There’s a good chance you work from home occasionally, especially if you’re in tech. In fact, a recent study released by Zug found that 70% of the professional workforce is remote at least 1 day a week. And 53% of all professionals work remotely for at least half of the week.
At Doximity, we know all too well the benefits of skipping the commute at least once a week and staying home to “get stuff done.” We have a formal “Work From Home Wednesday” policy that gives us meeting-free time to shrink our work to-do lists and tackle tough problems with fewer distractions. Wednesday is also “get life done” day, when we schedule life stuff like doctor appointments, trips to the mechanic, or waiting on the cable guy.
The great news is that working from home has never been easier thanks to a grab bag of technologies that are designed to make working remotely efficient and easy. Here are the top five tools we use at Doximity that I promise will make you more productive. Check them out. They’ll change your work life:
- Slack—or lack thereof. This has got to be my number one tool used throughout the day during our work-from-home Wednesdays. Company and department updates, project specs, quick one-on-one questions with a colleague—they all become so much more effective when they take place in an online chat room like Slack versus e-mail, particularly when you’re working remotely. I can quickly chat with colleagues from anywhere, seamlessly convert a chat to a phone call, send and receive documents without the clutter of e-mail, and see who’s online and available. Slack is a must-have for remote days.
- Put it in the cloud. Google documents on the drive, action items in Asana, high-res images in Drobox—you name it. If it’s not tethered to your office space and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, using any device, you’re more likely to tackle that project today versus next week. Using cloud technologies also helps with managing a remote team. Keep up to date on what your colleagues are working on and what the status is at any given moment with cloud task management tools like Asana and Pivitol.
- Wi-Fi for president! Just like my body runs on java, our lives today basically run on Wi-Fi. Where would we be without Wi-Fi? It’s important to keep in mind that not all Wi-Fi is created equally. Do your research, and make sure your work space at home has a strong and secure Wi-Fi connection. A weak signal will put a huge dent in your remote productivity.
- I can’t hear you. Even though you may have a dedicated space while working from home, it can still be hard to concentrate at times. Whether you live in a noisy apartment complex, have loud roommates, or even have little ones running around while you work, you can eliminate all distractions with noise-canceling headphones. Although they can be a little pricey, they are worth every penny. I’d also recommend checking with your company’s HR team to see if they will reimburse full or even partial costs as home office equipment. These headphones are life-changing!
- Seeing double. I know I’m not the only one who relies on dual screens. At the office, I have two monitors, making it super simple for me to toggle back and forth between spreadsheets, documents, and e-mail. Mirroring the exact same setup for my home office made me way more efficient during our work-from-home Wednesdays. I would recommend it’s always good to have your work space at home mimic your work space at the office.
When you use these tools at home, you will see an immediate difference in your work productivity and possibly your peace of mind.
What are your favorite work-from-home tools?
Shari Buck is the Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Doximity, a medical social network for doctors.