If you’re new to remote working or trying to figure out how to work from home, the internet has your back. These tips, tools, and articles will help you be productive from anywhere.
The Coronavirus threat has led to a surge in the number of people working from their homes. It’s not a normal environment for many, but hey, remote working isn’t a new concept. People have been doing it for a long time, and you can draw upon their experience and advice.
In fact, even if you have been a non-office worker for some time, you can still gain a lot from the new tools and tips cropping up in the wake of this outbreak.
1. WFH Manual (Web): Tools, Tips, and Tweets
The WFH Manual is a newly put-together website aimed at helping those who have no prior experience of remote working. It aims to get the best guides on the web, robust tool and resource kits, and it also highlights the best tweets.
Since the outbreak, experienced remote workers have been sharing many of their best tips and tricks through Twitter. From setting up workstations to forming productive habits and routines, the WFH Manual has curated insightful tweets and threads. The page only has the first tweet in the chain, so make sure you click to read the full thread and check comments from other users for additional tips.
WFH Manual has two other sections: Practices and Resources. In Practices, you’ll find articles and guides by both managers and employees about working remotely and staying productive. Resources focuses on app curation and software stashes, along with a few tweets gathering recommendations for apps.
Recruitment agency Springworks compiled a mega-list of the best links about working from home. The spreadsheet has over 300 items, spanning a variety of categories like articles, tools, books, podcasts, and products.
It’s a simple four-column spreadsheet that gives you the title, author, URL, and type of content. Helpful tags like “For employer” and “For employee” will help you avoid unnecessary clicks, and you can also sort by category. It’s especially useful for in-depth articles and free ebooks about working from home, which are otherwise scattered across the web. Look for the “guide/ebook” tag to find those free ebooks.
The list includes some of the other resources mentioned in this article, along with many others. You can download the full Remote Work Resources list by sharing your email address, and you can suggest more links to add through a simple form.
3. Remote.Tools (Web): The Best Remote and Work From Home Apps
There are many, many, many websites that aggregate the best apps for remote workers or work-from-home needs. Remote.Tools stood out for me because of how easy it makes the search and discovery of these tools.
The popular products (this week, all-time) is a user-controlled chart where apps rise and fall in rankings based on upvotes. Clear categories make it easy to find the right tool for you. The search function is actually good at finding apps.
After you’re done finding the apps you need, you should also check out their Remote Work 2020 Guide. It has a neat history and addresses all the major issues. And if you’re starting remote work because of the coronavirus threat, the makers put together an Emergency Remote Work Kit to get you started. Both the guides have advice for both managers and employees.
It can get lonely working from home, especially if you are used to chatting with colleagues as you go about your day. Hopefully, your company has set up a workplace messenger like Slack or Microsoft Team. But in case they haven’t, you can join one of the open-for-all remote work communities.
OWL Labs rounded up 36 of the best remote work Slack chatrooms that you can join. With most, as long as you are registered on Slack, you’ll be able to join immediately. Some of them have an invitation process, but it’s generally approved quickly. OWL has general remote working as well as specialized communities for creatives, women, product people, designers, etc.
To search for other Slack communities that would be more in tune with your location, language, profession, or tastes, check out Slofile. It’s a directory of Slack communities with easy search, as well as options to filter by category, language, and region.
A text chat is nice, but it’s not the same as those water-cooler breaks catching up with office buddies. And if you live alone, it can feel weird not to speak to anyone for hours on end while you’re isolated. Hallway is here to fill that void without affecting your productivity.
It integrates into Slack and schedules video calls with colleagues, with a 10-minute time limit. That time limit is important because video calls have a tendency to go on for longer, so this feels more like a real break. If you want to talk for longer, you can use a Zoom or Google Meet video chatroom instead.
If you are a freelance worker, you won’t have colleagues to schedule that call with. So you can hop on to the Work From Home Party, an open video chat on Zoom. Start it up, say hi, and join the conversation. There’s no compulsion to talk or interact, so it might just give you that office feel you’re looking for.
Of course, you don’t have to use either of these if you want a longer video call. There are some excellent free video conference apps
for office meetings and friendly calls, some of which don’t even need you to register to use.
The MakeUseOf Remote Working Mega-Guide
The main thing to remember about working from home is that in the end, it’s work. You need to follow your routine as you would at the office, set up a work desk, and get your productivity tools in shape.
Over the years at MakeUseOf, we have given tons of advice about all of these topics which can help you be productive while working remotely. To find any subject you might need help with, check our mega-guide of links to past articles and tips at the remote work hub