Saving on time, money and office space are just some of the awesome reasons why many companies now – small or big – turn to remote or home-based staffing to fill their creative or administrative needs. In line with this is the advent of free online tools that businesses are able to utilize to keep their businesses running smoothly. These tools are simply a godsend.
Because even in normal office setting, poor communication can lead to unwanted (and sometimes even costly) work delays.
Which is why equipping your team with the right online tools to ensure a smooth workflow is essential. Here are some that we and other companies have found to do the work just fine:
Slack and Flock
If you happen to be using a social media platform as your work communication, then chances are there are a million other things happening on that site alone to easily steal your team’s focus.
Good thing there are Slack and Flock to free you from all that.
Slack and Flock are free project management tools designed to house work-related communication and files.
Create and manage your team
Once you create your team, you can add your team members via their email addresses. When they log in, they can automatically see what team they belong to.
Both sites come with their own chat feature, file uploading functionality, and Google Docs integration among many others.
The chat feature allows you to message anyone added to the team in real time or create a group chat for specific people.
You’ll also have the capability to create your own groups and channels for different departments that your company already has (e.g. HR, IT, etc.).
These platforms come with their own desktop app, but using a web browser works wonders too. They are also downloadable on both iOS and Google Play, so your team won’t miss important messages while on the go.
If you’re not sure whether to use Slack or Flock, here is a helpful guide to find what suits your company best. [Link to https://www.alltechbuzz.net/slack-vs-flock/]
Google Docs and MS Office Online
It’s not news, but we have been blessed with Google Docs since 2010 and if you somehow haven’t used its powers to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with your team, well, it’s about time – or to be more exact – it’s about saving time.
Before Google Docs, you had to send a document back and forth via email to a client, colleague or office mate.
Then, especially if it’s for editing purposes (or the other party just really haven’t figured out what to do with it yet or vice versa), you had to download the file, do some work on it and then resend.
But Google Docs took away all of that with real-time editing between two or more people online.
Google Docs elevated the power of office software by placing it conveniently on a web browser. By experience, it works best with Chrome, but any full-featured browser will do.
All the owner of the document has to do is to log in to docs.google.com anywhere and they can edit their work.
As mentioned, any document you create can be shared and simply by adding the email address of the person you wish to share it with. You can also assign their access rights to your document, like whether they can just see it or edit it as well.
But, should you wish to edit your document offline, you can toggle on the “Make available offline” button or download it in the same format as the office suite you’re using on your computer.
Plus, you don’t always have to hit the “Save” button. Google Docs automatically does that for you time and again.
Later on, Microsoft Office also introduced the online version of their programs with similar functions.
The good thing about it is it’s also integrated with your Microsoft account and hence Outlook.com (if you happen to use the same handle).
Fun fact: On a web browser, Outlook has added Skype so you can message your contacts there anytime when browsing your email or viewing your documents via MS Office online.
If online documents make for save much time and effort, more so online drives.
Take your pick from Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox and a host of others.
Online drives save your files, pictures, videos, even your whole computer in the cloud. It makes up for a good backup system should your local hard drive encounter problems.
Each online storage service features its own free storage limit ranging from 15GB to 25GB.
And should your company need any additional storage, the monthly plans are affordable, especially if your business cannot have any data loss.
While technology has brought the social-media laden world we live in now, it has also the tools to let us do what we need to do.
Teamwork still relies on the basic principles of proper cooperation, coordination, and communication, but especially when your business is online, using the right technology may just save a day’s worth of work or many.