Remote Working During Coronavirus: Top 10 Tools and Apps Can Help You

Declared a “Global Pandemic” by the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus (or COVID-19) has taken the world by storm. According to the recent reports from world meters, 158 countries have been affected by the pandemic, with over 173,028 reported cases, 6,663 reported deaths, and 77,783 recovered patients across the globe. The charts below show the statistics of the coronavirus cases and death (updated: March 16, 2020).

Many countries have called it a “Global/Nation-wide Emergency,” and experts have suggested maintaining “Social Distancing” in order to prevent the spread of this pandemic. Due to the current situation, many companies and organizations have asked their employees to work from home to ensure their safety.

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Some of the big corporations include Facebook which has closed its Head Quarters in Seattle and advised the employees to work till March 31st, Apple’s CEO has asked his global workforce especially in the heavily affected countries as Iran, Italy, and others to work from home, Microsoft has also advised its employees to work from home. Other companies which have encouraged their employees to avail the work from home facility include Amazon, Foxconn, Dell, Airbnb, and Uber. Now, we will highlight the top 10 apps that can be used for remote work purposes.

Top 10 tools and apps to help you work from home during Corona

As many organizations are shifting towards the “Work-from-home” culture, there are many applications and software tools available on the market which facilitate the employees working from home to exercise their full potential and creativity. The key challenges which are faced by remote work are real-time collaboration and communication, which are solved by several out of the box solutions and applications. Let first discuss the usage of the further explained software according to these parameters.

Tool Software Cost (Free or Paid) Founder/ Country / Year Business Value Average Users (per day/month)
Slack It’s a freemium software with both free and paid plans. Stewart Butterfield and Cal Handerson founded Slack in 2014 in San Francisco, CA. Around 8.3$ Billion Ten million active users per day as of Jan 2019.
Sococo It is a paid software and varies according to the seating plan. Dan Van Wie, in 2007. N/A N/A
Skype It’s free software with some premium features for which users have to pay. It was founded by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstorm in Estonia in 2003. It was bought by Microsoft for 8.5$ Billion. Three hundred million active users per month.
Aircall It is a paid software. Jonathan Anguelov, Olivier Pailhès, Pierre-Baptiste Béchu, Thibaud Elziere, Xavier Durand in 2014. This startup has been grabbing investor attention and has raised 40$ Million in investment. Thirty-six companies are currently using Aircall.
Dropbox It’s freemium with 2GB of free storage and an additional for $9.99. Drew Huston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007. It is valued at $12 billion. 600 million users
Zapier It is free for one user but also has a premium plan for unlimited projects. Knoop, from St. Louis, Missouri, cofounded Zapier with Foster and Bryan Helmig in 2011. It has an estimated 32$ million Annualized run rate (ARR). Around 3 million active users.
Asana It is available free for a team of up to 15 people and has different costs for premium plans. Dustin Moskovitz, Justin Rosenstein in 2009. It is net worth at 1.5$ Billion. Over 2 million active users.
GitHub It has both free and paid options with plans such as free, pro, team, and enterprise. Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett in 2008. It was valued at 2$ Billion when Microsoft bought it. 40 million active users.
RescueTime It’s freemium, it has free and paid plans. Brian Fioca, Joe Hruska, Tony Wright in 2007. It has completed it early incubation period with an estimated revenue of $1.1 million N/A
Toggl It is free for up to five users, and above that, it has pricing plans. Alari Aho, Krister Haav in 2006. N/A It has attracted 1.6 million registered users.

 The top applications and tools which facilitate remote work include:

1. Slack

It is a management application specifically designed for communication between teams. You can create teams for every department of your organization, and send direct messages to the team members as well. You can drag-and-drop files, pin documents for referencing, and bookmark messages. It is designed for real-time communication, and instant messaging and keeps you connected with every member of your team.

2. Sococo

It provides video, chat, and voice call facilities to its users with an effective virtual office overlay, which makes employees feel like they are still at the office. You can visit employees in their offices and share meeting rooms and work just like you would in your office. This creative overlay effect gives the employees the necessary dedication and commitment to stay focused on tasks at hand during office time.

3. Skype

It is probably one of the most well-known video and voice calling tools available in the market today. It comes with a business version as well, specifically designed to handle the multi-tasking required in businesses. It is a great tool for increasing your remote work productivity. You can stay connected with other employees and connect anytime, anywhere, hold meetings and conferences across the globe.

4. Aircall

It is a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) based business phone system. This software is ideal for support and sales. It can be easily installed as an app on your desktop or as a browser plug-in. It is easy to set up and help you reach out to your remote team members instantly without any hassle.

5. Dropbox

It is a file-sharing tool that works great in a team environment. You can upload your documents and reports in files for your remote team to access them. It is easy to install and use and provides seamless file sharing experience. You can also toggle the authorization of your files or sensitive information. You can also store the backup of your important data and schedule regular synchronization. Files are regularly updated, which gives you the advantage of getting the latest version of the files. It is ideal for remote work as your whole team can access the files even when offline, anytime, anywhere.

6. Zapier

It bridges the gaps between various tools by automating the workflows. Team members working from home or office dislike switching between various apps and tools, so Zapier comes handy in synchronizing all your team and customer information on a single platform. It saves time and increases the productivity of individual team members to get tasks done quickly and efficiently.

7. Asana

It helps team members and managers to prioritize their tasks. All active tasks are displayed on the dashboard. Tasks can be edited, deleted, assigned, and added. Managers and team leads can assign different tasks to different team members. Team members and managers can also comment and edit different tasks. It also prioritizes tasks according to the deadline and gives alerts to the team member the task is assigned to.

8. Github

It is designed specifically for developers. It helps them to share their code with the developer community. You can collaborate on different projects, comment on other developer’s code, and share and use the code. The integration of Github with Slack makes the passing to and fro of code even simpler.

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9. RescueTime

It is hard concentrating and focusing your efforts towards work when you are working from home. This tool helps you stay focused by calculating the amount of your computer usage and indicate when you are distracted from your work. With the help of this tool, you can block access to the websites which drain your time and increase the temptation to procrastinate.

10. Toggl

It is an app that monitors and tracks the time your team members take to complete a given task. You can assign time to each task and also track the time it takes you to complete a task using Toggl. The time you set for each task in synchronized to the cloud and lets your team members stay focused. Toggl comes in handy, especially to freelancers who charge their clients on hourly rates.

Overall, It takes a lot of effort and management skills to be a good manager and a team leader, especially when remote working is included. It takes investment and time to complete the tasks every single day. However, the above-mentioned tools and apps can make the job a lot easier and convenient for you.

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