• Ignition Collective

The C Word and Working From Home

The C-word and WFH

Without banging on about the ‘C’ word (Coronavirus), which has now replaced the ‘B’ word (Brexit), thousands of people are now self-isolating, social distancing and working from home, so we thought we would share how we work remotely.

Not the ‘get out of bed at your normal time’ kind of advice, we all know that won’t happen, and let’s face it, who won’t have a day spent working in their pyjamas?! This is a more of a ‘how to operate when working remotely’.

Here at IC we offer a flexible working arrangement anyway, so for us as a team working from home (WFH or WTF if you type too quickly and use it too regularly) is not new and doesn’t really impact us too much. It was very much business as usual when it comes to the way we work.

Lots of businesses, big and small, communicate and work together in lots of different ways and when that suddenly changes because you can’t get on the main server or talk to your colleague who sits next to you, we have to adapt.

Smaller businesses can be a lot more reactive, but that’s not to say that they have a plan or system in place already that could help everybody manage remote working and the stress that it can cause.

So, we’ve put together a list of things we rely on, on a day to day basis that could help when WFH.

Video calls

Communication is key. Coordinate regular team video calls to keep talking and working together.

Actually seeing each other on-screen can help alleviate the feeling of loneliness and isolation. It provides a chance to chat through projects and things you would typically talk over in the office, share ideas and chat about how empty the shelves were at the supermarket. Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Uberconference, - the list is endless and each have different benefits and options. Our go-to platforms are Google Hangouts for internal calls and Zoom for external. Messaging The constant quick questions that don’t warrant a meeting, email or call can be dealt with using an instant messaging service. We use Slack. Slack for us bridges the gap between email and instant messaging as it allows attachments and can link to other platforms, and let’s face it, who needs another email in their inbox?! It also makes sharing spirit lifting gifs and jokes easy too.

Other options exist such as Fleep, Chanty, Hive with some platforms such as Google Hangouts offering an ‘all in one solution’ of chat, calls and project management. Even good old Whatsapp group chats can do the trick. Project Management How do you have sight of all the projects you have on and where everybody is at each stage? Easy,use an online project management tool.

Trello is our fave. It gives us the right tools to manage and collaborate across multiple projects at any one time, from anywhere. We even use it as our primary work bulletin board.

Trello allows interaction by adding comments and attachments on projects. You can even ‘power it up’ by linking to one other platform on the free option. The power ups can be increased on the paid option, but in its simplest form, it’s great as a straightforward to-do or job list.

Other options include Basecamp, Monday.com, Wrike, Asana. File access

With everybody working from different locations; hopefully, a VPN or robust cloud access system is in place. Having a reliable, intuitive and secure network is a must.

If you are looking for cloud based access, options include Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Onehub, Dropbox Business . Again, the list is endless with most providing web and app access and use across multiple devices.

The trick is to find what works for you and your business. There is no denying there are a plethora of options and maybe now is the perfect time to plan or look at making the way you work more efficient so when this period of craziness has passed, you look back on it as a positive.

If you have a platform or WFH solution that we haven’t included or want to suggest, we would love to hear it, so feel free to comment below.

Good luck out there and stay safe and healthy!