Tools of the (Remote Working) Trade
So here we are in week 2 of the work from home, WFH, situation.
We have been following the statistical charts produced by Johns Hopkins University and see that as of today the US has the 3rd highest number of confirmed cases and many people who need testing are not able to get them yet. The outlook has not become positive yet with the rate of cases going up faster than in Italy, though we all try to make the best of a tough state of affairs.
10 days ago, I was not familiar with the acronym WFH. And only in passing heard of the term “business continuity”.
Now we are in it completely.
Being in the design field we are fortunate that we can do a lot remotely. When we set up Oculus a little over 8 years ago now, we wanted to be smart and nimble and focus on how we can run an efficient organization in the same way tech startups do. We surveyed our friends outside the design industry to get to tools that were not prevalent in our field. When we transitioned to WFH on Friday the 13th (!), we were ready to go immediately.
Some have been curious about all the tools that we use. GSuite with Gmail is our email backend, so available on any device. Dropbox is our file server—we use it the same way in the office as we do outside, so no change is needed. Google Hangouts Chat for all those conversations—with dedicated rooms for discussing COVID19, announcements, schedules, lunch, gossip. VOIP Ringcentral phones—we have those ringing on our computers or on our cell phones when we are not in the office. Ringcentral Meetings (same as Zoom) for screen share or video conversations. Asana for task management. Revit BIM360 for larger Revit projects, even inside the office and BQE Core for all our time tracking and billing (so please expect your bills to reach you on time). Each of these tools is in the cloud and available as needed to everyone.
So, while we are out, we continue to do our work as well as we could in the office. To our clients and collaborators, you would see no difference in our design abilities or our response time. Our business continues with our business continuity plans.
Now, we wait for social distancing to work and the curve to flatten – and hopefully we can get back to our more “normal” life. Stay safe everyone – and when the work is slow, it is time to upskill!