I think we can all agree that COVID-19 has caught many of us out and with the information constantly being updated, its never been more important to be agile in business.
Thankfully, (though not perfect) we do live in a time when technology enables us to be more adaptable and for some professions, working out of the office is easily achievable.
The challenges of working remotely include maintaining a safe work environment, maintaining security of information and for an employer ensuring that staff are being productive, even if they aren't in the office.
A couple of years ago, RDA Orana decided to refine our business systems, to enable us to work from anywhere. We often get asked about the systems that we use. Here's our list of products:
Clockify: if free time tracking software. We like it, because you can create projects and tasks. It also has both a timesheet or time tracker view. It improves accountability and gives you greater transparency about what staff are working on.
Zoom: after trialling a couple of different solutions, we settled on zoom for video conferencing and meetings. In our region, it handles lower speed and bandwidth, with fewer disruptions and dropouts. Its got some handy functions for meetings as well, which includes recordings - which takes the pressure off note-taking (just make sure people know the meeting is being recorded first!). Zoom lets you run video conferences, share your screen with colleagues, run presentations and webinars and a lot more. One of the best features of Zoom is the personal meeting ID – a unique link attached to your user profile that lets you run “instant meetings” at the drop of a hat.
Hubspot CRM: Has transformed the way we communicate with stakeholders. The function that I particularly love is the app integration with your mobile phone that enables you to keep in touch on the go.
G-Suite for Business: The biggest change for the organisation was moving to G-Suite - integrating emails with cloud storage and running all of our electronic folders in the cloud. Our biggest challenge with this was the lack of functionality (compared to Microsoft products) of Google Docs and Sheets. The team still use Microsoft products and upload to drive for sharing.
The favourite tool is ASANA which enables us to manage projects, teams and tasks. Its got great functionality and is really quite easy to use. All of the team adapted to ASANA really quickly. And if you're a not-for-profit, they do offer NFP pricing. They are also really responsive with their help desk!
The final tool that's changed the way we work is Xero. As a NFP that receives government funding and has quite an audit load, Xero has given us greater transparency and enabled us to implement workflows and approvals, minimising risk of fraud. Staff use it for payroll and leave requests and the Treasurer can log in at any time and see how we are travelling financially.
If there was ever a situation that demonstrates the importance of having good cloud-based systems to support a flexible work environment, then this is it.
For now – please remember to practice good hygiene, maintain social distancing protocols and stay home if you need to.