May 23, 2020 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Just because the coronavirus pandemic is forcing us all to stay home doesn’t mean your company should stand still. In fact, technology has made it seamless for everyone from company executives to employees to remotely run their company affairs as if they were in their respective offices. To ensure that your company activities are not slowed down, adopt apps to that aid in collaboration, effective communication, time management, task monitoring and seamless payments. Below, I recommend 15 apps, but they are not based on hierarchy or preference — and these are just a few among hundreds.
Effective communication apps and tools
Communication is crucial, especially now when everyone is physically away from each other. As a business owner, you need an effective communication tool to bring about the continuation of your business processes remotely. Whether it’s the best team chat app or group communication app you’re out to get, here are some of them you can adopt:
Troop Messenger comes with a promise of enabling you to share information swiftly and securely with team members. You can carry out video calls, video conferencing, share files, desktop sharing, etc. Unlimited access is also provided to chat history to ensure you do not lose any information.
Slack helps team members to be productive even in the face of a pandemic. What you get is an application that breaks conversations into channels to make these conversations more accessible. There’s also a searchable archive that provides easy access to the most important information.
Twist claims to be a distraction-free teamwork app that organizes discussions and makes it easy to find information. The app can be used to share ideas and information, and to build knowledge. Twist is also a tough competitor to Slack in terms of interoffice messaging, hence, where one fails, the other makes up for it.
Effective help desk apps
Help desk apps are crucial tools that can help you stay connected with your customers while working from home. While the benefits of implementing such software cannot be overdramatized, they are not far-fetched. There are many good help desk apps that can keep you connected with your clients or customers, and here are some of them.
Bitrix24 is a free help desk chat software for websites. It can be used on WordPress, Shopify, Drupal, WooCommerce, Joomla, etc. to receive responses from your customers. The features of this application include a live chat, callback and contact form.
Freshdesk offers a simplified way for you to manage your customers’ requests, and as such, ensure that you do not miss out on any. This omnichannel, AI-driven software comes with features such as email ticketing to convert every email received into a ticket.
LiveAgent is also help desk software that connects you with your customers via calls, chats, emails and social media. The requests from these communication channels can be turned into a ticket to help you manage them better.
Effective interviewing apps
Working from home WFH doesn’t put an end to onboarding processes. Interestingly, technology has simplified processes such as candidate engagement, intelligent candidate screening, candidate evaluation and so on. In fact, there are many existing apps that can assist you in hiring the best candidate for a job via visual interviewing/onboarding processes. A few out of many of them are as follows:
Modern Hire is an online interview and hiring platform that helps company owners and HR managers to hire the right candidate. This platform relies on AI, predictive analytics, assessment and workflow automation, amongst other technologies to support visual interviewing.
VidCruiter is a video interviewing software that offers you the most efficient and cost-effective way to find the ideal candidate for a job. With this video recruitment app, you get to engage, interview and hire more candidates while spending less time and resources.
The Spark Hire video interview application can be used to conduct interviews in real time. It also allows the candidate to answer questions, which can be reviewed at your own convenience. The latter enables you to compare the responses of several candidates to make better decisions on who to choose for a position.
Effective time-tracking apps
As a business owner, you might need time-management apps like these to monitor your employees or team member activities remotely.
Toggl is a simple time tracker that keeps you and your team focused on what’s important. You can also set up reminders using the app, or track a task you’re trying to complete. What’s more, there’s the option to filter your time tracking data and export the data via Excel, CSV or PDF.
HoursTracker can be used to track the working hours of your employees to ensure that they are dedicating quality time while working from home. The app keeps track of employee hours and earnings, payments and business expenses, amongst others.
RescueTime gives you a good idea of how much time you spend each day handling different aspects of your company. Is it in customer relations, payments, etc.? Here, the app works in the background of your phone, tablet or computer and keeps track of how much time is spent on each activity.
Effective apps for payments
Working from home does not restrict your clients from paying for a proposed or completed project. Actually, there are a range of applications that provide an easy and seamless way for you to send and accept payments from your customers. Some of these apps are:
Square Point of Sale
Square Point of Sale enables you to accept payments from your customers online or offline. You can use a phone or tablet to accept credit card payments and also send invoices to your customers.
PayPal Here Point-of-sale
Online payments platform PayPal has taken it one step further to enable companies to accept payments offline. In the case of the latter, there is a PayPal Here point-of-sale app that can be used to order a card reader. The reader accepts credit card payments.
Dwolla offers a convenient way to accept payments from your clients right from its app. Payments received can then be transferred to your bank account. On the other hand, Dwolla does not have a card reader. However, given that you’ll need to rely more on online payments during the pandemic, it really isn’t a downside.