May 24, 2022

Apps Your Home Office Needs In 2021

With restrictions lifting around Australia and the city of Melbourne opening up, a sense of what COVID normal will look like in 2021 is starting to reveal itself. The dominant trends that emerged during 2020 will continue into next year and beyond. We look at what apps you will need in 2021 to excel in this continuing work shift.

Online Collaboration Tools

This year many businesses have had to shift to collaborating with virtual tools. These tools give people the ability to write on digital post its, share images and content on virtual collage boards and map out process-based charts.

One comprehensive option for this type of work is Mural. Mural is a digital visualisation platform that is full of tools and templates that make virtual collaboration possible. There are also simpler options available that are free to use like Padlet or Google Jam Board.

Cloud Storage

Most businesses are no stranger to the concept of cloud-based storage for their information. 2021 will see an expansion of the amount of time spent in the cloud and what will be stored there. There are a variety of options available, such as Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud and AWS Cloud. Now is the time to review and understand your needs for the next year and beyond. Is your current solution meeting your needs, do you need to upgrade or expand services? As we head into the end of a long year, now is the time to ask the right questions and get ready for what is coming.

How you organise your cloud-based systems will have long-ranging impacts on your ability to scale, manage the workforce and deliver services to customers.

Seamless business communication

Communicating as a team internally and externally will continue to happen online in between meeting in person. Implementing or continuing to use chat platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams will be important for quick and responsive communication.

Of course, video conferencing will continue to be a preferred option as teams will continue to work remotely either in a semi-permanent or permanent basis. Using tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams will be an important way to stay in touch formally and informally as the shift to part-time or reduced time in the office continues into 2021.

Expand Customer and Employee Online Engagement

There are many different options on the market for customer experience platforms. The basic premise with any platform is they create a digital experience to maintain customer relationships online without the need to visit a physical location.

For example, Local Measure is a customer experience platform to help you identify, understand and engage your customers to drive loyalty. Supporting customer feedback, wi-fi analytics, customer engagement and contact centre solutions help to connect with customers and collect real-time insights to personalise experiences.

As well as managing relationships externally, culture within organisations will be critical in a post-pandemic world of remote work or decentralised workforces. This means more an of focus on meeting the deadlines of projects and outcomes rather than time spent in the office.

Recent workplace trends show that sophisticated technology solutions that improve wellbeing and engagement for remote teams have become essential. Culture Amp helps businesses uncover the relationships between performance and engagement. They turn these insights into high-impact actions to create an ideal employee experience. A few companies have also introduced employee wellness platforms like Headspace and Calm for their workforce.

Cyber Security Updates

And of course, make sure your personal laptops, phones and to wi-fi routers are secure if used for any business purposes. For teams working from home, adding an extra level of protection is recommended to avoid critical personal and company information being compromised.

2021 is just around the corner and the time to start planning for it is now. While there are likely to hybrid work situations in the future in Australia the shift to remote work is here. Be sure you are ready for it.


Julie Dunmore

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