Extreme social distancing requirements put into place earlier this year have caused many business owners to make abrupt decisions and changes to the way they operate. Working-from-home for some employees has been provided as an option and a requirement for others. Luckily, there are plenty of tech tools already out there that make working remotely not just possible, but efficient in keeping businesses running smoothly. Let’s take a look at the top tech that is currently being used by remote workers.

Remote Work Must-Haves

Equipped with a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone paired with a stable internet connection, employees around the globe are taking advantage of these tech tools to successfully work from home in 2020:

A Video-Conferencing Tool

One essential for just about any kind of business is a way to virtually connect and hold meetings with business owners, employees, clients, and customers. Zoom’s functionality and integrations have made it the new favorite, but there are plenty of video conferencing platforms out there for you to choose from. Additional options that are great for video meetings and communications with your team while you work from home include:

  • Google Meet
  • Join.Me
  • GoToMeeting
  • Skype
  • UberConference

Each platform has their strengths and weaknesses. Generally speaking, if all you need is something for less than 20 people, and less than an hour, then any of these video conferencing platforms should suffice.

A Team Chat App

Designed to foster collaboration and communication between team members, these chat applications are often available for use on both desktop and mobile. Many team chat apps come with features that allow for one-on-one and group communications, as well as customizable, topic-specific channels. Chat apps that are popular with remote workers in 2020 include:

  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Chat
  • RocketChat
  • Flock

File Sharing & Data Storage

Sure, you can send attachments via email, but what if you need to send an entire folder of images or documents? And how do you ensure that the files and data your team needs to complete their tasks have a central location where they can be accessed? Thankfully, platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive exist to provide a virtual shared drive for your business’ essential documents and media files. With easy uploading, drag-and-drop functionality, access controls, and plenty of storage space, these applications allow you to easily upload, store, access, organize, and share thousands of files from anywhere.

Project Management Software

Resist the temptation to use chat programs for project management. Those can be used on the fly and in a pinch, but be disciplined about having a formal project management tool (if you are doing sales, this will be your CRM). Otherwise, your other messaging and productivity tools will become your project management tool, and they aren’t good for that. One of the top choices for managing projects remotely is Monday.com, which provides the space and organizational tools businesses need to manage teamwork, projects, and individual tasks. There are so many options out there, however, so don’t be afraid to try new ones until your team settles on one that everyone actually uses.

Cybersecurity: Don’t Work Remotely Without It

There are obvious benefits to being able to use all of these helpful tools no matter where you are, but one significant issue with remote work involves cybersecurity. In order to ensure the security and privacy of sensitive data that is both stored by businesses and transferred between colleagues, cybersecurity measures are an absolute must.

Keeping data safe and secure while business owners and employees connect from a wide range of locations is possible when these cybersecurity tools are implemented:

  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Antivirus/Anti-Malware Software
  • Real-Time Security Monitoring
  • Multi-Point Network Back-Ups

What’s in Store for the Tech of Tomorrow?

As more and more businesses switch to remote work, whether temporarily or permanently, the need for further and continuous innovation in tech tools will increase. We’re all excited to see what the future holds, and what creative tech innovators both young and old will think up next!

MAGIC supports the tech ecosystem by building relationships between the educational institutions in Carroll County, the tech community, corporate partners, and local government. Learn more about our unique tech opportunities and our efforts to make Westminster, MD a hub for tech in the Mid-Atlantic today.