We received an unexpected compliment from the CEO of a Retail major recently – he said that more than the favorite co-working setups, webCHRO can indeed grow to be a collaborative, co-working space online. Now that’s just amazing – where others see an HR website, he saw tomorrow’s workplace!
Just a few years ago, how we – that is our team – used the internet or technology at work was entirely different from how we use it today. Technology was not an integral part of our everyday work lives (unless you count email) – it was a set of tools we used from time to time. Systems were put in place to automate processes, and we worked on them as and when required. That is not to say we were behind the times. No siree – we were in workplaces that had all key HR processes automated. Org structure, emp database, goal setting, appraisals, and increments were done on SuccessFactors, no less. And in our personal lives, we were active social media netizens. Internet at work, however, was limited to Google searches; the user technology revolution had not influenced us yet.
Till we started building an online platform with limited resources at our disposal. When creative problem solving was the only way forward, and we could not lean on a well-oiled ecosystem that existed at our employers’, we turned to the world wide web for help, and it did not disappoint – it delighted.
So we wanted to share some of our learnings and experiences with you. This is a kind of a use case scenario note to illustrate how we work with a whole team of global experts, virtually. We have compiled what might seem like a random list of online platforms and software that we have used and continue to work on, extensively and very successfully, every day.
In this instance, we will talk about six of them – if we were to include all in one write-up, the blog post would become too long, boring, and confusing.
The list is in alphabetical order.
Adobe PDF Editor (Adobe Acrobat DC) – The name’s self-explanatory. Investing in this little gem of a tool can be very productive, especially if your work is connected to content writing/making presentations/publishing reports. It is convenient, and while you cannot obviously edit visuals, you can swiftly correct typos and grammatical errors. I can assure you, APE, as we call it affectionately, saves a great deal of anxiety and ‘oh sh*t’ moments at work. The fact that it lets you organise pages, combine documents and create functional PDF forms at $30 a month, is an added bonus.
Canva– with a top of the line UI, this is one of the best applications for artworks. You can choose from a huge collection of templates, designs, and elements. If you want higher order creatives for your business communication, I would recommend taking the monthly subscription at $9.95. Most of this blog’s static artworks have been created in-house on Canva. They are converted into gifs by graphic artists though – we are yet to find a suitable beginner’s software for that. The search is on 🙂
Google Drive – most of you are familiar with GD so I won’t go into detail. Suffice it to say that for our team, all our content writing, editing, version controls and storing is done on the drive. Its real-time edits beat MS Word’s track changes hands down & basic database management is a breeze with Google Sheets. Besides, it is FREE.
Grammarly – It has its flaws. It still does not recognise British English vocabulary and spelling, and for some strange reason urges you to always write in the active voice! But if you ignore these trifles, it is an excellent editor to sharpen your written content and push up the style and quality of your communication a notch or two. The free version is good enough unless you do industrial level writing daily. For example, Grammarly is quietly doing a real time edit of this piece as I write. It’s kinda spooky at times!
Powtoon – a true SaaS for video-making. So many of us in HR teams have despaired as we haven’t had ready access to creative agencies to work on our communication collaterals. We’ve had to beg Marketing to not put our stuff at the bottom of their priority lists. Well, that misery is now a thing of the past. Get an annual subscription (the cost – $ 700 yearly – might seem a tad high at first as we have a natural tendency to expect everything on the web to be free), but when compared to real costs of getting animated videos made by agencies, it looks very reasonable. It is hugely beginner-friendly – just watch the tutorials, and you’re all set to roll. The app tends to hang and freeze if you are in a low bandwidth zone or your computer memory is crowded, and it is not that ‘awesome’ (PowT’s fav adjective) on Safari. On other browsers though, it works swimmingly well.
Typeform – Because data collection doesn’t need to be boring. This SaaS is a marketer’s delight. Typeform’s intelligent algos turn ordinary survey forms into powerful communication devices. The marvel here is not really the technology but the fact that a bunch of people are working to transform the form-filling experience! Now that is truly awesome. If you are a lover of design and want to deliever superior customer or emloyee experience, you will find it hard to ignore TF. Try your hand on the free trial, get a hang of the app and its features before you sign up for the $35 monthly plan.
That’s all for today. Boarding’s been announced for the next flight of fancy! So hop on to explore and experiment. New adventures await. In the next edition, we will talk about Facebook and LinkedIn Ads, Videopixie, MailChimp, Google Analytics, and more. Watch this space.
This article is NOT sponsored. We revel in this fascinating world of virtual masters and want to share some of the magic with you. Hope you are duly enchanted!