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Working from home is becoming more and more common. Whether you’re a student studying from afar, a nomadic marketer (hi) hopping in and out of coffee shops, or someone who needs flexible working options to fit around your life, remote work is both possible and productive. It doesn’t have to be disruptive and can in fact open up new opportunities for better collaboration – take it from a business that’s been doing it for over 15 years.
In fact, any business can enable remote working with the right tools and methods. We’ve written plenty of content on the subject, which we link to below, along with our best recommendations for tools, articles from across the internet full of top-notch advice, and everything else you could possibly need to make working from home a success.
2020 UPDATE: If you are reading this because you or your organisation has been affected by the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, we hope this information is helpful. As a B Corp, we are committed to being a business that is a force for good. To stay up to date on the latest developments and advice, please go to these sources:
- WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html
- NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Table of Contents
- Our own finely crafted advice on remote working.
- The homeworking tools we use every day.
Tools and apps for working from home.
- General links.
- Project management.
- Brainstorming, whiteboards and flowcharts.
- Video conferencing.
- Video recording or simultaneous watching.
- Instant messaging/chat.
- Customer communications (CRM), NPS, support and sales.
- File storage and sharing.
- Personal organisation and productivity.
- Online training and learning management.
- Employee wellbeing and happiness.
- HR, people management and hiring.
- Accounting, invoicing and expenses.
Mobile working advice from the depths of the internet.
- General links and advice.
- Why you might consider working from home and how to start.
- Some stats and data on mobile working.
- Finding remote work and asking your boss for homeworking options.
- How to hire excellent independent workers.
- Working nomad employee communication tips.
- How to manage people effectively from a distance.
- Working as part of a virtual team.
- Health and wellbeing resources for telecommuters.
- Organisational advice for home workers and offices.
Our own finely crafted advice on remote working
Here is a list of relevant articles that we’ve written on the Articulate Marketing blog; on the sister site for our own HR app, Turbine, or on our CEO’s personal management blog, GeekBoss, and elsewhere.
- Top 21 must-haves for remote working from home
- The Tom Hanks guide to remote working (2016)
- The climate action plan for remote working for businesses
- How we work: open book project management
- Message in a bottle: how we make remote working work at Articulate
- How to run the ideal meeting: 10 essential steps
- 6 mental health apps that prove technology is a force for good
- What it’s like to be an Articulate intern #community
- Music for working
- How to create a happy company
- The zombie apocalypse guide to remote working
- Power to the people: the benefits of workplace flexibility
- How to create strong work relations from home
- 5 struggles remote workers know all too well
- Top 5 video conferencing apps for remote businesses
- 5 benefits to adopting flexible working practices at your business
- 4 examples of businesses who have made agile working work
- The best 18 companies who will (probably) hire remote workers in 2020
- What can we learn from millennials in the workplace?
- Workplace apps: 10 reasons why you should introduce them
- The perfect paperless employee: everything you need to become a working nomad
- 10 unique alternative to working at your desk
- How to improve teamwork and communication
- 8 finance apps for the mobile finance director
- How to balance your work and life better
- Here’s how agile working can work for the C-suite
- The secret to organising your work life
- 8 ways to alleviate employee stress at work
- The advantages and drawbacks of agile working
- 5 ways to work smarter
- Our quest for the perfect workplace social media app
- The best blogs to follow about remote working
- Distributed workforce: how to manage the ‘where are you?’ of working
- 10 helpful cloud applications for finance
- EBOOK direct link to PDF: Your office in a backpack
- EBOOK direct link to PDF: Bureaucracy must die – a beginner’s guide to workplace automation
- Remote working: lessons for managers from 20 years' experience
- The two enemies: absenteeism and presenteeism
- Why your office is killing your productivity (and how to fix it)
- Employee engagement: 11 quick-wins you can do today
- 10 career-threatening myths about being a manager
- Team productivity: how to crack the whip without leaving a mark
- The A-Z of small business outsourcing
- 14 ways to put your inbox on a diet
And this useful article from an Articulate client: Chalkline
The homeworking tools we use everyday
Here are some of the tools we use all day, everyday (at the time of writing), to power our remote working business, and the top three things we like about each:
Video conferencing: Microsoft Teams
- You can see multiple videos at once in a grid
- You can share your screen for presentations, and people can click links in the live presentation
- The record button (and, bonus, the mute button)
- Automated transcripts
Project management: ClickUp
- Simple project portal layout
- You can invite other people onto a project
- Logs messages about one task in a thread, so you can see everything that’s happened on a particular part of the project in one place
- Advanced sprint planning and progress tools
Email: Outlook and all the goodies that come with Microsoft Office 365
- Easy to integrate with other tools, especially if using Zapier
- Use shared calendars to co-ordinate meetings and workloads
- You can use folders, rules and categories to organise everything
Instant messaging: Slack
- You can create group messaging channels to sort chats by subject
- Direct message with one or multiple people
- Custom and animated emojis (vital)
HR (time off, PO requests, expenses): Turbine
- We made it, so we get it for free (also it’s inexpensive generally)
- Super quick and easy way to request and approve time off
- Keeps track of everyone’s birthdays and employment anniversaries
Paying for stuff: Pleo
- Everyone gets a company card but the business controls how much money is in the joint account
- Reminds you to attach receipts to purchases
- You can cancel or freeze cards in the app if they get lost or stolen
Organising finances: Xero
- Use for swift, fuss-free bookkeeping
- Accounting software that you don’t have to be an accountant to use (but it may help!)
- Use to send invoices to people who owe you money
Storing files: Dropbox
- Cloud-based storage, so you can access your files on any device
- Saves storage space on your computer
- You can use a shared Dropbox that everyone can access
Real-time collaboration in a document: Notion
- Multiple people can edit a document at the same time
- You can view documents in the browser and link to them without worrying about versions (v1, v2, v3 etc.)
- It’s an infinite blank sheet of paper with endless nesting and smart databases – the possibilities are endless
Employee wellbeing: Calm, Woebot and BupaBoost
- Remote working can be lonely, so these apps help maintain a happy workforce
- Calm has soothing music and rain noises to help you drift off for your lunchtime nap (what? #remoteworkinglife)
- If you’ve ever wanted to talk to a robot, Woebot is the best place to start
- Collate applications all in one place
- You can move candidates through the stages and track progress
- You can email candidates right from their thread, use templates, and see all comments and documents
- Also Hubspot and Fizz+Ginger, along with other marketing stuff
And this useful tool created by an Articulate client: Cerulean Studios
- Trillian – HIPAA compliant secure instant messaging
Tools and apps for working from home
Here are links to tools that you may be considering as part of your suite of workplace applications. We have either used these in the past, use them now or have heard good things from people we trust. Some may have multiple uses, and, where particularly appropriate, we may list the same app in two sections.
If you’re an organisation leader or a department manager that is just starting to figure out agile working methods, we advise putting together a list of your team’s requirements and then reviewing each tool against that list. That way, you’re less likely to get swept up in the razzle-dazzle of product features.
- Toggl plan
- Genius Project
Brainstorming, whiteboards and flowcharts
- Dropbox Paper
- Lucid Chart
- Microsoft Whiteboard
- Explain Everything
- The Brain
- Whiteboard Fox
- Skype for business
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Hangouts/Meet
Video recording or simultaneous watching
- Microsoft Teams
- Troop Messenger
- Amazon Chime
Customer communications (CRM), NPS, support and sales
- Hubspot CRM
File storage and sharing
- Dropbox / Box
- Google Drive
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Apple iCloud
- Pushbullet / Portal
- Mail Big File
Personal organisation and productivity
- Cold Turkey
Online training and learning management
- SAP Litmos
- LinkedIn Learning
- Access LMS
- Reed courses
Employee wellbeing and happiness
- Gratitude journal
- Couch to 5k
HR, people management and hiring
- Employee Navigator
- Zoho recruit
- Applicant stack
Accounting, invoicing and expenses
- Sage One
- Receipt Bank
Mobile working advice from the depths of the internet
These nuggets of wisdom have been earnestly skimmed for quality by this writer. Here are the criteria for entry:
- Information is relatively up to date, meaning it’s relevant for the modern reader.
- Content comes from an authoritative source or valuable perspective.
- Content is well-written, based on research or experience and is suitably engaging.
- There is at least one particularly useful piece of advice or information that is not repeated in the other links in the section.
General links and advice
- Remote: office not required, ReWork and It doesn’t have to be crazy at work – written by the people that brought you Basecamp
- The ultimate guide to telecommuting – by the people at Hubspot
- Influencing virtual teams – by Hassan Osman
- The year without pants - by Scott Berkun
- Why great teams embrace remote working – by the people at Trello
- The ultimate guide to remote work – by the people at Zapier
- The art of staying productive even across distance – by the people at Wrike
- Working from home 101: a telecommuter’s guide to working remotely
- The ultimate guide to remote working – tools, strategies and opportunities
- The 19 best tips from my 3 years working remotely
- OrgDev Newsletter – advice on design and development for organisations
Why you might consider working from home and how to start
- Productivity, retention and cost savings: why working from home benefits employees and employers
- How working remotely is helping women close the gender gap in tech
- How to ask to work from home
- The guide to remote working that isn’t trying to sell you anything
- 8 remote working tips for beginners
- How remote working is quietly reshaping our lives
- Remote working – the climate change solution
- 9 research-based facts that prove remote teams are the future of work
Some stats and data on mobile working
- Stanford study on how remote work benefits productivity
- Owllabs state of remote work report and Global state of remote work
- Merchant Savvy global remote working stats and data report
- UpWorks future work report shows most businesses will have remote workers in the next decade
- Stapes workplace survey finds telecommuting options increase happiness
- Indeed study on the increased popularity of flexible working
- IWG study finds most people occasionally work from home
- Gallup finds people may change jobs if they offer remote opportunities
Finding remote work and asking your boss for homeworking options
- Employer buy-in is a key in work from home success
- How to ask to work remotely: 5 tips
- Sample letter to request flexible working
- How do I ask my boss to let me work remotely?
- Employee email examples asking to work from home
- 16 ridiculously easy ways to find and keep a remote job
- How to talk your employer into letting you work remotely
- Ask a boss: how do I ask to work from home?
- How to request a work from home situation
- How to find (and land!) a remote working job that’s right for you
- The 25+ best sites for finding remote work online
- How to find legitimate remote work opportunities
How to hire excellent independent workers
- How to hire a remote team
- 10 reasons why introverts are the perfect remote workers
- What to look for when hiring remote employees
- 6 interview questions remote workers should be able to nail
- 3 mistakes not to make when hiring remote employees
- Hiring remote workers? Look for these 5 qualities (infographic)
- How to support remote work by removing unconscious bias
- 7 mistakes I initially made when hiring remote workers
- Legal and practical tips for employers on homeworking
- The ultimate list of interview questions to ask remote workers
- Remote job interview questions
Working nomad employee communication tips
- How to improve communication skills as a remote working
- 6 culture questions to ask if you’re a remote worker
- Communication tips for work from home dads
- How to gain visibility when you work from home, according to Hubspot employees
- 4 ways to make strong connections as a remote worker
- Top communication concerns for homeworkers… and how to rectify them
- 10 communication tips remote workers need to know
- The importance of effective communication for remote workers
- How to manage remote working based on your personality type
- 5 ways to be a stand out employee while working remotely
How to manage people effectively from a distance
- 6 need to know steps to effectively communicate with remote employees
- 15 rules to live by when you run a remote team
- How to supervise remote workers without micromanaging them
- How you should manage homeworking as an employer
- 6 reasons it pays to trust your employees
- 31 questions to ask remote employees to better support them
- Recipe for having difficult conversations with a remote employee
- Do your remote workers feel seen?
- 25 tips to help you manage a high-performing virtual team
- A manager’s guide to managing a remote team
- How to manage remote direct reports
- 5 common virtual team management challenges
- How to handle difficult conversations as a remote manager
- 5 successful tips for motivating virtual teams
- How to over-communicate with employees without annoying them
- Performance management for remote workers
Working as part of a virtual team
- How to build strong relationships in a remote team
- Remote projects 101: the remote guide to project management
- 15 virtual team building activities to level up your remote team
- How remote workers make work friends
- The beginner’s guide to project planning software
- What makes you a good or bad remote co-worker?
- Building a distributed team: everything you need to know
- How to use instant messaging
- Beyond the team retreat: small things remote companies do to build team culture
- 5 ways to streamline your remote workers
- How I use online games to skyrocket my remote team’s productivity
- How to make friends as an adult when you work from home
- How to collaborate effectively if your team is remote
- Google spent 2 years researching what makes a great remote team. It came up with these 3 things
- How to grow a positive company culture with a remote team
- How to handle conflict in a remote team
Health and wellbeing resources for telecommuters
- 5 ways to make your remote employees feel more connected
- 6 tips on engaging remote workers with wellness programs
- 8 tips on working from home with mental illness
- Extreme loneliness or the perfect balance? How to work from home and stay healthy
- Engaging your remote team: 9 tips to avoiding isolation
- Why remote work makes people happier
- 23 sure-fire ways to boost employee wellbeing in 2020
- Protecting your mental health when working from home
- Weight off your mind: how to stay fit and healthy if you work from home
- Ensuring the wellbeing of lone and remote workers
Organisational advice for home workers and offices
- 7 time management tips and tools for remote workers
- 18 fun home office ideas that’ll boost your creativity
- How to work from home: 20 tips from people who do it successfully
- I tested 5 of the best remote working tips to find out if you can really trust them
- How to set up your workplace for remote and hybrid workers
- 10 home office ideas that will make you want to work all day
- 5 habits for crafting the perfect remote work day
- 17 ways to stay focused when you’re working from home
- 7 habits of exceptionally successful remote employees
- How to organize your remote work life