Doing Distance with the Right Tools
As the COVID-19 pandemic has made vivid, having the right tools at hand – to keep teams and people connected – is at the heart of being able to adapt to change in the workplace. Even though around the country, we find ourselves in lockdown again, the interconnectedness that communication tools provide have been invaluable in keeping everyone working at their best.
To help you or your organisation, we’ve put together a list of the tools we have been using to keep in contact with one another, and to keep the work flowing.
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app, designed to keep work-related conversation all in one place. Each of our team members has an account, meaning our whole workforce can be reached instantly –be it by message, call or video. Synched to a calendar, Teams allows users to set their availability status – so if you are unable to reach a co-worker, it’s easy to check if they’re on another call or have blocked out time in their day.
Streamlining the back-and-forth issues that often come with email threads, Teams also allows users to share documents to wider group chats or to individual members.
Asana is a work management tool for teams. Structuring work from the small tasks to the big picture, it organises work so that teams know what to do, why it matters, and how to get it done. We use this tool to plan our projects and so that we can hold ourselves accountable to changes and deadlines.
Similar to Teams, Asana lets users store and share documents within project folders, which we have found indispensable in mapping whole project journeys while our team is physically separated.
The tagging and colour coding systems have also helped us with organisation as it assists in seeing a snapshot of progress, and at a glance, being able to tell who is responsible for particular tasks.
With options to arrange by deadline, priority and time, there’s something for everyone when it comes to streamlining organisation.
We use our office SharePoint site as an organisation-wide document library. While Teams and Asana are used primarily for sharing documents with individual colleagues and project teams, SharePoint allows us to store documents in a place accessible company wide.
SharePoint sites can be fully customised to suit the needs of your organisation, be it branding or locking folders for certain groups of people to ensure the security of sensitive information. Nonetheless, we use SharePoint as a single source of truth for all things RD.
SharePoint seamlessly integrates with Teams and Office 365 – which we both use – making it a powerful tool in the RD toolbelt.
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