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Working Remotely Made Easy Android Apps & Collaboration Tools To Set You Free

Marissa Mayer recently brought the Yahoo workforce back to the office. For years, Yahoo let their employees work remotely, as long as the job was done and done well. This all changed in 2013 when Mayer stated in a memo to staff: “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important so we need to be working side-by-side.” But while Yahoo-ers have returned to the office setting, many others are doing the exact opposite. According to, the percentage of workers based in a home office has grown around 4% each year since 2009.

Why does the remote working trend continue to rise? And was Marissa Mayer right to move employees from couches to cubes (that’s a bit of an exaggeration on both parts)? It all has to do with access to the tools needed to get the job done. But that set of tools, of course, is changing with the evolution of smart and embedded technology. Let’s take a look.

smart and embedded technology

Online Collaboration Tools

There is no shortage of collaboration tools on the Internet, making it easy to be just as efficient in a home setting as it is from an office setting. From group video conferencing to simultaneous collaboration documents, it’s no wonder many people claim to be more productive at home, away from office interruptions. And many of these services can be accessed from desktop computers as well as smartphones and tablets. Here are a few that have helped the home office thrive:

  • GoToMeeting: The GoToMeeting platform for Android is robust. With a smartphone, you can schedule a meeting, attend meetings, and participate in the chat with the GTM application. The simplicity of GoToMeeting has a lot of people talking and sounding very clear.
  • Citrix Receiver: Not all remote workers work from a home. Remote working includes the sales people and traveling business folk that are always on the go. This product is great for the on-the-road worker. Users must already have XenDesktop or XenApp installations, but once downloaded, you can access your applications, desktops, and data securely from any device including a smartphone. The Citrix Receiver for Android is truly liberating.

With applications like these, was Marissa Mayer right? This is a tough question. Many would argue productivity increases with less distraction. In the case of Yahoo, productivity is important, but creativity is just as important. In the quote earlier, Marissa Mayer stated how employees should be working side by side for the most impactful collaboration. It’s hard to beat a face to face conversation or a vigorous conference room meeting, but in terms of creativity and project management, there are plenty of tools giving face-to-face a run for its money!

  • Basecamp: at the base price of $20 a month, Basecamp project management software gives teams the ability to assign tasks, upload documents, discuss ad designs, and more. It’s a place to store information and interact just as you would in a shared work space…but digitally.
  • Asana for Android: Asana is free for a certain number of users. The checklist feature and project management is great. Designed by ex-Facebook employees, Asana hopes to do away with whiteboards the same way whiteboards did away with chalkboards.
  • Trello for Android: a simple app that is as comfortable to use on a laptop as it is on a smartphone. Get updates when tasks are changed on all of your devices. Group tasks, move them out when complete, move them up when it becomes critical. It’s all there.

This is just a quick snapshot of some tools available that make working from home, or elsewhere, a breeze. There are hundreds of other resources for the remote worker that can help you get the job done while collaborating with team members, and yes, many of them come with mobile device compatibility. Get to work!

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