23 March 2020
With the government warning that the Coronavirus pandemic will be a long haul, we face a challenging time ahead. More and more people are finding themselves self-isolating or working from home.
There’s a lot of information out there but much of it is high level and not very helpful to small and medium sized businesses.
Clearly, having people working from home isn’t right for every business but we’ve come up with a list of tech solutions that we think will help some businesses carry on working.
Meetings are vital to most businesses, whether these are for client, staff or planning purposes. You could just use the phone but if that’s not going to work then video conferencing could be the answer.
There are numerous choices such as Skype and Facetime but if you need more, then Zoho Meeting and Zoom are good options. They all offer free levels of service.
Zoho Meeting and Zoom are again good options. In addition to the video calling they have the option for screen sharing.
You could also consider pre-recording and using YouTube or Vimeo to share the content. Vimeo has a password protection facility so content can be restricted to your target audience.
Loom is free software that lets you record your screen. It’s a great solution for supporting other team members who are working from home. Maybe they are new or are more junior members of staff who need more support in order to do their job.
TeamViewer is another good solution. With the user’s permission, it allows you to ‘take over’ a remote computer.
There are numerous solutions in the market for manging projects and collaborating across teams and locations. Depending on your specific requirements Trello and Asana are definitely worth investigating. Most offer free versions that could be enough, depending on your needs.
For more simple task based ‘to do lists’, Todoist is fantastic. Also, don’t forget about the functionality that you may not be using within your Office 365 subscriptions.
Many businesses in this sector operate from real, bricks and mortar premises and they are going to be the most affected. Some will operate eCommerce stores alongside their physical stores which will help but we don’t know yet what will happen to delivery and courier businesses.
Web stores take time to set up so it might be worth looking at sites like eBay, Etsy or even Amazon for example.
Working from home does present other challenges not least of which is loneliness and associated mental health issues. Please look after each other and monitor your staff’s wellbeing. Speak regularly and make use of online communities for support and tips.