AtWork Systems, like a lot of small and mid-sized businesses, had to quickly adapt to a new norm of extreme remote working in response to COVID -19.
Fortunately, we are a technology company using online tools and remote collaboration technologies.
These affordable practices can be quickly and easily adopted by most small companies.
Hopefully, we can be a good example for others to follow:
- We already had web meetings through Zoom to do our daily Stand-up Meetings, Sprint Planning. etc.
- We already had collaborative chat setup through Slack.
- We already had our application in the cloud and could do development, builds, and testing without needing to be in the same location.
- Our sprint management system was already cloud based, and we could run our projects with our team located anywhere using JIRA.
- Our work documents were kept in a team cloud using Dropbox.
- We already used remote demonstrations and presentations for sales and customer support.
- People had been working out-of-sync schedules, and it was a bit of a challenge to sync everyone to roughly the same daily schedule for optimal productivity.
- People's personal and home office technologies differed wildly, which meant sometimes meeting and collaborating with teammates was difficult.
- There were no more "hallway conversations" which meant that people had to go out of their way to keep everyone in the loop on important things.
These were gaps we had to quickly fill. It was not easy, and it wasn’t always resolved as quickly as we’d liked, but through patience, extra communication, and determined teamwork, we filled those gaps.
This experience also makes us look to our future business operations. We are sure there are things we can learn and implement going forward to not only better prepare us for tough times, but also help us refine and improve our business overall.