It has been an increasingly worrying and difficult time. With the Covid-19 crisis in full swing, it is clear that action is essential. We should all be staying at home, maintaining social distance. This way, we can try to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, thus doing our part to help flattening the curve. We must all do what we can to prevent putting those at risk, in further danger.
At Clocktimizer, we are all working from home, for the foreseeable future. We are able to do this because we use cloud based solutions for everything. In light of this, we’re sharing how our team has been organising our daily remote working schedule. We’d love to hear from you about the tools and tips you have also found helpful. We hope that in sharing this information together we can all learn something to make remote working easier or more efficient.
Cloud based solutions offer flexibility
Cloud based software is software which is hosted through an internet connection remotely, rather than being installed locally on your PC or laptop.
The benefit for us, in using these services is the increased flexibility they bring. They are accessible on any device, in any location with an internet connection. In that way our employees are able to work from home with ease. They can avoid the rush hour, or even just lower your carbon footprint. Indeed our Head of Content (writing as we speak) has been able to travel through South America for a year, while writing blogs. In times of crisis like these, cloud infrastructure enables social distancing without fundamentally impacting the running of your business.
How we stay connected
To really enable remote working, you need to have good lines of communication. It is important to note that we are not talking about email. Emails, while a helpful tool, often get lost, forgotten or ignored. Using a communication tool like Slack can ensure that your team stays connected, even when apart. We have a twice daily ´coffee connect´ in the morning and the afternoon to set up the day, and close it out. We host this through Slack, and then use different channels to share documents and information while working. This reduces the load on our already heaving inboxes, and keeps the communication organized.
Secondly, we have invested in a workflow management system. At Clocktimizer, we use Azure DevOps from Microsoft. Visual Studio allows us to create sprints (or two week periods of work) which we can then divide into bigger sprawling ideas, and individual tasks. These tasks can be assigned to specific employees, and the progress as a whole monitored in our kanban board. We can leave notes, and attach information to each task, and can collaborate on tasks easily. In this way, you divide work up into manageable pieces, make communication on tasks easy to follow, and can show progress in a quick overview.
Whatever your requirements, the vast majority of programs are now available in an online environment. Of course, Clocktimizer is also available as a cloud hosted option. Make sure you do some research into the options available to you, and try to select tools which integrate with each other for the most streamlined working experience.
Security is key when working remotely
One of our primary concerns as a company that works in the cloud is security. For many years security concerns held back many companies from venturing into remotely hosted solutions. When working in the cloud, it is important to use extra precautions like a VPN and 2 factor authentication. Head to our blog here for more information on how these two work.
It is equally important to properly train your staff on security and safety online. Create data security processes, and regularly update staff on how they work. At Clocktimizer, we use regular tests to make sure our employees are protecting their data in a way that meets company standards. By combining extra security steps (like VPNs) with training, you can ensure that your cloud based work environment is as safe as possible.
How have you managed the crisis?
We’re always looking for ways to improve our workflows. Do you have programs or other technology that have helped remote working? Do you even just have a funny website that provides a welcome distraction? Send it over! We’d love to hear from you.