Work from Home Tools and Software to Maximize Productivity (Free and Paid)
Remote working has become a new normal and this is not any latest news. COVID-19 suspended many major functions of businesses, one of its results is the rise in work from home trend. In fact, the concept of work from home is in existence even before coronavirus has exploded.
Due to benefits such as flexibility to work from anywhere, a downtick in sick leaves and elimination of commute which reduces time waste etc. the concept of work from home is on a hike for the past few years.
But with comfort, comes some challenges. For instance, you're in a team that needs collaboration many times in a day, so managing it from home could be a little daunting. Moreover, in the absence of an office environment and a watchful eye, people have become more prone to distractions. Some of the major distractions are mobile and social networking applications. An average person checks his phone more than 80 times a day. According to a report by Global Tech Protection in 2019, an average person cannot resist even for 10 minutes to stay away from his phone. There is no surprise if the duration has decreased to 1 to 2 minutes, especially for the people working from home. Thus one of the major challenges that is affecting the productivity of people is distraction due to mobile and effective communication within the team.
What if we say there are some free tools that avoid you from distractions and help increase your productivity? Sounds interesting? Keep reading we shall explore them.
10 Free Tools that Maximize your Productivity when Working from Home
Things that distract you will eat away your time and lessen your productivity. With that said one of those things is your own mobile phone. Obsession with your mobile phone will weaken your organizational and time management skills, hence makes you work less prolific. But relax! Let's beat the downside of technology (addiction to it) with technology.
Forest app works on a simple mission to help users stay focused wherever they are present. It helps you to cut down your addiction and addiction on mobile phones.
It's an application that lets users set the goal of avoiding distraction for a particular period say 25 minutes. As soon as you set the goal, a tree is planted and it starts growing while you are working. In case if you can't resist touching or using the phone and leave the app, the tree dies. The more successful attempts, the dense your forest is.
Thus this app works on a sensible concept called do not kill a tree assuming your focus as a tree.
The best part about this application is that for every successful tree within the application you earn a corner that is used for a good cause of planting real trees in a few countries of Africa. Isn't it the best app to cut down your distractions while having fun looking at your plant growing? (Well, don't look at it)
The app is available on android for free and costs £1.99 on iOS.
Working alone from home can sometimes be overwhelming. You might need a productive team member in front of you to get motivated and bring your true potential sometimes. Focusmate is a platform that lets you find a partner for accountability. The team of Focusmate is building a community of solo workers who can hold accountable for each other's works. Here users will be able to work side-by-side, over the video for 50-minutes. It offers 3 free sessions per week.
Focusmate is a web-based application that can be used upon creating an account. Users can select the time they want to be productive and Focusmate will find a virtual work partner who also wants to work at the same (possibly nearer) time. Thus both the users can work together with their camera on and blast the excuses increasing their productivity to nearly 200 times.
Excessive use of websites such as social media and entertainment sites can be lethal sometimes, causing too much distraction. It will definitely take away your time without your conscience. To restrict yourself from those websites, the self-control app lets you block your own access to these websites and save valuable time. Here, you can set the period up to 24 hours to block access. Select and add websites to blacklist, and the Self-control app takes care of the rest. The downside here is access can't be restored even if you restore the system or delete the application as it will be on your macOS platform, you need to wait until the time is over.
If you want to restrict yourself from distractions from certain games and entertainment apps, then Freedom app is the best option for you. It blocks any applications or games and even websites as well which you add to the blocklist. You can either use Freedom for a single device or all devices you use.
It can sync blocks across all the devices be it android or Mac or Windows or iOS. Therefore you can't access your Facebook on the desktop either. In that way, you can stay more focused and develop healthier digital clothes.
Digital wellbeing in android
Not only technology became the most integral part of our life, but it also became accountable for our bad digital clothes. Digital wellbeing is an application that helps you monitor your mobile and application use. Wellbeing lets you do many things to help you out from distractions like pausing distracting apps, set daily limit for app usage, customize notifications, DND, Bedtime mode, Flip to Shh (you can turn on DND just by flipping your phone), Grayscale and switch off work.
So you can boost both your productivity and mental health by getting a proper night sleep.
Downtime function in Apple
A similar feature as Digital wellbeing to block notifications and manage them during a specific time is available inbuilt within the iOS platform. It is also known as screen time. Only phone calls and apps that you assign for notifications will show up when the Downtime function is turned on. Content restriction, blocking inappropriate content and communication limits (control who your children can communicate with) are some more features of this tool. Although Apple sets the time period from 10 PM to 7 AM as default for downtime, a specific time can be set by choice.
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing platform that can be used for team conferences, quick chat, peer to peer communication etc. It is the easiest to use among all the collaboration tools available in the market. It is again a free tool to use for any basic video conferencing and audio chat. It can accommodate upto 100 participants as default for any conference.
Over 300 million users participate in Zoom meetings every day over the world.
Trello is a free tool to organize your work and daily schedule. It is one of the most popular tools used by big companies. Trello helps managers to collaborate with his team members effectively as one can assign tasks, prioritize them, mention deadlines, and track the progress of the team right through their screen.
With that said, overcome the challenges caused by technology with technology. Having the above tools handy, will definitely help you get rid of distractions, organize your priorities and improve your productivity.