2020 has really started with a bang, and not in the way any of us wanted. The COVID-19 virus that’s sweeping the whole world has caused utter pandemonium. Here in the US (and most of the world) we’re implementing remote working.

Working from home has been on the rise over the past decade. However, there are still a lot of people who aren’t used to their home life and work life suddenly merging under the same roof! For many, home represents family time, free time, entertainment, or at the very least – the place you get away from work life.

  • What do you do now that work and home have merged?
  • How do you stay productive?
  • How are you going to stay in touch with your team?
  • What should you do about all the home life distractions?

And…

Could those meetings really be emails? 😉

We’re here to help. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite productivity tools for working at home!

7 Productivity Tools for Managing Remote Teams

Your company likely has some sort of project management tool in place already, but we’re sharing our favorites here in case you need solutions.

Google Drive:
We’ve been using Google Drive to keep track of all our business documents for years. Google Drive allows you to share folders, documents, spreadsheets, collaborative document/file editing, and cloud backups. Google offers both a free and paid version of their Drive service based on how much data you’re storing. You can learn more here.

Time Doctor:
One big concern a lot of people have when hiring remote staff is where all the time goes. Are they really working when they say they are? Are there personal distractions that creates lack of productivity? TimeDoctor helps you keep track of your own time as well as time your team is spending. They offer detailed reports, automated screen shots, and just an overview of where time is being spent. This can be helpful not only for keeping everyone on your team accountable but also increasing everyone’s efficiency. Check out TimeDoctor here!

Asana:
If you need a project management tool, we recommend Asana. We recommend this for small-mid size businesses with teams that are working on project centered work that you need to keep organized. You can start with their free plan and then scale up as your business needs grow.  Learn more here.

Zoom:
We love using Zoom.us for our Monday Morning Meetings! You can get a free account which allows you to have 45 minute video meetings or a paid account which allows unlimited time. Videos calls are awesome when working from home or with a remote team because it adds the personal touch of being able to see your team. Working from home can be isolating, so this offers another layer of connection you just don’t get through text apps or email. You can read more about Zoom here.

Telegram:
Need a group chat for your team or staff? We use Telegram. It’s free, easy to set up, and perfect for any quick back and forth throughout the day. You can have one-on-one chats with team members and create a group for the whole team. Check out their site here.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones:
We love headphones for zoning in and getting a 90-minute work sprint crushed. Whether you’re working at home, a cafe (after quarantine), or back at the office, a pair of noise cancelling headphones are a must. We recommend Bose, they’re the top of the line option, here are the ones we have. If price is a concern, here are some other options. We’re just big fans of headphones – it really nicely reminds everyone else you need to focus.

Chillhop:
Not going to lie… A healthy dose of Chillhop in the background helped create the Liberty VA business.  If you need music to help you focus, we highly recommend checking out this Chillhop channel. Or ya know… any music that helps you get into your focus groove! 🙂

Reminder App:
This might sound super basic, but a to-do list with reminder alerts tends to work.  If you have an iPhone you likely already have the built-in Reminder app which allows you to create To-do lists and sync them with your iCal or create alerts. If you don’t have an iPhone, or preinstalled reminder app, we recommend Todoist. It works just like the iPhone app, and you can download it for your phone or computer.

BONUS Idea:
Take breaks! We like to work in time chucks where we get a task done then take a break. Walk around, get some food, drink water… Work for approximately a 90minute window then give your self a 10-15minute break.  Give your mind time to recharge before diving back into work.

That’s a wrap for this list, folks! There are so many apps out there that help us get our work done, and if you have other recommendations, let us know! We might even add them to this list. 🙂

Hit us up on Twitter @LibertyVAs_ if you want to share your productivity tips, tools, or suggestions!