Best Tool for Remote Work in 2020
Working from home comes with a unique set of challenges.
The tool you use to assist you with your work can make a big difference in your productivity levels. Using software that doesn’t fulfil your every need may mean you have to use multiple tools, when really initially picking the correct tool would save you a lot of hassle and headaches.
Remote working tools can include anything from communication systems such as video or messaging applications to collaboration tools. We have taken a look at some of the market’s top remote work tools and analysed which tool provides the best all-around assistance.
Currently, when the topic of remote work is discussed there are a few tools that come to mind; Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom. While these three tools are key players in providing assistance for remote workers, they each have their unique strength.
It is important that when choosing to integrate one of these tools into your organisation you consider how they will meet your needs and if they will appropriately facilitate the way that your company works.
Slack is a collaboration software that primarily looks to replace email with instant messaging and improve communication between team members.
The slack interface uses channels to direct communication. Team members can use slack channels to communicate and share files. Channels can be customised to fit individual projects, with privacy options to protect sensitive data from other team members.
In addition to channels, Slack provides voice and video call software. Slack calls offer the ability to screen share where users can either share their desktop or demonstrate ideas through drawings to team members. The complete slack call features are not available to all devices but are best utilised on windows and mac computers.
One of Slacks defining features is its app integration features. The Slack App Directory offers more than 2,000 apps. Slack apps are helpful for teams that want their collaboration tool to do more than communicate and share files. The third-party integrations include calendars, polling tools, time trackers and more.
Zoom provides users with a straightforward cloud platform for video and audio conferencing. Unlike Teams and Slack, it is first and foremost a video conferencing product.
Zoom has been receiving more and more attention in recent months. Organisations have moved to work from home and needed an immediate tool to provide video communication. This uptick in users points to its simple interface being one of Zoom’s best features. Users can join a meeting anywhere, from any device, and access video for both internal and external communications, the ability to adapt the tool so seamlessly to your organisation has been a big plus for businesses that have found themselves unprepared for remote work.
Zoom’s video features offer custom background features, recording, screen sharing and can support up to 1,000 video participants with up to 49 videos on a screen. Zoom also offers a chat feature so users can communicate via text.
Zoom is primarily a conferencing tool; it can provide top quality video and audio calls but that does mean it does not offer the full capabilities that we can access in tools like Teams or Slack. Zoom can be integrated into other apps, so for example, a user could integrate it into their Slack or Teams application but is perhaps a less popular choice for those wanting a full collaboration experience.
While Zoom has experienced an increase in popularity it has led to various exploits like "Zoom-bombing”. Zoom has looked to address this with adding layers of verification, including a waiting-room for video participants to be screened
Microsoft Teams is a popular collaboration tool. Known primarily for Its file sharing and communication features.
Similar to Slack, Teams uses Channels to filter communication between teams. With so many features, Teams has a busier interface than Zoom which can be overwhelming to some when they first open the app. Nonetheless, Teams has an intelligent search bar that helps users quickly action commands and easily filter through the many features.
Teams is offered as part of a bundle with Office 365, something that a lot of businesses already use. This package is why Teams can be so attractive for organisations, especially as it combines seamless integration with these apps into many of Teams’ features. Users referencing apps like Outlook, Word and Excel can easily unite them within the communication and even collaborate on documents in real-time without leaving the app.
Teams’ Office 365 integration and instant messaging features are key components. However, Microsoft has been making the move to absorb Skype for Business into Teams. This move will combine the video capabilities of Skype with Teams additional features making Teams a great all-around tool.
Microsoft Teams video conferencing can currently host calls with up to 250 members (including screen sharing and call recording). Teams also offer background effects, background noise reduction, Screensharing, Microsoft whiteboard, captions, and end-to-end security.