Whether you work at your home office once per week or are switching to a remote career, working from home has obvious appeal.
However, it’s not as easy as pulling up a chair at your kitchen table and opening up a laptop.
Staying focused and engaged can be difficult, even for the most hard-working and self-motivated people.
Thankfully, help is at hand.
Use some of these tools to streamline your workflow and boost your productivity.
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Let’s be honest. The biggest challenge with working from home for most people is staying on task and understanding how to best spend their time.
A workday from home can often feel formless and unproductive.
RescueTime runs in the background of your computer and automatically creates a productivity report showing you how you spent your time during each working day.
Over time, this helps you focus on the most important tasks.
Having your behavior tracked to the minute might sound intrusive, but it can really help you increase your productivity. RescueTime is simple, but it remains one of the most underrated tools for working from home.
If you’re paid by the hour, or simply want to understand what your time is worth, it’s important to keep track of the time you spend working. Toggl is a free time tracking tool that stays on top of your billable home working hours.
Toggl also helps you give better time estimates for work you’re undertaking, making sure you never undercharge for your time, or overcharge clients.
It gives you a real sense of what your time is worth.
With Toggl, you can sync your time tracking on different devices. So whether you’re working from home or on the go, you can make sure your time is correctly logged and billed.
Security is a priority, both in the office and working from home. However, when you have a complex, unique password for every website and tool you use for work, it’s not long before you get lost.
1Password is a secure password manager tool, which only needs you to keep track of one password while it remembers all the others for you. It will even tell you how secure each of your passwords is.
Zyro’s CEO, Giedrius Zakaitis, relies on the company-wide overview and easy controls the tool offers. He says:
1Password lets you manage access and permissions for team-wide websites and tools. No matter where Zyro’s people are working from, we can ensure they’re safely accessing all of our work tools.
You might already know Dropbox as a file storage and sharing tool, which is useful for home working in itself.
But what you might not realize is that it is also a powerful team content and collaboration tool.
It’s the ideal place for your team to centralize its content, giving everyone access to important files even when working remotely.
It lets you keep everything from Google Docs to Trello boards – all in one place.
As well as being totally secure and 100% searchable, Dropbox lets your team discuss content from within the tool itself.
Bookkeeping is not only boring, but it can also be challenging and time-consuming. If you’re involved with business transactions, need to claim expenses, or simply want to store financial documents, Neat is for you.
Neat lets you easily scan in receipts, connect with your bank, and match documents to transactions. It’s a paperless way to stay on top of your finances.
Working from home, traveling for work, taking meetings or even just in the office, keeping notes effectively is key to getting things done. For bringing note-taking to the next level, nothing beats Evernote.
Evernote is more than a notepad. It lets you log text, voice recordings, and pictures to keep track of everything important.
It even has project management tools built-in, to make sure you’re always focused. From deadlines and ideas to web addresses and lists, remembering what needs doing becomes so much easier.
Transparency is vital when managing your team’s workflow remotely. That’s exactly what Monday offers, giving insights into work processes and inspiring a culture of ownership.
Monday is a helpful project management tool that lets teams keep track of everything, from the smallest task to the big project milestones.
The entire team here at Zyro uses Monday. We value how clear and easy to use the tool is, and how quickly you can see what’s completed and what still needs doing. 🙌🏽
Keeping on top of your team’s productivity is an even bigger challenge when you’re working from home. Luckily, there’s I Done This which gives you a full overview of your team’s work and project progress.
It’s really easy for tasks to be set through this tool and for team members to report when a task is complete, what they’re working on, and where they need help.
The whole team gets a daily check-in to see their progress, and you can access progress reports at any time. Even when you’re out of the office, you can still make sure you’re running a productive team.
Working remotely as part of a team? You need to know who is meant to do what, when your tasks are due, and how your projects are progressing.
Basically, you need a project management tool like Trello.
Trello has different ways for you to organize and prioritize your tasks and projects, in the form of boards, lists, and cards. This flexibility lets you use this remote working tool in a way that suits your team best.
You can set deadlines, send reminders and add comments to tasks, making sure nothing is ever forgotten.
This all helps you to collaborate with your team, even when you’re working from home.
Just because you’re out of the office, it doesn’t mean you can’t be face-to-face with colleagues and clients. You can connect via video with Zoom, and work like you’re in the same room.
Zoom isn’t just for one-on-one communication. The tool lets you set up conference rooms for many participants, or even run webinars so you can teach from anywhere.
Zyro’s Chief Talent Experience Officer Ieva Sapalaite is often on the move, and Zoom helps her stay connected with the rest of the team and new job candidates.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your team and the rest of the world. Video chat is a great way to reconnect in a productive way.
When you’re in the office, it’s easy to ask a colleague a question or remind them something needs to be done. When you’re working from home, you need some way to connect via chat — introducing Slack.
Slack is perfect for one-on-one chats, video calls, or multi-person conversations. You can share links and files, get updates on tasks, and generally keep in touch when working remotely.
Slack is more than just a chat service for your team, however. You can dedicate channels to specific teams or projects, and keep all relevant information in one place. This makes it a great project management tool too.
It’s a funny thing, your brain. You can use all of these tools to boost productivity, but you shouldn’t forget to engage your brain too.
How do you make sure it stays sharp and able to function productively through the years? By taking on new and exciting challenges.
Scientists have long-ago proved that learning new skills helps keep your brain focused and working properly.
No better way to boost your own natural productivity than keeping it engaged, then.
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