A thing that has so many names (working remote, virtual work, telecommuting, distance working, distributed workforce, WFH, home office) also has so many style variations. Some people have to work on a schedule, some have flexible hours, some have nanny cams and monitoring software to make sure people are on task. Assuming that you don’t work in the hell that must be that last option, it’s still hard to feel a connection to your team and your job sometimes.
We had a head start on a lot of our peers with mandatory work from home days being a thing for us for the last couple years. We did that to actually increase communication between our various locations because we were forced to use communication tools purposefully. We found that otherwise, our team would wait to ask questions until the opportunity arose when were in the studio, which doesn’t work at home. It’s a subtle but major shift in mindset. 300FeetOut uses a number of tools to keep in touch with each other:
Teamwork is project management system that allows us to keep track of tasks, milestones, client communication strings, files, and time logged.
We use a mix of slack and an integrated teamwork chat to talk to each other constantly. We have individual chats, project chats, chats for senior executives, chats for dev or ux inspiration, 3FO news, and watercolor chats.
Not all messages are in Teamwork, so we have to maintain a secondary system of email for outsiders (associations, vendors, sales, etc) via g-mail. What’s nice is teamwork integrates seamlessly.
Google calendar is ideal because it works with both outlook and ical and as a design and development agency, we run both systems. It’s where we keep track of PTO requests, meetings, and downtimes. Plus birthdays 🙂
We’ve tried a variety of video chat options but we love our google meet. It ties directly into our calendar and offers both video and telephone options. PLUS you don’t have to download any intrusive software….just open up chrome and let it run.
This is where we give high-fives and gold stars to our coworkers for either exemplifying our values or for doing nice things for us….like pitching in when a client needs help.
This is how we keep all of our other files sorted and stored- templates for contracts, budgets, HR docs like the handbook and Vacation Request forms (no one uses those right now for some reason).
Of course there are actually 200 more things we use like computer backup systems, VoIP (which we never use), creative cloud …but those change with the nature of your business. This was just a brief run down of the main tools we use daily to keep our team healthy and up and running.