Whilst working remotely is something some of the team already do on occasion, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and following Government Guidance Wish quickly set about creating a full agency working from home infrastructure. We are in a fortunate position in this sense as the nature of our work lends itself very well to remote working.
But, so used to a bustling agency environment and with communication absolutely key to delivering the successful marketing campaigns and website projects that we do, how have we ensured contingency? Well, below are a few of the main factors that have made this a success so far for Wish. We hope these may be helpful to other companies needing to get their staff set up to work remotely throughout this pandemic and any potential ‘Lockdown’:
To accommodate for the needs of each department and make the work from home process as seamless as possible, we have put several measures in place.
We have a VOIP phone system, which basically means we can plug our phones in anywhere, connect them to the internet and the phone system works in the same way as if we were all in the office. So, we can receive and transfer calls, make internal calls and so on. If preferred as in some cases, people can just forward their phones to their mobile.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
We already had a VPN in place for urgent server access to members of our team who needed this remotely. It’s a secure way of accessing server files remotely from specific IP addresses and has been essential with the Coronavirus outbreak. This can be full access or limited access (certain folders) for those who only need limited access. So, for example, one of our creative team may need to access server files for a creative project underway, they can do this seamlessly, save their work and it’s there on the company server.
If you’re not familiar with Slack, you should be. It’s a fantastically useful company communication tool to save adding to the hundreds of emails we all receive on a daily basis. For quick questions or pinging files to one another it’s perfect. Channels per client, per team, general channels for sharing information or chat – it’s helped massively and again it doesn’t make any difference if we’re in the same building or not.
Very much like Slack, Asana is web based and means we can all use it for project & task management wherever we are. We use Asana to manage project work efficiently and assign tasks to the team.
We’ve set up a daily Google meeting where we can all get together online and catch up. This means we can discuss what’s going on with everyone’s workload, any challenges, any issues accessing information and so on. The team can update on their work plan for the day and we can all listen to Sara’s dog barking until she turns her microphone off, or someone rustling paper near their microphone – Jon was that you?
We also use Powwownow for screenshares on occasion. There are many that offer this now, including Google meetings, however Powwownow is a pretty good one that offers seamless creation of online meetings and screen shares – without the need to download and install things (take note Skype for business).
We have communicated to our clients that we are working from home, although if we hadn't they most likely wouldn't notice any difference through their contact with us, as our services have been unaffected.
Hopefully there may be some useful tips here for those companies who are able to work remotely, as the entire country moves towards lockdown.
Stay safe and let’s all hope we can be back to some kind of normality as soon as possible.