Remote work - useful IT tools

Jacek Włodarczyk, Senior Manager
How to organize the home office efficiently using IT solutions available on the market? Which tools will be helpful for teamwork, project management, document sharing and data security?

In the time of COVID-19, the operations of companies became much more complicated, and many industries were forced to completely suspend their business activities. Remote work is one of the most commonly used solutions nowadays, which - depending on the specifics of the business - allows to maintain continuity of operation and is no less effective than work in an office.

One of the first challenges faced by companies after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and a sudden change in business reality was to provide employees with the equipment necessary to work in the home office model. Not all people were equipped with notebooks, so this problem had to be solved by additional purchases or renting computers. However, equipment is not everything. When implementing the home office model, it is necessary to decide what software to use and for what purposes. Companies which already before the COVID-19 pandemic used the home office model did not have a problem with such software, but for a large majority of other businesses it is not that simple.

What solutions are worth paying attention to so that remote work can be performed in an effective and safe way?


In a situation where work takes place outside the company's premises, the most important thing is data security. In such a case, it is necessary to secure the connection with the company's infrastructure and protect the computer drive against theft. 

To ensure the security of connections, it is worth to use the so-called VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnel connections, which allow to connect the employee's computer with the company network. This connection is encrypted and requires additional access keys generated by the network to which we connect. There are many VPN solutions available on the market, including free ones, but the IT departments usually use commercial tools. In the case of freeware solutions, caution should be exercised due to a number of limitations, e.g. transmission speed, limitation of the number of tunnels that can be created or the number of servers that can be accessed. However, the greatest danger may be that some of the freeware solutions may save user data and make them more accessible.

Another element protecting remote operation is hard drive protection. Theft of a computer is a loss that is easy to calculate - the cost of the device itself. In the case of stealing data or strategic information, which can occur after accessing the hard drive, the losses can be inconceivable. That's why the hard drive should be secured very solidly. The simplest solution is to use the disk protection available in the BIOS of your computer. However, a much safer solution is to use one of the professional tools, such as:

  • ESET Endpoint Encryption – a set of tools enabling full encryption of disk, removable media, files and folders, virtual disks and e-mails including attachments in MS Outlook.
  • BitLocker – disk protection available in Microsoft Windows software from Windows 7 onwards. Cryptographic algorithms used in BitLocker mechanisms have FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certification - publicly announced standards of the United States Federal Government.
  • VeraCrypt – open source software used to encrypt data. It allows you to encrypt whole drives, partitions, portable USB drives and create virtual encrypted drives with a specific capacity.


    Home office involves primarily teamwork. Employees must communicate with each other, organize teleconferences and meetings with clients, work together on projects or use a common calendar. All these activities require an appropriate platform.

    The solutions available on the market include, among others:

  • Microsoft Teams with a set of useful remote applications such as: Chat, Teams, Video Conferences, Calendar, Conversations, Planner, MS Stream, One Note, Wiki and many others.
  • Team Viewer - provides remote access and enables remote control of the desktop of computers and servers from anywhere within 3G or faster network coverage. The solution is protected by 256Bit AES encryption and ISO27001 certified data centre.
  • Slack - a free cloud-based internet service, containing a set of tools and services for teamwork. The application acts as an internet communicator enabling text and voice communication with the possibility of sending multimedia.
  • Skype - enables free voice calls and observation of the caller through a webcam. The solution also has the option of paid calls with landline or mobile phone owners using VoIP (Voice over IP) technology. In addition, Skype offers functions of direct exchange of text information by means of manually typed messages and file transfer.
  • Zoom – provides high quality HD audio and video, enables screen and application sharing and meeting management. Available for desktops and mobile devices (iOS, Android). Connections are encrypted. Free trial version has limitations on functionality and number of users. The application offers free plugins to popular email applications. There are many ways of licensing in commercial, fully functional versions.

Implementation of projects

Project management is a special kind of teamwork. It involves creating schedules, building teams, assigning and accounting tasks. There are also a number of solutions in this area that can support employees working on projects in the home office mode:

  • Asana – enables management of projects and tasks and sub-tasks within project teams. It allows for communication between team members, sending emails to the team. It integrates with many external applications such as Slack, Dropbox or Google Calendar, also available for mobile devices. In the free version, the solution is limited to 15 participants. The application interface is available only in English.
  • Basecamp – a platform for group project implementation, with the possibility of planning, delegating tasks and monitoring their progress. The platform also enables sharing files within projects. The application is available in a mobile version for Android. Interface in English.
  • Manage it – this application enables project management, adding tasks to projects and adding notes, execution dates or attachments to the tasks. It is possible to create a project team, assign tasks to individual team members, and then track the status of task completion. Manage IT works with data storage solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. It is also possible to work on mobile devices such as smartphone or tablet. The application's interface is available in English, and the free version allows for up to 2 projects. Commercial versions paid monthly are limited by the number of projects and available space for data in the cloud.
  • Trello - is a task management and cooperation application. It is a kind of virtual array or set of "To Do" lists, it presents what is to be done and what is the current status of a project or task. In the application you can create teams and assign them arrays. On each array, lists are created, and there are cards on these lists. Cards can be saved, modified, moved between lists. It is also possible to assign deadlines to cards and assign tasks to team members. You can also add files and task lists to cards. Trello also offers many add-ons and integrations such as a calendar or integration with applications: Slack, Google Disk or Dropbox. An online version is available, a version for Android and IOS phones, as well as a desktop version. The application interface is also available in Polish. Trello provides a free version for up to 10 arrays supported by the project team, as well as with a significant limitation of the application functionality. There are also Business (paid monthly or annually, fixed price per user) and Enterprise (price per user depends on their number, paid monthly) versions with a wider range of functionalities.

Document sharing

An important element of remote work is the possibility to share documents and to work on them together. This is achieved by tools also used in office work in companies. The most commonly used solution in this area is the MS Office package in various versions, e.g. 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 or Office 365. The latter solution is best suited for remote work, as it can be used via a web browser. G Suite, a package of office solutions offered by Google, can be an alternative. Both packages have all required tools for office work, such as a text editor, spreadsheet, presentation tool or webmail client. They are also equipped with virtual disks, on which you can store shared data or documents of office packages in the cloud. In the case of the Microsoft solution, it is One Drive, while Google offers Google Drive. Dropbox solution is also used to store data in the cloud. Virtual disk providers usually offer different packages of data, the smallest of which is usually free of charge. 


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