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5 Chrome Extensions That Make Digital Work More Productive

December 14, 2021 Collaboration and Productivity
Kaya Ismail
By Kaya Ismail

Google Chrome is the go-to internet browser for nearly two-thirds of internet users in the world. According to Statista, 68% of the internet users in the world use Google's flagship browser, and one of the reasons behind its popularity is that Chrome has thousands of extensions to offer.

Extensions are apps designed to provide users with tools to enhance their productivity and browsing experience and create a personalized experience and workflow. With many employees working remotely and a number of them exploring hybrid options that could see them in office part time, managers need to find new ways to stay connected and monitor their progress.

Chrome extensions can help them stay organized and productive while they manage a team. They enable managers to track work progress, create workflows and manage workers. But, with the myriad of extensions in the Chrome Web Store, it can be hard to cut through the noise and choose the right one.

Browser Extensions and Remote and Hybrid Work

As desktop software is becoming less common in favor of lighter weight web and mobile apps, extensions have become an efficient way of releasing new products to solve common problems without the overhead of having to build an entire standalone app. 

Also, the rise of remote and hybrid work models is digitizing work and allowing web tools to become the connective tissue tying together previously autonomous tasks. It also often means less accountability, and more opportunities for distractions. Here is a selection of five apps that can help. 

Related Article: Microsoft Teams Hacks for Companies

5 Useful Chrome Extensions for Managers

Productivity

Forest: The purpose of this time management Chrome add-on is to discourage users from browsing social networking sites that divert their attention from their jobs. However, rather than banning these websites, the plugin allows you to gamify productivity. Once loaded, users can plant a seed in the forest, which will grow into a tree within 30 minutes in a new tab.

To allow the seed to flourish, they must avoid the urge to return to the habit of accessing these sites during the defined period. If they do, the plant will revert to a seed, and users will return to where they began. The idea is to progressively improve time management skills as individuals train themselves to cultivate their seeds into trees.

Save To Google Drive: This extension allows users to save web content directly to Google Drive through a browser action or context menu. With this Chrome extension, they can save documents, images and HTML5 audio and video by right-clicking and selecting Save to Google Drive. 

After adding this extension, the ability to save web content for future use is one right-click away. It helps remote teams share content through the cloud conveniently and efficiently. One crucial drawback is its security restrictions, which disable content grabbing from some web page formats and the Chrome Web Store pages.

Security

HTTPS Everywhere: HTTPS Everywhere is a Chrome extension that encrypts communications with many major websites to make the browsing experience more secure. Unsecured sites might end up harming systems so this extension will help e security for important accounts and protect from harmful viruses. 

Despite HTTPS becoming the de facto protocol, there are still sites that haven't implemented it and make that extra layer of protection necessary. Another cool thing about HTTPS Everywhere is that it is an open source tool with contributors worldwide and a community of users. 

Team Management

Sesame: Sesame is an extension designed to facilitate the management of teams in teleworking. Sesame focuses on managing working hours, counting tasks and team communication. 

In short, this extension allows both managers and the rest of the team to know who is working and who is not and keep track of daily tasks and effectively manage working hours without noticing differences between being physically in the office or not. "What makes Sesame great is that it simplifies teleworking and brings it closer to the habits we are used to in-office teams," said Tomek Mlodzki, CEO at Warsaw, Poland-based PhotoAiD.

Project Management

ClickUp: ClickUp, one of the few project management apps with a Chrome extension, gives managers a floating button that covers a variety of functions. It can help them create a task, delegate to team members, and bookmark sites from research and add them into tasks.

"My favorite feature is how it helps to delegate tasks straight from the browser to each individual within my team," said Mike Grossman, CEO at Redwood City, Calif.-based GoodHire. "It saves you a ton of time in manually debriefing or sending over important documents by hand. This helps you and your team meet your deadlines faster and with less room for error. You're also able to take and annotate screenshots from within your browser, so you can show instead of telling."

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