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Home office and Digital Workplace – in times of crisis

Closed shops and public facilities, quarantine and isolation. States must currently react drastically – but also calmly – to the coronavirus in order to prevent its spread. While Netflix and board games are (again) enjoying great popularity as a result, companies are facing a new challenge: loss of income due to short-time work, sick leave or quarantine. But especially in cases of isolation without sick leave (recovery comes first, of course!), i.e. preventive measures, digitalization offers numerous possibilities through home office and remote work. In this article we want to show employers how easy it is to set up a productive home office environment and what is required for this.

Legal information on this topic (German only):

Home Office through the Cloud

The all-encompassing keyword for home office is: Cloud. The strong focus on cloud applications has enabled us in recent years to work location-independently, including applications no longer need to be installed locally and the data is stored centrally by the cloud. Thanks to mobile applications, we are now even able to carry out many work processes from our smartphone.

All you need is digital

But not only the end products are digitized, services from a wide variety of areas also offer new opportunities in terms of availability, topicality and scope of services due to the digital transformation (see “Grover” below).

Renting instead of buying: Grover

Employees do not have the right to a home office, but if the employer agrees, it may be necessary for the employer to provide work equipment if it is not already available. In most cases, a laptop is sufficient, but especially for high performance applications (e.g. CAD, 3D rendering, etc.) the purchase of a second workstation for the private environment can be a costly factor.

Service providers such as Grover offer a cost-effective alternative, which is particularly advantageous for temporary needs: Renting technology instead of buying it. With more than 2000 products on offer, the range is diverse and the conditions dynamic. From a minimum contract term of one month, a wide range of devices is available, from Chromebooks (optimal cloud devices for simple applications) to high-performance PCs. Cameras, smart home devices and even drones are also available for rent.

If Grover’s offer is not enough, OTTO now is another platform that offers a wider range of products. These include numerous household appliances, as well as furniture and many other categories.

Supplier: Grover, OTTO now

The location-independent office: Microsoft Office 365

The Microsoft Office suite is the de facto standard in every office and one of the first applications to be installed on a PC/Mac. But did you know that almost all applications (Word, Excel, Outlook etc.) can also be accessed from the browser without having to install the programs locally? This is particularly interesting for low-cost Chromebooks and the mobile office, even if access to and editing of documents and files is required without a fixed workplace. Also the data storage with SharePoint and OneDrive is always location-independent and cloud-based, thus always available and synchronized across all devices.

Learn more: Microsoft Office 365

Communication via all channels

The most efficient method of communication is still the verbal one. But supported by visual means, such as pictures and video, colleagues achieve a higher acceptance, a stronger information flow and more creativity in problem solving. WhatsApp has become an integral part of our everyday communication. Far too much, this app has established itself in our environment through its many options and massive distribution. The business environment, however, places even more demands on communication, especially in terms of the range of functions and organization of channels.

Two of the big all-rounders in this area are Slack and Microsoft Teams. In addition to audio and video calls, both offer screen sharing and data exchange. Even planned meetings and the organisation of teams and projects in specially designed channels is child’s play with both applications.

For those who want to exchange ideas and brainstorm in a team, Microsoft Whiteboard (as a download or integrated into Microsoft teams) is a tool for drawing and writing together on a digital screen.

Learn more: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard

Project management across all borders

With several thousand available project management tools, choosing the right tool is not easy. We present here some applications of different orientation, of course only cloud-based. All tools reflect the usual project management requirements, which is why we focus on the special features here.

Trello (Atlassian)

Simple, quick, clear. Trello with its focus on Kanban Lanes (dynamic columns for organization) is not only interesting for companies but also for private persons. The tool is set up in seconds and offers a structured view of tasks, projects and status. If you need more, you can add more functions with power-ups.

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asana (asana)

If Trello offers too few functions or needs another view, asana is the right tool for you. Basically asana offers a similar range of functions as Trello, but adds many more features, e.g. timelines, portfolios and workloads.

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Jira (Atlassian)

Built specifically for larger development teams, Jira is considered the standard in project management for developers. Especially when agile project management and continuous integration and deployment are required, Jira shows its strengths.

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Projects (Zoho)

Zoho offers a whole suite of different applications: Project Management, Human Resources, Accounting, Collaboration, CRM etc. Getting started is easy, the apps are cost-effective and suitable for teams of any size.

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Notion (Notion Labs)

“Notion is like the LEGO set for collaboration software […]” – Ivan Zhao, Co-founder of Notion. Notion is based on documents and databases, which are freely configurable. This principle allows maximum dynamics in the creation of workflows and structures. We appreciate this freedom so much that Notion is used internally by us as a management tool for almost all business areas.

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You want to establish Home Office in your company and implement the Digital Workplace? You need an enterprise solution with greater functionality and a scalable platform?