Remote work is a trend that is growing quickly. In fact, 2014 saw that a staggering 23% of employees did some or all of their work at home. With the end of 2015 just behind the corner, it will be interesting to see just how much that percentage increased during the last year.
As much as we would all like to dream about the perks of working remotely, there are a few things that need to be considered before mobilizing your office. Here are the three key tips, apps, and tools that remote employees agree make working remotely a more enjoyable experience.
3. Communication sites, apps, and tools
Communication between co-workers
Communication between co-workers and employers is key to making your remote work successful. Some of the most common tools that workplaces use for instance communication with each other are Google Hangouts, Skype, and Slack.
Slack recently released a "Do Not Disturb" mode. This can be particularly useful if you are working remotely in a timezone that is different from your company's core hours. Slack also offers several integration options, paving the way for a streamlined remote process.
If you are interested in merely video chatting, Zoom is one of the top 4 companies to make the list in Aragon Research report's "Hot Vendors in Videoconferencing, 2015". With a free account, you can hold unlimited 1+1 meetings and host up to 40 minutes of a group meeting.
Communication between friends and family
Does mom still worry whether you ate dinner? Does your best friend need to tell you what he did last night? Don't worry, because there are several apps and sites out there that make staying connected easy.
For phone calls and texts, Viber and WhatsApp take the stand at the easiest, most affordable communication tools. With both, you can text or call your contacts using only an internet connection. Viber offers a special perk of having a desktop client that allows users to call and text directly from their computer. This can come in handy if you're not working locally and power sources for your mobile device are limited.
2. Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets
The "Of course" gadgets
Life on the road is only possible with trusted gadgets. While it might seem obvious, having a reliable computer is a necessity for any remote work- local or abroad. If most of your work is heavily centered on using your computer and you're working abroad, it is recommended that you travel with recent hardware. If you have warranty or insurance, it never hurts to take your computer to your local technician to run some diagnostic and/or hardware tests before your departure.
If you're working abroad, a must have is a travel adapter. The type you need is entirely dependent on the country you are traveling to, but it is best to purchase a multi-use adapter just in case. For instance, while the US uses Type A and Type B outlets, Europe typically uses Type C, E, and F.
The "Oh, I didn't think of that" gadgets
You have a meeting in five minutes and your computer is about to die. Oh no, your phone is, too? This won't be a problem if you have power bank easily accessible. With a power bank, you can plug your phone in and simultaneously charge and attend your meeting. If you're a remote worker that uses a lot of gadgets, it is probably more advantageous of you to get a power bank with more than one output port.
1. Reliable workspace
Remote workers can easily be divided into two groups: those who work at home and those who work outside of their home. For those that are working at home, having a reliable workspace should not be too difficult. Internet? Check. Comfort? Check.
But, for those venturing to local coffee shops or even abroad, there are a few things to look out for when looking for a workspace: reliable internet, ambiance, and hours. With sites like Workfrom, you can search your location for places to work. Workfrom has a database of locations ranging from public places such as coffee shops to private places like co-working spaces. After searching your location, you can find relevant information about your desired workplace such as wifi strength, outlet accessibility, noise level, and hours.
If you're looking for co-working space on the go, ShareSpace allows you to quickly find co-working spaces and meeting rooms. You can book for as little as an hour and up to a month.
What helps you work remotely?
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