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How can teams productively and efficiently work from home?

  • New tools created to help people working remotely.
  • Six new companies making way and what they have to offer.

Traditionally, employees are connected through their work that is being done at a desk in a cubicle or office and meetings that are being held in conference rooms.  Now that people are working remotely, the tools to keep them connected is even more important.  Many companies have been looking into new and effective ways to refine how these tools work and what they can do.  There are six vendors offering these new tools; Airtable, Coda, Figma, Front, Monday, and Mural. 

Let’s chat Airtable a new, more in-depth, low-code spreadsheet app for planning and managing team projects.  This would allow users to create apps customized to a specific workflow, such as a video post-production schedule or marketing campaign.  Airtable’s spreadsheets collect a variety of information on projects, with the ability to add photos and checkboxes to individual cells, due dates and status can be added to track progress and tasks can be assigned to team members. You can view these in multiple ways – a traditional spreadsheet grid view to calendar, gallery, and Kanban-style interfaces.  Although there are no software skills required, the process is aimed at those who are comfortable in handling data sets and managing business processes – once the base is set up it should be simple enough for anyone to interact with. 

Coda is a new type of document. With the “all-in-one” approach to shared productivity, combining word processing, spreadsheets, and workflow apps to create a live document that can be opened and updated by anyone on a team.  Coda offers more in-depth information and data, allowing for simple bullet-point meeting notes to be turned into actionable items with due dates and can be viewed as progress charts.  Coda is great for project planning.

Figma, a browser-based collaborative interface design app that allows for multiple people editing in real-time.  Features include vector tools for illustration, auto-layout, reusable UI styles and components, and code generation for handoff to developers. Team members are able to leave feedback and mention colleagues to discuss changes while files can be shared via a live link.  Although it’s primarily aimed at designers, a wide range of workers are connected to the creative process; designers, engineers, marketers, product managers, salespeople, execs – this allows them to all be able to collaborate in one place. 

Front aims to bring some advances from tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams around group chat to email.  A new way of doing chat in emails will allow work to be assigned to team members, with comments and @mentions to coordinate customer support responses, teams can also work together to co-edit emails. This allows teams to easily collaborate with one another, just the way that people want to work. 

Monday is a project coordination app that tracks team projects and provides an up-to-date view of work in progress. This allows tasks to be assigned to individuals and the ability for colleagues to comment on projects, too. Monday also lets users automate workflows using simple rules. 

Mural is a new visual collaboration space to brainstorm and capture ideas to help teams work together creatively.  It’s a digital whiteboard where colleagues can pitch suggestions remotely, adding text, sticky notes, images, video, and drawings to a shared “mural.”  They have templates available to support brainstorming and planning sessions. Content that is created during these sessions can be exported or shared via email.  

Each one of these tools can greatly benefit teams while being able to work remotely on projects, customer service needs, still maintaining that team mentality that you receive during on-site work.  Link to Article