With more and more workplaces making the decision to work from home to protect employees during the Coronavirus outbreak, we thought we’d share with you our top four free tools to ensure the smooth transition of running your business remotely and communicating with your team effectively.
Snapchat: Group calls and meetings
Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps and is completely free to download on your smartphone. You might just think of Snapchat as a way to send a picture or video to your story or friends, with the addition of some questionable animal ears.
But did you know that you can create Snapchat groups and hold group video and voice calls for up to 16 people completely free! The limitation with Snapchat is that all members need a smart device, however, there are ways of emulating a phone screen on your PC or desktop using applications such as Bluestacks.
You can also post messages, voice notes and images into the group conversation.
Gmail: Live documents and emails
Your email system may already be established with another provider, such as Outlook or Office, but it’s well worth creating a Gmail account just for the purpose of using Google Drive whilst your team is working from home.
Google’s suite allows you to create text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and questionnaires for free. You have the opportunity to download these files to offline versions, share them with other users or create a shareable link that can be accessed by anyone. When the document is live, all users can edit and view the document at the same time. Gmail also has an instant messenger option, ‘Hangout’ which may be easier to keep in touch than via a WhatsApp group chat.
Your first 15GB or storage is completely free to store documents, photos, designs, videos and more.
Slack: Communications and emails
Slack is a collaboration hub that can replace email to help you and your team work together more easily. A slack workspace is made up of channels that include different teams, projects or anything else that is relevant to your organisation.
Slack has a free package which is best suited to small teams. There are some limitations such as 10 integrations with other apps like Google Drive, Salesforce and Office 365. There is the ability to have 1:1 video calls and voice calls which is a great option to make calls conveniently from your desktop.
The Slack website has a live chat option that you can use to discuss how Slack could work for your team.
Trello: Project management
Trello is a website and app that acts as a real-time bulletin board, keeping your team organised and on track.
Create a board for your project, invite your team and add lists and tasks to organise the workload. Add due-dates, comments, checklists and more whilst moving the tasks from ‘to do’ to ‘done’ to show progress. You can also integrate a number of applications such as DropBox and GoogleDrive.
The free package allows you to create unlimited personal boards but is limited to 10 team boards and 10MB per file attachment.
The importance of a digital presence
You may decide to use just one of these applications or use a combination to get the most out of your team working from home.
For the team at MGB, even though we are remotely working, it is very much business as usual. All of our amazing clients are still getting the attention they deserve, and projects are ongoing. It’s never been more important to have a digital, online presence and we are on hand to assist businesses during this time. Our mantra is: keep communicating.
If you are looking to put a strategy into place or to liaise with stakeholders, suppliers or customers, we’re here to give advice to help you communicate throughout this crisis.