With thousands of people infected with the Coronavirus, work remotely has become a new reality for several workers around the world.
Like many other large companies, at Workana, we’re working 100% remotely to prevent COVID-19 infections and reduce the infection rate.
Tech companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter announced that the majority of their employees will work from home instead of going into the office.
For those of us who are used to working remotely, there isn’t as much adjustment because our employees are already familiar with our established internal policies and good practices.
But many who are working from home for the first time are facing challenges like avoiding isolation and loneliness, learning how to use new tools and apps, installing and using time management extensions to maintain productivity, and leading projects and remote work teams while keeping in (virtual) contact with these people.
Technology is key right now!
Quarantine, cancellation, and work from home policies have caused a significantly increased in demand for videoconferencing, chat, project management, and cloud file exchange apps. Where would we be without these apps?
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, software companies like Zoom, Microsoft, and Google are offering their products for free so everyone can feel more at ease when working from home. But these aren’t the only companies offering their products for free! There are plenty of other companies committed to helping everyone ease the transition to working from home.
We recently launched a free downloadable Remote Work Guide. In this guide we show you a little bit about how we work remotely at Workana. It will definitely help you ease the transition into working from home while helping you navigate the complexity that comes with remote work.
But we’re not stopping there: in order to help you stay productive while you work from home, we’ve made a list of the best tools to help you manage your workflow remotely.
23 free (or temporarily free) tools to help you work remotely
In order to help schools and companies around the world, Google has launched a premium version of their video conferencing tool that you can use for free until July.
Using Hangouts and Meet, you can make videocalls with up to 250 participants in a “room” or directly broadcast to up to 100,000 viewers. You can also record reunions and save them in Google Drive.
Zoom provides a user support page, and elementary, middle, and high schools can use their tool can with all features for free. With this app’s free version, you can hold meetings with up to 100 people for up to 40 minutes in each room.
Calendly offers free integrations through Zoom and GoToMeeting with their software that schedules meetings online and makes remote employees’ lives easier while allowing everyone to stay connected.
This integration function is usually only available in the Premium Plan, but it’s available to teams that work directly with COVID-19 research until June 30. Calendly also has a great free version available to everyone.
Slack is providing free plans for those who are working to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Teams that working to combat COVID-19 that are interested in using Slack can send an email to receive this version and learn about the best way to start working remotely. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An electronic signature tool. They’re currently offering a free electronic subscription plan for unlimited users, unlimited download documents, unlimited electronic signatures, and payment processing.
A complete toolkit of apps for those who want to work remotely (free until July 1). There are 11 apps in total that include online meetings, training platforms, file storage, project management, remote support for users, apps to write documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and chat platforms.
Free access to Hootsuite Professional for small businesses and non-profit organizations until July 1. This application will help you manage social media accounts and keep you connected with clients and the community.
Hootsuite also gives you free access to different training for social media management which can help you improve your engagement, create more effective content, and manage communication in this time of crisis.
A solution to managing projects that helps you improve your workflow. Wrike is offering new customers a free 6 month trial of the professional version. Current customers can add unlimited collaborators. They also provide webinars and remote work advice on their website.
Cisco launched a free license for new users trying out the Duo Security two step authentication tool. Existing customers can extend their license to users who are working remotely. This also applies to their web security tool Umbrella and their VPN called AnyConnect which will be available until July 1st.
Cisco is also extending their Webex video conferencing platform services. The offer includes unlimited use without time limits, support for fewer than 100 participants, and free dialing. In order to access these services, the company needs to contact Cisco by email at: email@example.com
Get six months of Office 365 E1 for free including the live chat feature with unlimited access to audio calls and fully integrated group videoconferencing. This service packet has 10 GB of storage for shared files and 2 GB for personal files.
Avid has launched free and temporary licenses for tools designed for educational and audiovisual companies. Users can sign up for free 90 day trial periods for products like Media Composer Ultimate, Pro Tools, Pro Tools Ultimate, Sibelius, and Final Cut.
Free access to Creative Cloud applications is available for students and educators until May 31. Adobe also offers an Adobe Connect free 90 day trial period for web conferences until July 1.
Free DropBox Business and HelloSign Enterprise subscriptions for three months, every company can request access for up to 50 users per license.
Free access to their technology for emergency responder teams, call centers, and telemedicine management teams affected by coronavirus.
A great app to record your computer screen, create tutorials, and share them with students, clients, or remote teams. A few benefits that Loom offers are: Free Plan with an increased limit: before, you could save up to 25 videos, now it’s unlimited, and Loom Pro’s price has been cut in half; it cost $10 per month before, and now it costs $5 per month. All professional plan trial periods have been extended from 14 to 30 days.
Training, Magazines, and Self-Improvement and Culture Classes
16 free online learning courses with tips for productivity, remote work, communication, tools, and applications as well as tips for how to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
17. Forbes Magazine
Free access to the first editions of the Forbes Prime app. All you have to do is download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
100 free online courses divided into 14 areas: Art and Design, Business Management, Informatics, Politics and Law, and more. With a certificate.
There are plenty of free books available to read on Kindle. There are books about tons of different topics including human behavior, logic, sociology, education, psychology, and politics.
20. Faber Castell
Several online course options to stimulate creativity for kids and adults alike: drawing, writing, narratives, composition, character development, and more.
Using Street View Technology, the website offers free virtual tours of over 1200 museums, galleries, and institutions in over 70 countries.
22. The Louvre Museum
Visit the Louvre’s exhibits and galleries. The Louvre Museum is the largest art museum in the world and is a historical monument in Paris, France.
23. Brera Art Gallery
The Brera Art Gallery is considered to be one of the best art collections in all of Italy. Check out the famous masterpieces of legendary artists like Rafael and Caravaggio.
Keep calm and make the most of this time!
We know this is a stressful time: bad news, worrying about family and loved ones, work, all of these factors can drastically decrease our productivity.
But think about it this way: you have so many tools to help you maintain productivity and communicate with your team! In addition to continuing to work, you’ll avoid feeling isolated which will help keep depression at bay.
Remote work solutions involve as much online interaction as possible! Remember to communicate with your team regularly, share files, and make sure you have a good understanding of all the app and tool features that are available to you.
If you’re a team leader, make sure you make everyone feel at ease. Understand that everyone is a bit more on edge than usual and may be facing different technical difficulties. Use this as an opportunity to promote teamwork and collaboration!
Take some time to learn, find out the latest information, and get up to date! All these practices can help the time pass faster and put your mind at ease!
Follow us on social media and visit our Youtube channel! There are hundreds of videos, tips, and tutorials that can help you learn more about remote work, freelance work, and even getting the most out of our platform!
You might also be interested in:
- Remote work in risk contexts: How to face COVID19 in the workforce without compromising efficiency
- 10 critical points you have to take into account if you lead a remote working team
- How to overcome distance in remote teams?
- Why it is important to support your remote work teams 100% to grant their success
- The Agile Method: new approach to flexible working teams with shared goals.
- 10 Essential Elements for your Home Office