As leader of a small business, ensure you stay connected with your employees and try and create some remote fun where possible. To be as productive as possible, create a workspace that is conducive and limits interruptions and interference. Maintain regular breaks and start by creating a morning routine. Discuss the situation with people in your space and create ground rules. These tips and tools will also be useful to assist your kids, who may have to get used to online, distance learning whilst schools are closed. The key tools to consider are: 1. Devices & Connectivity Kind of goes without saying, but without quality devices and connectivity, the experience may become very frustrating and not lead to any productive outputs. 2. Video Conferencing The most effective tool to continue to have staff, client and supplier meetings is video conferencing. Depending on the tool, you will schedule the call via your calendar, insert the video conferencing link and invite the respective participants. During the call you could present various forms of media such as presentations, spreadsheets, documents, video’s photo’s etc. Some of the most recent tools also have recording capability, so anyone who could not attend, will be able to view and comment on the meeting later. Some of the tools to consider on the market are:
  • RingCentral Meetings
  • Intermedia AnyMeeting
  • ZOHO
  • Clickmeeting
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Zoom
  • Google Hangouts
Consider a quality headset with built-in microphone to ensure clarity of audio and voice. 3. Instant Messaging The ability to “chat” with groups or teams have grown very popular over recent years and several solutions are available to help stay in touch on key deliverables, projects and tasks. Some tools to consider are:
  • Slack
  • Discord
  • WhatsApp (Download the Desktop option as well)
  • Microsoft Teams
“Chat” remains a very effective way to drive key conversations with groups of people. 4. File Sharing File sharing allows teams to work on one version of the truth whether it is a Project Plan, Spreadsheet, Presentation etc. It helps to track the version of each document and ensures everyone in the team is working on the same “version of the truth”. The top three tools available are:
  • Dropbox Business
  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft OneDrive
5. Scanning Application If you do not have access to a scanner at home and need to share a physical document, downloading a Scanning Application may be the quickest and most effective way in sharing a document. A Scanning Application allows you to capture the documents with your mobile phone. Once captures you can share via e-mail, instant messaging, file sharing etc. The top three tools are:
  • Adobe Scan
  • Scanbot
  • Microsoft Office Lens