How we handle working from home due to the covid-19 outbreak
Covid-19 demands decisive moves. Almost all advertising agencies in Greece moved to remote work. We were, I believe the first to implement it, but we were ready for it all along. All the tools needed to have a lot of people from different divisions working seamlessly from home were already there.
We pride ourselves on being a truly digital and ready to work from anywhere team for many years. We haven’t tested it till this past week though. We’ve been collaborating from various locations due to business travels, having multiple locations on two countries with common resources for creative, handling tasks remotely while on production sets, photoshoots, etc. But we never had everybody working from home.
All these years our work was built around specific tools. Asana, Slack and Google apps. Combined with the use of Apple computers from everyone the transition was a breeze. Everybody kept receiving assignments from Asana, talking over details on slack and sharing emails, calendars, and files through google. Meetings and brainstorms are run through slack video chats, google hangouts or facetime. Everything is in play.
Nothing changed except the environment since you are at your home while doing so. But tools and technologies are the easy things.
The hard part is the culture. To have people motivated to wake up, dress up for work, drink their coffee and then move to their desks in the living room and work their normal working hours as they were at our building in the center of Chalandri. This is the hard part and this is why I’m proud to have such amazing people working for us.
Our role is to keep the motivation going although so far I think we are not needed since the random channel on slack is thriving since it took the part of the watercooler chit chat and fun. Ad agencies are notorious for having people with a sense of humor and these days I’m constantly reminded of it.
So if I have to summarize how we did it in a few points?
1. Use the tools and the technologies you already use. Don’t try to force new things in the time of drastic changes since they will never work
2. Make sure that everyone understands that basic rules apply, business hours, attire are the basic ones.
3. Work on morale and make sure everyone feels comfortable with the situation. Try to solve any issues as fast as possible.
Have some spare laptops and monitors. They might come in handy