Everybody is working from home… Now what?

“Dutch people stay at home in masses” – headlines Het Financieel Dagblad.

As of yesterday, due to the Coronavirus, the chaos in the Netherlands is complete. A day earlier the WHO stated a pandamonium was on its way.

In large parts of the world, the advice is: work from home. Large and small organizations are not reluctant to take half measures and respond massively to the call. Yet for many companies, it is still a challenge to facilitate working from home.

We have been successfully working remote since 2008 and have been proclaiming the Remote adage since. It was easy then but with all the improved tools it a piece-of-cake now.

Remote working goes beyond tooling. It’s a state-of-mind. If you are interested in the bigger picture, just drop us a line ;).

Below a few hands-on, easy to start tips, partly inspired by our inspiration sources BaseCamp and Zapier.

Keep people informed

Let your co-workers know what you’re doing and keep them updated with valid information. We use tools like Slack. But today even a WhatsApp group will do the trick. Make sure you separate official information from the ‘Reddit‘ fun.

Trust Your People (but set some guidelines)

To keep your information channels efficient, you need to educate people. If you explain why they understand they should not respond to every message. “Okay”, “Agree” and “thumps up” are obsolete (so is unnecessary carbon copying the World, but that a topic I could spend a complete post on).

For more on this: A Proposal for Basic Conduct Behavior Rules or WhatApp Groups by Raul Baz.

Meet People Online

Start (if you haven’t already) with video conferencing. You have tools like Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and WebEx. But our favorite is WhatsApp. For us, it has a proven track record for the quality of the video (and last year we tested if extensively over 2 continents 😉

If you need to share information (slides, document our share your screen) our bet is Google Hangouts.

Collaborate

Maybe a bit of a superfluous point, because working together is essential. Yet we still come to clients who are not equipped for that. There is no shared environment nor tooling, or there are no uniform guidelines on how to use it.

Again, our backbone is the Google Suite. Once you are acquainted Docs, Sheets and Slides you can’t live without it. Bonus: no more sharing of attachment over e-mail and even better, no version mixups.

Everybody on the same page: literally!

Need advice? Have some questions? We’re here for you!

Disclaimer: we realize the reason is different now. Now we are avoiding large groups and social situations. There are even entire villages in quarantine.