John Stepper, one of the leading proponents of working out loud, defines it thusly:
‘Working Out Loud starts with making your work visible in such a way that it might help others. When you do that – when you work in a more open, connected way – you can build a purposeful network that makes you more effective and provides access to more opportunities.’
Here at Work Out Loud, we provide the tools needed to help businesses and employees do just that. Have you embraced the principles of working out loud yet? You don’t have to invest in a full-blown collaborative working platform to get started – there are now plenty of free or low-cost software tools that support flexible working and collaboration. Take a look at six of our picks.
Part of the eminently flexible Google Apps collaborative office suite but also available on its own, Google Docs is the collaborative working tool for flexible workers. This app allows you to create, share, edit and store documents via the cloud – from spreadsheets to word documents and more besides. Multiple users can collaborate on Google documents simultaneously, and better yet, you can access docs via mobile devices when you’re away from your workstation. Ideal for flexible workers.
Flexible working benefits businesses and employees alike, but can present challenges when it comes to scheduling meetings and keeping track of where everyone is. A shared calendar system like Google Calendar can help solves this problem. Google Calendar is a scheduling tool that allows everyone in your team to plan and schedule meetings, and view each other’s diary information. You can even share calendars with third party organisations you might work with. Doodle is another great scheduling tool that makes it easy to find the best time to hold meetings or plan an after-work night out.
You can’t have failed to have heard of Skype by now, but there’s a reason why this free app is one of the most popular there is. One of the key principles of working out loud is communication, and the video messaging functionality of Skype is invaluable in this regard. While Skype is by far the most popular contemporary video messaging app and works great across numerous mobile devices, there are now many other options to choose from. Google+ Hangouts is an equally brilliant alternative and completely free to use. Skype also enables you to broadcast webinars to large groups of people.
Flexible working is a means to extend your business and engage your employees in an innovative way, but it isn’t always easy to equip remote workers with the same solutions they could enjoy in the workplace. Air Display is an app that allows remote workers to exploit the resources available to them, wirelessly transforming an iPad into a remote screen for use alongside a laptop or monitor. This app allows for an innovative use of resources without the need for additional expense.
Asana is an app designed for more effective remote task management. Collaborative working can be simple – even when conducted remotely – but keeping everyone on task when employees are spread over different locations is another matter entirely. Asana allows distant employees to communicate and collaborate, and applies working out loud principles to track progress and prioritise tasks.
There are plenty of apps out there that allow workers to collaborate on word documents, spreadsheets or slide shows, but what about more creative projects? Coggle is the ideal app for the creative flexible worker. Coggle allows you to create highly attractive notes, perfect for visual thinkers. The collaborative app tracks individual changes, so there will be no problems where accountability is concerned.
Flexible working is the cornerstone of the Work Out Loud ethos. We can help to provide you with the tools you need to work collaboratively, including the full Google Apps suite. Why not contact us today to find out more about what we do?
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