Technology Tools to Help You Work from Home

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are shifting to remote work. Learn how Microsoft Teams and other tools keep your employees connected and productive.

How can you help your employees be productive and effective while working from home? During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses need to shift to work-from-home models quickly.

Working with a local technology services company gives your business a proven partner that can help establish and optimize apps that help employees feel connected and working effectively.

Microsoft Teams Working From Home In Baltimore

What Is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based solution that gives employees a flexible remote workspace. It focuses on group communication and collaboration and interacts seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365, which is the cloud version of the popular bundle of productivity apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Teams lets your employees create shared spaces where they can store and work on files, communicate in real-time and invite others outside your organization — vendors, partners, volunteers and clients — to collaborate. Members can work on documents and talk about them simultaneously. Team members can create channels, which are conversation topics that let participants communicate within the platform, without having to use email or text messages. Direct messages can be sent to individuals privately or the whole team.

Microsoft Teams is an ideal tool for chats, conference calls or video conference calls.

How Much Does Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Cost?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft is offering a free, 60-day trial of Office 365 E1, which includes Microsoft Teams. The offer consists of Office 365 for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, workflow automation and online meetings with web conferencing, audio and high-definition video capabilities.

The 365 E1 package includes several other tools, including Sway, which helps create digital, interactive stories; OneDrive for Business with 1 TB of personal cloud storage accessible everywhere; and Stream, a secure video creation, management and sharing service. Available add-ons include phone management, audio conferencing and global data location management.

What Other Remote-Working Tools Are Available?

There are many helpful tools available for remote work, including:

  • Asana. For workflow and project management, Asana is a great choice. It features timelines, project tracking, task assignments and a high degree of customization.
  • Basecamp. This popular project management and team collaboration platform helps you communicate, work and collaborate. Share and organize ideas, conversations and documents
  • Chimp or Champ. Employee engagement is one of the biggest HR buzzwords today. In times of uncertainty, gauging employee satisfaction is important. Chimp or Champ is a weekly measure of employee happiness that lets you take your teams’ temperatures. Ask specific questions and get actionable anonymous feedback from your team members
  • Google Drive and Dropbox. Drive and Dropbox are two of the most popular cloud storage tools, with free storage and paid options for businesses with more significant data needs
  • Hubstaff. For teams that need to track time or work, Hubstaff is an excellent tool. The tool allows for employee monitoring, GPS tracking, project budgeting, online timesheets, payroll software, online invoicing and employee scheduling. It’s an ideal way to manage employee productivity and integrate with finance systems
  • Join.me. Host video or audio meetings with customized URLs and backgrounds, screen sharing and a unique whiteboard feature for shared brainstorming and innovation sessions
  • Slack. Billed as an alternative to internal email systems, Slack uses dedicated work areas called channels to build workflows, collaborate with team members within and external to the organization, send messages, voice and video calls, and assign tasks
  • Todoist. There are many checklists and to-do-list programs available. Todoist is an affordable and scalable tool that can be used by individuals or teams. The team version lets you create and plan projects, assign responsibilities, add tasks, set due dates, share files and track progress. Real-time synchronization across 18 platforms means your team members can connect on any device
  • Zoom. This popular video conferencing program helps connect groups with excellent streaming video (an audio-only option is also available). You can record remote meetings and video chats, share screens and use instant-messaging tools to keep engagements interactive

Tier One Technology Partners helps companies with cloud solutions that improve efficiency and productivity. We work with businesses throughout the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metro areas with Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams cloud solutions to help employees stay connected and communicating while working remotely. To learn more, contact us today.

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