Our top 5 tools for flexible working
How do you make sure you don't sacrifice collaboration or productivity if you and your team aren't always in the same place? Technology of course! Here are our top 5 tools to make your flexible careers work for you.
On the 7th of March 2021, BP announced that around 25,000 members of its staff across the globe would be shifting to working from home for 2 days per week. But this new "hybrid" model isn't just reserved for big multi-national companies, they apply to your SME too.
The pandemic has shown the world that working from home at scale is possible and that massive office buildings (at a vast expense) are no longer a prerequisite for success. However, there's still a lot to be said for an in-person meeting or a team around a table with an excessive amount of sticky notes and coloured markers for a brainstorming session, hence the hybrid model.
But if everyone isn't in the office at the same time, works in different timezones or doesn't work on a Friday here are tools you can use to keep everyone on the same page.
Boomerang for Gmail
A Gmail add-on that lets you schedule emails, reminds you when you haven't heard back from someone and even takes messages out of your inbox until you actually need them again.
Not only does it help you edge closer to an empty inbox (🎉) but it supports flexible working too. We use it to schedule emails, especially if we check our inboxes whilst we're watching TV at night.
By far our favourite project management tool. Trello is easy to use, has an abundance of free templates and helps us stay on track with everything from client onboarding and contract edits to social media planning.
We also use it for personal to-do lists which have been a game-changer, especially with their great mobile app which lets us quickly add things when we're out on a walk or sitting in the school car park, so nothing gets lost in our notes app or on scraps of paper.
The digital whiteboard is here to stay and we think tools like Miro are going to make virtual meetings more productive and more fun too!
They have interactive templates for meetings, workshops, ideation and brainstorming sessions and even business strategy.
If you're in the Microsoft Teams camp you can skip to the next section 😉
If you have a work WhatsApp group or you spend far too much time replying to internal emails Slack might just be the app for you.
Set up a workspace for your team, create dedicated channels that will make you want to never use email threads ever again and connect apps like Google Drive, Trello and so much more so that everything is in one place.
They even have a quick 20-minute on-demand webinar called 'Hybrid work is here to stay'
There's a lot to be said for good notes, especially now when we're not all in one place and need to keep team members up to date with accurate information.
Otter.ai is one of the leading AI apps for voice conversations.
We use them to record and transcribe some of our Zoom calls and conversations with clients too. The whole process is automatic and you can save your conversations as an audio file as well as a word document.
We find the word document transcription particularly useful because once we upload it to our Google Drive our team has a searchable document that is easy to refer back to if they're looking for particular information instead of having to sift through a 45-minute recording. Otter integrates with Zoom as well to add live transcription to your virtual meeting, which makes them more accessible too.
So there you have it, our top 5 tools for flexible working success. Don't forget to add e-signature tools to your repertoire too to make sure your new employee contracts and service agreements are always signed and up to date. You'll find a round-up of our best tools here.