Technology

Tech tools for working from home during the coronavirus epidemic

Picture used for representational purposes only.

Picture used for representational purposes only.  

While employees at large firms have robust IT infrastructure that provide tools for productivity, communication, storage and security, those in smaller firms can use some of these tools to work efficiently at home.

Many organisations and businesses are asking their employees to work from home as the number of coronavirus infections continues to surge globally.

Last week, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook advised their employees in some locations to work from home to reduce risks from COVID-19 outbreak. Cognizant closed its office in Hyderabad, and has asked its employees to work from home.

The shift to working at home option is not confined to large global corporations. PayTM, Zoho and many start-ups are asking their workers to work from home.

While employees at large firms have robust IT infrastructure that provide tools for productivity, communication, storage and security, those in smaller firms can use some of these tools to work efficiently at home.

Wi-Fi connection

First things first. With a patchy mobile network, it can get really hard to stay connected to the internet. As most work applications are accessed online, an uninterrupted broadband connection is an absolute must if you want to stay efficient at home.

 

If you have been using Slack for work-related correspondence, Sametime to chat with a colleagues or Outlook or Notes to exchange emails, not to mention various other work-related applications, then switch over from mobile hotspots to a stable broadband connection.

If you do not already have a broadband connection, it's time to get one now.

Messaging

While staying at home can give you that much-needed private space, it can also take away those mini check-ins on processes, timelines and products with colleagues. One of the easiest ways to keep these conversations alive is by creating a temporary WhatsApp group.

This group can be used to have short conversations, share brief insights and get feedback.

The web feature in WhatsApp can make it easier to type out messages and receive responses real-time. The app can also be used to transfer documents in a secure way as messages are encrypted end-to-end.

Video-conferencing

As in-person interaction is not possible, the closest one can get is via video call. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts offer free video-conferencing options.

Skype for business is free to use with up to 25 members, and the service provides several hours of calls.

 

Google Hangouts offers group chat and video calling option with up to 10 people.

Lastly, Zoom providers free video-conferencing solution for its users. It gives unlimited one-on-one video call facility and 40 min-capped group meetings.

Documents and storage

As employees collaborate with one another, it helps to have an efficient cloud storage and retrieval application.

Google Drive offers unlimited storage of Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and PDFs. Microsoft’s OneDrive provides 1GB folder to store documents that can be easily accessed anywhere. Dropbox provides similar amount of storage capacity for its users.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:31:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/tech-tools-for-working-from-home-during-the-coronavirus-epidemic/article31040174.ece

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