Top Tools for Remote Workers
There are quite literally thousands of mobile phone apps that can help businessmen and -women to work more effectively. Many of these focus on enabling employees to work remotely, outside of the office, maintaining the flow of business and allowing companies to progress further, quicker.
The following is a list of select apps that you should have in your digital repertoire if you work remotely.
Trello is an app that enables you to project manage anything, with anyone, at any time. Disconnected email threads, worn-out sheets of paper and out-of-date software can now all be replaced with this highly convenient app that presents your entire project on one organised dashboard. You can tap into this anywhere, allowing you to edit and update tasks, members and photos as the project progresses, keeping you posted always.
f.lux is the night owl’s best friend. This nifty app adjusts your screen to match the lighting of the environment that you are in. So if you’re outside the screen will look like daylight and if you are inside then it will adjust according to the lighting of the room. Simply tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have and where you live and let the app do the rest – a dream for the late night worker whose eyes are tired of the harsh computer screen glow.
Social media is a powerful business tool when used correctly. Buffer can help you get the best results from it when you’re working remotely and aren’t online all the time. With Buffer, you can schedule your posts so they coincide with peak social media times and reach the most people, letting people know what’s going on with your business as and when it happens.
HipChat is a highly efficient and protected means of sharing work within a business. With this app you can, essentially, always be in a room with your colleagues, getting instant answers to your questions and feedback on your work no matter where you all are. You can also bring clients and other third-parties into the room with you to share your ideas and progress, but with the power to control what they see and, consequently, how your business is presented.
Never again will employees have to waste time chasing up passwords or waiting on the digital doorstep of your company. 1Password lets you store and manage all your passwords, pin codes, important documents and more in a top-security digital vault, to be reached only by whoever is explicitly given access. This crafty little app reduces the risk of passwords being intercepted and ensures people can be fully connected, 24/7, wherever they are.
Wunderlist is the perfect diary for the hardworking employee with wanderlust. It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on when you’re moving around a lot, perhaps traveling lightly and without a secretary to act as your spare brain. Wunderlist acts as a sophisticated diary that holds all your to-do lists and reminders in one place. You can set reminders, share your lists with colleagues and access it all from any device, saving you the bother of carrying around diaries and notepads that can get lost or soiled.
Airbnb is a vital app for the worker who travels. Conferences, events and meetings are made so much easier knowing you’ve got a comfortable and hospitable place to go back to. The app consolidates all your previous, present and future trips in one place, which gives you easy access to all of your hosts, providing contact details and maps to get you home quickly. Getting an Airbnb instead of a hotel offers the chance to see a city from a new perspective, as well as ensuring you feel at home wherever you are.
The Uber app is the epitome of ease. Having the app on your phone saves you any worry about how you’re going to get home after an event or to a conference the next morning, feats that can sometimes be a nightmare in a foreign place. The best thing about this app is that it offers 24/7 service in most major cities.
This app has a simple premise: letting your teammates know when you’ve done things. This simple objective is actually highly useful and you’ll come to rely on it more than you might think. When you go to bed at night you’ll be fully up to date on where your team’s at, what needs doing tomorrow and how fast the work is moving. Instant status updates mean you can know what’s going on at all times.
Every Time Zone
It’s vital that you know what the time is for all of your colleagues, wherever they are in the world. If you don’t, important meetings and work can be disrupted or delayed and all because people simply got the time wrong. This app presents all the cities that are important to you in order of their time zone, so you can easily find what time 10AM in another country means for you. Daytime sections are colour coded to highlight the best working hours.
Hackpad is basically a single, giant notepad that your team shares. You can all make notes and lists that will go out to everybody else, to be saved and built upon at any time, by anybody invited. In this way ideas can be communicated and developed quickly and simply and at any time of day. Collaboration isn’t then limited to the time space of a meeting, and everybody has an opportunity to give their input.
This is an incredibly handy app for the remote worker who likes to work out of the house. With a layout much like Airbnb, you can search any city for private or public workspaces that have been suggested by the community. Each entry has tips and information that workers will find useful, such as how much seating there is and if it has work-friendly hours, as well the option for photos and community or owner approval.
Cloud App enables you to share your screen with anyone, anywhere. Essentially it means that you don’t need to be in the same room as someone to show them the exciting new thing you’ve just discovered in the depths of the internet, or to illustrate an idea you’ve been trying to communicate. You simply take screen shots, save them to the cloud, and then share the URL so that others can have access to your screen. For fun points (as well as for productive use), there is a new feature which allows you to create GIFs of your screen.
This app helps to ensure team members are fit and healthy. Sitting at a computer for much of the day can have a negative impact on our fitness, but this app reminds remote working employees that they need to get up and move regularly – something that can be forgotten when you’re deep in your own hard-working bubble. The app helps to track how much activity you do in the day and how much sleep you get at night, encouraging you to get a good balance of both.
World Time Buddy
This app is useful when you need to know the specific time of a specific place where a colleague or client currently is, which might not be a major city. Where the Every Time Zone app gives you a dashboard view of relevant cities and their time zones, World Time Buddy is more for the now and the specific.
Spotted by Locals
Alongside Airbnb, Spotted by Locals is paramount to experiencing cities like the locals. If you’ve got a bit of time in a city – whether it’s just in between meetings or on a day off – then this app offers you an alternative city guide, where the tourist sites are foregone in favour of a more insider experience. This is a great app for gaining a real experience of a city, rather than one based solely on a few attractions that have very little to do with the modern state of affairs.
Sqwiggle lets you feel like you’re in an office with people when you are all, in fact, miles and miles away from each other, maintaining the immediacy of office culture but also allowing for independence and privacy. It’s essentially a live chat programme that you can tap in and out of – or leave on for as long as you are working – with just one click. This can be from your mobile when you’re on the move, your laptop in a coffee shop or from a big screen in an office. Your profile picture can be updated according to your current whereabouts, adding a sense of fun to your status updates and company communication.
These are just a few apps that can help keep your business running efficiently with remote workers. As the corporate climate is constantly evolving and demanding ever more from businesses, it’s good to know that technology can keep up!