At times of crisis, agencies have to be dynamic and flexible to adhere to recommended guidelines and government restrictions. Otherwise, clients won’t receive the service that they signed up for and will be left dissatisfied. Agencies need to do everything within their power to survive, and without clients they’ll be left with no work, thus decreasing revenue and rising costs.
So, with the current global pandemic, that’s exactly what we’ve done. At Red-Fern, we’re now operating on a fully remote working scheme so that we can continue to delight our clients and help them meet their overall goals despite the ongoing situation.
This post will outline how we’re able to operate remotely, the tools we’re using to help collaboration on projects and how we’re keeping our Red-Fern culture alive while the team works from home.
Our typical remote working day
We’re pretty flexible with working hours at Red-Fern, so as long as everybody gets their hours in through the course of the week, it’s up to our team to work out the best way to maximise productivity. Whether that’s in short, sharp bursts or immersing themselves in larger projects throughout the day - taking the correct breaks, of course.
That means that no two remote working days are the same. However, one common theme is that we’re all on a video call together each morning to catch up and outline the day. The team will discuss what they’ve got on for the day including upcoming deadlines, tasks scheduled and anything they need help with.
Once out of the meeting, we’re then focused and know exactly what goals we need to work towards by the end of the day. From here, it’s up to each individual on how they want their day to pan out. Video scrums, group conversations and meetings take place throughout the day, as they would in the office, to keep communication levels up and collaborate easier on tasks that need multiple people on them.
We’ve found that splitting up our days is the perfect way to motivate ourselves for the day. Whether it’s going for a walk or run on our lunch breaks or splitting off from a long project with a 15-minute crossword or music quiz, various ways work for our team so that our renowned high standards are consistently met.
Crucial collaboration tools
Collaboration is key to having our team all on the same page and working together to reach our client goals. So it’s vital that just because we’re not all together in the office, we don’t let this slip. We use a variety of tools to keep collaboration levels peaking.
While people are rightfully worried about the spread of COVID-19, one thing our clients don’t have to worry about is the delivery and standard of our work dipping. We use the following tools to ensure that whilst we’re working remotely we’re able to connect with each other and our clients just as easily as if we were actually in the office.
Our video meetings are all conducted by Zoom. Whether it’s a quick team scrum to spitball exciting ideas or a full company meeting, the app allows us to all communicate virtually face to face. We believe it’s important to have video meetings rather than just phone calls as they’re more engaging and conversation is more productive through judging social cues and body language.
The app allows different people on the call to share their screens, so we don’t have to rely on explanations alone. Visual aids and access to documents allow for better collaboration as you can physically see team members’ ideas. This is especially helpful in the design team where creative ideas are thrown around aplenty - it allows you to see progress, rather than relying on descriptions.
Zoom fills the gap of us not being allowed to visit our clients - which is a big priority for Red-Fern. We love nothing more than getting out of the office and visiting our amazing clients at their offices to chat about upcoming strategies, retainer progress and working relations. So, we can still hold productive face-to-face meetings - albeit, while behind a screen at home.
We believe that communication is one of the main pillars of success. So, whilst we’re working remotely, we need to ensure that our communication levels are as effective as possible. Otherwise, each team member will be pulling in different directions and lose sight of the end goals of projects. So, Slack enables us to reach key team members instantly as and when we need to.
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This saves us having unnecessary phone calls when quick messages will do. That way, we can allocate our time more productively and not waste time chatting on the phone for longer than we need to. Plus, we can contact more than one team member at once in groups. Again, allowing for peak contribution on different projects.
With a Slack message, it’s there in writing. Whereas, tasks mentioned in passing conversation may easily be forgotten. So, you can relate to the Slack channel when working on a task to check out the progress of the different stages.
Google Drive is the perfect tool that allows us to collaborate as a team and get client feedback all in one place. It allows the team to work on the same documents and at the same time. This is an effective way of working as saving different versions of files can result in them getting lost in email chains or being mistaken for the latest up to date versions.
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We find that conversing with clients in the actual document is the perfect way to ask questions and gain more knowledge around topic areas. For example, if sections on blogs need a little more in-depth knowledge, it’s easy to message the client in the document so that they know exactly where the information will sit in their content.
Google Drive is accessible from anywhere. This means that files stored on here are shared with our team and we aren’t reliant on somebody having them stored on their personal drive of their computer. You can simply log in, find the file in the allotted folder and away you go!
Basecamp is a project management software that is crucial to perfect working partnerships with our clients. It’s where we house client communications and can track the progress of each project. Plus, it allows complete transparency from the clients’ perspective and to the wider team too. So, if a key member of a project isn’t working, we can still gauge where the project is up too.
Image Credit: Basecamp
Plus, it’s accessible from anywhere. Which is perfect for working remotely. Our team members can keep clients up to date with everything they’re working on at home so that communication doesn’t dip and we can continue the high-standard of service that we promise. At times like this, communication is even more crucial than usual and with this tool, we have the perfect functionality to reach out to our clients.
Keeping up the Red-Fern culture
A lot of businesses suffer from failing to retain their core culture and personality - thankfully, we’re not one of them! We strive to make Red-Fern an amazing place to work, whether we’re in or out of the office. Regular check-ins, virtual hangouts and plenty of fun home-based tasks keep the team occupied and interacting with each other, so, morale is never low!
The team is always looking for new things to explore. Although we’re limited to what we can do with government restrictions, even that won’t stop us! We have dedicated slack channels to generic advice and chat on how we can stay healthy, active and occupied during these special circumstances. The vibe around the team in response to the working changes is definitely positive and refreshing.
We’re lucky to have a close-knit team that values delighting the client as one of their main priorities. So, they work tirelessly to ensure that deadlines and expectations are met and exceeded despite the temporary remote working plans.
At Red-Fern, we’re here to help
As we’ve mentioned, at this time of worry and uncertainty, one thing that you can rely on is the quality of Red-Fern. Although we’re now working fully remotely, that doesn’t stand in the way of us being able to provide a top-quality service, innovative marketing and inspiring web-design solutions for your business.
We work with a wide range of clients, that span from the beauty industry to industrial floor cleaning. Our team is flexible and are experts in their fields, so we can be certain that we have a solution to help you reach your overall business goals quickly.
To see how we can help, please do not hesitate to contact us. Or, why not book a discovery call with one of our team members? We’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have and alleviate any uncertainties too.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you!