Everybody’s approach to work is different, with some flourishing under pressure and others being far more productive when left to their own devices. However, if there’s one unifying factor that workers of the UK can agree on, it’s that the lockdown is providing much more harm than good in regards to everyday work life. Many feel that the novelty of working exclusively from home has well and truly worn off, and find it difficult to stay motivated, keep on top of work or even give it their all whilst working.
Recent studies show that this is the case, with over 60% of the UK’s workforce currently working remotely from home and 24% of workers stating that they’re finding it difficult to remain focused, fully relax in their home offices and even struggle to separate themselves from work full stop. This fatigue is only getting worse as time goes on, with many reporting that staying on top of work is an uphill battle.
Whether it’s due to procrastination being that much harder to resist or simply missing the familiar environment of an office filled with co-workers, the UK’s workforce is struggling. This is why Armstrong Appointments has scoured the internet, exploring apps in both Apple and Android app stores, to see which apps are best for staying on top of work. Not only are these fantastic ways of fighting back against workplace isolation-related blues, but they’re also capable of aiding troubles during these stressful lockdown-based times.
Headspace – Giving Yourself the Best Mindset
First thing’s first; you can’t improve your productivity by force, or if you’re not feeling your best. Even if you push yourself to do more, work harder, type faster, you’ll never see good results without stopping to take a few moments to breath. This is where Headspace proves itself as a useful stepping stone for getting on top of your work, as it aims to improve your ability to focus, concentrate and ultimately improve your mentality whilst working. It achieves all this by utilising one of the oldest tricks in the book for mental well-being; meditation.
Headspace utilises easy-to-digest and understand methods to help kickstart meditation including, but not limited to, audio cues, videos and animations. The charming style of Headspace also goes a long way to helping with the methods, with the app almost oozing positivity. By utilising meditation, Headspace gives you the time to properly focus and clear your mind, which is not only useful for mentally compartmentalizing your workload, but can also help with problems like trouble with sleeping.
IFTTT – Syncing Up Your Apps
The next app you should consider is one that greatly improves your ability to connect each element of your work seamlessly. IFTTT, an acronym for ‘If This Then That’, serves as a godsend for those who often find themselves working with an eclectic variety of different apps, whether they’re social media focused, time management based or even acting as virtual assistants. Examples of IFTTT’s connectivity are vast, especially due to its ability to function with an array of different platforms, and greater yet IFTTT is available for free, with unlimited function for a small cost.
Those working primarily with social media, PR or even marketing, in general, will be able to appreciate just how well IFTTT can weave apps functions together. From simultaneously posting images to different platforms to ensuring that one spoken command to Siri or Google Assistant adds to notes in Gmail, Zoom and your Calendar app, IFTTT proves itself as a versatile tool that can easily help with productivity and staying on top of work.
TeamViewer – Connecting a Team Remotely
When you’re accustomed to working in an office environment, surrounded by supportive members of your team or colleagues with skills you lack, working on your own from home can be quite the isolating contrast. Problems can crop up, such as technical issues or major enquiries best left to other members of the team, and when you’re alone in your home office you can find yourself wishing your team was there. This mentality is exactly what birthed TeamViewer.
Designed to let anyone on your team take control of your computer, TeamViewer essentially connects you and a team member’s computers via an online connection and grants them control of your mouse and computer as a whole. This can be lifesaving if you need special assistance, such as help from an IT department, and it’s entirely free. The connection is secure too, with your team members only being able to see your computer and control it if you provide them with a unique ID and password. Thanks to this, TeamViewer lets you get on with your work, even if you’re at your wits end with an issue.
Coach.me – Support, Both Large and Small
Those looking for apps that strictly aim to provide support and motivation, as opposed to functional tools, should look no further than Coach.me. Whether you need some support keeping on time with tasks, you’re looking for some gentle encouragement or you want to go all the way and hire a virtual coach, Coach.me offers a variety of different boons for those seeking a helpful app.
Coach.me provides different functions for different price tags. It is available for free, providing a simple to understand, intuitive UI for time-keeping paired with useful advice, but it’s primarily designed for those looking to dedicate themselves to whatever tasks they have at hand. For a weekly subscription, you can enlist a personal trainer that can support you with essentially any task, which means you can get expert help, advice & guidance even when stuck in your home office.
Trello – Dividing and Conquering Your Tasks
Serving as an easy to understand and clear method of designating, separating and tackling work piece by piece, Trello takes inspiration from the traditionally trusted Japanese methodology of Kanban boards. Trello’s UI encourages users to set themselves goals and clearly state what tasks they need to accomplish, being simple to utilise and customise as work is tackled and completed. The boards in which tasks are set upon are aptly separated into ‘To Do’, ‘Doing’ and ‘Done’, which is perfect for those who find work easier when using compartmentalization to break down a job.
Trello’s system also appeases those who need a little help scheduling their days, week, months or just a project from start to finish, as it makes organising, reviewing and executing tasks fairly cut and dry. Whether you’re working on lots of little jobs or need to keep track of an array of vastly different clients, Trello’s Kanban board style of track-keeping can take the complications out of staying on top of work.
Brain.fm – Subtly Boosting Brainpower
One last app that can be used for a variety of different purposes during the stressful times brought on by the lockdown is Brain.fm. Designed in tandem with scientific studies, Brain.fm aims to improve work productivity, relaxation and more, using auditory neuroscience. By curated and studying music and sound files, Brain.fm has created an assorted range of different playlists that are scientifically proven to help combat distraction or generally soothe you.
Brain.fm states that by listening to the functional music that it offers, you’ll be able to feel the benefits within 15 minutes, serving as a fast-acting and subtle means of aiding your workflow woes. While some argue that they work better when listening to classical music, heavy metal or their own carefully selected playlists or podcasts, Brain.fm provides its services with backing from scientific studies and is boosted by a custom-made AI. Better yet, Brain.fm is free, so there’s certainly nothing to be lost by trying it when stress begins to mount up.