In Wisconsin, we’re all pretty used to commuting to work in snowy conditions. But even us Wisconsinites know there are some storms not worth risking our safety on the slick roads to make it in to the office.
Fortunately, technology and easy access to Wi-Fi have made it a lot easier to work remotely, whether we’re traveling for business or stuck inside during a blizzard. We can easily stay connected through phone calls, texts, emails, video conferences and office chat programs.
Here at HawkPoint, we use Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, which creates an office virtually anywhere. It’s easy to access files without the need for a VPN to connect to shared servers. The chat feature of Teams helps us collaborate, organize projects and easily provide progress updates to our colleagues. Adding notes through the conversation tab in Teams also offers a screen share option, which helps eliminate confusion when you’re troubleshooting, conducting a tutorial or simply need to look at the same thing.
We keep projects on track with the Planner tab. It’s a great tool for assigning tasks and making group checklists. For anyone familiar with Trello, it’s a similar system, but provides the same benefits without having to leave Teams to manage a separate tool and keep it updated.
To help us from missing important calls, we use Grasshopper, a virtual phone system. With this app on our cell phones, we don’t worry about turning on our call forwarding directly on the office phones or forgetting to change our voicemail message before leaving the office, because we can do all of that on the app or their website. It’s especially nice when we have unplanned days we’re out of the office, since we can manage our business lines without accessing the physical phone in the office.
Some of us use OneNote or other digital note-taking tools that are much easier to access outside of the office. Notebooks and handwritten to do lists can certainly be missed if they’re left at your desk. If you’re someone who travels or works from home often, then using OneNote may be the way to go. Plus, you don’t have to worry about not being able to read what you wrote in a hurry 😉.
And, when we’re stuck at home due to weather and want to see who’s still in their pjs, we hop on a video call. Microsoft Teams offers a video call feature, but if you don’t have Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts and Zoom are other popular choices to get a live view of your coworkers.
While we do enjoy the flexibility to work from home on occasion, it’s always nice to see each other and connect in person. What programs or technologies do you use to stay connected to your team when working remotely? Share with us in the comments below.