What is home office? 16 tools to use when working from home on coronavirus quarantine period

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What is home office? 16 tools to use when working from home on coronavirus quarantine period

What is home office? 16 tools to use when working from home on coronavirus quarantine period 2000 1333 iWEBAPP Web Design Ottawa
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What is home office? 16 tools to use when working from home on coronavirus quarantine period

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, isolation has been recommended to the population. Home office can be an alternative in quarantine period.

Home office is the practice of working from home. This regime has been adopted in recent weeks by companies around the world as a preventive measure against the new coronavirus, avoiding possible contagion among employees. In Canada, many companies have already adhered to the method. Technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Amazon have also started promoting work at home for offices in several countries.

Working from home requires, in addition to focus to maintain productivity, a good computer and specific programs so that you can keep in touch with the team and perform the same tasks that you would do if you were in the company. In fact, to help in this coronavirus period, companies like Google and Microsoft have released distance communication tools for free. In addition, programs like Skype, Zoom Meetings, Google Hangouts, Slack and Trello can help with the performance of your tasks and communication with the team. Next, find out what home office means and see tips for remote work during coronavirus, as well as a list of 13 useful programs to use on your first day at home.

What is home office?

The system is a fairly common scheme for freelancers where employees work remotely. This format is increasingly adopted by large companies to reduce costs and increase the quality of life for employees. In the home office, workers can, for example, avoid traffic and gain more free time to engage in other activities, such as taking a course or playing sports.

Doing home office does not mean working exclusively at home. Nowadays it is very common to use public spaces such as cafes, libraries and bookstores with Internet access, or private places, such as co-working – places where people and companies have access to a basic structure to work, with tables, chairs and electricity. Another common practice in some companies is to adopt home office one of the week.

Home office in times of Coronavirus

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the planet since the beginning of the year, many companies have started to release their employees to work from home. In Canada, since last week, the recommendation is that people stay as long as possible indoors, in quarantine. Thus, they help prevent Covid-19 transmission. In view of this situation, many companies saw in the home office a possibility to continue with their normal activities, without exposing their employees to the risk of contagion of the disease.

According to Google Trends, a service that monitors searches on the Internet, interest in the “home office” theme reached the highest level in the last 90 days in the first week of March, with a 34% increase in site searches worldwide. The expression “work from home” recorded, in the same period, the highest number of searches in the last three months. The United States has led searches for the term in the past three months, with Singapore and India on the list of the five countries that have researched the most.

According to information released by the Recode website, since the end of January, Microsoft has registered a 500% increase in the use of videoconferencing in China. Usage has also grown in the United States among Microsoft employees: chat volume at Microsoft Teams has increased by 50%, while videoconferencing meetings have increased by 37%.
Google will offer advanced features of Hangouts Meet, the corporate meeting app, until July 1st. G Suite and G Suite for Education users will be able to, during this period, make video calls with up to 250 people without paying anything. Microsoft has released six months of free use of Microsoft Teams, a premium corporate messaging service, and has increased its user limit. Both services allow you to record and save your outgoing calls.

Tips for home office

Home office free tools that will help you organize yourself

Home office free tools that will help you organize yourself

Working in a home office format has a number of peculiarities, different from working in the company. First, it is necessary to establish a routine that is as close as possible to the usual. This starts with working hours, which must be well defined. Try to maintain your productivity without having to work overtime. Also, respect lunch time and don’t forget to get up for a drink.

On the other hand, avoid possible distractions, such as conversations with family members and playing with pets. Also, try to set up an environment close to your everyday life, avoiding working on the couch, bed or even in your pajamas. The idea of ​​working in the home office is to focus on productivity so that the employee can earn as much as if he were in the company. Next, check out 13 tools to make it easier to work at home if you have already received the home office announcement during the coronavirus pandemic.

Team communication tool

16 tools to use when working from home

16 tools to use when working from home

1. Slack

Slack is software that increases the productivity of work conversations, excluding the need for emails or messages via WhatsApp. All project communication is brought together in one environment, with publications that can be public or private. The tool integrates with other services, such as Google Drive, Office 365 and Trello, and can be especially useful in periods of home office, as it concentrates the entire team. In addition, it avoids mixing personal and professional conversations on WhatsApp, for example.

Videoconferencing Tools

2. Skype

Skype is one of the most popular voice and video calling services on the Internet, and is available for cell phones, tablets, TVs and game consoles. The free version supports up to 20 users, while the paid version, Skype for Business, allows you to chat with up to 250 people on the same call.
With Skype it is possible to exchange text messages, hold meetings, share files and screens with other users. Conversations are free, but there is a charge for calls to conventional phones.

3. Hangouts Meet

Simple and functional for teams that need to chat by video, Hangouts Meet is a Google program that has premium features released for everyone in this coronavirus period – that is, you don’t have to be a subscriber to a corporate account. The tool allows you to schedule meetings, send calendar reminders, hold video meetings and share files. It is available for PC, in addition to Android phones and iPhone (iOS).

4. Zoom Meetings

With a corporate focus, Zoom Meetings is a video conferencing tool that makes it possible to hold video meetings between two people or with 500 participants, in addition to webinars with up to 10,000 people. It is also possible to share files, texts and presentations through chat. The basic version is free, and can be accessed on Windows, macOS and Linux PCs, in addition to Android or iPhone smartphones.

Tools for organizing team tasks

Home office alternative free tools

Home office alternative free tools

5. Trello

Trello is a collaborative tool for organizing individual or group tasks. Very intuitive, the program presents tables in which the task lists are placed separated by colored cards with defined deadlines and objectives.

The platform also offers checklist resources to indicate essential points for the project, upload files and colored labels that allow the user to separate files by themes. It is similar to organizing reminders with post-its. Trello offers free and paid plans, and is available for Android, iPhone and PC.

6. Basecamp

very much like Trello, Basecamp is an application that helps people with different responsibilities to reach the same goal: finalize a project together. Shares files, sets deadlines, assigns tasks, centralizes feedbacks.

7. Evernote

Organizes tasks, manages information, takes notes, stores and synchronizes photos, videos and voice messages. It allows you to access documents remotely and share information at different levels of privacy.

8. Pandadock

Pandadock (clicksign.com) offers management and signature of legally valid documents. The basic plan entitles you to five documents per month. With the tool, it is possible to sign urgent documents remotely that cannot wait for the Coronavirus outbreak.

9. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 (bitrix24.com.br) is a project management and collaboration platform that generates reports, controls time in activities and has a chat group. The company has extended the free version for unlimited user use due to Coronavirus.

10. WeTransfer

WeTransfer is a program for sharing large files over the Internet, which is very useful for remote work. In the free version, it is possible to send up to 2 GB of files for up to 20 emails. To use it, just download it and the document reaches the recipient in the form of a zipped file.

11. Postgrain

Postgrain is a post manager for Instagram that allows sharing on Facebook and Twitter. The service schedules publications by date and time. In the free version, the user can make up to eight posts per month.

Cloud file sharing tools

12. Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud storage service for files such as texts, photos, videos and music. The tool eliminates the need for external hard drives or flash drives, in addition to allowing documents to be shared with other users. Google files, spreadsheets and presentations automatically save all changes made to the cloud.

These characteristics make the tool very practical and attractive for companies. The program works seamlessly with other products like Google Docs, Google Photos, Google Sheets, Google Forms and Google Slides. The initial 15 GB of storage is free.

13. Dropbox

Dropbox also stores data in the cloud and allows file sharing. However, the free version entitles you to only 2 GB of storage space. You can get more space by inviting friends to use the service.

14. OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service that offers 5 GB of free files for Android, iPhone (iOS) and PC users. The tool also has the “Personal Safe” functionality to store confidential files protected by password.

Tool to control hours worked

15. Toggl

Toggl is a tool for controlling hours worked available for PC, Android and iPhone (iOS) that measures the time invested in each project or client. The program makes this count automatically by employee or team, and generates detailed reports, eliminating the need to fill out spreadsheets. This can be a good solution to keep track of hours worked during the home office.

16. Logmein

Logmein is a tool that offers remote access to your office computer no matter where you’re working from. You can securely access your computer desktop as if you were sitting in front of it. Store, share and collaborate on files with one click. Print documents from a remote computer to the nearest local printer and more.


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