8 Team Communication Tools to Increase Work at Home Productivity

by Felix Yim

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Working at home is nothing new. Some may argue that it’s the next evolution in our style of work. With benefits such as cutting out travel times give people more time to be productive in allowing parents to work whilst taking care of their children, so a work lifestyle of working from home has been picking up steam over the past few years  But the whole COVID situation has definitely brought that forward and forced everyone to work from home. 

But working from home has definitely changed the way we communicate with our team. Things we can shout across the room as suddenly turned into chat messages which may not read straight away or coffee room small talk to bond the office together has disappeared. 

There’s certainly downfalls in working from home, especially on the team communication aspects, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use tools to improve how we operate as a team. 

Asana

Setting up a project in Asana | Product guide · AsanaAsana is a software-as-a-service designed to improve team collaboration and work management. It helps teams manage projects and tasks in one tool. Teams can create projects, assign work to teammates, specify deadlines, and communicate about tasks directly in Asana. It also includes reporting tools, file attachments, calendars, and more. 

With Asana as your project management system, you can implement for your teams to keep track of their to-do list. On top of that, it offers team transparency and everyone will know what they do. You will find that office politics (the killer of productivity & not to mention... staff retention) will drop as people know what everyone else is doing. 

Slack

Slack targets non-tech users with user interface design tweaks - ARN

Working remote means our usual way communicating with the team has changed. No longer can we stand up and shout out across the room to get something done. No can we call in meetings with everyone in a room to discuss important events.  

This is when Slack comes in.  Slack is a workplace communication tool, “a single place for messaging, tools and files.” This means Slack is an instant messaging system with lots of add-ins for other workplace tools. With built-in features such as integration with your calendars and a place to store all your files, Slack is a much more robust team chat tool compared to Skype or Whatsapp. 

Zoom

Zoom vulnerabilities keep coming, two more reported today - 9to5MacYou’ve probably heard of Zoom before. Especially after COVID-19, and everyone forced to work from home, it’s a no brainer for companies to get Zoom for all their video conferencing and team meetings.

From simple 1 on 1 video calls to massive calls with up to 1000 people in the call, Zoom is able to cater to all purposes. That means corporates can utilise Zoom to host their massive conferences rather than inviting everyone to a physical seminar to sit and listen. 

By cutting out the physical need for people to be together to listen, you are able to trim out unnecessary time for each person to be there and save company money from needing to hire out a massive conference hall and pay the substantial costs of managing the event. 

Hence by utilising a video conferencing software such as Zoom, companies are able to save more than just time, but direct savings to their pocket too. 

Google Calendar

Google Tips: Getting Started with Google Calendar

Google calendar isn’t anything new either. But from experience, it’s quite surprising to see the numerous amounts of businesses that aren’t leveraging the benefits of using Google Calendar, especially if they’re using Gmail already as their email manager. 

The two biggest benefits are 1) being able to integrate directly with your Google accounts, so you’re up to date with all your meetings for the day and 2) the classic network effect: the more people who uses something, the better it makes the overall experience. This certainly applies to Google Calendar too, as people automatically know what a Google Calendar invite is and they won’t need to sign up for any unknown program - the last thing you want someone to do when you want to book them in for a meeting. 

Team Viewer

How to Use TeamViewer: All You Need to Know | TeamViewer

Team Viewer is a remote desktop access software. This is the tool to help you connect your home computer to your work desktop. Software such as Photoshop is expensive to purchase another licence for an employee’s second computer, so Team Viewer offers a much cheaper way for your team to access all your company’s software from home. 

On top of that, if you’re in the client service or support industry, where you need to access your client’s computer in person, Team Viewer will all you to connect to their computer remotely, so you can still provide the technical support at home. 

Evernote

Welcome to Evernote Web – Evernote Help & Learning

The name itself is almost self-explanatory. This note-taking app is a dark horse for your work productivity. You might be wondering how can a digital notebook help with your team’s communication? Let me explain. Ever been in a meeting where the minutes (the notes taken that will be shared with the team after) are taken in Google Docs? After a few more meetings, do you know how disorganised the folder storing the minutes are? It’s because Google Docs, although it’s simple to use, it’s meant to be for consistent note talking. 

Evernote is also built on the cloud, which allows changes to the document from multiple people simultaneously, but best of all, just like how a real notebook can be organised by category, you can organize your meeting notes properly on Evernote. 

Conclusion

To round things up, working at home is a big difference to our lifestyle, especially when masses do it now. Companies are forced to implement new processes and take up new tools to keep up their team’s productivity because if they don’t, their companies will fall behind the competition. 

Embrace change, and don’t be afraid to upgrade your current tools. 

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