For good or for worse, work from home is here to stay. Remote working is the reality the world had to face and get used to in the light of the global pandemic. With the growing adoption of the WFH lifestyle, need and importance of remote work technologies has also increased. If you are a business and want to provide the best technology for working remotely to your employees, following are a few work from home technologies you must consider integrating in your working environment.
In a traditional office setting, you may have included computers, laptops, smartphones, headphones (for sales purpose) along with a strong internet access. With work from home being adopted around the world because of the global pandemic, an employee’s infrastructure became their own responsibility (in most cases). However, in many cases, the employer has to take care of the employee’s hardware and infrastructure requirements. Hardware is a necessary remote working technology that is the foundation tool in a remote worker’s arsenal. Even if an employee already owns a piece of hardware, what they have is not up-to-the-minute and not the most efficient. In order to ensure maximum productivity, you being the employer, might need to step in and provide your employees with the latest hardware tools and equipment that fit in your IT budget. At the bare minimum, it is up to you to provide the employees with laptops, smartphones and a good internet connection.
2. File sharing apps
A. Google Drive
Google Drive is a part of Google Workspace. Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace is a set of productivity, cloud computing, cloud storage and collaboration software and tools. Google Drive gives your team access to file sharing and drive storage of up to 100 GB per user and 2TB pooled cloud storage. The software also gives access to a shared drive for your team along with Drive File Stream to access your files and content directly from desktop. Other tools included in Google Workspace are Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Slides and much more.
Pricing: Starts at $8 a month
Dropbox, a file hosting service, offers seamless file synchronization, cloud storage and personal cloud services. Dropbox allows you to manage all your content, tools and collaborators form one single place. For enterprises, Dropbox Business is a smart and secure storage space that allows you to optimize your existing workflow. It offers your business as much storage space as your team needs. It also offers sophisticated admin, security, integration and audit capabilities. Apart from this it provides you the following features:
- Advanced admin controls
- SSO (Single Sign On) integration
- Priority email
- Live chat
- Phone support
- Tiered admin roles
Pricing: Advanced plan for businesses available at $25 a month for 3 users
3. Video conferencing tools
A. Google Meet
Developed for enterprise customers, Google Meet is a conference and remote work technology tool by Google. It is an upgraded version of Google Hangouts which is made for teams. It is created for scheduling video meetings with fellow team members and has features like calendar syncing and conference room booking. With Google Meet, unlimited meetings can be scheduled with up to 250 participants. Meeting durations can be up to 300 hour long and the software also allows you to live-stream with 100,000 viewers.
Pricing: Request quote
Meet, collaborate and connect easily using Webex by Cisco. It is one of the most widely used and trusted video conferencing services. A survey conducted by TechValidate found 95% users agreeing they trust Webex to enable a fast and secure connection . The software is easy to use, available on any mobile, desktop and browser. No plugin or downloads required to get started. Webex Assistant for Webex Meetings also offers voice commands, closed captioning and real-time transcripts along with notes and highlights. It can easily be integrated with everyday remote work technologies like Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, Slack and Workplace by Facebook.
Pricing: Business plans start at $25 per month
GoToMeeting by LogMeIn is a one-click meeting software that allows users to instantly host, join and manage video, web and audio meetings. The meetings can be hosted and attended from anywhere, be it your conference room, desk or the comforts of your home. It allows users to attend the meetings from any PC, mobile device or Mac. GoToMeeting also allows you to convert any conference room into a collaboration center. GoToMeeting also allows you to convert any conference room into a collaboration center.
LogMeIn is a pioneer in providing cutting-edge remote work technologies. With more than million customers and tens of millions of active users across the globe, it is one of the largest SaaS companies in the world.
Pricing: GoToMeeting has 2 plans priced at $12 per month (150 participants) and $16 per month (250 participants). For enterprises with up to 3,000 participants, request a quote.
4. Team communication applications
One of the few and best team chat applications and work from home technologies that come to mind when we hear about team collaboration. Numerous teams across the globe are using Slack to enhance their efficiency and communication. The software covers all your instant messaging basics. Moreover, it also takes care of your automatic syncing and file sharing needs across various devices. It supports Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux and web. Slack also allows drag-and-drop of images, PDFs, videos and other files. Through the Slack App Directory, Slack allows integration of more than 1,500 apps.
Pricing: Standard plan with unlimited messages, app integrations and screen sharing for up to 15 participants is priced at $6.67 per user per month. It also has a freemium plan.
An open source team communication software, Rocket.Chat allows you to seamlessly communicate with your team to chat in real-time and share files. It also has a video/audio conferencing facility. Moreover, Rocket.Chat gives you the ability to customize as well as add new functionalities as per your requirements. What more is that it allows you to share and discuss ideas, files and projects with asynchronous team chat. You can even include relevant employees with their @username to notify them in real-time. It also has a real-time message translation feature along with a user-name restriction capability.
Pricing: Free for up to 1K users, offers unlimited messaging and shared conferencing server. Pro version starts at $3/user per month with a dedicated conferencing server and real-time syncing.
5. Project management tool for remote work
Basecamp is truly one of the best project management technology and remote working tools. It can be used for gathering all office documents, links, assets for each project individually in one place. Think of Basecamp as your project management and communication hub. The tool has message boards and chronological lists of messages, actions and updates. This makes it super easy to catch up on project discussions and developments. It helps everyone stay on track on the projects they are involved in. It also lets you assign tasks with deadlines with ease.
Pricing: Plans start at $99/month
Trello is the best technology for working remotely when several teams are working on the same project and in different apps. Keeping simple and complex projects up-to-the-minute needs so many moving parts. Trello helps you consolidate, integrate, collaborate and organize all of your team members’ efforts with ease. Trello also lets team members communicate conveniently and removes the need for email chains. The tool also has integrations called ‘Power Ups’ that provide team members with capabilities like custom fields, calendar views and connect apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack and Zapier.
Pricing: Plans start at $12.50 per user per month
Monday.com is the jack of all trades when it comes to work from home technologies. It is designed for modern teams to thrive in a remote working environment and helps team members plan, track as well as deliver projects using numerous customizable templates. Using Monday.com, your team members can view data on a calendar, map, kandan board, timeline and much more. Automation of repetitive tasks like creation of new leads according to emails received is also possible through this software. It has excellent collaborative features like the ability to easily invite other team members, sharing of timelines and assigning of tasks. It also allows simple organization by drag-and-drop feature.
Pricing: Plans start at $8
6. HR & Payroll tools
AttendanceBot is an easy-to-use automatic attendance recording tool that helps you manage leaves and attendance. Team members just need to send a message of Microsoft Teams or Slack checking in when they start working and check out at the end of day. It has a user friendly dashboard that lets you monitor late check-ins, early check-outs and track leaves.
Pricing: Request quote
Namely is an all-in-one software solution for end-to-end human resource needs. The software allows you to streamline your payroll and attendance tracking needs. Moreover, the software by Namely also has employee management, onboarding and talent management capabilities. The software can also help you in managing employee benefit plans and also helps your company stay compliant. Its robust HR analytics tools provide you with insights that help you in taking decisions.
Pricing: Request quote
With the increase in adoption of work from home technologies across the world, the reliance on public internet connections and cloud technologies is also increasing. Consequently, there has also been a rise in the threat of malicious hacking and cyberattacks. While office environments are relatively secure, remote workers and their data is more prone and vulnerable. This is why employers like you need to invest in cybersecurity measures. Some of the most trusted cybersecurity measure taken by employers across the globe are:
- Virtual Private Network (PVN)
- Multi-factor Authentication
- Multi-Point Network Backups
- Real-Time Security Monitoring
- Employee Monitoring Software
- Cybersecurity Software anti-malware, antivirus and firewall
For businesses and employers, the constant rise in connectivity and virtual spaces is an opportunity to rethink the way their business operates. The sudden increase in remote working can also well be a hindrance for companies that are not prepared for this change. Therefore, looking at the current scenario, it is suggested that you plan a future for your business where your employees’ work does not completely rely on them having to be present in office 100% of the times.
For more updates and latest tech news, keep reading iTMunch
 TechValidate (2020) “TechValidate Research on Cisco Collaboration” [Online] Available from: https://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/cisco-collaboration/facts/F57-4D8-F0E [Accessed January 2021]
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