Social distancing is one of the measures recommended by the authorities for people to follow to inhibit the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). Social distancing could be possible in some sectors but when it comes to business organisations, practising social distancing will be practically impossible. As it is important for businesses to run efficiently in the UAE and for people to distance themselves from one another, the government of UAE has announced a few business continuity guidelines.
One of the guidelines for businesses is to opt for a ‘work from home’ model for those employees whose work can be done and completed from home. Through this, social distancing can be practised and the number of employees working at the office can be reduced. In order to ensure maximum productivity of the employees working from home, they should stay connected with their team members so that work can go smooth and on track.
If you are one of the employees of your company, working from home, here are a few apps and tools that help you stay connected with your team members. The apps we have listed include video calling apps, instant messaging apps and the likes.
Video Calling Apps
Here are some of the top video calling apps in the UAE that you can use for conducting meetings with your colleagues and team.
Zoom is one of the best video conferencing apps that professionals can use while working from home. Zoom app is hailed as the number one solution for corporate video communications. The highlight of the Zoom app is that it has a lot of features that help the users to connect with their team members. The features provided by Zoom app include video calls, audio calls, instant messaging and file sharing. The best thing about the app is that Zoom is free to use in the UAE. The free plan of Zoom helps the users to host unlimited group meetings, each for a maximum duration of 40 minutes. Also, with Zoom, you can host group video calls with up to 100 members at a time. Zoom app is available for various devices including laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets and others.
There are only a few internet calling apps approved in the UAE and one of them is BOTIM. Through BOTIM, you can video call anyone wherever they are. The HD video and voice calling features help you get the message across with ease. The chat feature of BOTIM can be used to send messages, voice messages, photos and videos. What makes this app the best for businesses that have employees working from home is that it is possible to initiate a group chat with up to 500 people.
Another popular app in the UAE for video conferencing is Webex. It is a free tool that individuals and businesses can use for meeting others through video calls. The interface of Webex is similar to that of Zoom and you can make use of features such as video meetings, screen sharing, instant messaging and sharing files. The only slight drawback of Webex, when compared to the other apps, is that it is only possible to host meetings with up to 50 members.
Instant Messaging Apps
It will not be always possible to connect with each other through video conferencing and more than often you may have to get the message across fast. This is where instant messaging apps come into play. Here are the popular instant messaging apps employees working from home can use:
Slack is one of the most popular instant messaging apps used by businesses and professionals worldwide. Slack is a great app if you have teams which are based at different locations. In Slack, you can create workspaces for your business in which different teams can create their channel, either private or public. It is also possible for team members to have one on one chats. Another highlight of the app is that it provides a feature that helps in integrating apps such as Google Drive and Zoom, thereby making it easy to conduct business.
Who hasn’t heard of WhatsApp? WhatsApp is one of the apps that have been embraced by millions across the world. The instant messaging app is one of the best ways to connect with others, be it one on one chat or through group messaging. You can create groups with up to 256 members and stay in touch with many at a single time. WhatsApp offers features like sharing photos, video, voice messages, documents, links, contact and even your location. When it comes to group chats, you can set restrictions that allow only admins to post anything. If you need to use WhatsApp on your laptop or desktop, you can use the WhatsApp Web feature.
Remote Desktop Apps
If you need to connect your work desktop from your home, you can use the following apps:
AnyDesk is one of the best apps when it comes to accessing your work desktop from a remote location. This is free to use software and you can connect desktops that run on Windows, macOS, Android, Linux and iOS.
Another popular free application for accessing your desktop remotely is Teamviewer. It is also possible to connect the desktop of servers through this app. You must have Teamviewer installed in both the devices and a strong internet connection. Team Viewer is compatible with machines that operate on Windows, Chrome OS, macOS and Linux.
3. Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is another app that you can use to connect with your work system remotely. You can access your work system and the files in it through your personal laptop, desktop or even through your smartphone. If you wish to access your work desktop with your smartphone, you will need to download and install the Chrome Remote Desktop app on your mobile device. The app is compatible with systems based on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Project Management Tools
If managing deadlines while working from home seems difficult, try out the following project management tools:
Asana is a tool that helps you easily organise and plan workflows for the projects you are working on. Asana also helps you to assign tasks to your team members and set deadlines for the tasks. There is a comment section that can be used to pass on any other relevant information. Once the task is completed, the team members can attach the relevant files.
Trello is one of the most widely used project management tools among professionals. You can use the app to set your task into different categories. To keep track of the progress of your work, you can make use of the To-Do, Doing and Done stacks.
These are some of the most popular tools that employees working remotely can use for productive work. There are also many other paid and free apps available that remote workers can make use of, including Airtable, Canva, Google Suite and others. Make sure that you make use of the various features of the apps listed above and make your work from home times in the UAE as productive as possible.