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Five apps to help you work from home during the coronavirus crisis

Lydia Smith
·Writer, Yahoo Finance UK
cropped view of cute bulldog sitting near girl using laptop
cropped view of cute bulldog sitting near girl using laptop

Coronavirus cases around the world are on the rise, leading to panic about the spread of the virus.

With the number of UK cases rising to more than 5,600, the public have been asked to follow social distancing guidance and self-isolation rules. Many Brits have been advised to avoid the office and work from home instead to contain the virus.

For self-employed people and freelancers, working remotely is nothing new. But for many, trying to get things done in the comfort of your home is tricky when there are a lot distractions. Luckily, there are plenty of apps to help you stay focused and productive when it’s tempting to stick Netflix on.

Read more: How to deal with deadline stress

Zoom

This video-conferencing app allows you to virtually interact with co-workers or employers when in-person meetings aren't possible. You can carry out video calls with up to 100 people and continue your daily workflow with minimal disruption - and you can even record the sessions to view later.

It also has several useful features including screen-sharing, group messaging and the option to share photos, web and Google Drive and Dropbox. Zoom is available to download on both the Google Play Store and App Store.

Daywise

It’s not always easy to concentrate in the office when you’re surrounded by chatting colleagues and ongoing phone calls, but it can be even harder when you’re at home. Thankfully, there’s an app for that.

Daywise, free to download from the Google Play Store, sends you your notifications in batches so you can get work done in one go without any interruptions. It creates its own notifications inbox where messages are batched together so you can view them at an appropriate time.

Read more: How does overworking affect your health?

Don’t worry though, you won’t miss out on important things - you can categorise certain notifications as instant.

Slack

Most people have heard of Slack, one of the most popular apps among businesses. In Slack, conversations happen in channels, either organised by topic, project, team or whatever makes sense for you. Even when working out of office, you can recreate some of the social aspects of working with other people with calls, chats and GIFs. It's free to use, but premium versions are available too.

With many people working from home due to coronavirus, Slack’s group messaging app has notched up a net increase of 7,000 paying customers since the start of February - or 40 percent more than it normally has in an entire quarter.

RescueTime

According to the creators of RescueTime, only 10 percent of people feel “in control” of how they spend their time each day. The app allows you to track the time you spend on various websites, working in the background of your laptop, phone and tablet to show you exactly how long you spend on certain sites.

Essentially, it helps you cut down on your bad browsing habits - so you spend less time on social media and browsing on Asos and more time getting your work done. RescueTime is available on iOs and Android.

Trello

Trello is a website and app that acts as a real-time bulletin board, enabling you to organise your working day as well as your team. It’s a collaboration tool that organises all your projects into what’s being worked on, who is working on what and when something is in a process.

Read more: How to forget about work when the workday is finished

Each individual task can be customised with its own name, description and coloured label or category. Other Trello users can be manually assigned to specific tasks too, so you can cut down on lengthy email chains.