Creating an app savvy office is beneficial for all levels staff, across most industries. There’s no doubt that there have been a huge number of changes over the last few years, and many are the direct result of the digital and technical revolution. Pretty much every aspect of our daily lives has changed, especially the way people are productive in the workplace.
I’ve been trying to get myself organised this January, and inspired by Shine Media, here are four apps that I think are essential for the modern office.
- Meeting Software
Despite so many changes’ happening in the workplace, one practice has remained a crucial part in businesses; the office meeting. However a growing number of workers are now working from remote locations, whilst on their travels, or tucked up at home. In the past, when staff numbers were smaller, a conference call was basically the only way to ensure that every member of the team was on the same page. The best way to make sure that every employee is on the same page is for them to see and hear what’s happening the meeting – making web meeting software a must. When picking a web meeting app, I think it’s important to have one that is easy to configure and which works with all of the major operating systems. Clear video and audio is also a must, and the ability to display in-app whiteboards and presentations is rather handy too. Zoom is consistently rated as one of the best. Other top choices include ClickMeeting and join.me from LogMeIn. If the people in your team (or those working on this project) consist of just a few members in different locations, the apps I’ve just mentioned could be overkill, in which case Skype might be a better option.
- The Working Lunch
Working Lunches have been a staple in the workplace for decades. However the days of ordering several pizzas, or sending the office intern or apprentice to a nearby takeaway shop with a massive list of orders is over. I’ve heard that a lot of people aren’t huge fans of working lunches (despite the free meal), however the digital revolution has made it super easy to order specialised meals for staff covering everything from burgers and pizza, to sushi or street food. Apps like Deliveroo, and HungryHouse are among the best for helping change the working lunch into something that is productive, and everyone in the office can look forward to.
It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago planning diaries could cost more than a hundred pounds and often came with a huge user’s manual or invitations to company sponsored seminars that showed buyers how to use the diary efficiently. There are so many scheduler apps available, it’s a little overwhelming. One of the better ones is Fantastical 2 which works well with all of the standard office and cloud based systems. It also translates spoken inputs into calendar entries and will even include a map to named locations (v. handy!). Native apps on your smartphone can do similar, and Google Calendar universally is considered one of the best. When you use Siri or Google Now, you can also dictate appointments, meetings, and reminders.
- Document Sharing
Sharing documents via email is great. It allows you to cut down on paper, communicate quickly, and send files anywhere in the world in seconds. However if you’re part of a small two-person team or a large group collaborating on a project you are likely to encounter problems with sending emails back and forth – things get missed and then everyone gets confused. One of the best solutions for this is Dropbox, and it’s one of my favourite to use as it’s so user friendly. The easy to use app lets you share folders and their contents with groups of any size. You can also designate who can edit or change the documents as well. Best of all Dropbox sends you a notification when a file has been added or changed, or when someone has posted a comment.
I hope this post has been useful and the apps I’ve mentioned help make your working life both in your own teams or within the wider business, easier! Do you already work in an app savvy office? Let me know in the comments if there are any other apps you/your team use that are invaluable and I should check out!