Flexible Work Proposal Package users: When you reach the Communication section of your fill-in-the-blank proposal template, specify some of the apps you plan to use (besides the obvious ones such as email, phone, IM and text). This tactic reinforces your case that telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements are entirely feasible.
Project Management and Collaboration
If you’re proposing telecommuting or job sharing, these tools can foster smooth virtual team communication and collaboration.
- Basecamp – “The world’s #1 project management tool.”
- Trello – “Organize Anything, Together” – Free virtual project management tool. Use individually or as a team.
- Slack – “The collaboration hub that moves work forward”
- Wrike – “A real-time platform that blends work management and collaboration…”
- Zoho has an extensive suite of online collaboration and productivity applications.
- Yammer is a private social network for use within one company “that helps employees collaborate across departments, locations and business apps.”
Virtual Meetings and Web Conferencing
- Zoom is what I use. It’s reliable, affordable, has excellent video quality, and is easy to use. I’m very pleased.
- Appear.in allows for free small group “painless video conversations.”
- Sqwiggle looks promising: “Free for teams of 3. No contract. Cancel any time.” Boasts added features over Google Hangout and Skype.
- Gruveo offers “the world’s easiest video calls.”
- Join.me – Very versatile and popular tool for meetings, screen sharing and more.
- iMeet – “Meet. Call. Share. Chat. Collaborate…with up to 15 people.”
- Google Hangouts, Facetime (an Apple app) and Skype are popular for connecting with friends and family, but you might find they suit your business needs.
- AnyMeeting – Positions itself to small businesses. Free trial available.
- Uber Conference – I’m hearing good things about this inexpensive HD web conferencing vendor.
- Blue Jeans, Unify and Vidyo appear to me to be geared for use by large companies.
Cloud Storage Services
Dropbox and Google Drive are popular (I use both), but you can generate a long list of other options with a search on “alternatives to Dropbox.” If you work for a large company, it’s possible your employer is already using an enterprise content manager such as Alfresco or Syncplicity.
Presence and Productivity Tools
Ideally, you will be evaluated on your performance, not hours, place or presence. Work objectives and outcomes need to be clearly defined and communicated by your manager, so you can determine your work effort and tasks.
In real life, it may not always play out that way at your workplace. So your case for remote work (telecommuting) might be helped by suggesting use of these tools, if your manager feels a need to monitor activity. (Hopefully, during the trial period only.)
- Worksnaps is “time tracking for remote work.”
- MySammy software encourages productivity by evaluating how a person spends time on a computer.
Remote Access Software
Remote control of your work computer from home (or elsewhere) is relatively easy using remote access software. There are so many options; do an online search or start here to explore your choices.
Disclaimer: These are just a few examples of popular apps that foster workplace flexibility. Quotes come directly from the vendor’s website. Inclusion on this list does not imply my endorsement.
Reinventing Work: Toolkits and Training
Work team training can play a role in your flexible work proposal success. Check out these resources to get started.