by Rhyanne Beatty, UX Designer + Writer
Image Courtesy by Stuart Braidwood.
COVID-19 is quickly changing the way we work. With more and more businesses closing their doors to help mitigate the spread of the virus, teams are rapidly adapting to working remotely. Working from home has its advantages, such as being close to your loved ones during these uncertain times. But it isn’t without its challenges either. Without the right tools, team communication, collaboration, and project management can suffer.
Fortunately, there are many remote work tools out there that can help your team thrive. Not sure where to start? We asked our coworkers to share their favourite tools and how they impact their work. While this list is by no means exhaustive, these tools address universal team needs. From file sharing and task management to video chats and instant messaging, we hope these tools get you online fast and working remotely with ease.
“Slack is my go-to for team communication. It allows you to have more fluid conversations with your coworkers compared to email. It’s a fun and interactive tool for colleagues to use to get answers quickly and stay engaged with one another. Not to mention the gif game is strong.”
— Emily Reid, Solution Manager
- What is it? Slack is an instant messaging platform for business. Think Facebook Messenger for professionals but way more organized.
- Why? Slack allows you to chat with other team members, share files, make video and voice calls, and share your screen.
- Is it free? The free version of Slack comes with 10k searchable messages, 10 apps and integrations, one-to-one video calls, and two-factor authentication. Need more? You can always upgrade to a paid plan.
- Anything you should know before you sign-up? Slack doesn’t work on older web browsers or Internet Explorer.
- Similar tools: Microsoft Teams, Discord, Facebook Workplace
“G Suite is a game-changer because you can collaboratively edit documents without having to save, send, open, and deal with conflicting changes and versions. With Meet you can have the equivalent of a face-to-face meeting, without having to align everyone’s locations.”
— Brendan Henry, UX Designer
- What is it? G Suite offers a range of productivity apps like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and more — everything an office needs to go remote.
- Why? No more emailing files back and forth. All work is in real-time and accessible to your team. You can leave comments on docs and even chat while working together. It gives new meaning to collaboration.
- Is it free? Pricing starts as low as $7.80 per user per month.
- Anything you should know before you sign-up? You don’t need a team to use G Suite. It’s great for individuals too.
- Similar tools: Microsoft 365, LibreOffice
“I love Trello for project management because it records the work you’ve completed and your progress during the week and even the month. You can easily share and collaborate with coworkers, it’s useful without paying for extra features, and it’s easy to navigate as a beginner.”
—Dania Tamayo-Vera, Developer
- What is it? Trello is a web-based, Kanban-style, list-making application. Think of it as a fancy to-do list that’s collaborative.
- Why? Staying organized can be a challenge. Trello makes it easy for you and your team to see what needs to be worked on in a single glance.
- What does it cost? The free version of Trello offers unlimited cards, unlimited personal boards, unlimited lists, and 10MB per file attachment. For increased features, they offer business and enterprise pricing.
- How to use it? You can use it a multitude of ways, but we recommend starting with a basic Kanban board — (1) everything you have to do, (2) things you’re going to work on, (3) things you’re currently working on, and (4) everything you’ve completed.
- Similar tools: Asana, Notion, GitKraken
In the end
As workplaces are urged to practice social distancing, adopting tools that promote human connection will go a long way in protecting your team’s mental health. Slack, G Suite, and Trello will help you collaborate more effectively with your coworkers, work smarter, and get more done. Need help getting started? Start the conversation at @ThinkingBigInc!