Cameras on, please
Find out how we do remote teaming
Online working practices are not new to SaaS technology businesses. Inspectivity is very fortunate to be able to move to a remote model and continue to deliver operational excellence for our clients with almost no negative impact. All Inspectivity staff have been working from home since early March. We made this decision in advance of many of the physical distancing conventions/regulations of COVID-19.
Many businesses are not used to this approach and will find the transition a little rocky to start with. With this in mind we have put together an insight below into the types of tools and practices we engage in to make collaboration easy.
The most important aspects of teamwork that we miss when we no longer sit side by side, are the small sound bites or water cooler conversations. Messaging platforms can help to plug this gap.
We use Slack. In our opinion, best in class and a one stop “Collaboration Hub”.
Whatever messaging platform you use there are some simple behaviours that make life easier. For instance be explicit about your “status”. If you step away from your desk, let your colleagues know (“brb”, “having lunch”, “finishing up guys”).
Slack also allows us to silo conversations by room. This means when a message is posted in a particular channel, we already have context. The comms are more understandable and faster.
Most critical of all, make sure your language is clear and thoughtful. It is so easy to take something out of context. Anything controversial or argumentative does not belong in a messaging platform.
Day to Day Communications
If you need more detail then use the phone or better still use a VOIP platform as they typically provide more options to collaborate such as screen sharing, document sharing and in-built messaging.
One crucial behaviour we live by here at Inspectivity when it comes to verbal communications. Always ask “is ok for me to Skype you right now” and give them some context (“to discuss XYZ?“). It is just polite and allows people some time to adjust their frame of mind.
Daily “Standup” meetings” are a familiar concept for IT professionals when it comes to Agile development. Essentially they are a very quick meeting (<15 minutes) whereby a small team (5 to 10 people) will provide a brief overview of what they did yesterday, what they plan to do today and any problems or issues they have. The important point is that the meeting should be light on detail and any indepth discussions should be be taken to a separate forum.
Inspectivity teams run these every morning to establish a run sheet for the day. At first it may seem an inconvenience but in times of crisis (ie. now) it also provides a very important human touch point. They give us a face to face for at least a small portion of our day.
The face to face is important – so cameras on please!
If your sales or training process relies on face to face meetings then you will need to adjust fast. There are many platforms that will allow you to engage with your clients without any shared infrastructure. All you need is a network connection. Tools like GoToMeeting, Zoom, Google Hangouts are all simple to use. Obviously it is not the same as a “face-to-face” but you are still able to share documents, allow others to present, do screen shares and a whole lot more.
The Virtual Pub
Mental health is super important, now more than ever. Not all contact at work is formal, typically we also have social catch ups, a quick lunch with a mate or after work drinks. Just because we are now working remotely, does not mean the social aspects should be forgotten. The same tools we use for formal meetings can provide a forum for a small group to sit down and have a virtual “beer” together at the end of the week. You will be surprised how effective they can be. You just need a fun name for your virtual pub.
Inspectivity employ a range of other cloud solutions and tools to help us deliver a high performance solution, whether technical, operational or public facing. We hope the above insights are helpful and provides you some inspiration on how to keep working effectively even when locked down. Its a challenging time but by being creative and open to new ways of working businesses can survive.
If you want to know more or would like Inspectivity to assist your team with collaboration through digital inspection please reach out.
+61 (0) 8 6160 6060