Ten applications to connect your home office with the world

With flights grounded and international travel on hold, serviced office company Regus, is expecting a rush of people to its centres from where they will video-conference and tele-commute with the world. Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation offers a top ten listing of applications so you can do the same from the comfort of your home office. 

Nice to virtually meet you

You may not be able to reach them by air but it is possible to speak with customers and partners through the airwaves. Here’s my top listing of applications that won’t cost you the earth.

Attend meetings

Say ‘hello’ and talk business with counterparts by utilising these online tools and services:

Manage projects

Stay on top of projects and in touch with partners via one of these project management tools:

  • Basecamp – allows you to create projects, invite people to view them, upload files and make comments. It’s effective online project management that can be accessed from anywhere  www.basecamphq.com
  • GoogleDocs – share documents via Google with GoogleDocs. You can edit on the move, choose who accesses documents and share changes in real-time docs.google.com
  • Glasscubes – this tool offers project management, collaboration and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) all in one package http://www.glasscubes.com/
  • Huddle – offers simple and secure online workspaces. Huddle is hosted so there’s no software to download and it’s free to get started www.huddle.net

When travel does come back on the agenda, there are other technologies to adopt to ensure the business travels with you; such as a webmail system that allows access to emails from anywhere, a remote desktop offering files and folders on the go, or web-based office systems like Google Apps (www.google.com/apps) or Open Office (http://www.openoffice.org/) so the entire business is stored online and in easy reach. I’ll cover these in detail in a future piece. Until then, happy homeworking and connecting with the globe!

About the Author: Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation the home business website and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’ Her next book ‘Working 5 to 9 – how to start a business in your spare time’ will be published in May 2010.

Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire. Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch. Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [www.enterprisenation.com], the home business website, in January 2006. The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast. Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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