Remote Work: Productivity
This research presents insights into how small and large companies are handling the move from office settings into remote locations/work-from-home. CEOs/company leaders have expressed the impact of this move, the measures taken, and collaborative tools implemented to ensure success. This research also presents insights into how teams can brainstorm creatively and the various collaborative tools that members can use to draw and sketch together, in real-time.
- Bombas is an apparel company that produces tshirts and socks. The company advocates for the homeless and provides to some of their needs. In the wake of this pandemic, the company has continued to do so.
- Bombas is estimated to have 130 employees.
- Through this pandemic, the company has been able to have an impact and still stay profitable. As many people are working from home, the genius marketing strategies have helped this company still be profitable. The get-one-give-one policy is an inspiration in this season as many more people require assistance and Randy Goldberg shares how socks have become the new shoes.
- The charitable supply chain that was established before this pandemic has proven to be critical in their activities. The network of about 3,000 charities has enabled Bombas to partner with other companies in providing essential items to the needy. Although the employees have had to work from home/remote, sales are up 50%.
- Josh Wand is the CEO and Founder of ForceBrands.
- Forcebrands is a recruiting firm in the consumer brands industry.
- Wand describes himself as a wartime CEO. He is agile, focuses on purpose, and seeks out opportunities within the challenges. This company has had to become a fully remote workplace. In order to align daily tasks and goals, the company has scheduled daily video stand-ups.
- Wand believes that by fostering transparency and optimizing communication, the company can survive this climate. He believes that as he leads his team and keeps them motivated, the company will grow and evolve, being more resilient than ever!
Inspire Human Resources
- The CEO, Jamie Klein, shares with ABC News that her team has advised their clients to establish technological infrastructure for working remotely. As the team begins to adjust to remote life, so do their clients.
- Inspire Human Resources is estimated to have about 70 employees.
- Insight 2020 Technology Report published an article revealing that small businesses are encountering delays in their technological infrastructure, since the pandemic forced employees to work from home. 66% of SMBs have experienced IT issues, which has been caused by using ineffective collaboration tools.
- Satya Nadella, the CEO at Microsoft, stated that working from home could have significant negative consequences. In an interview with the New York Times, she raised concerns such as mental health that could arise from a lack of social interaction.
- She addresses how the informal inter-person conversation is critical to the well-being of the individual as well as the team. These two-minute conversations between meetings are critical.
- Although this company was quick to transform their staff into a fully remote team when the pandemic hit, Nadella says that this will only be temporary, as the impact of this would be like "replacing one dogma with another dogma."
- So far, the work-from-home policy has been extended until October.
- Microsoft employees collaborate on their own tools: Microsoft Teams and Yammer. The 151,000 employees primarily communicate via Teams. They use this tool for calling, chatting, collaborating, and holding meetings. Yammer is put to use when connecting groups to groups on a larger scale.
- In a March 15 company blog post, Cerner rolled out a work-from-home policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Bill Graff, the senior vice president and CIO for Cerner Corp, said that when the pandemic hit, they were ready for the work-from-home scenario because they had been preparing for such an event for several years. The company had set up a business continuity plan prior to this incident and had tested for crazier scenarios.
- The technological infrastructure has stood the test of the first two weeks and teams are performing better than expected. Additionally, the company is facilitating videoconferencing and using various tools such as Yammer to enhance their participation. The company has availed two channels, one for informal communication and the other for health-related subjects and tips for time management. This company also uses Microsoft Teams.
- This company has approximately 27,000 employees.
INSIGHTS FOR CREATIVE BRAINSTORM
Creative Workspace Design
- A creatively designed workspace can be a great source of inspiration and motivation, which enhances productivity.
- Although teams are all working from their homes, individual workspaces can determine whether one will be inspired or not. By setting standards and inspiring creativity, ensuring that team members have the right environment can boost productivity.
- The leadership team can provide tips, resources, and ideas on how to renovate workspaces and also lead by example. Sharing photos of their own spaces may inspire employees to do the same.
Overcome the Creative Block
- In this season, remote team members do not have the same unifying factor as they used to when they would meet together. In-office employees can engage in activities or share information that can inspire the team together, and physical proximity can enhance creativity. However, it is important that creativity keeps flowing.
- Creative block can occur due to various factors. Ensuring that the creative boost is maintained by designing creative workspaces, allowing flexibility, recognizing every success, and encouraging constant communication, formal and informal.
- The top collaborating tools/apps/software in the market today include Microsoft Whiteboard, Mural, ConceptBoard, Whiteboard Fox, Miro, Ziteboard, among others. Each of these tools have different strengths and features.
- Other tools include Drawpile, Ambereh, Aggie, Flockdraw, among others.
- After acquiring Intentional Software, Microsoft created the Microsoft Whiteboard. The digital canvas can be accessed by team members from all over the world. These sketches are safe in the cloud until the next login/access, which could be from a different device.
- This app that acts as a digital drawing board is free for those who have signed in to the Office ecosystem.
- This tool is ideal for design teams that are scattered around the world. Team members can post various items such as digital sticky notes, sketches, and design mockups.
- This company offers a free 30-day trial.
- Crayon is one of the simplest collaborative tools out there. This quick and easy collaboration tool does not have a sign-up process. Crayon is similar to the Paint app on Windows.
- When using it, one simply goes to the website and enters a user and meeting room name. Once it generates a link, it can be shared with anyone and the whiteboard session is instantly available.
- This platform does not require download or installation. It is ideal for a quick brainstorm, and one of the simplest digital whiteboards available.
- This platform is free.