Companies are venturing into video calls and other virtual solutions as they make a quick pivot from on-site teams having to most, if not all, of their staff working from home. For many companies, regaining as much productivity as possible while easing stress is the next crucial step.
The learning curve can be steep and the adjustment period challenging. According to the 2019 National Compensation Survey (NCS) from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 7% of US workers had access to flexible workplaces or other "flexible workplace" benefits.
By extension, it's become increasingly clear that very few organizations were truly prepared for their people to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis
In response to this, leadership teams around the globe have been forced to ask:
What tools, technology, and other online services can help my organization and teams during this time?
While many of us are using Zoom, Google Hangouts, and even Donut to construct virtual gatherings and meetings, it’s important to take a deeper dive into other online tools that can improve your new work-from-home setup.
Since our inception, many OpenExO employees have been working remotely—so we wanted to share a few of our favorite softwares.
When implemented successfully, the following tech platforms and software tools can improve your innovation potential. They have the power to make a significant difference in areas such as team morale, crowdsourcing, design thinking, time management, ease of organization and operations, and so much more.
Tech & Software Tools for Running Successful Remote Teams
Used by companies like NASA and Salesforce, Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work. Our favorite (and newest) feature within Asana is their automation feature. This ability allows you to simplify workflows, reduce errors, and save time.
Be-novative helps you multiply your innovation potential. It connects diverse groups of people to solve challenges on a global scale by fusing gamification, crowdsourcing, and design thinking—and in turn it delivers breakthrough solutions.
Be-novative is offering free services for COVID-19 related ideation and enterprises working on how to transform during the crisis.
The majority of us here at ExO Works, and many members within our ExO Community, use Calendly. This software syncs with your calendar and allows you to schedule meetings without having to email back-and-forth. It even sends the call details on your behalf—and you don't have to lift a finger. It’s great for anyone with a busy schedule or those looking to quickly confirm a connection time with someone who's in a different time zone. Our favorite part? It’s free and easy!
Google Suite provides everything you need (documents, spreadsheets, surveys, etc.) to collaborate on files with your team in real-time. No more emailing versions back and forth. You can store files and instantly find what you need, securing your data, and manage users. As a team whose members are located worldwide, we find the most useful feature is the ability to swarm in as a team to collectively brainstorm and collaborate in real-time on our deliverables. Our teams often use it while on Zoom.
As an alternative service to Asana, Monday.com is an online operating system to help your company run processes, workflows, and projects. While their mission is to help teams build a culture of transparency, we simply enjoy that you can organize and sort the information in a way that works best for you and your team.
MURAL enables innovative teams to solve problems through visual collaboration. You can create digital sticky notes and then organize your thoughts through their “thinking canvas.”
This service allows for an organization with lists, flowcharts, diagrams, frameworks, methods, and drawings to activate and align your team. We really enjoy the design thinking and agile frameworks.
Slack is by far our favorite communication tool. It allows for the organization of conversations, file sharing and could (for certain teams) potentially eliminate the need for emails between team members. Get the answers you need, but with a much more agile turn-around time. We cannot emphasize enough the efficiency this tool can really bring to companies and teams.
Slido is an easy-to-use Q&A and polling platform for meetings and events. It allows you to crowdsource questions from your audience during a Q&A and run live polls and surveys to get insights. This tool enables you to brainstorm ideas with your team on any topic during online company meetings and conferences.
Swae is an award winning, game-changing AI decision engine and innovation platform. It provides you with higher quality decisions by removing bias, bureaucracy, and old-fashioned processes that stifle innovation and collaboration. What’s Swae’s “secret sauce”? Its proprietary AI uses cutting-edge NLP algorithms you can’t find anywhere else. Their clients show up to 3x improvements and a healthy ROI after rolling out Swae. In the next 4 weeks, Swae will be launching a public open version of the platform that allows any organization or local government that is finding the ability to make collective decisions difficult at this time to sign up and launch their own Swae environments.
Does your company have hourly at-home workers? TimeClick does more than track your employees' hours. It creates precise and diverse reports, timesheets, and insights into your employees' trends and attendance.
Upwork has the capability of connecting businesses of all sizes to the appropriate independent professionals, freelancers, creative agencies, copywriters, customer support reps—and so much more—based on your company’s project needs. Their search functionality uses data science to highlight the best freelancers and agencies based on their skills to ensure they match you with the best and most appropriate candidates.
While we understand working from home may be a big change, now is the best time to implement lasting habits that will transform your company, maximize productivity, and minimize wasted efforts.
This article was originally featured on ExO Works on April 1, 2020.
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