Must-have tech tools for remote working

My Post (4).pngHow to productively work from home

Shifting the routine
Human beings are creatures of habit. Our daily routines make us feel comfortable – be it our commute to work, exercise class or local lunch spot.

With many of us adjusting to home working, it can be difficult to keep a sense of normality when we break our usual routine. Yet, we are living in a digital era, where it is possible to do almost anything online from anywhere in the world. So, we have put together a list of our must-have tech tools to help you maintain productivity (and routine!) whilst working remotely.

Team messaging
With 12 million daily users, Slack is one of the most popular professional messaging programs for internal communications. Founded in 2013, this real-time communication platform sits somewhere in between instant messaging and email – so it’s very well suited to remote working.

The app supports private messaging, as well as team and topic channels for different departments. You can also catch up on previous messages, unlike other instant messaging tools that mimick face-to-face video chats and do not keep a record of previous chats. Slack allows you to send files, flag messages and pin documents for quick reference, cutting down on the need for numerous internal emails.

When working from home, you can sometimes feel somewhat isolated from the rest of your team. Slack provides a hub for workers to gather and communicate. At Hyve, we’ve even got creative and started hosting remote crossword and quiz challenges in our team-building channel!

Video conferencing 
Face-to-face interaction is essential for building relationships, especially if you are working from home for a long period of time. Video conferencing has become a standard form of communication in many businesses over the past few years – even the Prime Minister has started using it!

Video conferencing platform, Zoom, combines HD video with features such as screen-sharing and local recording, as well as the option to host webinars and larger team meetings. An easily accessible app, Zoom only needs one person to download the program, as when the host sets up the meeting, everyone else is able to join just from a link.

The record option is also particularly useful for home-workers to be able to re-watch/listen to meetings later down the line – for example, if it was a sales pitch, this feature could be useful once back in the office with the decision-makers.

Project management
Working on multiple projects involving many members of the team can get confusing – especially when you are not physically in the office together. Tools such as Asana are great for tracking the progress of projects and to-do-lists in real-time dashboards.

You can assign tasks to yourself or other members of the team, update on the status of the project, and set deadlines. Once tasks have been closed you are able to move the tabs into a ‘completed list’ – try it, it’s oddly satisfying. – Read More

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Remote Working 101 – The Complete Guide To Working From Home

My Post (3).pngThe outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the way we look at work today. Most businesses have started advising their employees to work from home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Many multinational companies like Google, JP Morgan, Twitter have released contingency plans for their staff, making it compulsory to work remotely.

While working from home seems like the best way to keep the workforce safe and the business running, it comes with its own set of challenges. One of the most common challenges is developing and maintaining a communications management strategy while all the employees work remotely.

Here is a list of possible challenges that teams could face when working remotely:

Remote Collaboration

One of the most common challenges that teams face when working remotely is collaborating from different locations. When a team of software developers are in the same office, it is easier for them to interact with each other without even thinking twice. But how can the same team work on the same project when each member is in a different location?

Though working from home and interacting virtually has its own benefits, it is a known fact that there is no substitute for personally meeting someone. Make your virtual employees feel more connected by scheduling face-to-face meets as often as the employee can make it.

While there are many technological developments in the industry that solve this issue, there are some real limitations to this approach. The good is that, much like project management software, there are countless collaboration tools designed for all kinds of tasks and teams that will help you break down those remote co-working barriers.

Here’s a list of tools that you can use for collaboration during your remote work

Slack – Slack offers real-time messaging between teams, regardless of time zone. It works perfectly for remote teams that need to have an open line of communication at all times

Every Time Zone – Make things easier on yourself, and eliminate the need to do the math, by referencing Every Time Zone before you chat it up with someone. Check out the time zones of fellow remote employees and see who is awake and available to talk.

Google Drive – Keep all your files in one secure and centralized location. Store and share documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations from any device without any hassle.

Zoom Meetings – Zoom helps you hold remote meetings easily. Zoom also lets people in the meeting chat in real-time, so anytime someone has a question, but doesn’t want to interrupt the team member talking, all they have to do is type it out using the chat feature for all to see.

Project Management

When your team is spread across multiple locations, it gets a bit stressful to monitor the progress made on a particular project by different people. Managers are responsible for making sure that the deadlines are met, no matter if they are  working with remote teams or not. With some projects it is important to monitor the progress in real-time. Which is why you need to start using tools that help you manage projects and monitor the progress made.

After you interact with your virtual employee, make sure that the important aspects of the meeting are summarized into a document and shared with the employee. Also, have them send you a short recap of the meeting as well.

The reason behind these recaps is simple. Having virtual employees means that if you want to clarify something or they want to clarify something, it is not as if you can walk up to their cubicle or they can walk into your room. These recaps will help clear any doubts or questions either of you might have. This also keeps the lines of communication open. – Read more

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Bringing Data to COVID-19

My Post (15).pngData junkies like me know that data is going to be essential to both containing the spread of the novel coronavirus and to finding an eventual vaccine. While the world is working together to stop the spread, improve treatment outcomes, and protect the most vulnerable populations, data will serve many purposes. It will help leaders implement measures to slow the virus’ spread, it will help the public respond based on what we know makes a difference, and encourage us all to not give in to panic and fear. And that’s why Splunk is bringing data to this current crisis.

Splunk for Good, our social impact arm, has built a publicly available interactive Splunk COVID-19 Dashboard that any individual or organization can view without any installation necessary. We’ve also provided an application that an individual or organization can download, populate with their own data, and use it to help get a better understanding of the data behind the pandemic. How can you get started? Download the app from Github and add your own visualizations or data that you think might be interesting.

While we will continue to expand our app and add features, we understand that others have their own ideas of how to visualize this data. Feel free to clone this app and create your own version, or get in touch with us at splunkforgood@splunk.com to collaborate and submit data and visualizations that you think others may find useful in the publicly available app.

Interactive Splunk dashboard. Explore the data here.

Our goal with the Splunk COVID-19 Dashboard is to help leaders bring data to every potential response to best ensure public safety. Already, we’ve seen community-driven work from the likes of Prudential, Herc Rentals, Accenture, and our own Global Security team. With this public resource, we hope to see other partners emerge to develop additional interactive dashboards that will help analyze the data behind this coronavirus, contribute subject matter expertise on infectious diseases, and bring forward additional interesting research, ideas, and suggestions.

Partners including Herc Rentals are using Splunk TV to inform their response to COVID-19.

For example, a Splunk champion at the UK’s National Health Service built this dashboard to pull in UK information. This now makes it possible to track cases at a local level that help organizations understand data trends in a very granular way. This was done as a personal project by a curious technologist who wanted to understand how data can help us see COVID-19 differently.  – Read more

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