Over the next few days I intend on producing a three part blog post on the software and equipment we like to use in our work and personal lives. My hope is that someone will see something in one of these posts that helps just a little bit and make this awful time a touch more bearable. Some of these suggestions may seem obvious but I find that being able to see all the options available in one place can help to rationalise thought processes. First, we’ll look at productivity software and workplace aids.
- Slack – Slack is a workspace replacement tool that we at Sourcepulp use daily. It offers a channel based system that allows you to set up workgroups, chat individually, video call and offers secure two factor authorisation. The best news with Slack is that the base model is completely free for businesses and offers most key features. Upgrade to any of the three scalable plans for integrated group conferencing, screen sharing and guest accounts, perfect short term contractors.
- G-Suite – G-Suite offers the full gamut of google applications, such as: Gmail, Docs, Drive and Calendar for business. Inclusive in the price of G-Suite is a custom email for you company and you’ll also receive access to video conferencing using Google Meet. G-Suite comes with a 14 day free trial for every customer and the best value business plan clocks in at £8.28 per month per user currently. Quite a bargain considering that comes with unlimited Google Drive storage. Considering the integration Google offers, this all in one solution, coupled with a free Slack account for chat and task management may be the best option. We certainly think so.
There are some alternatives however.
- Microsoft Teams – Microsoft also have a competing All in One solution for working remotely. Starting at £3.80 for businesses, they offer a range of services. The base. model however is quite restrictive and only the most expensive Office 365 E3 package, coming in £17.60 per month, offers meetings and calling applications. However, for the right business use, it may well offer valuable integration to your existing infrastructure.
- Zoom – Although potentially less well known for the time being, at least in the mainstream, Zoom offers a tremendous experience for video conferencing and group collaboration projects. A unique feature they’re calling ‘Breakout Rooms’ allows the user to create virtual meeting rooms in offshoot sessions of the same original meeting. Perfect for a long day of video conferencing that covers multiple projects and discussions.
A final recommendation for this part of the blog is going to be a gaming headset. A lot of people are finding themselves sat at home with less equipment than they may have had at the office. Equipping yourself appropriately is the key to reducing workplace stress and maximising comfort whilst remaining professional. The term ‘Gaming Headset’ is something of a misnomer, for not everyone that uses one is necessarily using one for gaming. Gaming peripherals can often cost less and offer better audio fidelity and comfort than their office counterparts. Consider looking up the Logitech G Series, or similar products, for a headset that will last the test of time, sound fantastic and feel great all day.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you stay as safe and happy as is possible in the circumstances. We will get through this together. If you have any tips, suggestions or just want to get in touch, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on any of social media posts, or message those accounts.
All the best.