With COVID-19 spreading across the United States, more and more states are impacted by closures, quarantines, and measures aimed at decreasing the spread of the virus. The severity of this development dictates that public health and safety be the number one priority, and yet we understand that the consequences of this virus aren’t just physical, making tech tools and other virtual resources more vital than ever. 

Many companies are making a necessary and abrupt switch to remote-location work. With this paradigm shift comes a lot of exciting possibilities as well as some unique challenges. To help keep communication, culture, and collaboration strong in these ever-changing times, use GROWL’s list of tech tools to keep your team running no matter what happens.

Top 5 tech tools to take your business remote 

These programs are purpose-built to make conference-calls and screen sharing a natural part of working remotely. By using these virtual resources, your company can maintain efficiency, communication, collaboration, and fun.

Zoom

Zoom is a remote conferencing service provider from San Jose, California. Their platform is simple, easy to use, and a powerhouse when it comes to hosting webinars, conference calls, and meetings where screen sharing is paramount and conveying information key.

Bonus: Zoom has a free version of its videoconferencing software and an app.

G Suite

G Suite is Google’s one-stop-shop for your team’s tech tools. From Google Drive cloud computing to Gmail, the tech tool offers intuitive document collaboration (including Google’s version of the Microsoft Suite), calendar integration, and chat. With Google Hangouts, teams can video conference and discuss next steps while seamlessly transferring data and files. 

Bonus: To help businesses during COVID-19, Google is offering free access to the enterprise version of Hangouts Meet to educational users until July 1, 2020. This upgrade allows up to 205 uses per call and the ability to live-stream to up to 100,000 viewers.

Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 is the full-on Microsoft Suite. From Word and Excel to Outlook email and OneDrive, Office 365 provides a robust platform for organizations. OneDrive, the cloud-based software, can host content that is easily accessible by anyone in the organization. Additionally, like Google software, teams can simultaneously collaborate on shared documents.

Microsoft Teams is a chat and collaboration virtual resource that is driven by the cloud. Teams allows for chats, video and conference calls, and screen shares. Additionally, Teams integrates with OneDrive and the Outlook calendar.  

Bonus: In light of COVID-19, Microsoft is offering the premium version of Teams for free for six months, and has lifted its user limits on its free version to help schools and businesses during the ­­ outbreak. The platform is also launching additional virtual resources to help teams easily transition to working remotely.

Cisco

Cisco is another tech tool to consider when team collaboration is paramount and connectivity a must. Backed by cloud storage and a robust videoconferencing suite, Cisco is an excellent choice for the transitioning business. 

Bonus: Cisco reports that the global users of their webinar software Webex have increased 22 times since COVID-19 first emerged. Now, the company is offering the free version of its Webex service with no time restrictions, and it is also allowing 100 participant meetings for 90 days for businesses that are first-time customers.

Facebook

Facebook Workplace is the social network’s remote-work tech tool, integrating conferencing and collaboration applications with Facebook’s familiar interface. It also adds updates on your projects in a News Feed format, as well as instant translation in 46 languages. 

Bonus: In light of current events, Facebook has jumped in and started offering small businesses support in the way of resources, cash grants, and ad credits to help with the unstable financial climate. Facebook is also taking advantage of its unparalleled networking abilities by connecting other like-minded businesses through Facebook Groups. Groups enable owners, business leaders, and customers to listen to and support each other. 

These times will test the resilience of many businesses, but with help from these virtual resources, your team can continue fostering efficiency, communication, collaboration, and culture. 

Looking for more support? As always, GROWL is here to help your business achieve success. 
Starting March 20, GROWL will be hosting weekly webinars to provide resources to business leaders. If you’re interested in joining or receiving the recordings, RSVP here.