When the COVID-19 pandemic first became a business reality, like most other small businesses, Snyder Group quickly battened down the hatches and kept the ship moving forward. We were lucky in that nearly all of our work already encompasses digital tools and strategies. The reality of working virtually was not a complete paradigm change. Working 100% virtually was however. Here is what worked and didn’t work for us from a small business owner’s perspective.
Change, even sudden and dramatic forced change, can be good. When we moved from our brick and mortar to virtual office spaces, the following practices helped us maintain, and in some cases improve, an effective work environment here at Snyder Group.
Leveraging Cloud Based Collaboration Tools
Digital accessibility and the ability to share files are the foundation of a virtual office environment. Shoring up a highly functional cloud server environment, where we could file, access, implement, and share work, was in place before we turned our office lights out and headed for the virtual hills. While not something to be overly happy about, we can now literally be anywhere in the world...and still work.
Communication with Clients
Communication is key. Snyder Group has been running client and vendor meetings via online meeting apps for years. Pre-pandemic, online meetings streamlined our communications. Travel, presentation prep and presenting were key components of improving efficiencies by zeroing out travel time and the need for hard copy output. (Remember that?) Because of early adoption of virtual meeting apps, keeping up communications with clients has been seamless.
Keeping the Internal Lines of Communication Open
The ability to spontaneously communicate with one another is key to creative environments. There is enormous benefit to the shout across the hall, or the chat at the water cooler for some quick troubleshooting...or trouble making. At Snyder Group, we have found that real-time, onsite communications is also an important factor for learning - a critically important facet to the growth and retention of employees.
Snyder Group starts Monday of each work week with a full-out status meeting via Zoom. At this meeting, we exam our full workload with the entire team and set forth our work strategy for the week. Thereafter, we start each day with a Zoom scrum meeting to capture any changes or new work that came in from the day before. And to fill in all of the little cracks during the day, we simply go Slack. Literally. This application, which I’ll admit I was slow to adopt, has changed the way our entire team communicates. Like instant messaging on steroids, Slack allows us to communicate with individuals or teams at the spur of the moment.
Connections That Matter
Not to be too corny here but people need people. Our Zoom cocktail parties are just not the same as our in person client or colleague deck parties, lunches, etc. Whatever hybrid working model emerges from the COVID-19 era accelerated reset of work environments, Snyder Group’s goal will be to ensure meaningful connections that provide value for both our staff and our clients. Cheers!
Our Software Recommendations for Remote Workplace Management:
Every organization is different, but after testing MANY options, these are our picks for the best remote workplace tools. Our team will help you find the right tools then help you get up and running quickly. Our Remote Workplace Setup is designed for small to medium business who are interested in giving their employees the ability be 100% productive from any location.
Project Management: Wrike
Wrike is an online project management software that gives you full visibility and control over your tasks. With the help of this software, managing projects becomes simple.
Online Chat: Slack
Slack is an online chat platform that can replace email to help you and your team work together seamlessly. It’s designed to support the way people naturally work together.
Video Conferencing: Zoom
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars.
Cloud Collaboration: Google GSuite
GSuite is an integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps powered by Google AI. Includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more.
File Sharing: Dropbox
Dropbox is a modern workspace designed to reduce busywork-so you can focus on the things that matter. Sign in and put your creative energy to work.
Marketing + Sales + Service: Hubspot
HubSpot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software — plus the methodology, resources, and support — to help businesses.