similar to Google Docs) and is the cloud storage service of choice for designers and software developer teams.
InVision – If you are a designer or work with a designer, this tool will be handy. It eliminates the hassle of building a prototype and sharing it with everyone else. It also allows comments and feedback, thus making the process easier.
Skitch – This tool allows remote teams to mark up, annotate, and sketch ideas in record time. You can use it on your desktop, tablet or mobile phone or work on projects on the go.
Any combination of these software tools will help you make remote commutes and optimize your work performance with almost no investment. Depending on your needs and how your customers and teammates use them, the tools described here will be your ideal choice.