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Remote work lessons we’re taking to the office

In the four months since the Be-cause team moved to remote work, a lot has changed about the way we do business. For example, slippers are now considered acceptable work attire and it’s okay to eat garlic before a meeting. Our current situation – working through a worldwide pandemic – has compelled the team to take a new look at everything from the content we create, to the ways we communicate with each other. Overall, it has been a period of major change, intense innovation, and most importantly: learning.

Our immediate challenge following the outbreak of Covid-19 was to figure out how to position each of our clients within the new narrative of a pandemic. Content plans and campaign ideas, lovingly crafted at the start of the year, were tossed out to make room for improvisation. By consuming an absurd amount of news and keeping our finger on the pulse, we were able to respond to current events and ensure that each of our clients made a meaningful contribution to the Covid-19 conversation.

Once things had settled and it became clear that we weren’t heading back to the office any time soon, we began making significant structural changes to the way we work. Here are three lessons we learned while working from home:

Effective communication is overcommunication

Initially, our remote-work comms were conducted via a WhatsApp group chat previously used to share good news, weather updates and funny memes. However, things got a little crowded, and important messages went unseen. We made the decision to move over to Slack, a dedicated communication platform, to streamline our online interactions. Now, each client has a specific channel where relevant information is shared and stored – no more crowding or missed messages.

Setting daily to-do’s is key to staying motivated

The first month of working from home was unlike anything we’d experienced before. We coasted through on adrenaline, anxiety and the excitement of working in the same tracksuit pants we slept in. Once the pace of work slowed, it wasn’t long before the monotony in the same place for work and rest got to us. To combat this, we agreed to set daily task lists and share them with each other. This has two main benefits: checking off items on the list keeps us motivated, and sharing the list ensures accountability.

Human interaction is vital to a successful team

It’s tempting to keep video calls to a minimum, and even to keep those as short as possible. However, this runs the risk of reducing all team interactions to mechanical, clinical exchanges that leave team members feeling isolated. At Be-cause, we set up daily meetings to check in with each other – not only on the progress of work-related projects, but also on how our mental health is, what we’re thankful for, and how many TV shows we binged over the weekend.

Learning these lessons has helped us through the pandemic, but they’ll also help us keep up the momentum when we (eventually) head back to the office. The experience of learning and growing together has helped us become better communicators, more innovative thinkers, and an overall stronger team.

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