Lifestyle

Online services that are taking the extra effort to make work from home easier, customisable and more accessible

APR 29, 2020 | By Sakshi Rai
Photograph by Sonia Dutt

With staying indoors being a necessary precaution in order to battle out this global epidemic, a majority of employees across varying fields have resorted to work from their homes. And while some of us lack only the required motivation, others face more genuine challenges related to connectivity, sharing of large data or a common platform to collaborate, all of which are taken for granted prerequisites in an office workspace. This sudden and uncertain transformation of the workplace setting and routine, definitely requires getting used to.

At times like these a clean, organised desk, away from distractions and extra snack visits to the kitchen is surely a great starting point. And for the other hassles you might face, it is truly the age of the internet and help is just around the corner! In a heartwarming gesture to boost the spirits of all professionals working from home, and extend solidarity in this difficult situation, a number of online platforms have designed and extended user friendly platforms, some of which are free. Here is a list of such services, which are sure to rid you of some current work woes, and what we like best about them.

Adobe
Anyone part of the design fraternity, whether they are students, educators or working professionals, swear by the brilliant softwares and services provided by this software company. To overcome disruptions and limited availability on home systems, it is offering free home access to Creative Cloud apps for students and educators until May 31, 2020 and a 90-day access to Adobe Connect for web conferencing until July 1, 2020. www.adobe.com

Microsoft
With the outbreak of Covid-19 and to help continue the unrestricted flow of work, this technology giant has announced a free 6 month Office 365 E1 Trial, which includes Microsoft Teams. Possibly the most widely used tool, this one stop powerhouse provides individuals access to Office 365 applications such as OneDrive and Sharepoint increasing work efficiency. Another handy assist, are slash commands—short typed phrases preceded by a slash that work as quick shortcuts for specific commands. www.teams.microsoft.com

Zoom
One of the most recently popular tools, this free app helps keep you in the loop with a daily host of webinars, tutorials and live demos. Our favourite feature remains its Virtual Background option during teleconferencing, which gives individuals the option of not hesitating to call from an untidy surrounding. This truly, optimises the comfort that’s synonymous with work from home. www.zoom.us

SendTransfer
Here to ease the load off Wetransfer with the growing number of users, is SendTransfer—a free online file sharing platform. Not only does it enable you to transfer large files upto 10 GB, it’s customisable expiry settings can be adjusted to increase the time frame and notify when the files are downloaded. www.sendtransfer.com

Lifesize
The safe player, this one ensures all sensitive conversation over video calls stays protected with its default encryption setting. This platform also paves the way for a larger group call across 300 audio and video participants and the broadcast of live events for upto 10,000 concurrent viewers. Lifesize is currently offering 6 months free video conferencing to organisations, businesses, NGO’s or government agencies in over 100 countries globally. www.lifesize.com

ArchChat
Founded by Chetan K Singh and launched in January 2020, this communication collaboration tool for architects, designers, engineering consultants and their clients is extremely easy to use. It is similar to a WhatsApp group chat, but with additional trickle down conversations that are categorised according to a specific drawing, area or product that allow easy sorting. ArchChat is completely free for all creatives. www.archchat.com

Jamm
This one is a strict abider of the work and fun balance, and replaces hour long meetings with quick spontaneous chats for the ones missing casual updates and conversations with their colleagues in the corridor. Also one can capture video snippets or record podcasts for flexibility across time zones, as well as share screens and participate in white-boarding sessions to collectively brainstorm. Jamm is free for the next three months. www.jamm.app

Photograph by Sonia Dutt
Photograph by Sonia Dutt
Photograph by Sonia Dutt