Now you’re working from home because of COVID-19; work better from home

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Now you’re working from home because of COVID-19; work better from home

The last 10 days have been about getting your team setup from home. Now it’s about making it work for everyone

As I mentioned last week, we’ve been busy helping you set up your staff to work from home. Even though those requests are still coming through, they have reduced in number and the focus is now shifting to the next issues of having a remote workforce.

For Intuitive IT, the biggest issue we face is the loss of ‘bants’. Bants is short for banter, and I could comfortably say that what our in-house culture is built on.

In the office, we like to keep it light. There are constant office pranks like covering a teammates desk in bubble wrap. Not just his desk but everything was individually wrapped; his keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, screens, etc.

There are nerf guns at most desks and you’ll find the whiteboards and TV screens covered in them as the team has target practice through the day. We usually clean up the bullets before a client comes in; usually.

There’s also the ability to give and take when it comes to making fun of each other – and the good-humoured belly laughs. Geez, I’m missing the office right now.

So to combat this in our new found situation we’ve implemented some changes to make sure we don’t lose too much of this comradery during our imposed lockdown.

Daily standups x2

Both sides of the business, the IT services team and the Development team have a morning and afternoon standup. Each goes for a maximum of 15 minutes as we check in with each other to see what they’ve been working on, what they’ll be doing next and if they are blocked by any issues. They always start with a laugh which makes it feel like we’re back in the office.

Fun Friday

Another initiative we had back when we worked from the office was on the last Friday of each month we’d all order from the same restaurant/cafe and sit around during our lunch break and chat. No shop talk allowed. We’ve now converted this into a virtual fun Friday, which we had today.

Everyone ordered from the local restaurant what they wanted and we played a couple of games of Jack Box. It was such a hit, that we’re going to be playing a session of Jack Box every Friday now.

Call first, chat second

On last thing we implemented was to introduce a rule where you should always make a video call where possible. Techs are notorious for hiding behind their keyboard, and generally, that’s ok, when they’re talking to each other. But at the moment, that won’t cut it. So we’ve asked everyone to make a video call where possible. And video cameras must be on.

There’s no embarrassment having your camera on, as long as everyone is fully clothed! Most people have kids at home and may have washing on the kitchen table, but that’s ok. These are extraordinary times, and we have bigger issues to deal with.

Further Reading

For those you who are interested, GitLab, which has the world’s largest remote workforce, released an eBook on how to have an effective remote workforce. It’s worth a read as it has some very useful tips including documenting as you go. Click here to download it. We’re actually a customer of GitLab. We use their software to store our developer’s code.

Wrapping up

With most clients on Office 365 and Google G-Suite, you have Teams and Meet available to you respectively. Make the most of these technologies and make your calls video calls, to give you that back-in-the-office-feeling.

Let us know if you need a hand setting up these apps or if you’d like to try something like Zoom.

Good luck to us in the coming weeks.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us – maybe on a video call.

About the author

Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.