Although remote work is currently under the spotlight, working from home has long been on the rise. According to Global Workplace Analytics, regular work-at-home has grown by an incredible 173% since 2005. With the number of apps and digital tools now making it possible to communicate and collaborate from a distance, this is no surprise.
If you do it right, working from home can have many benefits, including increased productivity and reduced stress levels. The difficult part? Doing it right. The flexibility to work from home is often seen as a perk, but it can come with its challenges. Other than the fact that you end up eating everything in the whole damn house, there’s the distraction element, potential communication issues and the blurred lines it can create between work and home life.
Luckily – as with everything in life now – there are digital tools to help with all that. There are a whole host of apps out there that can make you more productive, organised and focussed when working from home.
Here’s our roundup of some of the best:
1. Communicate with Slack
We have to kick off this list with the ultimate tool that’s making remote team communication effortless. Slack makes emails and the dreaded ‘reply all’ look dated – the instant messaging app allows you to have quick team convos, ask direct questions and share files (and memes) with ease. At Curve, we’re slightly obsessed.
2. Create with Coffitivity
Ever wonder how you manage to get so much done at a bustling coffee shop, but find yourself feeling distracted by the eerie quietness of home? Studies show that the right level of ambient noise can actually boost your creativity. Go figure.
Enter Coffitivity, an app which allows you to work from your kitchen table to the ambient sounds of a coffee shop. You can choose from a range of Coffitivity audio tracks, from Morning Murmur to Texas Teahouse (our personal fave).
3. Chat with Google Hangouts
Missing that face-to-face interaction of office life? Google Hangouts makes it possible to attend meetings from the comfort of your home. Use the app for easy messaging, voice and video calls. And no, you don’t have to change out of your pyjamas – but perhaps put on a somewhat presentable top.
4. Focus with Serene
We live in a world of digital distractions, but you can’t afford to be distracted with work deadlines looming. Serene can make it all go away. With this all-in-one distraction blocker, you can block specific apps and websites, set daily goals and play soothing music to help you focus. Get it for deep and distraction-free work.
5. Expense with Curve
Gone are the days of gathering up wrinkled paper receipts to submit your expenses. Curve makes dealing with expenses from home easy by providing automatic receipts via email. Your Finance team will thank you for this one.
6. Project manage with Trello
Trello is a game-changer in the world of project management. Best described as a kind of live bulletin board, you can use Trello’s boards, cards and list to organise projects and assign tasks. It’s incredibly simple to use. And again, it moves us forward from those never-ending email chains.
7. Collaborate with Google Drive
Essential is putting it mildly with this one. Google Drive is hands down the best no-frills tool that will simplify how well you can work with your colleagues from home. It’s the cloud element and ability to collaborate on documents in real-time that make it so incredibly useful for remote workers.
So, there you have it. The above 7 apps can help you create, organise, expense and collaborate with your colleagues without stepping foot out the door. Sadly, there isn’t currently an app to curb incessant snacking when home working, but if you manage to find one – let us know.
Looking for an app that will simplify your finances beyond just digital receipts? Check out our Curve cards to discover the right one for you.