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The New Normal: Thriving with Home Office

As the world unanimously scrambles with their business continuity plans, we would love to offer to you the processes, tools, and business partners we utilize at ItsMyCargo that help us not only execute remote work policies, but thrive with them.

Before you begin evaluating new software providers to bring into the fold, take inventory of your existing communication channels. With the addition of a couple new processes, you can breathe new life into old workflows.

  1. On your project management software, turn all private channel messages into public channels to reduce information silos. The one thing that you can never have an overabundance of in remote work times is overcommunication. Similarly, cc all relevant people on emails.
  2. On your messaging platform, whether it is Teams, Zoom, or our in house tool, Slack, be whimsical with statuses. This serves two purposes - people can have fun selecting their icon of the day, but this also serves to update colleagues. You can set your status to what it is you are having for lunch, what customer you are focusing on, if you are in focused mode, etc.
  3. If your company already has employees working remotely, you possess one valuable resource in house. Learn from the heros, and let these employees take ownership in teaching what they have learned from their experience. One of our remote workers, Joe, held a meeting with all employees who are new to remote working to give his tips, tricks, and general advice for succeeding in an entirely new working environment. Hearing how an employee within the company fared gives realistic and relevant advice to your remote work initiative. 

 

Working across time zones and languages requires our business to be organized, but we took the opportunity to further revolutionize our workflow in these times of remote office. We call this time Customer Journey 2.0. Here are a couple workflow boosters you can implement today to see instant efficiency results. 

  1. Operate your day with scrum style sprints with stand ups and retrospectives. For an added layer of efficiency, shorten the communication cycle you would regularly use (monthly to biweekly, weekly to daily, etc.). If you are unable to use web conferencing software, you can also use a Slack Workflow template to run your sprint, seen here.
  2. Always end your meeting with scheduling the next meeting. This technique keeps you laser focused on the meetings’ actual goal, and allows for important projects to not fall through the cracks. Be sure to memorialize all meeting points in a public forum.
  3. The ideal situation is that your customer will not notice that you have had any transitions in business continuance. To further accommodate customers in these turbulent times, we opened up special office hours in our bookable calendar through Appointlet. We offered appointments for 30 minute catch-ups, so that any customer can have a communication channel with us if they so desire, in order to accommodate their rapidly changing work schedule.

 

Once you are organized internally, you can now look externally for adding software services to your stack in the interest of increasing productivity, employee morale, and customer satisfaction. As a cloud-based SaaS, we strive to ensure we are on our customers’ list for “Most Vital Services” during remote work, and we do so by providing an instant quotation and booking tool for freight forwarders. 

  1. With the help of Tandem, we turned our office into a digital workplace, equipped with a “Help Needed” room. This allows employees to mimic the quick conversations they are accustomed to in the workplace without planning ahead to make calls. It also has a video and screen sharing function, which are both incredibly useful functions in a playful application.
  2. We love Google Meet, and no download required tools make the barrier to entry for all customers, regardless of region, easier. There is also a chat option, which helps make global communication frictionless.
  3. In terms of keeping spirits bright, online pictionary tools take the lead. We host virtual happy hours on Friday with Skribbl.io to allow employees to still maintain engagement and connection, even when working remotely. Paying into your employees happiness is vital in these challenging times, and will result in more engaged and optimistic colleagues!

Copyright @ ItsMyCargo 2020

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