For over a month now, Decode has been operating remotely. This change was pretty sudden for most of us, and aside from a random sick day or planned trip, the entire company was unused to communicating and operating 100% outside of the office. So we sent out a team survey to figure out how things are one month in — are we good at working from home?
Our team has always been dedicated to improving processes and workflow. But change can throw a wrench in the best of plans, and COVID-19 has been a pretty big wrench. However, after the first week or so of work, we were able to implement new ways of working together that have made projects come together much more efficiently. In fact, 100% of survey respondents said that they believe Decode has improved as the month continued, and 86.7% said they personally had identified ways to improve at working from home.
“Finding multiple places to work throughout the day. Changing up the scenery keeps things fresh.”
“Turning the TV off after day four as to not be constantly bombarded with COVID news.”
“Setting a timer to know when to take a break.”
“Setting up a comfy office space, that helps to separate personal from work life when it's being conducted in the same space.”
“Taking a long shower to forget the loneliness.”
“Putting makeup on changed my day and made me feel more prepared.”
“Working outside on the back patio, going on coffee breaks.”
“I sit here and I do it.”
“Working in levels of priority. Setting windows where you work to accomplish the most pressing/important things first.”
Literally every answer in this section revolved around communication. Some wanted over communication, while other respondents wanted a clear delineation of what channel was used for what. Either way, it’s been the biggest change Decode has implemented that has helped us work remotely.
“Over-communicating has been working great!”
“Increased communication, daily stand ups, and meeting face to face (virtually) keep us all in the loop.”
“Making sure to have face-to-face time to help get rid of any confusion.”
“An increase in writing out information, better processes.”
“Creating tasks for everything, phone calls to discuss projects, questions, etc. to get a full picture and not just using Gchat or Slack; having to communicate fully instead of yelling desk to desk, consistent check-ins within departments as well as with other departments.”
“Communicating via multiple channels: chat, phone call, video call, etc.”
“Implementation of workflow process, and utilization of communication on Asana plus Slack.”
“Overly communicating! Calling people vs. messaging.”
As an agency with a very strong morale, maintaining our working relationships has been something that’s important to us all. Several groups have put together voluntary happy hours, worked together via a zoom call or FaceTime, or filled our slack channels with less serious, non-work-related conversations (and many pictures of our pets).
That said, there are some personalities that thrive while working from home and others who survive. This second group was outspoken in the open-ended survey questions about missing their coworkers, their routine, and their desk chairs. However, one important observation was made that does put the transition to remote work in perspective:
“We can send people to the Moon, get photos from an RC car on Mars, or drone strike an eraser off a pencil, but it takes a pandemic to show this country that working from home is viable.”
Many businesses across the world are coming to understand just that. Although the cause behind our remote work is casting a gloomy shadow over this time, it is also opening eyes to the possibilities that exist outside of a traditional office model. And from our team’s perspective, we’re encouraged by the work that’s happening and people we are lucky enough to work with.
“Would like to say you guys are AWESOME!”
“I think the agency has done a great job transitioning from fully in-office to fully remote on a moment's notice.”
“I think we're doing pretty well.”
“We are all doing such a great and marvelous job, kudos team!”