We hope this series provides you with inspiration and support!
1. How is your team staying connected while working remotely?
We have weekly all-team meetings on Mondays using Zoom, and we've started turning our videos on so we can actually see each others' faces. It's so much better to be able to see peoples' facial reactions when you are speaking instead of talking into a blank void.
Last week we did a virtual retreat where we had virtual learning and team discussions in the afternoons. Then in the evenings we hopped back online for puzzles, trivia, and games. We had an Office Trivia night and a Codenames tournament, supplemented by Zoom, using the breakout rooms function.
— Ceri Higgs Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Techboomers.com
As fast as digital interaction is, there is a formality to it so we’re finding ways to bridge that gap. Annotating through Slack calls and screen sharing are working well. Luckily for me, I have full trust in the design staff, and there is great freedom in that as a Creative Director. In 2 weeks they have already stepped up and pushed out of their comfort zones. I see them learning to present their ideas with more clarity. Rather than filling a boardroom wall, they are creating mini presentation decks and presenting single concepts and explaining the core idea which is incredibly helpful.
— Mark Roberts RGD, VP Creative at Davis Agency
We are prolific users of Skype chats, using screen shares and screen shots to bounce ideas off each other and help each other out with technical challenges or just something that needs a fresh set of eyes. Or to share those observations that you just can’t keep to yourself. The level of trust that this team has built is serving us well.
We’ve added video to our weekly status call, since we won’t be able to have an in-person meeting anytime soon. It’s been a fun peek into everyone’s remote worlds, and a nice reminder that we are all so much more than a voice on a conference line or at the other end of a Skype chat.
— Nancy Mullin, Graphic Design Manager at BDO
We’re a small team and we’ve always had a group chat going. We’re now using that chat more than ever to stay connected. We’ve also adopted some new virtual meeting software, and have held a few meetings with it. We make sure our webcams are on, so it (almost) feels like the team is together.
— Sarah Prouse RGD, VP Creative Possibilities at Fusion Design Group
We have a daily morning Google hangout meeting where we have casual time to chat and check in with everyone and then go over the work schedule and if there are any roadblocks we can try and resolve such as network, software or client issues. We stay on Google Chat throughout the day so that we can help each other out quickly. We use a project management tool called Workfront which has been a lifesaver in how to stay on top of the work and who has what and what's left to do.
— Wendy Millard RGD, RGD President and Director of Design Services at Empire Life
Clear Space was an early adopter of technology and digital processes, so the transition to remote work has been very seamless for the team. We meet through video conferencing; communicate via instant messaging (we try to avoid sending emails to each other); create design presentations through a collaborative cloud-based presentation tool; and our entire server is accessible through Google Drive.
— Will Hum RGD, Principal & Creative Director at Clear Space
At The Works, we use Wrike for project management, Adobe CC for collaboration as well as Slack and Zoom for messaging and conferencing.
— Nelson Silva, Creative Director at The Works Design Communications
I’ve found staying connected with the team has generally gone remarkably well. We are fortunate to have VPN server access, virtual file sharing and all of the technology we need available to share screens and conduct business at Ove. Meetings now happen online via Skype or Teams instead of in a physical boardroom.
Taking the time to ask someone “how is your day going” at the start of the meeting gives us a chance to share our ups and downs and helps us realize we’re all in this together. We regularly chat on Teams or Skype similar to texting throughout the day if we have a quick question, and everyone is just a quick phone call away. We’re exploring new technologies to share mood boards, interactive whiteboards during meetings and more.
— Caroline Bruckner RGD, Director of Design Strategy at Ove Brand | Design
Stay tuned for the next series instalment on how RGD Members and their teams are keeping morale and motivation up!