Remote working

13 Mar 20 Jonathan Malyon

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As the global Coronavirus crisis continues to escalate, we have taken the decision to switch to a remote working model, effective from 9am Monday 16th March.

As a digital agency, remote working mode is pretty much second nature to Tilt and we are also lucky enough to already have all the necessary systems and processes in place to enable this.

Whilst briefing the team on Friday, it became clear that our recommendations and advice could also support our wider community, and help them with a speedy transition to remote working to try and reduce the spread of Covid-19. Obviously we understand that the practicalities of certain jobs make remote working nigh on impossible, however in the interest of sharing the love (in a scrubbed and sanitised way) … here you go.

The two key things to consider are:

• Tools
• Wellbeing

Tools – What do we use?

G-Suite

This provides us with all our emails, calendars, documents, functionality and in particular, is great for remote working because of:

Google Hangouts – Collaborative video calls, organised and scheduled from within your google calendar.

Google Docs – Multiple people working on a single document, spreadsheet or slide deck … all working in real time towards the completion of a task. E.g. proposal, presentation etc …

Forecast – Schedule and provide resource visibility across all your projects, help teams understand what they are working on, what the key milestones, and where resource clashes occur.

Last Pass – A password manager for teams. It allows you to securely organise and manage all subscriptions to software, tools and sites. Stops the need to email passwords which is a big no no.

Slack – Perhaps the most powerful tool in our armoury for remote working. Instant messaging for businesses that allows private messaging and project specific conversations, with the ability to share files and initial instant audio and video conversations with individuals or groups. Set up automatic reminders – oh and send lots of GIF’s to boost morale.

Clarity around structure.

Here is what a typical day looks like for us whilst remote working.

9am
Working day starts.
Set Slack status to ‘Working Hard’.

9:30am-10:00am
Department specific Google Hangouts – discuss specifics for the day and raise and issues.
Individual project ‘stand-up’ via Google Hangouts as required.

10:15am – 10:30am
Heads of Department –  Google Hangout – share plans for the day, discuss blockers, agree actions.

10:00am – 12:30am
Get down to work – Use Slack to work across projects as usual. Ad-hoc Slack video calls for rapid conversations. Share files here or google document file access here.

12:30pm – 2:00pm
Lunch window – scheduled for all no earlier than 12:30 and to be finished at 2. Provides clarity around contact-ability. An individual’s lunch hour can be taken at any point during this window.

Set status to ‘At Lunch’.

2:00pm -5:30pm
Get down to work – Use Slack to work across projects as usual. Ad-hoc Slack video calls for rapid conversations. Share files here or google document file access here.

Set Slack status to ‘Working Hard’.

5:00pm– 5:30pm
Heads of Department Google Hangout to discuss days’ work, progress and make plan for the following day.

6pm
Working day finishes

Wellbeing
Many of us at Tilt have worked as freelancers and so understand how loneliness and lack of structure can at times, play havoc with ones mental state. When working remotely, it is important to remember that ‘structure is your friend’, it will help provide a clear delineation between work and play.

Here are a few tips

  • Don’t work in your pants or PJ’s just because you can. Get up, get showered and get dressed, as per your normal routine.
  • Try to set up a dedicated work station that you use solely for the purpose of work. Try not to blur the lines between work and play with your home office setup.
  • Take regular breaks, get outside and get some fresh air, where possible … obviously taking all the necessary precautions.
  • Reach out to your colleagues if you are feeling isolated, or finding any aspect of working remotely challenging.

Finally, you may think we have jumped the gun on switching to a remote working model, however at Tilt we believe that social distancing should come into effect now. This fascinating article from the Washington Post explains why.

Featured and header image lovingly illustrated by our very own creative director @gusbalderdash. More of his work can be found at @dept.social_distancing

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