Remote working is certainly nothing new, but never before has it happened on this global scale. Luckily, at xDesign, we have supported remote working for a number of years and have the necessary technology, infrastructure and tools to support this transition. However, never before have we had our entire company working remotely at once. It will be a true test of our team spirit, communication skills and our ability to adapt in these uncertain times.
Here are just some of the ways we are supporting our team and helping to ensure that our clients still receive the very best from us:
It's All About Structure
We’re encouraging our teams to structure their days. Having structure can have a massive impact on your mindset. Life in the office has a natural rhythm to it, you get in, make your coffee, chat with co-workers, check your emails and attend meetings. Replicating this rhythm at home is important. Get up at your normal time, get ready for the day, find yourself a quiet spot (that’s not bed or the sofa!) and organise your to-do list for the day. Make sure you schedule in regular breaks and even consider getting out for some exercise at lunch time or in the morning to keep you motivated.
Give People The Right Tools
As a tech company, it's imperative that we are on top of equipping our teams with the right technology (both hardware and software) to make everyone’s lives just that bit easier. All of our team members have their own laptops, multiple chargers, monitors and headphones. This week, the team rented a van to drop off people’s ergononimic office chairs and any additional equipment they require. As our teams often test across multiple devices, we have taken the necessary steps to make sure that our QA department has access to all of the testing devices they need.
In addition to this, we’re making use of a wide range of collaboration technologies and apps for managing our projects remotely. Some of these include Slack, BaseCamp, Confluence, Google Hangouts, Trello and Jira. These tools are absolutely critical to ensure that all of our teams are on the same page and knows exactly what’s going on within the project and the product development lifecycle.
Keeping Our Team Spirit Alive
At xDesign, the success of our projects and our teams relies on mutual trust, communication and cross-functional communication at all times. Not only that, but we have worked hard to build our culture of close-knit teams and making xDesign an enjoyable place to work. Working remotely can be isolating for many, both personally and professionally so we are putting together some ways to help eradicate that including:
- We’re encouraging everyone to use video-calling for all meetings/ stand ups or just for chat! Seeing people’s faces makes a huge difference and it ensures you don’t just become a faceless voice. Some of our colleagues have also set up "virtual lunches" where people can just have a chat on their lunch break and check in on each other.
- Regular team social events and innovation time is a massive part of our culture at xDesign and certainly something we don’t want to lose just because we are remote. We have plans to host weekly slack competitions, encouraging best selfies and work set-ups. Some of our teams have set up video-lunches, and we are hosting a remote pub-quiz at the end of this month for everyone to get involved in! We have dedicated social events Slack channels that keep’s everyone up to date with what we are planning regularly.
- Employee well-being during this period is really important. We encourage sharing of ideas around exercise and well-being which can be really beneficial for your mental health if you’re spending the majority of your day isolated. Some of our team members that live close-by have scheduled regular lunch time running sessions and some are using apps such as Strava and FiiT to schedule an array of fitness and wellbeing classes from home.
Good Luck To Everyone!
Although this is a period of great uncertainty, it’s also a great opportunity to learn from one another. It’s a time for business owners and colleagues alike to come together and support and encourage each other as we all try and transition to this new way of working. We're certainly looking forward to navigating this new way of working and coming together as an even stronger team!
We want to wish all of our friends, clients and suppliers the very best of luck during this time and if there's anything we can do to help or provide assistance with us, please drop us a line. We are all in this together.