As our work lives change to reflect the current global situation, technology has become invaluable in our daily tasks.
More of us are choosing to abstain from the office, at least for a portion of the week if not altogether. Recent research by NearU showed that Mondays and Fridays were still the least popular days to book into a workspace (a trend we have seen since mid-2021), indicating that workers are switching to a TWT schedule.
So with the physical office no longer dominating our working lives, tech innovation is accelerating to fill in the gaps. With that in mind, here are 6 apps we think all hybrid workers should be using to help support them - whether they're WFH, at the office, or in a third workspace.
One of our favourite fellow tech companies to shout about, Spot is the world's first audio-only meeting platform. They enable users to carry out walking meetings, freeing them from the constraints of their desks, wherever they are. Meanwhile their handy tool transcribes your conversations in real-time, so you can just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
Their main goal is to help employees find a better work-life balance, as well as to encourage activity throughout the working day that is not only healthy for the body, but also the mind. A study by Stanford University found that walking made participants more creative than their sedentary counterparts. In fact, results showed that walkers experienced a whopping 60% increase in creative output while out for a stroll.
With more people working-from-home and spending the majority of their time indoors, platforms like Spot should be a must for employers wanting to establish a duty of care over their workers.
Have you ever been on a Zoom call where there was just too much background noise to concentrate? Who are we kidding - of course you have.
Ever since the Zoom Boom, people have been conducting work meetings from wherever they are - and that's not always a good thing. If you can't get hold of a meeting room or a phone booth you might become something of a nuisance to your colleagues on that catch-up call (I shudder at the phrase 'can you go on mute?'. That's where IRIS comes in.
Their innovative audio technology is the most advanced in the world and is already trusted by thousands of users. IRIS Clarity, their desktop app, is simple to install and works right away to remove any distracting background noise from meetings and video calls in real time. IRIS promises to improve engagement, increase focus, and eliminate the need to have to 'go on mute' when in a large meetings so you can have conversations that flow. Truly a must for anyone who spends more time on Zoom than in actual boardrooms.
You've probably come across Headspace when trying to nod off to sleep at night, so you might be thinking - what has this got to do with work? Well, everything.
How we end our days has a direct effect on how we start them. And if you're a serial insomniac or someone who hits the snooze button too many times, you'll probably find yourself flagging at work more often than your well-rested colleagues. But Headspace are here to help.
Their Work programme gives employees access to hundreds of meditation and sleep solutions - from mindful eating methods to feel good yoga workouts. Employers can even monitor their staff's progress as they complete more and more exercises to see what's working and what isn't. Plus, their track record speaks for itself. 85% of partner organisations say Headspace has helped improve employee mental health, stress and anxiety since the pandemic. And 97% are likely to recommend their service.
Since in-person collaboration isn't as easy to come by these days, what's the next best thing? Miro.
We've talked about Miro before over on our Tech Talks series, so of course they deserve an honourable mention. Miro is an online collaboration whiteboard that allows you to brainstorm with colleagues in real time, wherever you are. Whether you're working on a mind map that needs lots of internal input, or putting together a content strategy with the Marketing Team, their wide range of templates will certainly have something to suit.
Their tool has already been trusted by over 30 million users worldwide and an impressive roster of companies, including Deloitte, Hewlett Packard and Dell. The proof is in the pudding really.
Staying on top of things when working remotely can be hard. It's no longer as simple as just checking the filing cabinet for that document your boss needs. As more and more of us are staying out-of-the-office it's important for information to be centralised and digitised.
Luckily with Mem, you don't have to think twice about organising your workflow - it just does it for you. Mem's simple keyboard shortcuts allows you to seamlessly capture data and information, then recall it using their natural language search. No more scrambling through endless online folders with confusing names - Mem functions as you do. You and your colleagues can also collaborate asynchronously, making notes and comments on each other's memos.
Plus, they even have the Netflix seal of approval. "Mem is the first note taking app I’ve used... that actually improves the creative process for me. Capturing is of course effortless, but it’s Mem’s ability to help me make connections within my ideas that has proven invaluable," said Executive Producer, Joe Bolter.
Of course, we can't not include ourselves in this list. So what exactly do we do?
At NearU, we put flexible working at your fingertips. Our award-winning app gives you immediate access to a network of on-demand workspaces, so you can simply search, book, and work wherever (and whenever) you need to. Whether you’re looking for a meeting room equidistant between remote colleagues, or a hot desk if working from your kitchen just isn’t cutting it, we've got you covered.
We believe that productivity starts with being able to choose where you work. Not being tied into one centralised office means not having to undertake a pointless commute every day, saving you not only time, but also money. Most people use our platform to book a workspace near home that suits their particular needs. That might be hosting a meeting, recording a podcast, or simply socialising in a professional environment.
Despite being around for such a short time, we've already helped thousands of people reclaim their working days and spend more time with their families, exercising, or simply winding down without the added pressure of being at the office 9-to-5.