Remote Working

Team Chat Tools:

These tools can help you communicate with your staff:

  • Slack –  a simple and widespread tool that lets you break your team’s communication into “channels” to separate out different topics. Will also let you have private conversations with individuals, or group chats with function-specific parts of the team. The Free Plan stores 10,000 messages and offers 1:1 video and audio chat in addition to the messaging. Business plans from £5.25/user/month, and remove most of the restrictions 

  • Microsoft Teamspart of the Office 365 suite of tools, Teams is Microsoft’s one-stop-shop for communication and collaboration. There is a bit of a learning curve, but this is a powerful tool with a number of functions. Requires Office 365 account, Business Essentials Package £4.50/user/month, and also give access to online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.


Video Conferencing

These tools provide a “real life” way to catch up with your staff team and to hold meetings with external colleagues:

  • Zooma very popular video conferencing tool that boasts a low learning curve. Free plan offers unlimited 1:1 meetings and group meetings for up to 40 minutes. Business plans from £11.99/user/month 

  • Microsoft Teamsas above, the Teams platform provides a range of features, with video calls and conferencing included. If you host a Teams video call, your attendees do not need an account. Requires Office 365 account, Business Essentials Package £4.50/user/month 

  • Google HangoutsGoogle’s answer to video conferencing, popular with charities and small businesses due to its cost effectiveness and Office-like products. Requires Google Account. Personal accounts free, business accounts from £3 per user per month.


Webinars

For small webinars, the Video Conferencing tools listed above should serve you well. However, there are some features of dedicated webinar platforms that make them more suitable for larger crowds. Standard video conferencing tools generally tend to lose their effectiveness at around 30-50 participants. An example would be the ability to have an anonymous and passive audience, with the ability for them to use a chat feature to ask questions. Note that these generally tend to be a little more expensive than standard video conferencing options. 

  • Livestorm – Easy to use platform that doesn’t require the attendee to download or install anything. It also has a good suite of features, including attendee analytics  Livestorm have a free option, but it is limited to 10 attendees and 20 minutes per webinar. Paid plans start at £99/month 
  • GoToWebinar – A popular option due to its robust toolset and good quality of sound and audio. There are a lot of features that may be useful for the more engaged webinar hosts, including engagement dashboards, and the ability to poll attendees. Plans start from £69/month 
  • Zoom Webinar – a addon package to the Zoom Conferencing listed above, this provides additional functionality, including polling tools, a “raise your hand” feature for Q&A, and live streaming to YouTube. Requires a Zoom plan, and then an additional add on costing £32/month.

 


Document Collaboration

It isn’t always enough to chat to your colleagues, sometimes you’ll need to work together on documents. This includes storing them in the same location, as well as working on the same document at the same time. 

  • Google Docsone of the original pioneers of live document collaboration, the Google Suite of tools allows storage and collaboration both internally and externally. Access to the GSuite gives you Video conferencing, storage, email, and collaboration. Requires Google Account. Personal accounts free, business accounts from £4.14/user/month. 
  • Microsoft Teams / Office 365As above, Teams and the Office 365 suite allow for powerful collaboration, though with a slight learning curve. Requires Office 365 account, Business Essentials Package £4.50/user/month 
  • Dropbox (and Dropbox Paper) – Primarily focused on cloud storage of documents, Dropbox have recently launched their “Paper” platform in answer to Google and others. Personal plans free. Business plans from £9.99/user/month  
  • Boxa focus on security, Box provides similar functionality to Dropbox Paper. Starter plan from £4/user/month.

Project Management / Kanban Boards

If you’ve got projects that you need to keep track of, something like an online Kanban platform can help. They allow you to assign tasks to individuals, set deadlines, track progress, and quickly see your outstanding tasks:

  • Trello A very easy to use Kanban, with the ability to share boards with others, and assign tasks.  

-Free plan gives unlimited personal boards, and 10 team boards 

-Business plans from £10 per user per month.

 


Resources from the sector