Written by Leigha McCarroll on March 20, 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly brought many workers around the world into a new working from home reality. While this way of working presents many benefits, it can also cause anxiety related to feelings of isolation, or to feeling uneasy in the face of the avalanche of productivity-boosting technology on offer.
As a business that has operated virtually since our beginnings, we at NewLeaf Performance have tested a wide range of tools to boost connection and productivity and have landed on the approach that simplicity is best. We recognize the importance of adopting new tools that can support enhanced communication among colleagues while keeping the learning curve for new tech minimal. To that end, we’ve come up with a list of tried-and-true tech recommendations to support a balanced digital culture in the workplace:
1. Virtual Collaboration Software
We recommend ensuring that your team is set up with an omnichannel virtual collaboration software. This type of software provides an integrated one-stop-shop for communication, often equipped with chat features file-sharing, and video calling built right in. Integration can help minimize tech overwhelm amongst employees while facilitating easy access to multiple aspects of your team’s work. Look for software that can integrate with systems that you already use. For example, Glip by RingCentral and Slack readily integrate with the Google Suite of tools, Office 365, and Webex, along with a variety of project management apps such as Asana and Trello. Read more about these collaboration software to find the right fit for your team:
2. Video Chatting Software
Seeing colleagues’ and clients’ faces is a simple way to establish connection and minimize feelings of isolation. While many virtual collaboration software have a video chatting function built in, you may want to explore others that could work with your system. Here are some video chatting software to check out:
- Google Hangouts/Google Duo
- Cisco Webex Meetings
- Microsoft Teams
3. The Hardware
Setting up an organized and technologically well-equipped home office can help you to feel connected and on the ball. If your budget allows for extra software, here are a few items we recommend:
- Monitor: Adding a portable second monitor to your laptop provides extra screen space and multiple viewing angles.
- Webcam and speakerphone for video calls: Built-in laptop webcams and speakers are often sufficient for video calls. If these are not satisfactory for your professional needs, purchasing an external webcam and microphone will take your video calls to the next level.
4. The Extras:
- Krisp: This app allows users to mute background noise during calls.
- LiveBoard: This app provides a collaborative virtual whiteboard technology.
- Voice Typing: Using speech-to-text software such as Voice Typing for Google Docs can help boost writing efficiency.
Looking for more? Here are some additional resources on tech supports for working remotely:
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