Let’s face it: with today’s technology, there is nothing that can be done in the office that can’t be done on a laptop. Is the future of work really remote? Recent articles by companies (such as Forbes) seem to suggest so. The abundance of apps, programs and software means the ability to speak to, see, and hear your colleagues doesn’t require you to be in the same space as them.  

We have compiled a list of the best apps for effective remote work. These tackle procrastination, distraction, and practicality for those who work remotely. 

1. Forest

Best for: procrastinators.

Forest is our number one app for tackling procrastination. For every user that makes it through their timer without distraction, Forest has pledged to plant a tree. Sponsored by Trees for the Future, Forest has planted over 145 million trees. Not only is your remote work efficient, but using this app you also help tackle climate change.

How it works: 

After downloading the app, you set a timer for however long you would like to concentrate. Once that timer starts, a ‘seed is planted’ in a forest (on your screen). The tree gradually grows on-screen as time progresses. If you click out of the app, for example, to check another message, the plant dies and you have to start over again. 

2. Self Control

Best for: Social Media addicted individuals. 

How it works:

Download the app onto your computer. It then allows the creation of a ‘blacklist’, a list of websites which the user wishes to temporarily block. After creating this list, select the number of minutes that you wish to not be able to access these apps for. Perfect!

3. Pomodoro Keepers

Best for: time management, procrastination and distractions.

How it works:

However many hours you are aiming to work for, this app splits them into manageable chunks. For example, the prospect of working productively for 4 hours solidly is too much for most individuals. Pomodoro will split this into 8, 25-minute bursts. A 5-minute break is scheduled for the first 3 ‘Pomodoros’. A 15-minute break would be scheduled in for the fourth. The break lengths are aligned with psychological research as to how long it is actually possible to concentrate. Excellent for remote work and efficient time management.

4. Trello

Best for: Project management, remote team management. Similar to an online ‘to-do list’.

How it works:

Essentially, Trello allows the creation of on-screen boards. These boards can be colour coded, have images added and shared with any number of people. As well as a tool for individuals, who can create their own personal boards, team boards can be made. Really helpful for task assignments, due dates, and even communication.

5. Hootsuite

Best for: Social media Management and post scheduling. 

How it works:

Create an account. Link it to any or all required social media apps. Upload however many posts you would like to release for the week/ month/year, and schedule them to be posted at any time. You can optimise specific content to be posted at whichever times target audience or followers are most active. 

6. Last Pass

Best for: secure password sharing

How it works:

It’s not unusual for multiple employees to use the same online accounts. Last pass is a password sharing app which ensures that people don’t lock themselves out of vital applications or accounts. Each individual has a ‘master login’ password to access LastPass. Every other password that they or their colleagues choose to save to the LastPass account will load when needed.

7. Google Drive

Best for: Document storing, sharing, editing – everything! 

How it works:

Google docs allows the creation and safe storage of documents. These can be shared, commented on and edited if the individual so wishes. Allows the creation of shared folders, including formatted documents, excel spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations etc. Teams can leave comments, and chat with one another. Scan documents, upload them directly to your Google Drive, work offline, and even see old versions of documents.

8. Slack

Best for: All-round tool for connecting remote teams. 

How it works:

It features live chats, calls and video calls. It also features different channels, so that teams can divide into groups and keep conversations organized.

9. Skype

Best for: Video calling, live chat, voice calls.

How it works:

Skype is a free, online video and calling tool. It is essential for enhancing effective communication with remote clients, and between teams. Being able to see the other person (or people) makes an immeasurable difference. It is much easier to form a healthy working relationship when you can see the person you are communicating with. It is always easier to strike a deal or enhance team morale when you can see your team.

Conclusion:

Ultimately, there is no reason whatsoever that you cannot be as productive, if not more so, when working remotely.

Forest, Pomodoro and Self Control mean that procrastination and time-management are made easy. Google Drive, Trello and Slack mean that remote management and document sharing is more effortless than walking over to the desk of a colleague. Skype allows the formation of personable, pleasant working relationships.

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