Many people are facing a disruptive new reality of working from home as a result of the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (I'm sure this isn't news to you!). We thought it would be a good idea to share some useful tech tips for our clients who may be looking for options while they make the transition to working from home.
We use Slack every day in our office, even when we are all together. It's a great messaging service that can allow real-time chatting and file transfers, organized into “Channels”, which can be fully customized. That way, a chat about a specific project can appear in a specific projects channel and remain organized and useful. It can also integrate a huge variety of popular apps and services, including the G Suite and Dropbox, further adding to its impressive list of capabilities.
Slack offers a free version for smaller teams and affordable enterprise options for larger teams. Their mobile app is robust and easy to master and we’ve found it to be very reliable.
Dropbox has been the industry standard for sharing files and content for some time and with good reason. It's simple to use, easy to share with team members and clients, with many adjustable permissions options, so clients aren't seeing files before they are ready to share. Dropbox also offers a mobile app that allows access to your files on the move and is a great way to keep your files organized, online, and available to your entire team and client list.
- Conferencing Tools
Obviously, face-to-face meetings are a current impossibility, but fortunately, there are a lot of great options out there for teleconferencing, and many special offers available in light of the pandemic. For example, WebEx, Google, Microsoft and others have announced free access to many of their enterprise solutions for free in the last few days.
For smaller teams (up to 25 members) Google Hangouts is a great option. It allows for screen sharing and other basics, and perhaps most importantly, it is very simple to use. For larger groups, we have been using UberConference for a while now at rhyme, and we love its balance of enterprise-level functionality and ease of use. No annoying pins, etc. for people who are trying to access a meeting. The perfect balance!
- Project Management
There are tons of options for project management out there, ranging from the most basic to the more nuanced. This type of software allows users to keep tabs on collective work, hours, billing and individual tasks within a larger project. It’s a very helpful way to ensure that you and your team don't lose that “bird’s-eye” view of what is happening daily and longer-term and allows for some meaningful data on completed tasks and projects. This type of software is harder to recommend specifically, as every business will have different needs and different types of tasks to track. However, we have been using ActiveCollab for a few years now and have found it versatile, customizable, and, most importantly, very helpful!
Hopefully, some of these programs are helpful to you. As always, if you have any questions or could use some more specific advice, we're here to help as best we can. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions regarding your site or need some guidance about technology or the web during this time. We've included some links below for further reading as well. Stay safe!