Since the COVID-19 scare hit, many have succumbed to a new norm of making the home our very own office space, including us at One Search Pro.
Work from home methods are now preferred by most employers and preliminary numbers show that lots of employees show significant upward trends in terms of efficiency.
Sans having to commute and with added flexibility in their jobs now, workers are happier and more geared to focus on their jobs. For employers, there are the perks of reduced hiring turnover as well as lowered organizational costs.
The key question now is, can this work at home level of efficiency be further improved? If so, how and what tools do we use?
25 Work From Home Tips To Use For The New Norm
Video Conferencing Tools
Video conferencing tools are great for organizing meetings or face-to-face discussions, no matter where in the world you are. Lots of companies these days are opting for remote teams and video conferences become their main communication channel. This method of telecommuting is simple and easy-to-use. All you will have to do is set up a quick software and send an invite link to your teammates to join the meeting. Best of all, there are lots of free options to choose from! Let’s take a look at some of them.
Zoom is a free video-conferencing software propertied by Zoom Video Communications Inc. It is one of the most widely used freeware in the conferencing niche due to varied features that make remote conferences a breeze. Users can sign up for an unlimited free plan on Zoom, which includes benefits of video calls, screen sharing, annotations, chat, and even a virtual background setting, for those who want to keep things more professional despite working from home.
Hangouts is yet another free video calling option, powered by Google. Hangouts gives its users not only video calling features but also the ability to chat, share their screens, even record meetings for future reference. You’ll also be able to see which of your teammates are available and have multiple conversations at a single instance. And if you’re a busy executive on the go, Hangouts also comes in a mobile app version, so that you won’t have to miss another meeting or discussion.
Source : Skype
Skype, by Microsoft, was essentially built to be a mirror of instant messaging platforms. However, as it progressed they began to add call features and video conferencing tools. Although placing a call from Skype to a local landline will cost you some credits, the video calls are absolutely free. Additionally, you can send files, forward calls, send contact information and text messages, aside from the usual toolkit for video calling. You can access Skype from a desktop or mobile app, even through a browser extension.
4. Microsoft Teams
When working from home, the ability to seamlessly collaborate is crucial. And that’s what Microsoft Teams is all about. Aside from being a video conferencing system, it also has a built-in project and task management system to congregate every company happening in one place. Best of all, you just need a meeting link to invite anyone outside your organization, which is great for when you need to meet with clients or suppliers and vendors.
This is another nifty work from home tool. A remote desktop system helps you to access your work desktop, even when you’re sitting on the couch at home! How this works is that your remote desktop application gains remote, or individual, access to your “host” computer, which would be any computer you’re trying to access. Here are some of our favorite remote desktop tools.
TeamViewer’s free remote desktop system has long been the option of IT teams to help them troubleshoot issues on a company computer, without having to leave their desks. But TeamViewer can also work for you in that you’d be able to access your company desktop directly from your laptop at home. All you need to do is send an invite link to the computer you have in the office and you can work from home on your office PC like a pro.
Another remote desktop software, AnyDesk promises fast and secure connections to devices on all operating systems, including Raspberry Pi. Their Unattended Access feature keeps your home computer logged into your office PC indefinitely, allowing you unhindered access to your work files, tools, and everything else you need to make telecommuting an efficient breeze.
The heart of an office relies on the efficacy of its communication tools. And with communication tools, you’ll be able to keep in touch with your entire team seamlessly, even when having to work from home. To use, you’ll just need to install the apps and invite your friends to 1:1 conversations on these comm-platforms. For team discussions, simply use the group messaging feature! Let’s take a look at some of the best comm apps out there.
Source : Skype
As mentioned earlier, Skype was originally supposed to be an IM platform. So do expect top-notch chat and calling features. Users on Skype can easily place a call to any mobile or landline in the world, just for a few credits. You can even create chat groups for your work teams to keep work conversations organized.
Telegram is an open-source, cloud-based IM app that is compatible with both mobile and PC. For those working from home, it makes a great tool for chat, voice notes, even group banter. With Telegram, you can set apart your serious work conversations from the more lighthearted chitchat between colleagues. You’ll also be able to use more than one number with Telegram, which is great if you deal with lots of vendors and outsource things frequently.
A communication and project management suite, Slack is a primary option for lots of companies. It’s chat features, group channels, task management, and work efficiency tools are a godsend for those who work primarily in remote teams. You’d be able to set specific timezones for yourself and have active status displayed so that workmates know when are the best times to get a hold of you.
10. Workplace by Facebook
Imagine Facebook but for work. On the Workplace by Facebook platform, you’ll be able to see your teams’ latest updates, share and discuss ideas, organize polls, post thought-provoking articles, speak to colleagues via 1:1 chats or group chatrooms, create new group feeds for individual projects, and much much more.
Project Management Tools
For those in more senior management roles, it can be quite wearing to organize everything when working from home. Project management tools are great options to organize your affairs as well as to get your teams to collaborate on projects. These apps come with built-in task progression features, communication channels, and feedback systems to streamline workflow. All you need to do is set them up, assign tasks, and watch them get done. Here are some of the project management apps we have in our toolkit.
One of the premier project management suites out there, Asana has everything a project manager needs. From task management, reporting and insights, project milestones, even in-project chat and comment features, Asana makes juggling multiple ventures while working from home a breeze. Plus, the free version includes teams of up to 15 people, which is great for small teams.
12. Jira Software
Jira is one of the best project management systems for troubleshooting and task organization, developed by Atlassian. It offers different progress board types for various task types that you’ll encounter in a work setting. Developers searching for how best to work from home will find the flexible reporting and “Connect to Code” features a simplification to complex workflows. Jira is also great for fully remote teams in that it allows both common and IT-related tasks to be congregated on a single platform.
Trello is essentially a project management board. Think Pinterest for work. You’ll be able to create separate boards for each project that you have and view them as they progress along. Assign boards to respective teammates and save any boards you need. It’s also a great way to store SOPs and guidelines for projects and tasks. Simply send a new workmate the link and voila, they’ll be up to speed in no time.
ClickUp offers those telecommuting with a task management suite that covers almost all aspects. It has project and document management systems, email and chat features, milestone setting and goal tracking, even reminders to keep you on track all the time. Additionally, ClickUp also allows its users to maintain help pages, guide sections, and resources directly from the platform, giving you a more holistic project management grid.
Courier Service Provider
Another tip on how to work from home is to get a reliable courier service provider. These guys promise to get your items sent at top speed, complete with tracking and signature requirement upon receipt. Just drop your item at their nearest location, fill in a simple delivery form and, done! With couriers, you can swiftly send over documents, important packages, even gifts for fellow teammates. Can you hear your HR manager breathing a sigh of relief in the distance? Let’s see which courier service is their pick.
15. Easy Parcel
Easy Parcel is a great parcel shipping service for when you need to send domestically or within Southeast Asia. They provide single and bulk registered parcel shipping. So, if you have remote teammates in Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore, Easy Parcel will be able to take care of all your parcel shipping needs, even during holidays.
Ninjavan is another parcel delivery option you can use when working from home. They have local pick-up points and offer cash-on-delivery parcel services to give you just that added flexibility when shipping things out. Ninjavan operates in countries across Southeast Asia so you’ll be able to swiftly ship things out to teammates within the region.
Another parcel delivery choice out there is Lalamove. It’s popular with those who work from home due to its one-day delivery services. Lalamove is great for when you need to send important documents or need to ship out birthday surprises at the very last second. If you’re in HR, you might want to bookmark these guys.
18. Pos Laju
Poslaju, run by the nation’s postal service Pos Malaysia, is a household name for parcel delivery. They have a multitude of parcel shipping options available, both for domestic and international shipping. The great thing is that due to the sheer size of this organization, they’re able to deliver much larger goods and packages as they have access to all types of freight service partners across the globe.
18. J&T Express
J&T Express is also a great option, mainly for document deliveries and small parcels. They offer a competitive pricing for their services and you’ll also be able to track both domestic and international shipments you log with them.
Food Delivery Tools
Working from home coupled with any other chores you may have to get done for the day can easily cause you to slip up when it comes to mealtimes. Just get these clever tools downloaded onto your smartphone or mobile device and place an order from your favorite ”makan” spots. And their rider “abangs” will get your favorite food right to your doorstep, for a small delivery fee. They work around the clock so you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper sent to you, no hassle! Here are some of the famously reliable ones.
Foodpanda is one of the more famed food delivery services in Malaysia, and not just because of that rider “abang” dressed as a panda. They operate in a number of big cities across the nation, bringing people food that they love, right to their doorstep.
Another great food dispatch service is GrabFood. When purchasing from local eateries on this app, you’ll not only be able to enjoy your favorite meals from your most loved “makan” spots, but you’ll also be earning some cool loyalty points that you can use for future purchases with GrabFood or other Grab services!
DeliverEat has everything in the name. They deliver, you eat! This food delivery company partners with both F&B giants as well as smaller, “makcik & pakcik” eateries to give its users a huge variety of picks to satisfy their cravings.
Grocery Delivery Services
Your work from home schedule may sometimes not be the best for a quick run to the grocer. Also, you’re probably not ready to be out in the open where there are lots of people roaming about. But, did you know you can get your daily groceries shipped straight to your home? All you have to do is visit their site and place an order for a delivery at a timeslot that works for you. They’ll then work extra hard to bring you the best picks of produce and grocery items right to your front door. One-click and grocery shopping, done!
22. TESCO Online
TESCO Online is one of the biggest grocers in Malaysia so do expect them to have everything you need for your household. From fresh produce to ready-to-eat meals, you’ll find everything you need to prepare simple meals even when working from home. They also have their own in-store brand for those of you looking for quality products on a budget.
23. Happy Fresh
Get personal shoppers to do your grocery shopping for you with Happy Fresh’s grocery delivery. Their dedicated staff pick out only the best items for you, from all your favorite grocers. You can also choose a delivery slot that works with your work from home schedule and securely pay for your orders via cash or card.
Grabmart is a great shopping tool because you’re not only able to get your groceries delivered, but you can also shop for personal care items, medications, baked goods, and a lot more. You earn points when you order with GrabMart and these points can earn you discounts on your future purchases with them!
Pandamart is also a great option for getting groceries delivered. They pick up all the essentials you need from your favorite marts and send them directly to your home. Even electronics and healthcare products too!
Last Few Words
Working from home doesn’t have to be a bore or a chore. There are so many tools that you can use to make things work for you.
And not to mention, these handy little helpers cut down the time you spend on such tasks, giving you more for things that matter or even to catch a quick break in between stints.
We at One Search Pro use these work from home tips too, because efficiency is our very heart and soul. Be sure to try these tools out and step up your work from home game up a notch.