The challenge in a hybrid work environment lies in ensuring that you can retain productivity despite having off-site teams. While there are many ways to mitigate this, one of the easiest ways to do so is through using available technologies that are designed to manage teams located in different places and occupying different roles. The following are the six productivity tools that allow you to run your hybrid work environment as if everyone in your team is sitting at the same desk:
Video conferencing software
If there’s one thing that’s a must-have in a hybrid work environment, it has to be video conferencing software. Even when an in-person meeting is not a viable option, you can still use video conferencing software to make sure that you can still conduct a face-to-face meeting to make sure you’re not missing any of the non-verbal cues that you usually get when you can see the person that you’re meeting with. While comparing the right type of software for you and your business, be sure to find one that can allow you to conduct your virtual meeting from all kinds of devices, so you can still set one up even when you’re on the go. Conferencing software is a staple of the post-pandemic productivity tools.
Top choice: Zoom, Microsoft Team, Google Meet
Chat and collaboration apps
Jeremy from Launchpad Coworking Space says “Whether you’re a team of five or five hundred, it’s undeniable that chat and collaboration apps are very crucial when you’re operating in an environment where what makes your project successful depends on how well you’re communicating with your team members. The best of these kinds of apps can allow you to not just provide a space for your team to remain connected despite being in different locations (or even time zones!) but also ensure that all tasks that are assigned to each member can be tracked to ensure their completion.”
Top choice: Slack, Flock, Ryver
Cloud-based file editing and management tools
Sending files back and forth using e-mail is a viable option, but it’s not the most effective way of your time, isn’t it? That’s where cloud-based file editing and management tools come in. Since many of these tools tend to operate on a subscription model, you may find that smaller teams benefit more cost-wise than bigger ones. Regardless of price, however, you may find that these productivity tools can lead to a more efficient way of working for you and your team.
Top choice: Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive
Project management platform
Since modern working environments tend to run on project-based assignments, using any project management platform can be a great way of making sure that you and your team remain on top of things. These platforms, in general, allow you to assign tasks to specific individuals, and you can also break down your milestones and progress as detailed as you like them to be, which includes attaching certain files or even creating to-do lists inside existing project milestones.
Top choice: Trello, Asana, Basecamp
Time tracking program
In hybrid working environments, it’s inevitable that some people would eventually be assigned to work from home. If you still measure your team’s performance based on working hours, you may feel some trepidation about how you won’t be able to see what they’re doing with their time. Luckily, you can mostly alleviate those fears by using time tracking programs or apps to see how they’re spending their working day at home. Some of these productivity tools are trackers that allow for real-time monitoring, while others rely on the users to manually report what they’re working on.
Top choice: Clockify, Toggl Track, EverHour
Remote desktop applications
Although many companies choose to use laptops as the primary computer for their employees, it’s undeniable that there are some advantages to having a desktop computer on-site, especially for employees who are managing susceptible data points. But when these employees turn to work off-site, how do you reduce the possible security risks that may be introduced when your employees are accessing information from unsecured connections? One way to do this is through remote desktop applications – which allow your team members to access the data they need in their office desktop computers even when they’re not in the office.
Top choice: AnyDesk, Microsoft Remote Desktop, TeamViewer
Since the rise of remote working brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are seeing that there are more upsides to hybrid working environments than downsides. In designing this type of working arrangement, it is crucial that you first assess the productivity tools you and your team would be needing to successfully operate in a hybrid setting. Only then can you see where these tools can fill the gaps.