When the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head last year, businesses literally ground to a halt due to quarantine lockdowns to prevent the spread of the disease. In order to keep businesses and the global economy afloat, there was a drastic need to shift to remote work or work from home (WFH).
At present, because of the worldwide vaccine rollout, while there are projections of a return to the workplace, the comfort, convenience and savings accorded by the WFH Movement has seen a majority of employees seeking to remain on WFH status or as part of a hybrid setup.
However, a worker’s tech – both hardware and software – should meet specifications that would enable them to WFH at their optimum.
Let us take a look at the Best Work From Home Tech Solutions!
The most important piece of hardware that you will be using for WFH is your computer, whether it’s a desktop or a laptop.
If you are presently in the market for a WFH computer, here are the basic specs that you should be looking for:
- Processor: If you will be doing work that requires a lot of processing power (Ex. Large Excel files, graphic design, or engineering), get a desktop with a 9th or 10th generation processor, such as Intel Core i5 or Core i7 (the lowest and most basic is Core i3) and AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7. Avoid getting desktops with Intel Pentium and Celeron processors.
- RAM: Minimum of 8GB
- Storage: SSD with a minimum storage of 256GH
For video editing, the best discrete graphic cards to add to your computer are Nvidia and AMD.
- Processor: Same as with desktops, get a laptop with a 9th or 10th generation processor, such as Intel Core i5 or Core i7 (the lowest and most basic is Core i3) and AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7.
- RAM: Minimum of 8GB but the better option is 16GB
- Storage: SSD with a minimum storage of 256GH
Avoid buying laptops with traditional hard drives and storage below 128GB. Other considerations when buying laptops are good keyboards and smooth trackpads.
For 24-inch Full HD (FHD) monitors, the resolution should be around 1080p. Quad HD (QHD) monitors should have a minimum size of 27 inches with a resolution of 1440p and higher.
Before anything else, it is important to have excellent connectivity to the Internet. This means having a fast broadband plan starting at 50mbps or higher. If your connection is still slow despite an upgrade in plan, you might want to look into getting a router and a WiFi range extender.
Keyboards, mouse and other hardware is largely dependent upon the personal specifications of the individual. A person may prefer wired ergonomic hardware that are easier on the wrists. There are also wireless versions which can easily connect to desktops and laptops via Bluetooth.
For those who prefer clearer video and audio for Zoom meetings, it is advisable to get an external webcam and microphone rather than use the built-in versions that come with laptops.
It is important that businesses and their employees should have the best work from home software tools for their use. Here are some of the best WFH software solutions:
Before employing any WFH software, it is important to have security systems already in place. First and foremost is to obtain a reliable VPN service in order to maintain secure connections. Great examples include NordVPN and Perimeter 81.
Don’t forget antivirus, anti-malware and internet security software such as Kaspersky and Trend Micro.
Businesses are becoming more and more reliant on cloud technology, which allows employees to have continuous access to resources from their workplace.
For cloud computing tools, the most recommended are Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure
Cloud storage applications such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive keeps business data in secure storage but readily accessible to employees. Applications like Google Docs and Xero enables employees to work on company data directly from cloud.
Remote work sessions on cloud can be easily managed through apps such as LogMeIn and Team Viewer.
Business Management Software
Business management software covers vital functions in a company or business, including documentation, accounting, and human resources (HR). There are many remote work tools that meet these functions, but your choice of software to use would be dependent upon the needs of your business.
When it comes to payroll and HR tools, one of the more affordable options is Workful, which also happens to be very convenient when it comes to filing tax forms. Other software that you should consider include the following:
- Zenefits – recommended for small and medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs, it is a simple platform that covers payroll, benefits, onboarding, and paid time offs for employees
- Namely – also recommended for small and mid-sized businesses. While it offers the same benefits as Zenefits, it also has a talent management feature. Namely is largely cloud-based.
- Rippling – Dubbed as the “all-in-one employee management platform”. Offers a number of pricing models to meet your budget and needs
Communication tools are important to keep companies and their employees connected.
When it comes to communication, video conferencing has become the standard, with the most popular platform being Zoom. Other video conferencing tools include GoToMeeting and Blue Jeans.
Many employees are still more comfortable communicating through email and chat. Stalwarts in this area are Skype and Slack. Also increasing in popularity is Microsoft Teams.
Customer Interaction Software
Every business needs to retain connections with their customers. One way that this can be done is through the offering of webinars through apps like GoToWebinar and Zoom Video Webinars. For larger-scale conferences (100 people or more) with multiple streams, your best options would be Dacast and Brightcove.
Customer support can be provided through cloud phone, chat, and other channels via Zendesk and Freshdesk. Of course, you can still opt for traditional email newsletters sent via Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor.
Project Management and Collaboration Software
Project management should meet three important features, namely convenient communication, time tracking, and visual collaboration.
One of the easiest collaboration tools to use is Trello. Simple movement of the cards in the Trello board enables prioritization of tasks and convenient monitoring of progress. Other great project management tools include ClickUp, Wrike, and Miro.
Employee Performance Management and Rewards and Recognition Software
Many employers are concerned that they may not be able to monitor their employees’ performance because they are working remotely.
Thankfully, employee performance management can be accomplished through human resources apps, like BambooHR and intelliHR. You can also monitor for in-company trends and insights through business intelligence tools like Microsoft Power BI and Tableau.
Of course, your employees would want to know that they are doing their jobs well and are appreciated for their efforts. Having a rewards and recognition software in place can accomplish this goal. Great employees of employee rewards platforms are Kazoo, Kudos, Motivosity, and WeGift.
These are our recommendations for the Best Work From Home Tech Solutions. Learn more about these tech solutions so that you can make an informed decision on the best tech that suits your needs.