Working from Home Because of COVID-19? These Tools Will Boost Your Productivity!


Most of us are facing a compulsory lock-down on account of the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has caused massive loss of life and has impacted several global economies. Keeping the safety of the population in mind, the Government of India has announced a complete lockdown of various states and advised companies to permit employees to work from home. Corporates are worried about this diktat lowering employee productivity, considering work-from-home issues like poor connectivity, cybersecurity, remote collaboration, data allocation, etc. 

This presents an ever-increasing need to be prepared for unexpected situations. Across the world, companies are starting to see the value in well-thought-out business continuity plans to keep their employees safe and ensure that their business can run smoothly if another situation occurs.

With so many companies now scrambling for viable solutions that will help the shift from working on-site to working remotely, what they have to keep in mind is not just solving the issue of remote working, but rather, how to do so conveniently.

By leveraging the right blend of efficient tools and innovative software, one can make the remote working experience seamless and productive. 

·         Virtual Meeting Tools – One of the first steps to bridging the gap is making meetings simpler, especially since remote working typically leads to more meetings in a day. Beyond just getting the virtual meeting platform in place, though, newer concepts like ‘Bring Your Own Meeting’ (BYOM) are rising in prominence as they are important for employee experience and to make remote meetings seamless. These solutions, such as Barco ClickShare Conference, allow hosts to hold a conference call from their personal device using their preferred conferencing solution (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom and many more) and connect to the equipment available in the meeting space, just by plugging in – no dial-in or PINs needed. Attendees can simply plug in the Barco ClickShare Conference button and all video and audio streams will be received on their device, helping to reduce the overall time it takes to set up an online meeting vastly. It is a natural progression from BYOD and is the next level in workplace meeting productivity.

·         Wireless Connectivity and Voice Assistant Devices (VADs): While working from home, it is easier to maintain productivity and continuity if you have uninterrupted wireless connectivity and use a voice assistant device. MediaTek is a leading semiconductor technology innovator offering various solutions in the area of wireless home, connectivity and networking. Their tightly integrated range of products such as Home Networking (VADs and Smart TVs) and Broadband – Wi-Fi play a vital role in ensuring uninterrupted connectivity while working from home. Voice Assistant Devices form the point of communication between users and all the interconnected devices. For instance, the Amazon Echo Dot, powered by MediaTek, connects to Alexa – a cloud-based voice service, and can be used to streamline work chores as it allows you to stay on track, make appointments, fill your agenda, set reminders and make phone calls. Google Nest is another viable option.

·         Cloud Storage – Cloud storage platforms permit users to store and share files, including pertinent documents, spreadsheets and slide presentations, in one secure and centralized location. Furthermore, employees across the globe can access and update the files stored in such drives as the system can be synced across devices, ensuring efficient collaboration and teamwork. Some of the popular drives you can access include Google Drive, OneDrive and MS Teams.

·         Project Management Software – These tools enable you to visually plan, control, and schedule your projects and can help you in developing an accurate illustration of your tasks and projects. Software like Instagantt, Wrike and GoodDay help streamline your daily workflow and allow effective collaboration with your team members, making these perfect fits for remote working. 

·         Time Trackers Solutions – When working from home, it is difficult to keep track of your tasks and the time being spent on each. In this situation, a time-tracking application for the entire team, like Time Doctor, Hubstaff, Harvest, etc. allows employers and employees to monitor team as well as personal output, encouraging employees to be more productive and accountable during their work hours. Features like alerts for important messages help avoid distractions, thus boosting productivity during work-from-home. 

With no known cure for the pandemic and the authorities taking all efforts possible to contain its spread, it remains to be seen how long the remote working situation will last. As we wait for things to go back to normal, these tools will help you tackle difficulties related to remote working and help you be more productive and efficient.

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Vineet Srivastav is the founder of Vineet Geek. He is a tech blogger, developer and gadget freak.

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