We have had to halt business operations in many industries and many more have been altered. The concept of working from anywhere has been made a reality. Whether you were forced into it or it is your preference, working remotely can be a challenge. I am going to share with you some tools to help you improve your remote skills!
Let’s start with Google, they have many different programs and are a fan favorite of mine because most, if not all of their tools, are offered as a freemium model. This means you have access to a certain level at no cost, and if you choose, you can upgrade for a fee. The free level is very robust and is usually just the ticket for many small business owners.
Most people are aware of Gmail considering they have millions of users currently. The Gmail platform revolutionized the world of email when google did away with storage limits, meaning you never have to delete your emails. Google calendar helps us keep our time organized. Not only can you access it from different devices but its collaboration features are top-notch. You can create multiple calendars under one account to keep specific areas of your business more organized. So now you can keep your work appointments and personal appointments separate and share access to those specific calendars all within the same program. This is a great feature if you are trying to schedule appointments or if your co-workers or family members need to be able to access your availability. This also makes it easy to create a shift schedule to share with your employees.
Working remotely can cause stress when it comes to digital files. Shared cloud storage is a great way to not only access your files from any device but share your work amongst team members or clients. With a free google drive account, you have access to an entire suite of programs designed to help you function more efficiently while working remotely. The basics include Docs., Sheets, Forms, and slides. These programs are designed to create and manipulate various types of documents. Their features differ slightly from the programs you may be accustomed to but they will certainly get the job done. Also, you cannot beat a program that offers all of these features for free! That’s right I said FREE!!!
Working remotely changes the way we interact with our team members and even clients. Google provides a neat tool called Google Meet. Google meet allows anyone with a Google Account to host an online meeting with up to 100 participants and meet for up to 60 minutes per meeting. This is a great way to interact with others. It offers face to face video chat to create that personal touch while still being remote.
There are many different software options out there, and they each have their pros and cons. I encourage you to explore the free services of Google and other software that is available to find the perfect fit for you and your business. Taking the extra time to learn something new and implement these tools will help your business throughout this very difficult time and hopefully have a positive impact on your overall digital success in the future.
“Business Tips” was written by Dezaray Johnson, Business Development Training Coordinator, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact her at Dezaray.Johnson@angelo.edu