If there is any industry that experienced a surge as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s technology. As the US and most of Europe are facing weeks, if not months of remote work, the work-from-home economy is thriving. This implies increased spending on computer monitors, keyboards and webcams. And the numbers show it too: an online survey conducted by CivicScience revealed that 14% out of the 3,000 respondents plan to buy new tech equipment as a result of their transition to remote work.
Yet equipment alone is not enough to help employees get through this shift. After all, the change did happen overnight and the transition to telecommuting prior to the pandemic has been unexpectedly slow. According to recent government data analyzed by Global Workplace Analytics, only 7% of US firms offer telecommuting and around 5 million employees have been doing at least half of their work at home. These numbers are insignificant comparing to the tens of millions of Americans who are now adjusting to the new office—their living room. The new equipment might get the job done, but employees still have a lot of changes to take in, all while being effective and productive.
Luckily, a proper work-from-home environment does not rely on equipment alone. Here are seven apps that promise to boost productivity and ensure that employees don’t fall behind as they adjust to working remotely.
Apps for Better Communication
Zoom will make users forget that their important business meeting or conference is actually happening in their living room. This app is boasting both video and voice calls for large groups, as well as person to person sessions. But what truly makes Zoom special is the fact that hosts can actually invite entire teams or even whole companies to join meetings, as the platform can support up to 100 participants. Online webinars and trainings have never looked better!
Another great app for work-related communication is a messaging platform designed and built to support big teams and their new ideas. Slack is a great way to keep your business correspondence and plans organized, and it can actually replace email when needed.
Apps to Sharpen the Focus
One of the biggest challenges when working from home is maintaining focus and removing distractions. Serene is one app that can help users stay away from fun, family, and friends while at work. Unfortunately, it’s only available for Mac devices, but it’s proven effective in improving focus on tasks—every day, with no interruptions. As multitasking is known to dramatically diminish productivity, Serene may prove to be the key to keeping one’s eyes on the prize. All it takes is these three steps: Plan Your Day, Block Distractions, and Focus Enhancers.
Another great app that can show users just how much time they actually spend on their work tasks is Toggl. Unlike Serene, this app is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox. Toggl isn’t free, but its time tracking abilities may help employees account for their time and their salary. After all, time means money for both businesses and employees.
Apps for Task Management
Working from home can also lead to an overload of tasks, with employees losing track of them and overall workflow slipping out of control. When it comes to organizing, one app can help. Pagico 9 is the all-in-one organizer that can ease the burden of task management and reduce stress. The app features a user-friendly interface with day and night themes that can help users manage tasks and stay on-track until completion.
WorkSpacePro is another app that can help when it comes to organizing, as it can launch or close multiple Mac apps with just one click. Moreover, it can also help users create their own virtual workspace by grouping together more apps under the same group. Unlike Pagico 9, which is available on multiple operating systems, WorkSpacePro is specially designed for Mac users.
The App to Ease Stress Levels
Working from home is not always easy, but given today’s uncertain times, things are bound to take an even more stressful turn. With counseling, massage, and exercise almost gone, it’s up to new apps to help workers grow, evolve, and stay focused during the pandemic. Pocket Yoga is an app that can help users design a perfect yoga routine that will boost their mood and help them exercise every day. Moreover, it can help users build a personalized routine, edit it whenever needed, and even share it with friends and colleagues. Pocket Yoga is currently available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
What’s the Market Outlook?
As we’ve seen, the working-from-home economy has granted a positive outlook for the technology industry. Yet a lot of decision-makers are still wondering—will the market still be poised for growth once the virus fades? Experts say it will. And one of the reasons for this is that the demand is already here—people want to work where they want to work. So once the infrastructure will be set in place, could this be the workplace of the future?