As someone who hasn’t done the 9-to-5 life in nearly two years, the sudden influx of people on social media discovering the daily remote-work experience has been something to behold. Yes, it does help to properly get dressed of a morning to add a routine to your day (especially if you have a Skype video call planned) and it’s important to take screen breaks for fresh air when you can, but the real productivity gains are made through having the right software.
To ensure your charity is able to hit the ground running as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve rounded up some of the best software options for charities that suddenly find their staff scattered around the neighbourhood, rather than neatly arranged in an open-plan office.
If you’re more worried about donations drying up, then we have some tips for boosting them here, too. But for now, here’s some software to make remote working that bit more seamless.
Hopefully, you already use Slack for your office communications – if you do, you’ll find the transition to remote work far easier. If you don’t, why not? Not only is it heavily discounted for charities (and temporarily free in the wake of Covid19), but it’s very good software for office communications in its own right.
Its aim is to replace the inefficiency of email with chat rooms, direct messaging, file transfers, voice calls and more. I first used it back in 2015, and haven’t looked back since…
If you need a more dedicated video conferencing solution, then plenty of people swear by Whereby, which also includes screen-sharing software for better collaboration.
While the free tier lets you host meetings with up to four people, the paid options of Whereby are particularly good for larger meetings, with up to 50 people in a single call and the ability to record and download meetings to make sure nothing is missed. It’s a bit pricier though, costing at least $59.99 (~£51) per month. In the past discounts for nonprofits have been available, but the site seems to have gone quiet about them for the moment.
If that still sounds a bit pricey for your nonprofit, then you could join the rest of the world in becoming sudden fans of Zoom. One-to-one meetings are free and you can record audio to MP4 or M4A so you don’t miss anything. The free tier also supports meetings of up to 50 people, though these are capped at 40 minutes (which may be a blessing in disguise if it encourages brevity!)
If you need bigger meetings, you’ll need an £11.99-per-month package in order for someone to host – but with just that outlay you unlock the ability to have up to 100 participants on a call as well as other useful features for businesses.
G Suite for Nonprofits
Yes, it’s only the basic version, but that’s still better than labouring away with the free personal edition. It comes with 30GB of Google Drive cloud storage, and it would normally set you back over £4 per user every month.