Technology that makes working from home easier

With vast numbers of people now working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, we recently explored the benefits of virtual face-to-face teleconferencing technologies. Proving to be invaluable tools for businesses and families is Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams, (see our article "From Facetime to Zoom – here's how you can stay connected working from home" here).

There's a crucial social dimension to this, of course. These technologies help people to stay connected to one another, above and beyond the requirements of work. Humans are very social animals, and enforced isolation for prolonged periods can begin to have malign effects, both physically and mentally.

Being physically separated from others, or even re-adjusting to 24/7 care of the kids - fire-fighting the outbreak of squabbles and keeping them occupied (educated and entertained) - can take its toll. That can make the video-connections to work colleagues (and getting stuck into work-related projects) a welcome relief in itself.

But working from home may turn out to be something many of us are going to have to get used to in the "new normal" that some are predicting will follow this health emergency.

A report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that, from the beginning of April, 34% of Americans who usually commuted to work had begun working at home because of the pandemic. That compares to a figure of around 4% who worked from home before the virus struck – a seismic increase, in other words.

Even so, remote working has been gaining traction for some years and a new raft of highly serviceable technologies have evolved to facilitate it. With many employers having to cut costs after the pandemic, home working is likely to stay at a high level. Which is where Work Operating Systems (work OS) solutions like Monday.com might start to play a crucial role for those now creating their own home studio or office.

These cloud-based common software platforms allow you and your now-remote team colleagues to plan your day-to-day work, carry it out and track each other's progress. They are complete with easy-to-access workflow charts, project details and timescales, initiatives and "to do" tasks.

They allow teams to meet their common goals from their own homes, all the timekeeping in sync with the metrics, benchmarks and processes they'd have access to in the physical workplace. That is especially helpful if you're the team or project leader. Work OS solutions help teams get their work completed within the requisite time limits while staying on track with resource use and budget allowances.

And, just as in a workplace meeting, they allow teams to get together (virtually of course), link up with relevant colleagues in different groups when necessary, raise and work through differences of opinion and test innovative suggestions.

The conventional separation between different teams can be readily overcome with a good work OS like Monday.com. It enables a shared platform through which all stakeholders, managers, team leaders and members can reach one another whenever they need information or to progress updates related to specific projects. It's essentially a centralised hub for data sharing that allows all participants in a project, whatever department they may belong to, to access information relating to every facet of a project.

This is the kind of technology that will facilitate highly effective home-working and help overcome the adverse psychological effects of prolonged social isolation that remote working can sometimes cause.

 

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