There is a global crisis that has sunk the world — Coronavirus (COVID- 19). The majority of the governments around the world have imposed lockdowns to prevent the spread of the virus. This has resulted in a new reality for multiple businesses — having their employees work from home. Well, at least for those businesses that can function online.
Procreator is a digital design studio; honestly, all we need, to ensure smooth operations for our clients is a laptop, a stable internet connection, and our creative mindset. Since every employee in Procreator has their MacBook and we have taken the necessary measures to ensure that they have a high-speed internet connection, our team has been functioning in full strength.
The operational shift to work from home was an unexpected hurdle thrown at us, but we did not shy away. It took a bit of adjusting and some experimentation initially, but we found our rhythm and embraced remote working.
The right set of applications is the key
We are lucky to live in a time where technology has advanced enough that having a virtual office is 100% possible. Organizations like inVision and GitLab have been running their entire operations remotely, long before this crisis happened. The right set of tools is the key to run a business remotely.
Here at Procreator, we have always believed in using tools and software that streamline our workflow. The only thing that has changed due to the lockdown is us relying on these tools even more. Below is a roundup of the tools that we use on a day to day basis:
We use slack as the primary communication tool. When you’re working from the office, you can walk over to a colleague and ask a question or set up a quick team meeting. How do you replicate this experience remotely? By sending messages on slack. We created channels, which are mostly like group chats for all the projects we are working on, with the relevant set of people. This helps keep all the team members aligned about the latest updates to a project.
Another feature our team likes to use is the emoji reactions to slack messages. This keeps things fun and mirrors that non-verbal response you would otherwise get in an office environment. The thumbs-up emoji is the favorite amongst us, and the heart emoji is a close second. What can I say? We believe in encouragement.
When people are working from a different location, it can get difficult for everyone to have clarity on their tasks. And that’s why we use Asana — to plan out and assign tasks to every individual before the start of the week. Thus, everyone knows what they are supposed to work upon, and when a particular task needs to be completed. Hence deadlines are never missed.
3. Google Docs
What do you do when you can’t ideate together on a whiteboard? You use Google docs. Google docs/sheets shared among the entire team is a great way to keep track of all the information. It allows everybody in the team to contribute to brainstorming and ideation sessions. Documentation becomes even more important during remote work as it promotes transparency.
Then how do you provide feedback on the designs? How do you control the number of versions an individual has created, and which is the latest one? Abstract is the answer to the questions above. It has always been our go-to tool for putting a versioning system in place for our designs.
GitLab is a web-based DevOps lifecycle tool that helps maintain the repository and tracks the code commits to multiple projects. This tool ensures there is always a backup of the codebase, and it lets our developers collaborate and work on the same project from different locations.
While working remotely, face to face conversations turns into video calls. It’s essential to keep the spirits high and keep the team connected while working remotely. For this purpose, we have a fixed time for daily video calls with the entire team to share important announcements. It also gives a platform for individuals to voice opinions and share their experiences.
Same company, different environment!
It is in the best interest of the world that everyone practices social distancing and hence adopts the work from home policy. Work from home for Procreator doesn’t change the way we create those amazing user experiences for our clients; it just means we’ll be creating them from a different environment.