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Building The Future of Freelance Software / slashdev.io
Essential Tools for Working Remotely: Boost Your Productivity and Collaboration/
With the ever-evolving technology landscape, remote work has become more accessible than ever before. The availability of cloud infrastructure and collaborative software has made it possible to work from home seamlessly. However, selecting the right tools can be challenging and crucial for successful remote work.
Top Essential Remote Work Tools for Productivity and Collaboration
We have tested and used various robust and reliable tools, which we highly recommend. However, it’s essential to note that each industry and organization has unique requirements, and what works for one may not be the best fit for everyone.
To make your transition to remote work more comfortable, we have compiled a list of essential tools that can help boost productivity and improve collaboration. With the right tools, you can work efficiently and effectively, no matter where you are located.
Remote Collaboration and Communication Tool
Slack is a well-known and established software solution designed for collaboration. It was introduced in 2013 and is the only major collaborative suite that was not created by an industry giant like Facebook or Microsoft. It is a comprehensive and reliable platform accessible across all major operating systems.
While Slack is primarily intended for freelancers and small to medium-sized businesses, it is also extensively used by large enterprises. As of 2019, Slack had more than 12 million daily users, with the figure continuing to rise in recent times.
Microsoft Teams, a collaborative software solution launched in 2016, was initially created to acquire Slack, but Microsoft went ahead with its own solution after the deal fell through. Despite a lukewarm reception, Microsoft made several changes to distinguish Teams from other existing products such as Skype for Business and Office 365.
In 2018, Microsoft introduced a free version of Teams that comes with some restrictions but still provides a wide range of features. As of March 2023, Microsoft announced that Teams has 44 million daily users. According to Microsoft, 93 out of the Fortune 100 companies currently use Teams, with Accenture having over 440,000 users.
Features and Pricing Facebook Workplace entered the enterprise software space in 2016, providing a comprehensive solution that offers unique benefits, especially for small users. Although the market was initially sceptical, Workplace has proven to be a reliable tool.
Zoom is widely considered the preferred platform for video conferencing. While Zoom Basic is free, certain limitations may not be suitable for some industries or scenarios (e.g., the call length is restricted to 40 minutes). Pro subscriptions cost $14.99 per host per month, whereas Business and Enterprise plans are priced at $19.99.
Jitsi Meet is a free and open-source alternative to Zoom and other comparable services. It may lack some features such as screen sharing, although extensions can be added. Despite its limited set of features, Jitsi Meet is still functional and available on all major operating systems, and it can be used through a browser without requiring a download or application setup. Ultimately, its most significant benefit is that it is open-source and free to use, making it an appealing choice for cost-conscious users.
Google Hangouts meet
When it comes to video conferencing, Google Hangouts Meet is a robust platform that offers similar features to Zoom, although the latter is still ahead in some aspects. However, one downside of Google Hangouts Meet is its pricing model. Unlike Zoom’s Basic version, which is free but with some limitations, Google Hangouts Meet does not have a free tier. Its pricing starts at $6 per user, provided that you have access to Google’s G Suite services. This is significantly lower than Zoom’s Pro plan. However, Google is currently offering free access to the Enterprise Edition for all G Suite subscribers.
Skype has been around for a long time and is still a popular platform used by many individuals and organizations. While Skype for Business was mainly designed for Microsoft users, it can also be used on other platforms. However, it never quite gained popularity, and Microsoft has plans to retire it in mid-2021, encouraging users to migrate to Microsoft Teams instead. Nonetheless, for existing Microsoft users like Office 365 Business Premium users, Skype for Business remains a viable option. It has a different feel than Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet, as it still has a lot of Skype’s DNA, which means it’s not as specialized for video conferencing as the competing solutions.
Project management software
Project management software has seen a surge in demand and rapid development over the last decade. With numerous options available, it is easy to find a tool suitable for a variety of industries, team sizes, and project types. Here, we will look at three commonly used products representing three categories of project management tools.
Trello is a lightweight project management tool ideal for short projects and teams with straightforward processes. It is easy to set up and onboard team members, and even the free version should suffice for most projects. Trello can serve as a project management app depending on the size and scope of the project.
Asana is a more comprehensive tool, originally developed for internal use at Facebook, with advanced features such as task owner tracking and enhanced search options. While Asana lacks a free plan, it is reasonably priced at $10 per user per month.
Jira, another Atlassian product, is an elaborate tool designed for bigger organizations, capable of handling multiple agile projects at the same time. It integrates with several tools such as Confluence, Salesforce, GitHub, Outlook, etc. Though customizable, it requires some training and can be tedious.
Version Control Systems
Now that we’ve covered communication and management, it’s time to take a closer look at version control systems. GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket are already well-known to most developers. But if you’re new to the game, let’s take a deeper dive into each of them.
When it comes to open-source repo hosting, GitHub is the undisputed industry leader. It seamlessly integrates with Jira, Jenkins, and Confluence. You can choose to self-host it, or go with one of many cloud providers that support it. It’s a must-have tool for any open-source project.
GitLab is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. It offers all the essential features that most users need and is more than just a version control system; it’s a complete DevOps platform. The only downside is that performance can be an issue, especially with large projects, but self-hosting can solve this problem.
While Atlassian’s Bitbucket used to be a promising alternative to GitHub for private projects involving small teams, it has since acquired a reputation for poor responsiveness. Additionally, since it’s primarily designed for business clients and integrates with other Atlassian products, it hasn’t gained much traction with open-source fans.