24 Apr VIDEO – Top 3 tools for working remotely – Mark Engelmann
Mark Engelmann is the Director of Content and co-Founder of Real Estate outsourcing company, Beepo. The company uses a lot of technology and infrastructure connecting their workers with their clients in various parts of the world.
In this segment, we talk about the proven tools Beepo chose to be productive and efficient in their work.
When Mark and fellow co-Founder Aimee Engelmann started the business, they first used the popular video conference application, Skype. But they got to a point when Skype was experiencing one too many downtimes and lack of connection. Basically, it wasn’t that reliable for a business to use as a tool.
That was when they turned to Zoom. At its core, Zoom is a web conferencing or video conferencing tool much like Skype, but in their experience, it is much more consistent and reliable. It also has a lot of features that made working remotely faster and easier.
First, it has a whiteboarding feature. So, if you’re trying to explain something visual to someone, let’s say a diagram, drawing, or a tool, this feature will make it easier to teach and communicate with the person on the other end.
Zoom also has a recording feature. Given a bit of creativity and time management, it is a feature that has a ton of applications. Mark shares that he found the time to create a training video for his staff but it was after hours, so his staff have all went home. He simply recorded the video on Zoom and sent it as an email to them. The next morning, the staff were able to watch the video and hit the ground running in terms of understanding the task. No time was wasted on waiting for instruction or experimenting with settings.
Of course, with a recording feature, you and your staff can also record documentation and other calls so things only have to be done once.
What makes Zoom unique from Skype is the Zoom Room. Basically it’s a virtual office or “room” where you can share important documents with the people you contact frequently and talk about it there. So there’s no need to constantly send links or schedule calendar invites.
Has a free version with limited features
Paid version costs 30 AUD a month.
Mark calls Snagit as “pretty much screen capture on steroids”. It is also really easy to use so you can get to training and doing business right away and when you’re working with remote staff, capturing what’s on your screen is very handy.
Let’s say that you’re creating a training document or video, you can record your screen as you do the process within the system or application that you’re using. Snagit also records audio so you can provide commentary to what you’re doing along the way and create really easy and simple training videos.
Snagit also does things outside of video like Rolling Screen Capture. Let’s say you’re remotely working with a website developer or a graphic designer and they need to show you a large piece of marketing collateral like a brochure. With Snagit, you can scroll down the page and highlight certain things as you’re giving feedback. You can save the video the application creates and send it to your staff so the both of you save time on the understanding and relaying the changes that need to be done.
Has a free trial
Paid version goes for 75 AUD a year
Google’s cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools is a huge application that any business can use. You can think of it a cloud-based Microsoft Office suite, that you can edit anywhere and share with others for collaboration.
The Google suite includes tools for word processing (Google Docs) , creating spreadsheets (Google Sheets), presentation slides (Google Slides), instant messaging (Google Hangouts), and electronic mail (Gmail). It really was built to help organizations be productive and collaborate with each other easier.
If you need to check a document, the tools have an edit mode where you can comment on the document without changing its content. You can then send the link to the document back to your staff so they can implement the changes and actually see what you want changed. So aside from making feedback easier, your remote staff are also subtly trained to do work the way you want them to since they can see the areas for improvement.
The entire suite can be bought from 5 to 25 AUD a month depending on your needs, but free options are also available for those with basic needs.