It’s highly likely that your work has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in some way.
Even for those lucky enough to still be able to work from home, it’s been far from straightforward for the majority of the workforce. Juggling work with childcare, dealing with a sub-par internet connection and finding somewhere to truly focus are just a few of the concerns people have had.
Alongside the influx of communication from the service industry, many tech companies have been offering their premium services free of charge. With that in mind, here are seven great remote working tools that you don’t currently have to pay for.
The range of features offered by Microsoft Teams make it a popular option for working from home.
Offering text and video chat, file storage and application integration, the collaboration software’s daily active user base has increased by 12 million since the coronavirus outbreak intensified.
While premium features such as increased storage, scheduled meetings and integration with Microsoft Stream for meeting recording are usually reserved for customers paying at least US$5 a month, you can now get them for free.
If the organisation you already work for just has a free version of Teams, the good news is that you’ll automatically be upgraded to the premium account without being charged. If you’d like to start using it while at home, just sign up for the free version and invite your co-workers to join.
See full information on the
Microsoft FAQs page, or you can go ahead and
download Teams for Windows or Mac.
Google is offering a near-indispensable method of communication for millions both personally and professionally, with its Meet video calling among the most popular platforms worldwide.
The good news is that any existing G Suite users (think Google Docs, Sheets, Slides) able to get the Enterprise version of Google Meet completely free.
This allows you to have up to 250 people in a call at any one time, as well as recording capabilities and the option to live stream to up to 100,000 people. It’s perfect for if you’re looking to make any company-wide announcements.
Google Meet Enterprise will be available for everyone until 30 September 2020. Just head to
meet.google.com to get started.
Zoom already offers a version of its software for free, and this has everything most people are looking for, with paid-for subscriptions typically aimed at business users. In anticipation of a sustained increase in demand, the company has said it is testing its network to ensure it can cope with an influx of new users.
The latest version of the software includes additional resources which help small businesses get the most out of it, while there are unlimited participants, meeting times and breakout rooms in China.
Although that hasn’t made its way to the UK, there is a way to
get around the Zoom 40 minute limit.
download Zoom for Windows and Mac now.
Cisco are among the most well-established tech companies, and its Webex software is a great alternative to the more established collaboration tools. To support users during the coronavirus outbreak, and the company have now loosened many of the restrictions on the free version.
There’s now no time limit on the length of calls, while you can add up to 100 participants at any one time and supply a dial-in number for those who can’t get to a computer.
Just head to the
Cisco Webex website to download.
TechSmith software (Snagit and Video Review)
TechSmith is offering both its Snagit and Video Review software free of charge to organisations until 30 June.
If you usually rely on Photoshop while in the office, Snagit will be your best option from home. It’s great at handling screenshots, while you can also annotate and resize images.
However, you can also create custom lessons, pre-record lectures and record meetings and presentations.
If you’re looking to collaborate with colleagues, you’ll also enjoy Video Review. It’s billed as a great replacement for in-person meetings, while also allowing you to collaborate in real time and respond to questions and suggestions seamlessly.
To take advantage, just ask your employers to
head to the TechSmith website to sign up, and then you’ll be able to download both free of charge.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Talking of Photoshop, sometimes nothing quite compares to full versions of editing software
That’s where the Adobe Creative Cloud comes in, offering over 20 of the company’s most popular apps for a single monthly payment. In addition to Photoshop, this also includes the likes of Premiere Pro, Audition, InDesign and After Effects, many of which are indispensable tools
If you’ve been forking out nearly £50 a month for access, you’ll be glad to hear that Adobe is offering 60 days of access for nothing. However, you’ll only be presented with these options if you
log in to your existing Creative Cloud account and click Cancel.
Before you commit to anything, Adobe will tempt you with this offer to stay, which means your next payment will be delayed by two months.
Unfortunately, Adobe is yet to extend its 7-day free trial to new subscribers, but legacy versions may still be available online.
Fingerprint for Success
If you interact with work colleagues on a regular basis, it’s highly likely Fingerprint for Success (F4S) will be able to help you boost relationships and improve productivity.
Upon signing up, you are prompted to rank statements across 40 key aspects of behaviour, according to their importance to you. While some have obvious links to business, others have an indirect effect that you may not be aware of.
This will then provide an overview of your intrinsic attitudes, motivations and preferences, enabling you to make noticeable improvements your everyday workflow.
The free tier offers plenty of functionality, with an overview of 16 key attitudes, extensive comparison metrics and personalised tips and guidance.
Paid plans start at US$8.25 per month, and allow access to all 48 attitudes, alongside the ability to track motivations over time and curate an unlimited number of teams.
See the full range of subscriptions on the Fingerprint for Success website.