Over the past years, the world has been developing at an alarming rate. With the help of technology, it has now become possible to unite in teams and at the same time be at a distance of over ten thousand kilometers from each other. The coronavirus pandemic, by the way, only reinforced the importance of technology. Against the background of this event, it is work through a remote connection that has become a priority for business. And for the business to be able to increase its productivity, there are a number of necessary tools that positively affect the work itself.
When people hear the word “fax,” they imagine bulky machines, loud squealing sounds, and a jammed or misprinted document. But that was in the past. However, fax communication is still a complex technology that has only become more relevant today.
Now, many still have to work at home and at the same time there are those who do not have access to a printer or scanner. But since most people have already abandoned landline phones in their homes, the ability to send faxes from a computer without a telephone line has become a kind of problem that needs to be resolved in 2020.
Using fax online through applications that let you exchange electronic signatures and integrate with cloud storage can help companies stay productive no matter where their employees are. The presence of an online repository enables employees to track documents and gain access to them after they are sent.
Fast and well-organized communication also affects the effective conduct of business in 2020. Despite the fact that there are many other ways to stay in touch, the presence of an integrated instant messaging service ensures their safety. It also does not take the time to check e-mail and allows you not to worry about missing important information.
When it comes to the internal communication system between employees, you should definitely pay attention to the Slack corporate messenger. This platform not only integrates with many other applications, but also has an easy to use and intuitive configuration.
In Slack, everything is structured by channel, and there is personal correspondence for direct communication. The platform allows you to quickly share files and organize conversations using channels. At the same time, only those people who work in a specific organization or are responsible for any specific projects are involved in the messenger.
Cloud data storage
Gone are the days when, by attaching documents to emails, it turned out that the file version was outdated.
Cloud storage allows you to store files by grouping them into folders and share them, providing access to your team for quick and efficient work
Services such as Google Drive and DropBox integrate with online fax to increase productivity, ensuring business continuity.
Cloud programs also ensure that every user has access to the latest version of the file. To create presentations, text documents and spreadsheets, use the set of cloud services from Google G Suite, this will allow several users to make the necessary edits in real time. Instead of emailing, you can leave comments right away in documents and make some other notes.
Of all the technological developments that have been observed in the business world over the past decade, cloud workflow is perhaps the most revolutionary. If your company still uses Microsoft Word documents marked with the version number, then you are significantly behind.
Project Management Services
While instant messaging and cloud storage simplify your work, organizing it yourself can still be challenging. Having intuitive project management software will help you create a high-level overview so that everyone is up to date. Such a centralized platform will show what has been done, what needs to be paid attention to, who is responsible for what, and how long the project should be completed.
Trello is one of the simplest and most popular project management systems for small groups, which can be used both in the office and remotely. This cloud platform enables users to efficiently organize work on the Japanese kanban board methodology. Here you can create boards for specific projects, individual boards, as well as tasks and check lists to help your employees.
Monday.com is another cloud-based version of the project management program. This application has a more structured format, using the same kanban or Gantt chart, but it is no less intuitive than Trello.
With Monday.com, any information can be seen on the dashboard of the project, as well as track the time spent on various tasks and create progress reports.
Social media management platform
The presence of social networks is extremely important for modern business, even if now it has the best times. And in 2020, social networks only continue to gain in popularity.
Using a platform for planning social networks helps automate publications and allows you to manage multiple social networks from one centralized application. Also, with the help of such a platform, it is possible to analyze based on successful and unsuccessful posts.
Buffer is an application for managing social media accounts that provides the ability to schedule publications. The application offers a simple and clear user interface, which is ideal for both individual entrepreneurs and those who work in a team. Buffer makes it possible to plan publications in advance, highlights successes and allows you to share content with the click of a button.
Hootsuite is another social media management platform used by active users who post in large numbers on social networks. This platform allows companies to manage comments and monitor social networks, as well as plan their publications.
Hootsuite is a more reliable application than Buffer, but it is more difficult to learn.
Accounting and time management software
This year, awareness of the time spent is becoming more valuable than ever. With people working from home, it's easy to lose track of time and notice how days fly by.
Using time tracking and time management software will help to prioritize and determine what will be more important and what is of little value
On the other hand, time tracking is a prerequisite to prevent burnout. While some people working at home have problems with concentration and concentration, others, on the contrary, cannot disconnect from work and establish a certain framework for themselves. Using time trackers can guarantee that every employee will correctly and efficiently use their time.
One of the recommended trackers to use is Harvest. The service allows employees to start and stop the time timer in various projects with the click of a button. At the same time, employers can see detailed reports and analytics about which projects are in work and which employees spend the most time.
For more information, there is software called Time Doctor. In addition to tracking the time spent on projects, this service also checks user activity. Workers can use it to check their time and identify distractions or to set alerts that will constantly remind you of tasks. Employers here can also track the time of their employees.
The internal reporting functions cover everything: from visited sites to the number of keys pressed per hour. It is important to note that in Time Doctor everything is completely transparent.
Video conferencing software
The advantage of video conferencing software is that there is a face-to-face meeting and people don’t have to leave their homes at all. This form of interaction is often more productive than teleconferencing because it allows you to interact.
Over the past couple of years, the Zoom platform has joined the list of the best programs for video conferencing. And in connection with the events of 2020, this platform has already topped this list. Zoom subscribers receive a personalized conference room, can schedule appointments and receive shared access to a single screen. The basic paid tariff allows meetings of up to 100 participants without time limits at an affordable price.
GoToMeeting is another web conferencing service, which in 2014 was the most popular in the world, even though it was paid. Later, nevertheless, a free version was released that maintained communication with no more than three interlocutors. This service is still a relevant option for employees who often need to be online to work together.
Updated in October 2019, GoToMeeting provides high-quality sound transmission even with slow Internet. To capture the results of video meetings, notes appeared that can be made in real time, as well as a speech recognition function that allows you to read the video conference log in the form of a dialogue.
Platforms for creating an online calendar for appointments
Meeting scheduling is an important administrative task that must be completed slowly. And when working with remote teams, you often have to consider the difference in time zones. Also now there are a lot of people who are accustomed to paint their day by the hour to ensure its effectiveness.
Using programs such as a calendar to schedule appointments helps employees set their own hours and maintain productivity throughout the day.
Calendly is one of the best personalized meeting scheduling apps. Instead of asking each time, “What time will it be convenient for you?”, You can simply send a link to your schedule in Calendly, where your free time will be indicated. To do this, click on the block, enter your personal data, and receive a notification that will be synchronized with the calendar.
Doodle is a great free app for large companies. In Doodle, the organizer himself indicates what time is available for the meeting. Then everyone votes for a convenient time. Upon completion of the vote, Doodle determines the time suitable for everyone.
Services for the automation of recruiting and onboarding staff
Recruitment services based on artificial intelligence began to spread even before 2020. Now they will become the basis of modern business. Indeed, it may take a long time before the world returns to normal after a general pandemic. And the presence of a centralized personnel recruiting and onboarding system allows companies to manage their new employees from anywhere in the world.
Zoho Recruit is an online full-service jobseeker service that allows recruitment agencies to easily monitor resumes and vacancies, send out invitations, and learn about job interview and job results.
BambooHR is ideal for small business HR managers. It provides a wide range of services, including an automated search for candidate data and their tracking, personnel management, and it is also possible to set up payroll accounting. This is a good option for those companies that do not have a human resources department as such.
BambooHR также предоставляет возможность для самостоятельного управления, то есть, когда сотрудники сами берут на себя ответственность за обновление своей информации и внесение изменений по мере необходимости.
Small business owners often do not follow the accounting of their company and therefore often make mistakes. But such accounting operations as billing and self-accounting are of great importance in the activities of companies, allowing for the timely receipt of money in the account and the fulfillment of tax obligations. And here it is extremely important that everything is streamlined.
Having the right tools can help the business grow further without taking up a lot of time in bookkeeping.
Intuit Quickbooks is an intuitive web service for automating small business accounting and freelancers that provides cloud-based data exchange between PCs and smartphones. This service has integration with Bitrix24, 1C-Bitrix and vTiger CRM.
Quickbooks allows you to track payments, send invoices, synchronize bank data, calculate tax deductions and create balance sheets.
Effective Time Management Applications
Today, there are quite a few interesting applications for effective time management, allowing you to eliminate distractions and move away from your unnecessary habits. For example, if an Instagram notification appears on the employee’s phone, he will clearly open it without even thinking. Time management applications correct behavior and remind you to work further without being distracted.
Forest is an interesting application for those who can’t leave their smartphone alone and focus on more important matters. Its essence is that by setting a timer (from 30 minutes to 2 hours), a tree begins to grow. In this case, the user, until the timer expires, should not be distracted and exit the application, otherwise the tree will simply die. In this way, whole forests are grown in which there can be both living and ruined trees.
What is most interesting, this application is intended not only for individual use, but also for group use. Teams can perform synchronized landings, in which the behavior of one person can destroy the entire forest.
Productivity is certainly an important and necessary skill not only for employees, but also for the business as a whole. With these tools, it will be easier for business to succeed in this incredibly difficult and challenging 2020.