More people are working remotely these and employees need remote work tools that allow them to connect with one another, their employer and customers. This guide will help you find remote work tools that are free or cost effective.
You might think that remote work tools come at a cost, there are tools that let you work remotely and stay connected to your business for free. Below is a list of tools that will allow you to work remotely and stay connected.
Remote Workstation Access Tools
One of the most important aspects of working remotely is being able to connect with your workstation in the office and gain remote workstation access. While there are tools like GoToMyPC, they cost money, however, Google actually has a tool called “Remote Desktop” that lets you remotely access your workstation from any browser. It’s a Chrome Plugin that is protected by a six digit PIN behind your Google account. All you need to do is go to https://remotedesktop.google.com/ and it will pull up a list of workstations that you have installed this on. This tool also works to provide remote support to your clients. They also can go to this site and you can remote into their workstation.
Alternatively you can use Teamviewer. Teamviewer allows you to remotely access your workstation but it is limited to non-commercial use. This might only work for a non-profit organization. If you do any commercial activity, they can limit your account so be careful!
Share your Desktop
Do you have a need to share your desktop or make a presentation with multiple people? There are free tools for that as well. One of the most popular is Zoom. Zoom has free plans as well as more expensive plans. The free plans allow for clients and partners you view your desktop or allows you to view their desktop. This is a great way to collaborate!
An alternative to Zoom is Skype. Skype allows you to have video conference calls for free with multiple people. It also allows you to share your desktop as well. This is another great way to collaborate with your partners!
If the free plans at Zoom or Skype do not meet your needs, you can alternatively look at join.me. They have plans that are slightly cheaper than Zoom’s higher plans but would do the same thing.
If you are doing a Web conference, I highly recommend using a headphone and microphone. A pair like the Cowin E7 is one of the most highly rated pairs and are worth consideration.
Free Conference Calls
If you need to host a meeting with a number of people and don;t need to share your screen, there are ways to host free conference calls. FreeConferenceCall.com offers free conference calls. They also have high plans but if all you need is a conference line, this should work. There are other providers as well if you do a search you will find others.
Low cost remote work tools
If the free tools are too limiting for your needs, there are several low cost tools that you can use to meet your needs. We’ve already covered some low cost alternatives to remote desktop access, desktop sharing and conference calls above but those aren’t the only tools you need to work remote.
Low Cost Cell Phone Plans
We’ve covered this in another guide but Visible Wireless is a cell phone company owned by Verizon that uses Verizon’s cellular network but gives you truly unlimited data. It’s only 5Mbps but that’s a lot faster than Verizon or AT&T after they throttle you down. It’s as low as $25 a month and you can connect a phone to a wireless router as we explained in our guide and this will allow you to connect multiple devices.
While that 5Mbps might seem like a slow connection, it’s more than enough to stream a full HD TV show and for a video conference. So take a look at our guide and see how you can get unlimited data for just $25 a month!
Remote work accessories
To be successful in working remote, you’ll need some remote work accessories such as headphones, desktop accessories and some computer peripherals.
One of the highest rated headphones with a microphone is the Cowin E7 noise cancelling headphones. This over the ear design will give you a more immersive experience and allow you clearly hear conversations and for your participants to clearly hear you as well. That’s key for a successful conference call or Web conference.
Another tool that you will need is a Webcam. Webcams come pre-installed on many laptops and tablets. Having said that, sometimes it’s nice to have a camera separate from your screen. It frees you up and gives you some freedom as to where the camera is placed. The LarmTek 1080P Webcam is one of the best sellers that you might not have heard of. It has a built in microphone and is highly rated by users so check it out. It’s one of the few Webcams that comes with a built-in cover for privacy when not in use.