Covid 19 is a big one, causing disruption unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Disruption can be scary, leaving many of us feeling uncertain and anxious. But sometimes it’s an opportunity to refine what we do, create new processes and change the way we work and go about our lives. For us at DangerDynamite, we have spent the last decade honing our skills at working remotely, which has prepared us for a pandemic that calls for social distancing. So, we are opting to share some of what we’ve learned about working remotely to hopefully make this next while a little easier for everyone.
Staying connected while remote working.
While we all have email, Facebook and text messaging, those tools aren’t always the best for facilitating a collaborative team atmosphere while not sharing the same physical space. Our team uses a communication tool called Slack to create a virtual office. In Slack, organizations can create channels (private and public), integrate services like G-Suite, and install a variety of extensions for things like virtual check ins. You can also invite guests into your Slack organization and channels to collaborate virtually. Using Slack instead of text messages or Facebook as a virtual office helps keep everyone connected in a professional way, allowing easy separation of work and personal/private communication streams.
Keeping on task and organized.
Probably the biggest challenge with remote working is project management. Project managers typically have a method they employ to organize what they need to manage, often using a combination of face-to-face communication, physical documents and emails. This works, but it can get out of control easily and allows for items to slip between the proverbial cracks. We use Asana to keep our team organized and on task. Asana is a fantastic project management tool that keeps everything organized in the form of customizable task boards/cards and lists. It easily doubles as a CRM and sales management tool too, in case you want to milk it for all it’s worth! Like Slack, Asana has a massive number of integrations, including Slack and G-suite.
Communicating with clients.
While Slack works for internal communications, sometimes a more personal interaction is needed. A Video conferencing tool like Google Hangouts is a fantastic option available to anyone with a Google or G-Suite account. Hangouts allows you to hold video calls, have audio calls and conduct screen sharing. This is a great way to collaborate and share what you are working on regardless of the distance between you and your team. Besides Google Hangouts, there are other great video communication tools such as FaceTime, Zoom or Skype that make video calls and telecommuting a breeze. Similarly, G-Suite’s drive, docs and sheets are a fantastic way to collaboratively work on your assets in real time. Our team uses Hangouts to walk clients through how to make changes on a website or meet with them remotely to plan out a marketing campaign. Similarly, we use Google Drive to share assets such as documents we need to collaborate on, images we need to share and spreadsheets we all need to input data for.
Make a plan.
Perhaps this is an opportunity to change how we can do what we do. For some of us, the way we operate our businesses hasn’t changed in decades, and we are all being required to look at things a little differently. It’s not easy, but we can absolutely do it. Utilizing the technologies we have available to us will help us to remain connected even while we are apart. Just like reading an e-book instead of going to the library is an option, so to is managing a virtual office of remote workers. Perhaps this is also an opportunity to balance our work time with more time for walks, more time with family, more time for rest. We might even find that we are way more productive than we were before because of less distractions and more abundant break time. This rapid change in our routine might also pave the way for bigger social changes needed in the face of urgent matters like climate change. In times of crisis, it’s important to support one another. We’ve all got this, and more importantly, we’ve got each other.