So you’ve been banished from the office and forced to work from home. Welcome to the party! Well, not exactly. Coterie Spark has electively and strategically opted to work from home since the start of this year (…and most of last year tbh). So, we’re practically pros and we’ve got all the remote work tips and tools for you!
Below are the top five low-to-no cost tools for working from home that we use to collaborate and communicate with our remote team (and you can too!).
One of the best tips for working from home we can give is to use Google drive. This is our virtual filing cabinet. It’s where we keep all company files with the added benefit of real-time collaboration. So, instead of editing a Word or Pages document on your desktop that only you have access to, we simply create a Google Doc in our Drive that will automatically update (and save!) allowing multiple people to edit the file simultaneously — perfect for collaboration while working from home. Google also has their equivalent of Excel or Numbers — Google Sheets. And PowerPoint or Keynote — Google Slides.
If you used AOL Instant Messenger or MSN Messenger back in the day, then you already know how Slack works! It’s essentially a virtual chat room with the ability to add multiple people to a chat stream or “channel” for sending a direct message. This minimizes unnecessary emails and allows our team to communicate and collaborate efficiently. It also helps us keep track of who’s online or away from their desk. We like to customize our status with clever sayings and emojis for fun. As a bonus, Slack has apps that integrate with all of the tools included in this article!
For video conferencing and screen sharing, the best tip for working from home we have is to use UberConference. Each of our teammates has their own account with a custom URL meeting link, and an optional dial-in number and pin. We’re able to host up to 10 people at a time for free. For calls over 10 people, we have a shared company account that we pay for monthly. If you’re ever on hold, you will not be disappointed. The “I’m On Hold” music is hilariously brilliant! You can also record calls for future reference and chat direct messages to your coworkers.
This serves as our Customer Relationship Management System and 1:1 meeting scheduler. Each team member/user within our free HubSpot account has the ability to set up a personal URL link, allowing people to schedule 15, 30, or 60-minute meetings with them. This tool syncs directly with our Google Calendars. Once a meeting is scheduled, a calendar invite is automatically emailed to both parties and includes our respective UberConference information.
As event planners, we are master list takers and makers, so naturally we have a tool that enables us to check boxes. Asana is a cloud-based project management tool that empowers our organization to plan, organize, and execute our work seamlessly. This keeps our team focused on goals, projects, and deliverables respectively and collectively. We’re able to track which assignments haven’t been started, are in progress, or completed. We can also assign tasks, set deadlines, and link files and send direct messages. Asana helps our company streamline workflows, processes, and procedures to get (sh)it done.
Did you enjoy our top 5 tips for working from home? Let us know! Or do you have any tips and tools for remote work that you’d like to add to our list? Comment below.