Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic: What tools are most useful for home workers?

Comment from Jacob Colton, Director of Catalyst2 Hosting

By now, everyone is fully aware of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has had on everyone’s lives. From schools in many countries closing to major sporting events being cancelled, COVID-19 has come from nowhere to make its presence all too keenly felt. Of course, one other massive impact it has had is on the business world and how many employees now are having to work from home. This has happened very quickly and could mean that you are now having to work from home too, without having had time to fully prepare for it.

The good news is that there are some great tools to use now when home working. These online packages are ideal for helping you to work from home efficiently and effectively still while the coronavirus pandemic plays out. But which tools are the best around to help you stay productive when not in the office?


It goes without saying that clear communication between you and colleagues also working from home will be key. One of the best tools you can use for this is called Slack. This package is basically a chat room for your whole organisation which lets you talk to other team members instantly and share files. This instant messaging approach is much quicker and more collaborative than sending emails in many cases. A neat feature of Slack is the ability to set up Channels for group discussion to bring certain teams working remotely closer together.


Skype may not need much introduction as it has been used in business for a while now. For those who do not know about it, it is essentially a video calling package which is free. This could be very handy for speaking to people face to face still when messages or emails will not do. The real beauty with Skype is that it is very easy to use and works on all devices with an internet connection. Not only could it help you collaborate with colleagues better while out of the office but it can also help prevent feelings of isolation through more personal contact.


Another tool to help make home working more effective is called Zoom. It uses digital online video tech in a similar way to Skype but is primarily designed for video conferencing. This is a useful tool therefore for enabling meetings to be held even when you are working from home and for being able to attend any you are invited too online also. Zoom is easy to set up and ideal for helping you to carry out your role as normal in these uncertain times.

Using the right tools is key to efficient home working

For a lot of people, this will be the first time they have ever worked from home – certainly for an extended period of time. It can seem daunting to begin with but the crucial thing to know is that using the right tools will help greatly. The above examples show why and can really help you perform your role to the best of your ability when at home.