It was not that businesses did not consider remote work seriously until the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the first quarter of the year 2020. Many businesses had already given their employees an option to work remotely, especially those who are working from distant locations and could not work from regular offices due to some reasons.

That said, the trend of remote work is no more a stop-gap measure. Rather, it is here to stay for long and working professionals should look at remote work as a flexible yet permanent alternative to work from regular office spaces.

It is also seen that some employees transitioning from an in-office environment to telecommuting do not find it as hassle-free as they expected it to be. Even though working from home offers a comfortable and flexible way of working, things can and do get a bit challenging. 

What challenges could be there when you work from the comfort of your home? You do not need to commute to and from work, you don’t have to spend hours stuck in long serpentine queues in traffic jams, you get to save money otherwise spent on commuting daily. 

While telecommuting comes with undeniable benefits for remote workers, there are some underlying issues that surface with time as you continue to work from home. 

A 2017 United Nations report discovered that 41% of remote workers reported high stress levels, as compared to just 25% of office workers.” 

Stress is the main culprit here. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. You see, while technology has and flexibility has made remote work easier and convenient, it cannot eliminate stress from the picture. 

How Remote Work Can Make You Stressed And Reduce Well-Being?

Even though 70% of millennials are likely to prefer employers who offer remote work, there are concerns regarding remote workers’ mental health and overall well-being. Let us find out what are some reasons that validate such concerns. 

  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind Mentality – It’s true that some employers still do not trust their remote workers completely due to lack of direct supervision. Employers can get skeptical about remote workers’ commitment to work, so they tend to over-supervise things. 

This puts unnecessary pressure on employees who already feel left out and isolated from their colleagues. They may feel that they are not considered as an integral part of the workforce by employers.

One study of 1,100 workers found that the 52% remote workers are likely to feel left out and mistreated.”

  • Isolation – No more in-office conversations and interaction with colleagues. Remote work means you work within the confinement of four walls sans any in-person interaction with your colleagues. Remote workers can feel lonely when they have to work for longer hours on a daily basis, without any group or one-on-one discussions, as it happens in an office setting. 
  • Working Overtime – An internet connection and working on a PC/laptop in the comfort of your home means you can work for a longer duration as you don’t have to commute anymore. You may as well be asked to do more work by your seniors as they might feel that you’re not utilizing time productively. 
  • Too Many Distractions – Remote work does not mean that you’re free! You still have to work and meet deadlines. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this and tend to call you many times a day or visit you, which results in disrupting your workflow. Other distractions include children and pets at home, domestic chores, browsing the internet for casual, non-work related surfing, and taking too many breaks. 

Five Fantastic Tools To Help Scattered Teams Work Stress-Free

1. Krisp.ai

Do you want to enjoy a disturbance-free virtual conference call with your colleagues? Fed up of background noises (kids playing, family chatter pet noises, traffic noise) interrupting your important work-related conversations? Krisp is the right solution for you. Krisp is a noise-canceling app that enables you to mute background noise in any communication app. 

 

Trusted by professionals from software giants like Zapier, Intel, GitHub, etc., Krisp lets you speak without a noise with a single click of a button. Not only does this app remove all background noises going from you to other call participants, but you can also remove the same noises coming from the participants’ side to you.    

Main Features Include: 

  • The world’s best AI-powered noise-canceling technology
  • Speak without noise
  • Listen without noise
  • Supports any device (microphone, headset, speaker)
  • Supports over 600 apps
  • Performs all audio processing locally 

Pricing: Free Basic version. The paid plan starts from $5/month, billed yearly. 

Available For: Windows and Mac

 

2. ProofHub

Managing teams and projects is not easy; keeping track of every team member and every task can be time-consuming and exhausting. ProofHub is a top-rated team collaboration and project management software that is designed to simplify project management by dividing large, complex tasks into small, manageable tasks. 

You get powerful tools in a single platform for better control over projects and better team collaboration. ProofHub helps to keep all team members and project stakeholders on the same page. Affordable (no per-user fee) and easy to understand with a minimal learning curve, this feature-rich task management software is preferred by more than 85,000 teams worldwide, including global giants like NASA, Nike, Tripadvisor, Google, and many others. 

Main Features Include: 

  • Online Proofing
  • Task Management
  • Custom Workflows and Kanban Board
  • Gantt Chart
  • Group Chat
  • File Management
  • Custom Roles
  • Timesheets and Time Tracking
  • Custom Reports

Pricing: The Ultimate Control plan is priced at $89 per month, billed annually. 

Available For: iOS, Android, Windows 

3. Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a leading time tracking tool that is designed to instantly improve your focus and productivity. Time Doctor is a customizable tool that allows you to turn features on and off as needed. When you know how and where you spend your time on your system is being tracked, you automatically become more productive and accountable. 

Time Doctor’s reports will give you detailed insights into which websites are being used and for how long. The files on the server are encrypted and provide additional security for company data. The software even works when you’re not connected to the internet! Empower your staff to manage their time effectively, and allow for better future allocation of time. 

Main Features Include: 

  • Screenshots
  • Clients Feature
  • Powerful Reports
  • Screen Monitoring
  • Timesheets
  • Payroll
  • Time Use Alerts
  • Integrations

Pricing: Free 14-day trial. The Paid plan is available for $7/user/month.

Available For: Windows, Mac

3. Google Drive

Google Drive is a comprehensive, cloud-based file storing and sharing solution that enables you to save your digital files online. You can access these files from anywhere from your mobile device, tablet, or computer. Google Drive allows you to share word formatted documents, excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations easily. 

You can collaborate with team members on shared documents, make real-time changes, post comments, and even chat with one another when working from different locations. All you need to use Google Drive is a Google account and you’re ready to go with 15 GB of free storage. Google Drive’s popularity is mainly due to its useful collaborative tools and built-in integrations with Google’s suite of products and services. 

Main Features Include: 

  • 15 GB of free storage space across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos
  • File sharing 
  • Easy file access from anywhere
  • Comprehensive search 
  • Secure storage 
  • Collaboration
  • Gmail attachments
  • Scanning and Offline operations

Pricing: Free up to 15 GB. The Paid plan starts from $1.99/user/month for 100 GB storage space. 

Available For: Windows, iOS, Android, Mac

5. Zoom

 

Zoom is one of the leading video conferencing software apps in the world today. Zoom’s popularity reached an all-time high in 2020 when millions of users across the globe switched to remote work. Zoom’s ease of usage and a free basic plan allows users to hold virtual meetings and invite up to 100 participants (by default) in each meeting. 

Zoom comes with HD quality audio and video, and users can share their screens with others. This is a great feature that allows all users to visually communicate with each other. Zoom also allows users to chat in real-time by typing it out in the chat feature that can be seen by all, without interrupting other people talking. 

Main Features Include: 

  • Meetings and Chat
  • Rooms and Workspaces
  • Phone systems
  • Video webinars
  • Automatic meeting scheduling
  • Collaborative annotation session
  • High Definition video and audio
  • Co-host calls

Pricing: Free Basic plan. The Paid plan starts from $180.95/year/license.

Available For: Windows, Android, and iOS 

6. I Done This

 

I Done This is a cloud-based task management solution for teams of all sizes. Even individuals can use I Done This to divide pending and complete tasks into “goals” and “done.” A built-in calendar allows users to organize and search tasks. Users can check-in daily, check off what was completed or done in a day, and make notes of obstacles. 

Using this neat and simple check-in tool, the entire team has a clear view of what others are working on, and this allows them to be on the same page all the time. The tool offers collaboration and reporting dashboards, which enable improved collaboration and accountability among team members. 

Main Features Include: 

  • Daily check-ins
  • Daily status updates
  • Activity logging
  • Automatic reminders
  • Discussions board
  • Progress reports

Pricing: The Paid plan starts from $35/user/month/billed annually.

Available For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

7. Acquire.io

Acquire.io is a leading customer engagement software that is designed to help your teams easily connect with customers. With Acquire, you don’t need to toggle between customer communication tools. Its unified view enables you to track all your online customer interactions in a single timeline and respond instantly. 

Acquire’s real-time communication tools and capabilities allow you to engage with your customers wherever they are through various channels. Acquire’s customer support tools help you to qualify issues faster, provide more efficient help, and reduce resolution time significantly.

Main Features Include: 

  • Unified agent view
  • Co-browse
  • Live Chat
  • Chatbot
  • VoIP calls
  • Analytics
  • Integrations
  • Video chat
  • Shared inbox

Pricing: Pricing available on quote.

Available For: Windows, Android, iOS 

8. Chanty

Chanty is an easy to use, team communication and collaboration tool that allows your teams to save time on communication. Chanty optimized instant messages delivery time, fastens file sharing and customized notifications, so your team never misses important updates. 

Besides communication, Chanty also helps to improve team collaboration through Kanban board view and task management. This tool is a single hub for well-organized tasks, conversations, pinned messages, and all the content you share. 

Main Features Include: 

  • Teambook
  • Code snippets with dev-friendly formatting
  • Task management
  • Kanban board view
  • Team chat
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Unlimited message history

Pricing: Free Basic plan. The Paid plan starts from $3 per user/month.

Available For: Windows, iOS, Android

Wrapping It Up 

Remote work is no more an alternative to regular, in-office work. Employees prefer flexible work schedules these days and many companies have started to offer this option to their employees. 

Benefits of remote work aside, there are some challenges that have to be addressed. Remote workers can easily get more stressed without knowing it as they fail to adjust to this new work style. 

However, using the latest tools can help remote workers to do their work more efficiently, in less time, without compromising on the quality of results delivered. These tools help you to collaborate better and be on the same page with your team members and clients. 

So, go ahead and pick your favorite tool, based on your work requirements and see how it helps transform your remote workforce for good.