While most of our team are already used to working from home, we realise that many people will be giving homeworking a go for the first time under the lockdown. Not only will they be tasked with identifying which types of software they require but will also have to navigate the variety of offerings available for each. Our aim is to make this process easier with our favourite online tool for each different task below:
The first step to staying in touch with your colleagues and customers is to ensure you have access to your emails from home. You may already be using Gmail in the office so it should be quite easy to get setup at home or on a different device so long as you have your email address and password to hand. Gmail is our preferred email platform as not only does it allow us to easily manage our other Google products such as Analytics and Ads, but it also provides useful features including:
- Easily organise emails with the use of labels and folders
- Schedule emails to be sent at a later date
- Many CRMs integrate with Gmail, allowing you to easily keep track of communications with clients
- Turn confidential mode on to prevent recipients from forwarding, copying, printing or downloading your email. This feature also enables you to password protect your communications
- Gmail has other services built in including Google Calendar, Google Drive and Hangouts
Google Hangouts is another Google product which allows you to easily communicate with your team using instant messages. Hangouts also provides functionality for group chats and both audio and video calls, allowing you to hold virtual team meetings easily. This tool is easily accessible for those with a Gmail account as the Hangouts dashboard appears in the lower left-hand side when using Gmail on a desktop. The app can also be downloaded on both desktop and mobile devices.
Skype is another great tool for communicating and is free to use for basic video calls. It is often a better option than Google Hangouts for conference calls that involve clients. These calls can be recorded or encrypted and Skype also provides the option to share your screen with others on the call.