How to Make Working Remotely Actually Work
A Guide for Software to Use When Working Remotely
As the Director of Operations, it’s part of my job to make sure communication and collaboration happen across all divisions of our growing team. It’s a process that’s hard enough even when everyone is on-site and in the same place, so how do you manage it when part of your team needs to work remotely? We came across that question because, over the past two years, we’ve thrown in a second office, added multiple out-of-state clients, and built a team that sometimes needs the ability to work remotely.
So how did we make this happen?
It’s an ongoing process. To make working remotely actually work for your team, you’ll need to constantly tweak workflows and processes to give your team the ability to create, communicate, and collaborate no matter where they are in the world.
We use a few programs and various software to help out with that process. Here are some of our favorites.
G Suite for Business
When working remotely, collaboration on documents can be difficult to manage. You have multiple versions of documents and a slew of emails with different versions of the files. Not to mention, you often have to wait for the document to come back before you can work on it, which is time-consuming at best. Not ideal.
G Suite solves this problem with a suite of office tools that allows us to work in the cloud, collaboratively, from anywhere. Plus, it has built-in cloud storage for any file, a wiki builder for internal info, and a fantastic management suite.
FarmersWife is the lifeblood of AMP. It’s a tool built specifically for production companies and allows our team access to the core of AMP’s projects from anywhere in the world. It covers scheduling, budgeting, contact management, and equipment management tracking.
While FarmersWife might not be the exact tool you use for your team, make sure you have something (software, excel spreadsheet, etc.) that contains all of the information your team needs to accomplish what they would in the office.
As our company grew, we needed a simple CRM to help manage the influx of new projects and clients. Insightly fit the bill. We can keep track of potential contacts, job opportunities, and leads before they become real projects in FarmersWIfe. It also has a great task management system to help keep all of our to-do’s in order. Other CRM tools you might take advantage of are Salesforce, Infusionsoft, or Pipedrive.
Slack has become synonymous with workplace communication. It’s a quick, easy tool that allows all of our post team to stay in contact and up to date on what’s happening on various projects. With its extensions, I have various forms and uploaders that feed into different channels to make it a great place for external communication as well.
With so many different online services and passwords, LastPass is what we use to manage them all. It stops team members from emailing passwords or keeping post it notes on their computer monitor. The ability to easily create, update, and share complex passwords is vital in our interconnected world.
Whether working with a remote team member or a client on the other side of the country, nothing takes the place of face-to-face contact. Enter BlueJeans, a solid service that works with pretty much any and all VC setups. With the creative, visual nature of our industry, being able to visually show our ongoing work is imperative.
AMP is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) company. So, we found that even when we had phone lines, most of our team used their own cellphones. Because of that, we went and found a service that turns our team members’ cell phones into an office phone. Its service turns the cloud into a transfer station so our office line can be directly sent to any cell phone, seamlessly.
These are just a handful of some of our favorite collaborative programs. Any others we should know about? Leave them in the comments below!