What was once a consequence of a global crisis ended up a preference – striking 82% of employees prefer to work from home instead of the office.
It should come as no surprise, as remote workers were given a sense of new flexibility. Suddenly, they could fit in a morning run, plan the workday around doctor’s appointments, and make sure they have enough time to eat healthy lunch. Without an everyday commute, even with some time to spare.
Furthermore, it turns out home office may be beneficial for organizations as well. Employees working from home are more productive in comparison to their office counterparts. While remote workers take longer breaks, they remain productive for an additional 10 minutes per day and work an extra 1.4 days.
It seems like home office is here to stay, so it is better to be prepared. Let’s have a look at websites and apps to help you stay on top of your tasks.
What it is: Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing and messaging apps with a cloud platform.
As many realized during the pandemic, such software can be quite helpful when working remotely and e-mails or phone calls are not enough.
Features: It allows you to hold webinars, interactive one-on-one or group meetings of up to 200 participants, and chat and collaborate with other team members. Users can share their screens, make a poll, send different types of media, record meetings, and more.
What it is: Spotify is an audio streaming and media service where you can find and download music and podcasts of various genres and topics.
There is no better way to start a day than by listening to music, especially during winter when staying at home might get a little bleak. The research also shows that people can be more productive when listening to music during working – if the music itself is not too distracting. Lo-Fi beats tend to be very effective, try it for yourself.
Features: Spotify allows you to download music or podcasts, so you can listen to them even without access to the internet. There is an option to create playlist and share them with your friends. The app also creates a “Discover Weekly” mix where you can find recommendations on artists and songs based on the music you listen to.
What it is: For more than a decade, Skype has been one of the most popular communication tools for holding video conferences and chatting.
Features: Skype supports instant messaging, voice calls, and video chats with multiple users so that you can stay in touch with your coworkers or clients. Chat allows you to send even large-sized files up to 300 MB. If you prefer, you can also use Skype to call mobile phones and landlines, however, this service is paid.
What it is: MyNoise is a background noise generator that can help you be more productive or relax during breaks. If you are one of those people that can’t listen to music when working but also hates silence, this is the app for you.
Features: MyNoise offers a wide and creative selection of sounds ranging from “rain on a tent” and “fireplace” to “Japanese garden” or “medieval village”.
What it is: Another popular collaboration app, Slack, is used by many organizations, especially for direct messaging and having private channels for specialized teams.
Features: It has an integrated video conferencing feature allowing users to have a quick call with other team members. Slack lets users set a work status indicating if they are busy or offline, send attachments, or react with emojis. A very convenient feature is the option to set yourself a task reminder through Slackbot together with a date and time.
What it is: Dropbox is a service for file-syncing and cloud storage you can access from any device with an internet connection. A lifesaver for those who won’t listen to the advice about backing up your work files.
Features: Dropbox lets you store your photos, videos, and documents and access them from any location. It automatically synchronizes files across your devices, so you don’t have to think about uploading them. It allows easy share content with coworkers or clients through URL links.
What it is: Seven is an everyday fitness app that got the name based on its 7-minute intense workouts. Great for squeezing in some movement into your day without messing up your schedule.
Features: The workouts are tailored so that you don’t need any equipment. Its knowledge library has different regiments for targeting a specific part of your body. There is an option to pick an Instructor that will provide you motivational encouragement you need, such as “Angry mom” or a “Drill Sergeant.” The app also provides notifications and daily challenges to compete with your friends.
What it is: Asana is a great management platform that allows your team to organize and manage tasks and track their progress.
Features: Users can check their tasks or assign tasks to someone else, change the status according to progress, and add attachments or comments. The app will also sync deadlines with your calendar, so you can always stay on top of your daily activities.
What it is: Clockify is free software that allows you to track work hours on various projects in a timesheet.
We know that the thought of tracking and micromanagement stresses many home office workers out. However, seeing your hours might actually help you to clock out and keep a good work-life balance.
Features: Users can add hours manually or by starting a timer. It also includes a calendar, time-off scheduling, reports, invoicing, and other features.
What it is: It is a mental wellbeing platform that can help you reduce stress, maintain motivation, and improve productivity.
When working, one should also not forget about the importance of mental health and overall wellbeing. If you are already doing your daily walks, Remente is the next best thing.
Features: The app includes interactive goal setting, daily inspiration, and planning tools to reduce stress and distractions. There is an option for individuals as well as businesses.
What it is: Evernote is an application designed for note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. Best software to use if you want to go paperless while remaining productive and organized while working on several projects.
Features: Evernote is not your ordinary to-do list app. It allows you to write down notes, take photos and screenshots, add files, and even make voice recordings, making it great for capturing any important ideas. A search feature and keyword tags make it easy to navigate between projects.
12. Caynax Home Workouts (Android Only)
What it is: Caynax Home Workouts is the office’s favorite. It is a completely free exercise app with a ton of workouts to choose from for every level, even without any equipment.
Science says there is a strong link between exercise and productivity. Whether you want to boost your performance or just feel better in your skin, a workout app can motivate you to move around more when staying at home.
Features: The app provides high-intensity workouts targeted to specific body parts. There is also a feature that will remind you to work out – feel free to ignore it the same way you would the Duolingo owl.
13. Online Courses
If you end up having free time when working from home, you can spend it by learning new skills. These are some sites that are definitely worth checking out:
- EDX – Maybe you didn’t go to Harvard, but you can start studying like a Harvard student today. Try courses from the leading universities and get immersed in various disciplines including data programming, art, psychology, finance, and more.
- Salesforce Trailhead – Learn about the Number 1 CRM system and gain the digital and soft skills you might need along the way for free.
- Resco Academy – Fun way to get to know Resco’s technology and success stories.
- CME Group – Is suddenly everyone around you a stock trader and you don’t know what to add to the conversation? CME Group designed a variety of courses to help you learn about the futures and options markets.