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7 Top Apps That Make Working from Home Easier

— August 28, 2020

It’s a good idea to shop around and try a couple of different applications that are designed for a task until you can find one that makes sense to your business and/or personal work style.

With the shift to remote work, professionals have rapidly discovered that there are a lot of applications that are available to help make working from home easy. A lot of them. Some of these apps are very general in nature, designed to be of benefit to someone regardless of the nature of their work. 

Other applications are highly specific in nature and target a single vertical (for example, healthcare, media, education) or even a single type of worker (sales, HR, executive). For many, finding the right blend of apps that allow them to work effectively and efficiently has been key in making the most of remote working.

Just some great apps

Man sitting at desk with hands clasped behind his head; image by Jason Strull, via
Man sitting at desk with hands clasped behind his head; image by Jason Strull, via

Some apps are particularly useful for the individual. Others have gained traction with small and medium businesses, while still others have enterprise-wide value for large enterprises. Finding the right app for your work is about understanding the kind of work that you do, but with that being said, here are some apps that will benefit just about every person working remotely.

  • Zoom: In many ways, Zoom has become the name in video conferencing, and it’s so easy to understand why. Zoom allows you to easily set up meetings and, by providing a single link, invite anyone to that meeting, whether they’re part of your organization or not. Because it’s an invite-only model there’s also no risk of being spammed by calls that you don’t want to take simply because you’re online. Zoom also runs quality video conferencing over most Internet connections, and when you’re working remotely, having that video-level interaction is key for avoiding feelings of isolation and distance from your co-workers and clients.
  • Krisp: On the subject of video conferencing, we’re all suddenly discovering that working from home can be a noisy experience. Perhaps construction is going on nearby. Perhaps a neighbor is playing music loudly, or someone in the family is watching an action movie in the room next to the home office. Krisp offers noise-canceling solutions that can “soundproof” rooms with a lot of ambient noise, allowing you to communicate with people clearly and crisply.
  • Google Drive: Just about everyone has found renewed value in Google Drive. It’s very simple; you create folders on the drive, put documents, presentations, pdfs, and spreadsheets in there, and then, if you want to, you can share those folders and files with your co-workers. What’s more, they can edit them or work on them with you in real-time on the drive. For the purposes of collaboration, Google Drive is essential for getting teamwork done when you can’t be in the same room together.
  • DocuSign: Contracts still need to be signed, even when in isolation. You could go through the laborious process of printing them out, signing them, scanning them, and then emailing them back… or you can use DocuSign, which also has the benefit of securely storing all signed documents and making it easy to share around teams when multiple people need to sign them.
  • Slack: Slack is the ideal platform for teams to gather and share workflows. Basically, you set up topics on the group Slack channel, and then everyone on the team can see where the conversation is on that topic in real-time. Documents can be shared on the channel so everyone has immediate access to the most recent version, and there’s no chance that emails get misplaced, lost, or someone forgets to CC someone else on the group email.
  • Upwork: Upwork is a massively useful tool for people that need access to talent. Perhaps your team needs to get some marketing collateral done quickly, or perhaps you need a website built. Upwork allows you to access freelancer talent from around the world to complete single tasks, saving your team the need to resource something that might only be a one-off. With full-time hiring right off the cards for most enterprises right now, engaging with freelancers through Upwork is a useful way to keep the workflow moving smoothly.
  • NordVPN: Security is a big concern for businesses when employees are working from home. Accessing sensitive data on the corporate network over home Internet connections is a recipe for disaster. That’s where VPNs come in. A VPN – or Virtual Private Network – has the effect of masking your PC’s location when it’s accessing the Internet, making it seem like your PC is located elsewhere (perhaps even overseas). As an added benefit, anything that is transmitted from your PC while running the VPN is encrypted. The problem is that a lot of VPNs are of dubious security quality themselves, which is why a proven, respected, and robust VPN like NordVPN is worth the additional investment (as a rule of thumb certainly never trust a “free VPN”).

These are just some of the range of applications that are available that are helping make it easier to work remotely, and helping businesses stay open right now. Furthermore, all of the applications mentioned above have competitors, which might do some things better from the point of view of one business or sector. It’s a good idea to shop around and try a couple of different applications that are designed for a task until you can find one that makes sense to your business and/or personal work style.

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