COVID-19 has transformed our workplaces and ways of working. Many companies have now decided to permanently adopt hybrid working arrangements.
While this is welcome news for some workers, having a hybrid workforce may present challenges for employers.
How can employers communicate effectively and simultaneously with in-person, in-field, and remote workers?
How can companies keep remote workers engaged?
How can they facilitate productivity and teamwork?
Companies will need to harness digital technology to reach, motivate, and manage all workers, wherever they may be.
I invited tech enthusiasts to nominate their favourite tool for hybrid working — here are five of the best.
Loom for instantly shareable videos
Loom is a patented tool that lets you quickly create asynchronous (recorded, not live streamed), instantly shareable videos. Because with Loom you can record your camera, microphone, and desktop simultaneously, the tool has already won the heads and hearts of many blue-chip clients.
In addition to eliminating unnecessary meetings, Loom lets workers digest information in their own time and at their own pace and makes it easy for them to provide feedback and exchange ideas.
Drew Sherman, director of marketing and communications at logistics company, RPM, uses Loom to teach employees how to complete tasks and procedures. “Whatever you would normally show an employee on a screen in person, you can record this and send it to them so that they can always refer to it when needed.”
ProofHub for visual project management
ProofHub is affordable software which helps teams to organise, execute, and manage their projects. It’s especially popular with small to mid-size businesses and with teams that work on projects that contain visual materials, such as artwork and advertising.
ProofHub’s project management features include task management tools, milestones, Gantt charts, time tracking, reports, notifications, calendar, in-app chat, and customisable viewing options.
One of ProofHub’s standout features is its ability to handle uploaded files. In ProofHub, files can be opened in the browser (not downloaded), commented on, and even signed off with the click of a button, enabling remote teams to streamline the review and approval process.
Todoist for ‘to do’ lists
Described by PCMag Australia as “the best to do app on the market”, Todoist “works on all devices, tracks your productivity, and lets you geek out on organising and analysing your life”.
Todoist is a cloud-based app, so everything syncs automatically and effortlessly to any device where you use the app.
Linn Atiyeh, CEO of US specialist recruitment firm, Bemana, is a convert and an advocate for the paid version. She acknowledges that at first glance it looks like just another note-taking app but insists the integration options make it incredibly useful.
“You can set up and delegate tasks, and the app's easy-to-read interface means you can check on your team's productivity with only a quick glance. The offline options came in super handy when we had an internet hiccup last year and allowed us to meet a deadline we might have otherwise missed.”
Voxer’s Walkie Talkie
If you didn’t play with a walkie talkie as a kid, thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things you should at least know what a walkie talkie is.
Voxer is a Texas based mobile app development company best known for its Walkie Talkie app for smartphones. Voxer Walkie Talkie is both a live "push-to-talk" system and a voice messaging system. It’s proving to be popular with clients in sectors such as hospitality, logistics, field services, construction, and education.
Max Ade, a cofounder of Pickleheads, a digital home for pickleball players, gives Voxer the 10–4.
“Our team is spread across three (American) states, so we communicate daily through Voxer. It’s the BEST for brainstorming new ideas and thinking through problems together, asynchronously. The team can listen and respond when it's convenient. Unlike email and text, audio preserves tone of voice. Plus, it helps us avoid endless video meetings.”
Ade has also found that leaving audio messages for each another has two additional benefits over live meetings: “Everyone gets a chance to speak and we are all more intentional with our words. I often pause to think for a few minutes before hitting the ‘record’ button.”
Team up without the chaos: that’s how Notion sells its solution. Notion is an all-in-one project management workspace where teams and individuals can get organised, plan, and collaborate. It’s configured like building blocks so is easy to customise and allows information to be presented in a variety of layouts.
Ralph van Slooten is the founder of Rentsy, a price aggregator for the rental industry in the Netherlands. With a remote team distributed across three time zones, he describes Notion as “an absolute game changer” which made it easy to glue different aspects of his organisation together.
“We use Notion to document processes, task management, project management, and note-taking. I really like the feature to create reusable templates, which makes it easier for the team to execute repetitive tasks. Having standard operating procedures documented has drastically reduced our time to onboard new members”, said van Slooten.
Jacqueline (Jaci) Burns is the chief marketing officer for Market Expertise