For most of us who generally work from home, the coronavirus pandemic has hardly affected our lives on the business front. But for everyone else, working from home all of a sudden may be quite challenging.
The same goes for all the students. Much to their disappointment, they’re not on vacation. They still have classes, homework, tests, and exams to finish, which can be pretty tough while the schools are closed.
Luckily, there are tools to help both businesses and students work and study remotely. But there are so many of them that we decided to do our homework and compile a list of the best tools to use. Let’s have a look.
1. ProProfs Virtual Classroom Software
ProProfs Virtual Classroom Software is one of the best online training tools you can use. It’s a perfect solution for both students and business teams.
You can create public and private courses, and craft quizzes, tests, and exams. You can set up learning paths, see who participates and when, track your learners’ performance and engagement, and easily assess all of them.
This virtual classroom software also comes with collaboration tools for delivering excellent learning experiences. It lets you integrate a knowledge base too so that your learners can access all the resources they need 24/7.
Apart from premium plans, it comes with a free version, so you can give it a go anytime.
2. Google Drive
With all the remote work around the world, cloud storage solutions are in high demand. While there are numerous feature-rich tools, Google Drive is the simplest and cleanest choice.
It’s incredibly easy to use. It’s just like Microsoft Word, minus a few dozen features. What makes it different is seamless file sharing and real-time collaboration on the documents.
Anyone you give access to can view, download, and collaborate on the stored files. You can even use it offline.
And it gives you 15 GB of free storage space right off the bat. If you need more space, you can always upgrade for a small fee.
3. G Suite
Another great tool by Google, cloud-based G Suite helps you take productivity and collaboration to the next level. It unifies all Google’s products in one place, including Drive, Gmail, Docs, Forms, Sheets, Calendar, and more.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, all advanced G Suite features are now available for free. Any business or school that wants to utilize the tool for remote working or learning can do so for free until July 1.
It’s tough to focus on work while at home if you’ve never done it before. There are simply too many distractions. But DeskTime is here to save the day.
It’s a time-tracking tool for remote teams that lets you monitor the time your employees spend working. It’s not a tool to punish someone who’s slacking, but rather an aid to help them boost productivity.
You can see what websites they’re visiting during work hours, what projects they’re working on, when they’re taking a break, and much more. You can then help them organize better and keep all the projects on track.
Aircall is a virtual call center tool for setting up a cloud-based phone system. It enables you to keep your remote team connected, schedule meetings, make conference calls, and even help your sales department close more deals.
It’s also great for better customer support. It supports skill-based call routing, automatic syncing, IVR, live-call monitoring and transfer, and much more. It seamlessly integrates with help desk software, CRM systems, HR tools, ecommerce solutions, and many other apps.
Smarter sales, delighted customers, and more productive employees are the top benefits you’ll experience with Aircall.
TeamViewer is a tool for remote desktop and mobile control, support, monitoring, and management.
You can use it for virtual meetings, web conferences, file sharing and transfer, and even remote software patching. It also lets you access computers and mobile devices remotely to help your teammates resolve any technical issues they may have.
The best part about the tool is the TeamViewer Pilot, an AR solution that you can use for better remote support. It enables you to put 3D markers onto real-world objects to provide seamless visual support.
If web conferencing, audio and video conferencing, and webinars are a part of your daily operations, Zoom may be just what you need.
It can help you set up conference rooms, video webinars, and an enterprise cloud-based phone system. It also supports online meetings, training, file sharing, chat, and technical support.
Allowing up to 1,000 video participants and 10,000 viewers, it can be more than useful during this time when everyone is staying at home.
There’s a free version for up to 100 participants, but it has a 40-minutes limit on group meetings. However, schools and other educational institutions in the U.S. can now request an extension of the limit during the coronavirus crisis.
8. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is ideal for collaboration and communication. It’s a platform that unifies video meetings, chat, and cloud storage, seamlessly integrating with various apps.
It’s a part of Office 365, and you can get it only if you subscribe to a premium version. Once you do, you can start working with your remote team as if you were all in the same room.
You can make VoIP and video calls, communicate in group chats, share Word documents, Excel sheets, PowerPoint presentations, and much more.
You can also build a virtual classroom for your students and connect with all the school teachers. Microsoft Teams lets schools sign up for free.
As of March 10, the platform allows a 6-month free trial for using its advanced version, and it offers a file storage upgrade.
A discussion on essential tools for working from home remains incomplete without a reference to Slack. This instant-messaging tool is the simplest solution for maintaining real-time communication with remote teams and ensuring high productivity.
But there’s more to Slack than simply chatting with your teammates. You can also use it to share files, make audio and video calls, create channels for various projects, and oversee the progress of your team.
You can also search through conversations, and integrate the tool with a variety of apps.
Slack recently launched a redesigned app to help teams work smarter amid the coronavirus crisis. The app now lets premium users group messages, apps, and channels by topic.
There are also new workflow shortcuts, a novel search option, and a feature for writing messages much easier.
And there you have it. All of these tools are exceptional for working or studying remotely, so you should give them a try. Perhaps you won’t be needing all of them, but it’s smart to have at least several in your shortlist.
While some of them are completely free to use, all the others come with a free trial. So, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you take them for a spin.
The best part is they’ll boost your productivity, so you should keep using them even after the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.