At the time of this writing, the industry at large is operating from a strictly virtual basis. In the context of COVID-19, we’re collectively having to adapt to work-from-home situations. Whether you have a dedicated home office or you’re operating at a makeshift desk (see: kitchen table), working remotely comes with its challenges — especially when you’re responsible for overseeing a team from a distance.
You may be on your own in terms of corralling little ones and curbing that afternoon snack craving, but on the business side of things, there are many digital solutions that can make working from home just as effective and productive as if you were in the office.
In recent weeks, the need for virtual communications has implemented as the world has taken its regular programming of birthday parties, happy hours, and brunch socials to online interfaces — in fact, you’ve likely already been a part of these digital get-togethers. Here are some other tech apps and solutions that can help you remain productive and connected without leaving the comfort of your living room. Sweatpants are encouraged.
As mentioned, you may already be familiar with the likes of Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime as people are flocking to these apps to socialize at a rapid rate. They aren’t just for virtual happy hours, though; these apps serve as a great platform for meeting with clients and creative partners despite the distance. The capacity to chat with multiple people at once makes group vendor meetings an easy solution to planning for events down the line.
With online payments at an all-time high, there is a great need to have a secure and accessible platform to accept payments from clients. Enter Square — it’s not just the plug-in point-of-sale tool, but can also handle online payments. Bonus points: It manages payroll, too! Everything lives in one platform. This will make it far easier for you, your team and your client, so you can (finally) say goodbye to the days of waiting for a check to arrive in the mail.
Since we’re all working remotely, cloud storage and file sharing is a must for efficient collaboration. Programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box can house your documents, photos, and videos, freeing up space on your desktop and allowing you to securely share files with a click of a button. This solves the issue of emailing oversized files and streamlining batch files. Instead of attaching 12 image files, you can drop a link into the email and call it a day.
For now, we can’t rely on in-person meetings to get our contracts and addendums signed, so we need to look to virtual solutions to keep business going. Try out e-signing apps like Adobe E-Sign Services, HelloSign, and DocuSign, which will digitize signatures for both parties and simplify the back-and-forth process and get your contracts signed quicker and more efficiently. Same-day contracts? Sign me up.
Despite the pandemic hampering much of our business-as-usual operations, we are fortunate to live in an age where we can continue to maintain relationships, work on our businesses, and navigate our goals through virtual means. Consider the apps that are the best fit for your virtual toolbox and work them into your day-to-day processes and, before you know it, they’ll come as second nature.