How do you support an office remotely?

The best free tools for home office and distance learning

Home office and distance learning have never been as popular as they are right now. Large companies are usually well positioned here and provide employees with the right hardware and software to be productive in the home office. But in many companies the employees have to help themselves and in schools the situation is at least very confusing. These tools support you in the home office and distance learning

There are many companies that approach the topic of home office very professionally. Employees then get the right hardware and software as well as help with problems. This not only makes it easier for employees to get started in the home office. The companies themselves also benefit from this because they still have their IT under control and the employees do not waste time configuring anything at home on their private computers.

However, working from home is not so well organized everywhere and schools are a topic of their own. Here the pandemic struck cold. If you do not get any hardware from the employer or the school helps out with suitable devices, the private PC has to work and it should be safe. Neither XP boxes nor computers with Windows 7 are included. As a Windows user, you need either Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

When modern collaboration tools are used, you need them at home too. Meant are, for example, Microsoft Teams or Slack. This enables you to cover a wide range of work tasks and to communicate with colleagues, teachers or lecturers.

Download: collaboration tools

Office package is mandatory

No office or school functions without office software. In private, LibreOffice is usually sufficient, in the office it usually looks different. Microsoft Office dominates here and those who do not have their home also find it difficult to work from home. In a separate article, we have put together the free options for using Microsoft Office. We will also present alternatives to Microsoft Office there.

Some companies also use Google Docs to collaborate. Then only a browser is required to edit documents, tables and presentations. Schoolchildren and students may get to Microsoft Office for free.

Mail connection to the office

In private, a web mailer such as Gmail or GMX is easily sufficient. In the home office you also need access to business emails and it is a good tip for students to separate private and school emails. Here, too, there is the possibility of regulating this via web mail. Then a browser like Firefox is sufficient. If your employer or school and university offer other options for accessing the mailbox, you can work with Outlook or use open source tools such as Thunderbird. This post shows other Outlook alternatives.

Download now: Mozilla Thunderbird

The quick contact with colleagues and teachers

Private life can be managed well via WhatsApp, communication with colleagues and with teachers is not. Still, you need a faster channel than email today. Before you pick up the phone and hang on the phone all day, you should try Skype. Here you can easily create groups in which you can discuss various work topics.

Please note: There is no uniform solution, especially in schools, some use Skype, but some also use other communication tools. As a rule, there is not much freedom of choice here because the tools are predetermined.