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COVID-19: 10 Apps That Could Boost Work-From-Home Productivity

 

COVID-19 prompted the shutdown of offices, which forced firms into remote work arrangements. This required adjusting to an utterly new normal for optimal delivery to service-oriented brands. Productivity talks had developers seek solutions in software apps created just for the purpose too.

The pandemic changed work in unexpected ways. Globally, workers are put under pressure to work from home while maintaining communication, the same productivity level, and rapport with both their colleagues and clients.

Beyond family distractions, humans are inclined to think of their homes as a place to relax and focus on personal responsibilities. So, when that space is suddenly turned into another workplace, several challenges spring up.

Without much ado, here are 10 productivity apps to help remote workers make the best of work hours while in their comfort zone.

  • Rescue Time (time management)

If you wish to see exactly where all your time goes in a day and refocus, the Rescue Time app will help out. The app tracks time spent on apps, websites, documents. With the productivity pulse score feature.

It gives detailed reports on how your time was spent and what’s getting in the way of your productivity. You can also set time alerts on set goals so it would prompt you each time you’re behind schedule.

You can get more done as it gives insight into how you spend your day offline/online. It also measures your most productive peak periods in order to understand whether you’re usually most productive in the morning or at night.

Alternatives: Toggl track, Harvest, Tsheets

  • Quip (communication/collaboration)

Quip is a cloud-based team collaboration tool for document editing and group communication. It is a unified online workspace where groups create and edit files together while communicating in real-time, including in-app chat.

It is best used during the early stages of brainstorming. Although it doesn’t feel different from Google Docs, sheets, and slides, the difference is Quip leans more towards works that require frequent and simultaneous group updates.

Alternatives: Google Slides, Zoho workplace, SharePoint, IBM connections, Team Merge, Microsoft OneNote.

  • 15Five (time management)

15Five app allows managers with a huge staff to set up weekly check-ins with employees. It allows check-ins on a subordinate to assess the progress on an assigned task remotely as in when the work required physical presence.

It also has a feature that lets workers ask questions or seek clarifications from their direct supervisors and boss.

It’s a smart tool to boost employee engagement and productivity. It is a great tool for managers to be able to manage each team as they will need this app to ensure productivity. 15Five makes working remotely look like it’s 1-on-1.

  • Expensify (planning)

Expense situations arise all the time and are usually accompanied by a tedious documentation process. Expensify helps to track and catalogue expenses in real-time without physical meeting with the accounts department.

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When a purchase is made, an employee enters the nature of the purchase, the amount, and any other information. Then, they can take a picture of the receipt and such expenses can, thereafter, be exported in bulk or individually.

This helps to cut down issues that might likely emanate from expense reporting, reconciliation, and reimbursement.

  • Zoom (communication)

In 2018, many likened Zoom to a boring app used for conferences. Now, it has become a mainstream utility application in the wake of the pandemic for anyone who wants to have a face-to-face virtual conversation.

In view of this, the company has added new features in order to have productive but less boring communication.

Zoom became a preferred go-to video conferencing app compared to Google Meet, Slack, and Microsoft Teams because it offers free 40-minute conference call for up to 100 attendees.

It is also easy to use as one does not necessarily require a login password to join a meeting.

  • TeamViewer (planning and organization)

Has it ever happened that, while on transit, you remember you needed to access a document at the office or at home for an important meeting or engagement? That’s when an app like TeamViewer comes in handy.

This free-for-private-use tool allows you to use remote devices as though you were sitting in front of them. Its features are powerful remote access capabilities, impressive collaborative menus, and a great user interface.

  • Trello (Planning and organization)

Trello is a tool for managing, organizing, and sharing everything from simple to-dos to major project management tasks. It’s the digital form of your usual office sticky notes that serves as reminders of daily targets and goals.

It also has a checklist feature and you can choose to attach files and pictures to it or hyperlinks. It hosts customs card services which allow you to integrate a host of third-party offers into your workflow.

  • Be Focused (distraction minimization)

If you’re easily distracted or one who works best with intermittent breaks, this app comes to the rescue.

It leverages on Pomodoro technique-which involves breaking your day up to 25-minute focus sessions followed by five-minute breaks to help you stay focused and get things done.

Users can manage their tasks to set work interval durations and break durations and at the same time, track their progress and goals for the week on a daily.

  • Asana (collaboration)

Looking for any collaborating tool used by firms like Intel, TED, and Uber as their core method of communication? Asana is designed as an easy way to track the work of employees and to get the best possible results.

With Asana, you can create to-dos for projects, set reminders for deadlines, and send requests to colleagues. You can also organise your projects in a list or board format and there’s a search function so you can locate past work.

It helps to stay super organised, facilitate conversations when it comes to updates on how work is progressing.

Alternative: Airtable

  • Scrivener

Scrivener is the go-to app for writers and researchers of all kinds. It is a robust word processor but it is replete with features to aid the task of long-form writing.

It is used by novelists, screenwriters, non-fiction writers, students, academics, journalists, and lawyers. Scrivener can compile your work in a wide range of publishable or printable formats.

Alternatives: Ulysses, Final Draft, Script Studio

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Written by PH

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