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Remote Work and Collaboration

Posted by Mirja Hukill on June 30, 2020

remote place
The past few months have been a unique time for us all. And we are still facing a somewhat unknown era ahead. For some of our clients the work load exploded and needed to be managed remotely from one day to the next. Other companies came to a complete halt, as all production work was cancelled. But here are some great ideas which have emerged during the crisis. 
All businesses, whether big or small, experienced a transition from the classic office to full remote working. For some this was an easier than others. Good collaboration and organisation has been key for the smooth and successful transition to this "new normal". 

Setting Up A Remote Work Space

This can be as simple as taking home your laptop and sitting at the kitchen table to continue with your producer or scheduling duties, or as complex as needing to create a professional remote working space where you can be undisturbed and fully concentrate - for example installing a fully fledged colour grading remote station. But the technical challenges are not the only ones.

Finding Remote Work Routines

Apart from the physical location that has been moved it is also our habits that need a shift. Being so "close" to work (or home) all day makes it easy to switch from "work work" to do to some "home" work, or on the other hand it is very easy to "work" whenever close to the computer. A clear schedule, and planning out tasks, can help to structure the day and focus on the most important tasks - allowing your personal time off. Organising the long list of due tasks, I've found that the 1-3-5 rule is a simple but effective approach to get work done.

Planning And Scheduling Projects And Tasks

To plan and schedule own or other's work, it is handy to have an easy overview on all current projects, as well as availability of resources and freelancers. Also, scheduling your own work assignments allows not only a better schedule for your day and time spent on individual tasks, but in the end a more efficient time management.

schedule fw-1

Like our client "The Look" states: "We live in a world where people feel ‘flexible working’ is a holy grail, but when our time isn’t managed well we can easily become reactive rather than proactive, and stressed.  By utilising farmerswife properly the whole team can benefit from calmer more structured working."

Both farmerswife and Cirkus allow a scheduling view with simple drag & drop functionality. You can also use the iOS app or get your events in your iCal to have them available wherever you are.

Establishing Great Team Collaboration

Based on the recent impact of the pandemic there have been countless studies, blogs and other publications about collaboration and how teamwork sets companies up for success. Companies need to establish efficient collaboration across teams and employees, and employees need to get used to new ways to collaborate and communicate. 

cirkus collaboration

With setting up teams, groups and roles for your staff - processes can be optimized and teams become self-organized. Cirkus helps with its project and task templates, that can be assigned to roles and teams (groups) to organize work quickly and easily, and to collaborate efficiently. 

“Before we used Cirkus we collaborated on our projects, with our main ops manager using Google docs to manage projects. Digital production is a flexible, multi-skilled, 24/7 business. As our team works in different locations at different times, we needed a solution that allows us to communicate simply and effectively.” says "The Media Bunker" 

The Importance Of Communication

But learning to collaborate while working remotely means finding ways to maintain visibility across team projects and stay organized from anywhere. The "communication is the key" formula is at the heart of this issue. Without it, even the best employee may struggle to connect with the rest of the group.

Collaborative tasks in the workplace can help lift every member of your team to the next level. If you feel stuck at some point, asking a teammate for their input can help you finish a project successfully.

MPS Sonnenstudio finds that "Cirkus changed our communication radically. Now that all project relevant info is kept on one spot, it made our work lives easier and most importantly, more fun."

There is also a wide list of team communication tools that are used in combination with others, to eliminate the endless stream of email communication. We're using Slack for quick conversations, team wide updates and discussions in various "channels". We've also integrated Cirkus and other tools with Slack, so having the full overview of different tools and channels in there is very useful. Additionally we use Zoom (video-conferencing tool) and GoToMeeting for meetings and customer support. 

We hope you enjoyed reading about our remote working experience and knowledge sharing, and that these tips can help you make the most out of your remote work situation. Adapting to this new reality is still the case for many. We at farmerswife use both farmerswife and Cirkus for scheduling our globally distributed team and to collaborate on our tasks. This allows us to continue to support our customers and ship updates on our products as usual. 
If you were planning to go to IBC this year - we are planning a series of webinars and online chats and meetings, so make sure to check our website for updates on the upcoming (virtual) events.
Can't wait for IBC? Contact us now for a 1-1 demo.

Topics: Post-Production Scheduling Software, resource management, cloud

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Mirja Hukill

Written by Mirja Hukill

Senior Product Specialist at farmerswife