The business world has changed drastically in the last few years, with the pandemic sending those in many different business sectors like marketing and advertising home to work. For many of them, it’s now hard to think of going back to how it was before.
While remote working was on the rise before 2020, the pandemic has certainly sped this up, as a high percentage of office workers now work either fully remotely or in some hybrid form.
Though this has many benefits, such as creating a work/life balance and cutting the cost of commuting, it’s natural that there are still some work expectations that haven’t changed.
This is especially the case for those working in collaborative roles with a wide range of colleagues and teams on a regular basis. This definitely isn’t impossible to do remotely but it does need support from the right places.
Firstly, having a team that understands the limits of remote working and this new flexible way of doing the job is key. However, team members aside, there are products that can support you when working from home too. Take a look at some of the best that we’ve gathered below.
1. A Good laptop
Laptops are so versatile now, with whole businesses being run from just a handful of powerful devices. When working from home was made the norm for many workers, laptops were the natural go-to device, as they could be taken home easily and packed up in seconds.
When you have just your laptop, you can go from working in your home office to the kitchen to the sofa in minutes. Have to go into the office one day a week? All you need to do is pack your laptop and head out the door. It made perfect sense that these were the devices of choice for remote workers.
Laptops can do so much more for those who work from home, though, than just provide flexibility. Many laptops are just as powerful as desktop computers, if not more so in many cases, and a good one can be all you need when working away from the office.
Perhaps you work on a marketing team and are constantly passing designs back and forth? A laptop that doubles as a tablet may be perfect for this. Maybe you hold meetings with a high number of attendants? Devices with good cameras and crystal-clear screens like Lenovo 14 inch laptops can be all you need.
2. Somewhere you can share documents
A big part of collaborating with a team is sharing documents and working on them together.
You might be part of the marketing department putting together a presentation for a new client or a member of a group of writers all contributing to a big piece. No matter what you need to share documents for, having a good platform to do so is very important, especially if you are working remotely.
There are so many platforms to do this, some being free and others come at a cost. While there are certainly more well-known ones, it can be a good idea to shop around and see what is out there. You may find that, though one platform has a broad range of everything, another is better suited to your team’s needs.
The sorts of platforms that allow you to share documents with each other and edit things or work together live were handy when everyone was in the office. They are even more crucial now, though, with team members rarely being in the same room all at the same time.
You may even find that having this resource available to you allows you to work more smoothly together and get work done much more efficiently than ever before. Being able to collaborate in real-time is very valuable.
3. A shared calendar
Remote working went global as lockdowns meant no more meet-ups for a while. After this happened, there were many anecdotes of people moving all over now that they weren’t having to go into the office on a regular basis.
Those who lived in expensive cities bought houses in more rural areas to save money. Some working in other countries even moved back home, as they could stay at their current job without having to keep going into the office.
While this was clearly the right decision for some, it meant that many of your colleagues were on different schedules and, in some cases, even different time zones. You can no longer look across the office to see if someone is working today or stop by their desk to see if they can make it to a meeting later on.
This is where a good calendar app can really come in handy. Many of them allow you to share your schedule with colleagues and even have different calendars for various groups, teams, and departments.
Knowing when each team member has to time off, will be working on something else, or will be in another meeting is crucial for collaboration and can really aid with the shortfalls of remote working. With big projects due and deadlines looming, few things are worse than never having everyone in the meetings when you schedule them.
Being able to see when everyone is available, set a meeting for that time, and know that everyone will be there is such a great asset to have. You may also find that there is less back and forth between team members, as everyone is on the same page after one or two meetings.
The change to remote working for many office workers has been a blessing. It has allowed them to live elsewhere, balance their work better, and, in many cases, get more done. It cannot run smoothly, though, without the proper resources to help you out.
With many of these products, you can really bridge the gap between office work and working from home to the point where there is really no difference. With remote working here to stay, it’s time that workers adapted to it, with some help, of course.