Insights

4 Great Ways To Stay Connected When Working From Home

So by now there will be plenty of you working from home as a result of the ongoing global events. For those of you who aren’t used to working away from your usual office space, this can take some getting used to. WFH (working from home) has plenty of positives i.e. no commute, dressing casually, easy access to the fridge etc but it also has its challenges, particularly when it comes to communication.

In an office environment it’s easy to chat to the team around you, approach a colleague when you have a question or attend a meeting in person, but today we find ourselves having to search for alternative ways of communicating with each other. So to make things a little easier for you, we have picked our top 4 ways to stay connected when working from home.

 

Microsoft Teams

Teams does pretty much what it says on the tin, it makes teamwork easy. If you’re looking for a tool to help you and your team communicate with each other as well as work on projects collaboratively then Teams is the platform for you.

This fantastic tool gives you the chance to chat, create groups, share files, video call, screen share, schedule meetings, work collaboratively on projects and more. Available on both desktop and mobile, Teams might just be the solution to your working from home problems!

  • We love: Connects to Outlook, making it easy to start meetings with your team or whole office (use carefully!)
  • Not huge fans of: The emojis. What is a polar bear holding two cubs adding to the chat? / The GIFS. Not at the level we're used to on WhatsApp (we need more Tiger King Gifs).

Zoom

With a free version that has the capability to host meetings of up to 100 participants (1,000 with a paid subscription), Zoom is the perfect tool for large online meetings and conferences. You would think that having 100 people on a single video call would be pretty chaotic and overwhelming but Zoom has been carefully designed to ensure that this isn’t the case by automatically switching the focus of your screen to whoever is speaking.

Inviting attendees to meetings is simple and can be done via email or by sending a URL, this is handy to have when hosting meetings with people outside of your business. Other standout features include the ability to save and download meetings, HD video & audio, screen sharing and team chat. Available on mobile and desktop, this is the tool to use when it comes to large scale meetings and conferences.

  • We love: The option to customise your background during videos calls which can be super fun. We recommend setting your background as the Simpsons’ living room or the hallway from the Shining on your next call.
  • Not huge fans of: The 40-minute limit for group meetings on the free version of Zoom.
Houseparty

It’s Friday, your team have worked their socks off all week and it’s time for a bit of fun. Houseparty is a great app that allows you to video call up to 8 people at once and host a virtual house party from the comfort of your own home. Remember to lock your house though or anybody can just waltz into your party uninvited!

Within your virtual house party you can play games including Quick Draw (a version of Pictionary), Heads Up, Chips and Guac (a word association game similar to Cards Against Humanity) and Trivia which includes a big range of quiz topics from Harry Potter to True Crime. It’s important that you share some downtime and have a laugh with your team especially when working from home and Houseparty is great way to do that!

  • We love: All the games on this app are easy to play and lots of fun!
  • Not huge fans of: Random people crashing our house parties. LOCK YOUR VIRTUAL ROOMS PEOPLE.

 

Going back to basics - Social Media

When you’re at the office it’s easy to step outside for some fresh air with a team member or colleague, but if you’re working from home you might be forced to take your breaks alone. Using social media is a fantastic way to relax during breaks and can help you stay connected with friends.

Whether you’re scrolling through the latest Netflix related memes on Twitter, checking out your best friend’s home fitness routine on Instagram Stories or reading about your auntie’s ‘wild’ Primark experience on Facebook, social media lets you stay in touch with the world when you’re isolated at home. Also who doesn’t love videos of dogs and children falling over?

  • We love: Twitter’s never-ending supply of relatable memes and GIFs are everything but make sure not to let time escape you or you could find yourself down a Twitter rabbit hole for several hours/days/weeks.
  • Not huge fans of: Relentless posting about the avocado you ate for lunch. Avocados are so 2018, it’s time to move on.
To put it simply

Microsoft Teams – for team meetings and collaborating on projects.

Zoom – For large meetings, conferences or external meetings.

Houseparty – For having a laugh with your team at the end of a long week.

Social Media - For relaxing and for keeping you and your friends connected.