5 Essential Work from Home Productivity Tools

by | Apr 30, 2020

Working from home is a huge bonus to a lot of employees. Who wouldn’t like to enjoy perks such as flexible work hours, zero commute, comfy clothing, and a workspace that doesn’t include a chatty and nosy officemate? There are plenty of reasons why it’s an ideal arrangement. To make it work, both employees and employers need to put in a system in place. For starters, it’s highly recommended to maximise the use of work from home productivity tools.    

Essentially, these tools help workers stay on track on their daily tasks, increase their efficiency, and connect with every member of the team. These also come handy to people who are having a tough time focusing due to crises such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. 

Working from home due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Remote working has been around for quite some time. But, it has gained sudden popularity because of the global virus outbreak. Today, it’s one of the most trending topics on major search engines and social media platforms. 

In an effort to minimise physical contact, countries have imposed strict measures such as community quarantine and total lockdowns. As a result, a lot of companies are forced to look for more flexible work options. Otherwise, they can’t continue servicing their customers.    

And while it’s not a novel idea, a large fraction of employees aren’t used to the remote working setup. On top of that, some find it very stressful and mentally draining to work in a time of crisis. Thankfully, there are many user-friendly productivity tools for work from home employees. Below are the top 5 productivity tools you can use to boost your concentration and performance.

1. Project Management Software

Project management tools are must-haves for companies or teams that want to keep track of their day to day activities. These are also useful in managing a company crisis. Here are some of the most common features of project management software:

  • Documentation – Every organisation understands the value of proper documentation. With it, team members and leaders get to retrace their steps in case an issue arises. This process also helps companies make informed decisions and minimise legal risks. 
  • Planning and scheduling No project management software would be complete without a planning and scheduling feature. Such a feature is important to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Collaboration This allows leaders to assign tasks to groups or individuals. The collab feature allows the team to post their feedback and include additional members to help out on a certain project task.  

Today, there’s a ton of amazing project management apps. Some are available for free while others charge a monthly or annual subscription fee. Regardless if you work solo or with a large team, having a project management tool will surely benefit you a lot.

Below are among the most notable options you can choose from:  

  • Airtable
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Monday.com
  • Basecamp

2. Team Communication Apps

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of communication in business. It is vital to the success of every project. Additionally, it can help bridge gaps and form meaningful connections between the members of a department or a team.  

These are also one of the most important lifelines for remote workers. These apps can help minimise stress because of confinement and the coronavirus outbreak as a whole. Additionally, since it’s impossible for some people to meet up in person, having a trusty tool can surely make a difference.  

There’s a ton of tools you can choose from depending on the functionalities you need and the monthly subscription fees (some are available free of charge). A few examples include: 

  • Slack
  • WhatsApp
  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • GoToMeeting

3. Screen Recording Tools

Thousands of employees are having a tough time adjusting to the remote working arrangement. And that’s mostly because they’re not sure how to do it. This is where screen recording apps come in handy. With the right tool, you can record how you do a certain task. You can use it for documentation or training purposes. Here are some examples:

  • Screencast
  • ShareX
  • Camtasia
  • CamStudio
  • Filmora Scrn

4. Mind mapping tools

Mind-mapping was introduced back in the 70s as an organisational technique. It can significantly boost your productivity especially when you feel burnt out or incredibly anxious because of COVID. The idea is to write down a central topic or perhaps a core task that you need to work on. From there you can add as many sub-levels as needed. 

You can use the mind-map you created as your guide for working or in making a crucial decision. These also work well in visualizing complex ideas. Lastly, you can use it when brainstorming with your team. If you haven’t been using this technique, you should definitely start incorporating it into your routine.

While you can use a pen and paper to draw your mind map, you can always utilize more creative and functional apps such as:

  • Mindmeister
  • Scapple
  • Coggle
  • LucidChart
  • Stormboard

5. Note-taking Tools

If you frequently need to attend virtual meetings, then you definitely need to level up your note-taking skills. Instead of just opting to use the old-school paper and pen method, why not digitize your notes? This will help you minimise the use of paper and keep track of all our valuable notes.

There’s a bunch of apps, both offline and online, that you can use to jot down important information, save clippings, bookmark URLs and organize your research notes.  

The best part is that most of these work on multiple types of device, so you can conveniently access your files anytime and anywhere. Below are some of the most well-loved note-taking software used by companies as well as remote working individuals. 

  • Evernote
  • One Note
  • Apple Notes
  • Google Keep
  • Ulysses

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Work from Home Productivity Tools Key Takeaways

Needless to say, the coronavirus outbreak greatly affects a lot of employees. Thousands have been displaced, while others have shifted to a work-from-home setup. If you’re among the many who have been dealing with decreased efficiency and productivity, then you should consider using the work from home productivity tools listed above. 

More importantly, you should learn the ropes of remote working. Most likely, this will become the new norm for many businesses. The earlier you prepare for the possible changes in how your company operates, the better and easier for you to cope. 

Are you looking for new employment perhaps? We can help you find the perfect employment here in the Asia Pacific! Check out our list of tech and data job openings today! 

Puvin is an Associate Director at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Technology & Data sectors.

You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent – 5 Proven Steps to Secure your Ideal Fintech or Data Role”. Alternatively, you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on info@datasearchconsulting.com for a more detailed discussion.

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