Updated: Nov 5, 2020
The chances are high that you have recently found yourself working from home. As remote workers ourselves, we know that making that first transition from traditional office to a home office is a big adjustment, especially in light of recent lockdowns taking place across the globe. Furthermore, the reality is we will be doing this for the foreseeable future and are still expected to complete work tasks, pay bills, and care for ourselves and our families - no small feat!
The great thing is that despite the ongoing global crisis, there are tools that can really help make you more productive during this time and help you manage the move from office to home. You will likely even be familiar with some of these tools and used them before; Google Docs, Slack and other online services have long been work staples.
There are many articles out there about common tools you can use to work from home, but what about the hidden gems? That is why in this article we will be focusing on lesser-known tools that will have a significant impact on how you work and make your online work life so much easier.
We've included some of our team's favorite work-from-home apps and tools for you to benefit from. The biggest bonus? They are all free!
Your life will literally change after adding Ditto to your device. Ditto is an extension to the standard windows clipboard and saves each item placed on the clipboard, allowing you access to any of those items at a later time.
Think about all the time you've copied and pasted only to go back and redo it - now with Ditto everything that you have copied is one keyboard shortcut away!
As someone who works as part of a remote team, ShareX is an incredibly useful tool you should definitely keep handy in your pocket of tricks. ShareX is a screen capture, file sharing, and productivity tool which again can be run on your device and accessed via keyboard shortcut. It allows you to capture what is on your screen, record actions on your screen, check the exact color of something on your screen, and much more. Seeing an issue? Share it with your team in a flash.
We're all spending more time on our screens - and let's be honest, we know it's not good for us. Researchers have speculated that exposure to the blue light that many screens emanate is keeping us awake for longer, causing eye strain and negatively affecting the quality of sleep. That is where F.lux comes in - it makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day to protect you from extended blue-light exposure.
This one is highly suggested by our entire team for both desktop and mobile use, and the customizability is a major plus.
Once you've added Grammarly to your device or browser, you'll wonder how you've ever worked without it. Grammarly is an online grammar checker and proofreading tool that will suggest edits to your writing, check for plagiarism, and give you detailed insights about your writing style. These insights go a long way in refining your writing, making your emails look more professional, and teaching you where you can improve.
There is a free and premium version, but many are able to make do with the free version alone. Just take a look at the track record one of our team members has had with Grammarly since 2018!
If your remote team uses Slack or Microsoft Teams to communicate, then Roby is for you! Roby is a robust tool that automates many parts of the remote communication process, from scheduling meetings to managing employee QA's and acting as a stand-alone ticketing system. Roby can also be integrated with tools companies already use like Zendesk, Jira, or Samanage, and makes the ticketing process easy and fun. Right now, their starter package is free and includes up to 10 users!
6. Time Doctor
When employees are working remotely, managing their work hours is a difficult task. Time Doctor helps remote teams to be more productive with its signature time tracking feature. Time Doctor helps to track time spent on different tasks throughout the workday. Its detailed reports give a clear understanding of unproductive time, idle time, websites, and apps usage. It also shows if someone is working for long hours or not working at all. The app integrates with a lot of other apps to provide enhanced functionality.
These are just a few of the lesser-known, free tools that our entire remote team makes use of while working from home, and we highly suggest you make use of them now too! Desk To Remote will be sharing more of these tools and our advice for working from home on an ongoing basis, and we will be making resources available to you via our social platforms, so make sure you stay up to date with our Instagram and LinkedIn pages while you are at home.
We also heard from a little birdie that there will be limited vouchers and virtual giveaways coming soon, so be sure not to miss them!