TMCnet Feature
August 04, 2021

Small Business Remote Work Tools During Crisis's

The past 18 months have been difficult for businesses of all sizes, especially small and growing businesses. When the Covid-19 virus began to spread quickly across the world, there was a clear indication it would affect businesses and commerce. 

Soon, many countries instructed people to stay at home and not travel to work, and the only option in keeping businesses alive was remote working. However, this was to be a new experience for many people, yet out of it came some surprising discoveries. 

There was a belief that remote working would reduce productivity levels. In the early days, this was quite evident, yet as people came to understand the different software packages, apps, and other tools that could help, productivity was no longer a problem. 

So, how has the crisis influenced our working methods for the future, and what are the software packages and other tools that need to be in place in case of future crises? That’s what we’re going to talk about in this article, and we’ll start with an important problem common to all businesses.

Booking and Appointments 

One of the most problematic of all the initial hurdles with remote working was booking and appointments. By this, we mean either within the organization or in the wider field. For example: in an office situation, it’s easy to keep a simple diary and arrange bookings that way. Yet, when you are remote from the rest of the team, it becomes more complicated to keep an eye on what everyone is doing and when.

This is why booking software for small businesses is an important part of a package for a remote working crisis. A tool such as enables the user to put their available spots for bookings online in a cloud situation for all to see. 

This is a great tool for businesses where clients get a one-to-one meeting, education establishments, and the likes of restaurants and other businesses that need to keep on top of bookings. It’s also useful for arranging internal meetings and other get-togethers. What further problems did remote working bring to the fore?

Time Tracking and Remote Working 

The problem of knowing that an employee is putting in the hours they are paid for when working remotely is one that reared its head early in the crisis last year. A person working from home cannot be monitored – unless the manager uses a tracking software package that shows when the employee logs on, what they are doing and what they need to accomplish. 

This software is now very popular and forms a part of most remote working trends that will shape the future. The software requires the employee to sign in and sign out when taking breaks or finishing work. They also need to transmit regular updates, while the manager can see the work they are doing in real-time.

Because of systems such as this, remote working is increasingly being seen as a viable alternative to the traditional office: lower costs – for both the business and the employee – coupled with no loss of productivity is a major attraction. There is one other area in which software came to the fore during the Covid-19 crisis: communication. 

Video and Communication

In a standard office situation, if a meeting needs to occur between two or more people, it is easy to set aside a room, arrange a time and let everyone know. With your team potentially spread miles apart, things become a bit more difficult. Early in 2020, Zoom - a cloud-based video conferencing software package – became the most talked-about software of all. It enables meetings to occur with multiple participants, with a screen split so all can see each other or switch between screens as those involved speak.

The success of Zoom – and also that of the established Skype (News - Alert) – led to a boom in demand for other video conferencing software in improved and more efficient forms, with many developers putting products on the market throughout 2020. These are essential tools for remote working and enable one-to-one discussion to be held face to face, which is preferable if you are dealing with a client. 

What is the future of remote working? Let’s close by looking briefly at this point.

The Future of Remote Working

It could not have been envisaged that an enforced situation created by an emergency would change the way we look at office-based jobs forever. Yet, that is exactly what has happened. Small to medium-sized businesses benefit greatly in terms of cost savings by implementing even part-time remote working for desk-based staff who can work to full potential without the need for commuting with a correctly equipped home office. The key to getting it right lies in the best software packages.

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