Top tips for remote working if you’re working from home per the latest Covid-19 rules.
Now that we’ve all been told to work from home (unless it’s impossible to do so) in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19, Cheddar Creative are on hand to share some of our top tools and tips for remote working.
- Be safe. Cyber safe.
Before you download or do anything, it’s important to avoid becoming a target for hackers. Our friends at the Creative Computing Club recommend, “Where possible use a Virtual private network (VPN) to ensure you have an encrypted connection. If you have not set up a VPN, be sure to stick to the main online providers such as Google, Skype, Discord or Zoom. Where possible, try to leave any sensitive information at the office. If, however, you have to share sensitive information, be sure to only do so via a work laptop. If you do so via a personal device, you are often not covered by indemnity insurance so if you do become a victim of a hack, you could find yourself with some serious GDPR issues on your hands. From a personal side, if you do find yourself having to use your own laptop, ensure you have the latest anti-virus, firewall and OS installed and up to date and be sure to stay away from dodgy pirate film websites, etc.”
2. Keeping in touch without touching.
There are a number of excellent tools out there to have you set up and connected with your team in a matter of seconds. For us at Cheddar, our favourite is Slack. Designed to replace email, Slack is a workspace designed to allow you to organise communications by channels for group discussions and also allows for private messaging. It’s a place where you can get instant feedback and connect with colleagues both in groups and one to one.
Alongside Slack, our next favourite tool is Trello, which we use as our project management software. Trello is designed to let you get work done more effectively and collaboratively. It’s a really visual and fun way to stay on top of projects and tasks ensuring remote teams keep up their productivity. The bonus being, you can integrate Trello with Slack, so everyone in the team has a birds-eye view of what needs to be done each day.
3. Conference calling.
I am sure we aren’t the only ones who have felt the struggle in the past of finding a reliable conferencing tool. Often they can be glitchy and an absolute nightmare to use. Often, by the time you join the call, the call has ended. Thankfully, Zoom has saved the day. When you’re working remote, reliable communication tools are essential, rest assured, you’ll get that with Zoom, it allows you to have a meeting anywhere in the world, from the comfort of your home.
4. Google A-Z.
Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, Google Drive… the list goes on and on. Google is another excellent tool for online collaboration. You are able to share documents easily as well as edit documents live while other members are in the same document. We do however still favour Zoom over Google hangouts.
5. Design collaboration.
Real-time collaboration is an essential part of the design process. InVision, in our opinion, is hands down the most comprehensive suite of design software on the market, and another of our favourite tools. InVision helps you stay in sync and helps facilitate design discussions, track client feedback and demonstrate interactions easily and efficiently. For rapid prototyping (something we are big fans of when running Design Sprints), InVision gets a big thumbs-up from the Cheddar team.
6. Take breaks and minimise distractions.
Working from home, for those of you who are new to it, will be a whole new adventure. To ensure you keep your head in the game and your productivity levels up, do everything you usually would if you were going into the office. Set an alarm, dress for a day at the office, sit at a desk. If you don’t fully get yourself ready for work, chances are, you’ll quickly find yourself wanting to go back to bed. You’ll need to have structure and self-motivation to ensure you remain productive. We’ve recently experimented with the Pomodoro Technique and have found 25 minutes of focused work with short breaks in between to be highly effective.
The Covid-19 pandemic has now reached the stage where the UK Government has told us all to stay at home wherever possible or face a fine, so if you can work from home, you most certainly should. Hopefully, this blog has shown you that plenty of technology exists to assist with remote working and our tips should help you become a working-from-home master while the current lockdown persists!
You know what they say, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Now go wash your hands!