Although the team at KC Communications has always been set up to work both flexibly and remotely, an enforced working from home policy has certainly put our processes to the test.
However, the team would agree that by adopting technology early on, we’ve adapted quite well (some might say too well) to the changes but that hasn’t stopped us from implementing some new technologies and ways of working
We decided to come together (following government guidelines of course) and share with you the lessons learnt, our favourite remote working tools and what we want to keep using post lockdown.
Below is the list of our must-have digital tools to keep your business running efficiently
- Monday.com – We’ve had this project management tool for just over a year now and we love it. It allows us to add each client project, the individual tasks and assign responsibility. An added benefit is we can communicate with colleagues and clients through the tool, speeding up communication and reducing having to search through email threads for information.
- Google Hangouts – As we’re set up for using Google for business, it seemed only natural to adopt this as our communications channel. Whether it’s splitting client projects out into chat groups so we’re not disturbing the whole team, through to hosting video chats and regular team check-ins. We also prefer it to Zoom as the software doesn’t need to be installed for external guests to partake.
- Google Jamboard – This has to be our win when it comes to finding new tech which makes a significant impact on your work. Jamboard is a virtual whiteboard which multiple people can access and edit at the same time. Ideal for brainstorming sessions with your team, it’s also a great way to visually represent your thinking to clients too.
- Google Docs/Sheets – So this has taken us a little bit of time to adapt to, but colleagues have finally suckered in those who favoured Microsoft Office.
Having spent the past 5 weeks working remotely, we asked the team what they’ve enjoyed the most about working remotely, and what they want to continue once we return to the office.
Q: What have you loved about lockdown and what has it taught you when it comes to new ways of working?
Katrina: Our AM/PM check-ins. Working remoted has got us nailing them down to 10-15 minutes. In the office, they used to drag on! We’ve refined the format to ensure accountability on tasks so it’s certainly improving productivity. It has also helped me to adapt to using Google Docs. I’ve been extremely resistant to change on that front, but I’ve come round.
Ellis: How easily the team and clients have adapted to remote working – With everyone working in separate locations, it can be easy for things to be missed or communication to peter out, when in actual fact it has been the opposite. Rather than wait for someone to rely on responding to an email, the amount of time we have spent on video calls has increased dramatically and had everything set up on a shared drive means that all members of the team can access everything they need from home.
Megan: I’ve never had to have training remotely before – although it seems scary, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve loved not having a daily commute to and from work it means I’ve had more time to do what I enjoy doing such as cooking. I’ve also got into the habit of going for a run straight after work, so I’m making good use out of my time.
Kayleigh: I have loved the finding and use of new technology such as Jamboards, Google Hangouts and Google documents. These have been instrumental when working remotely but together as a team. Jamboards has shown me a new visual way to planning my workload too. Being physically away from the team hasn’t stopped us from communicating clearly, in fact thanks to Google Hangouts, I think it’s made it easier to take time out to give a member a call and catch up over clients or brainstorm.
Hollie: I have started to feel a lot more organised since working remotely, I am making sure that my week is planned out, and during the morning calls I am making sure that if I need anything off of anyone then I use the morning call effectively to ask questions. When being in the office it’s normal to stop for two minutes and have a quick chat with a colleague but with working remotely it’s not as easy. I have made sure that I give myself a reasonable number of breaks at the right time to reboot.
Lana: More direct conversations – this period has taught me to stop relying on emails and not to be scared to pick up the phone. It’s usually much quicker to get the results you want that way! I have been one to second guess whether I would be able to work at home however I feel and the whole team have transitioned to remote working with both a great attitude and high productivity levels. I have recently moved after finishing university and I have to catch two trains to Huddersfield with the first one being 7:02 am so I am definitely enjoying calm mornings without a rush! I have been using my commute hours to read as this is something that I often neglect even though I love it!
Q: What is the one thing you want to continue that has come out of lockdown?
Katrina: The daily check-ins, the team quizzes and using Jamboard!
Ellis: To carry on planning out my days and weeks, since working remotely this has improved my productivity massively.
Megan: Daily check-ins with the team in the morning and a round-up at the end of the day. It’s been very useful, so the team understands workload etc. More flexible working i.e. starting earlier to finish earlier.
Kayleigh: We have been partaking in ‘pub quiz’ style calls on Friday where we can all really get along and wind down. I’d like this to carry on into social activities like events, meals anything we want to do but together and keep bonding as a team.
Hollie: To carry on sharing my win of the week, it gives you the motivation to do even better the following week!
Lana: Team nights! I think that our socials have gotten better virtually so I am excited to see what ideas we come up with for nights together when everything is back to ‘normal’ again!
Q: What is the one thing that you can’t wait for post lockdown?
Katrina: Even though all the team is eager to get back together, in particular for a Chicken and Halloumi sandwich from the Heritage Deli, I hope that by them seeing it is possible to work remotely that they take advantage of this where needed, to fit in life in general.
Ellis: As I started at KC Comms just four days before lockdown was announced, I’m really excited to get set up in our new office space and arrange some socials with the rest of the team
Megan: I can’t wait to see the team in person. Having virtual meetings isn’t the same as catching up in person. I’m also looking forward to heading to the pub on a Friday after work with the team – we haven’t managed to yet since Ellis and I joined.
Kayleigh: Being able to work from the office with the team. Firstly, I love my journey in the morning, listening to my favourite songs and secondly, I like the atmosphere we have and how we can support each other with new ideas as it comes to us.
Hollie: With the team all excelling in different areas I miss being able to get tricks and tips and bouncing ideas off of one another.
Lana: Coming together as a fresh new team within a shiny bright new office, being able to have creative sessions and a great big team hug (even you Hollie!).
As well as learning from lockdown the team also cannot wait to get back to doing the things, we love the most! As some of you may be aware of our managing director, Katrina is the queen of the ice, so she can’t wait to get back to skating! For a few of us, it is merely being able to see family and friends, not being able to see someone you’re so used to just bobbing around for a cuppa is proving to be tricky! Even just the simple things in life, for Kayleigh, she’s a sucker for a McDonalds!
We hope these tools and tricks will be able to help you during lockdown or even when you’re back in the office, stay safe!
Tweet us @KCComms on what you’ve learnt from lockdown.