COVID-19 (Corona): Remote Working Tools & Tips For Unprecedented Times

Raphael Sebbag

Needless to say, we are seeing some unprecedented events unfold before our very eyes.

The social, economic, health and personal impacts are nothing like we have ever imagined.

But the beauty is we can and do adapt and there is much still to be thankful for and ways to weather the storm.

If you are isolated with family, friends or other loved ones, the upshot is that you get to spend time with them you never thought you’d have, you may even get a bit more rest you needed, take advantage. Also take a moment to think about others who may need or want your help.

Yet, for many of us, there is also the reality of work that needs to continue. So, on that note, I’d like to share a few tips and tools we’ve been using for a while to enable remote working and managing virtual teams. We’ve benefited from input and assistance from people across various time zones and regions. Yet with technology currently available, tapping into and reaching out to such people is as easy as if they were in the room next door.

Here’s how you too can evolve to a more virtual-friendly work structure… 

Google G Suite and it’s cloud-based services enable live, dynamic collaboration using:

  • Word documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Calendars
  • Live meetings using Hangout
  • Email
  • Tasks and more

Loom is one of our favourite tools. If you don’t have it, go get it now! It’s one of those super easy, game-changing tools. Basically it makes sharing videos from your PC using a webcam or just filming the screen so fast and easy. We have literally shared hundreds of such videos, probably saving tens of hours of back and forth emails with a simple video.

Xero, cloud-based bookkeeping software. With its built-in tools, systems and integrations you can truly live with paperless and remote bookkeeping.

Slack, we use slack as our internal team chat and we can also set up private channels with external stakeholders. It works with PC’s as well as mobile devices.

Our VoIP based number enables us to practically be anywhere and still be able to accept and make calls as if we are in the office. All you need is an internet connection. You don’t even need the old fashioned hardware such as desktop phones, as there are PC and mobile apps available to manage this.

Asana is great for managing tasks and projects for internal as well as client-facing projects. We also use it as a repository for client and project notes. Especially for repetitive tasks, it has great functionality to make quality control and service deliverability consistent and seamless.

Podio has been great for us to use as a central database for client information and contact details as well as creating web-based forms to help streamline enquiry and onboarding processes.

Now for the most important tip: Nothing beats good, old fashioned live, face-to-face communication for discussing what matters most. But if you can’t be in the same physical location, try online video conferencing technology like Google Hangouts or Zoom.  

Remember to set consistent times on a consistent, daily or weekly basis with a set agenda for internal company as well as client-facing issues and projects. And make sure to use one of the above tools to record such notes (e.g. Google docs, or Asana). 

Other tools we have been exposed to and use at times:

  • Dropbox – cloud document storage and collaboration
  • Whatsapp  – great chat (video and text) and information sharing
  • Harvest/Toggle  – Time tracking
  • Trello –  List and task management for teams

Whilst the above suggestions may not work for every type of business, you’re likely to find that at least one of them will help you adapt to and thrive in our fast-changing world.  Start with one, most are free and easy to set up with plenty of online video help available.

If you have any suggestions, questions or need support feel free to get in touch with us.

We donate at least 10% of all our profits to various non-profits and charitable organisations locally and abroad aimed at improving lives for people and the the world in general.

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