It’s still business as (un)usual

Here we are: Week 3 – UK lockdown.

We’re pleased to report that team Forepoint all remain fit and well, whilst continuing to work effectively from home in a bid to support our wonderful NHS and to save lives.

So, how have we all settled into business as (un)usual and how are we keeping ourselves in business, without being literally being “in” the business?

Homeworking

As a creative bunch, we’ve successfully managed to establish an eclectic mix of home-office set ups. We’re utilising bedrooms, kitchens and lofts, in fact wherever we can find a quiet and comfortable space to work.

Thanks to our internal IT experts, we’ve secure VPN access to all the systems we need to do our jobs effectively.

We’re making sure that everyone continues to be compliant with our Cyber Essentials certification.

Communicating

We’re extremely fortunate to have a number of regularly used communication channels:

Slack

This is the main channel we use for all our internal communications and engagement.

In the current crisis, we’re utilising additional Slack functionality to facilitate messaging, video calls, audio calls and desktop sharing (one to one and group).

We’ve set up additional Slack channels that allow us to effectively manage teams, specific projects and working from home procedures and guidance.

We continue to make great use of existing ‘social’ channels to keep in touch with one another. They’re currently playing an increasingly vital role in maintaining staff morale as we use them to share some much-needed, light-hearted content.

Our daily stand ups are now group Slack calls.

The workspace directory within Slack provides us with our own easy-access, internal contact directory for getting in touch with each other.

Shared channels allow us to work seamlessly, and in partnership with other agencies – embracing true collaborative working.

Zoom

We already have a lot of experience of using Zoom for video conference calls, between both our Preston and London studios, as well as with clients across the globe.

We’re now using Zoom for all our regular team calls – 22 of us in total.

Thankfully everyone’s observing video conferencing etiquette – changing out of their pyjamas, muting microphones (unless it’s someone’s turn to speak), checking who and what is behind them and remembering that they’re on camera. No one’s embarrassed themselves (yet) – though we’ve howled at examples of video conference calls that have literally gone down the pan!

Organisation

Again, we’re lucky to have some pre-existing solutions that support us in the management of projects and teams:

Trello

Members of the team continue to use Trello, a collaboration tool that organises projects into boards. It provides us with a great picture of what’s being worked on, who’s working on what and the progress being made. It’s proving to be highly valuable in tracking project tasks between the teams.

Notes

With the majority of us being Mac-based, the native ‘Notes’ App is also a great aid, allowing us to make effective notes on the fly, regardless of whether we are working at our desks, making a brew, or grabbing a well-earned break and some fresh air in the garden.

Flexible working for a work-life balance

Finally, and we know it’s a situation many people will be finding themselves in, we’re embracing greater flexibility around working arrangements to ensure the whole team maintains a good, healthy, work-life balance.

We recognise that it’s a particularly challenging time for those managing working from home with the care of their young children. We’re so lucky to have such a dedicated team, who are both trusted and committed to getting the job done – even if that means occasionally having to do it outside of the usual working hours.

If, like us, you’re carrying on with business as (un)usual and have projects you need help with, we’re still here, still fully operational and would be more than happy to help. To get in touch please email: together@forepoint.co.uk 

Take care of yourselves and stay safe.