Tools fit for a pandemic
It has become a bit of a truism to state that 2020 has been a challenging year. Working through the pandemic and the restrictions put in place to halt its spread has been difficult for all of us. Lockdown and the need to socially distance has stretched our nerves and our ingenuity – forcing us to come up with new ways to keep our teams working together productively, while protecting our staff and our clients. We have been helped in this by various applications and technological solutions, and are happy to share our experience of these with you in the hope that you too can benefit.
Tech to the rescue
With all of our staff working from home in Brussels and from other locations scattered around Europe, it has been a challenge for us to maintain our usual GOPA team spirit and cohesion. That we succeeded in this was in no small part thanks to the virtual workspace Sococo, which enables distributed teams to work together side-by-side in an online office.
No matter where our team members are located – down the hall, across town, or at the other side of Europe, we are able to see each other in our virtual office every day and drop into each other’s rooms for a quick chat. This has been a major benefit in keeping the team functioning as a well-oiled unit. It was also very quick to set up – our office in Brussels closed on a Friday evening in March and we were all able to meet in our virtual office the following Monday morning and get down to work.
Keeping work processes flowing and efficient might also have been a much more daunting task if not for the Wrike project management and team collaboration platform. This platform makes it easy for users to manage and track projects, deadlines, schedules, and other workflow processes. It brings together all requests, tasks and discussions into a single workspace. This was hugely valuable in helping us to make sure that no small detail fell through the cracks due to the uncertainty and confusion created by the pandemic.
Online water cooler
2020 has also been different from previous years at GOPA Com. in that many conversations this year have begun with a chorus of “you’re on mute!” This is, of course, because most of our conversations this year have been online. Every week we have maintained our schedule of regular team meetings and get-togethers, through Zoom, WebEx and other platforms. Our water-cooler conversations have been replaced by a randomised video chat that pairs two team members for a quick chat every morning. This has also been an excellent way of keeping the team spirit alive.
Truism or not, 2020 has definitely been a challenge. But thanks to these and other technological solutions that we put in place early on, we have been able to maintain our high levels of quality while at the same time providing our clients with an uninterrupted service and ensuring the health and safety of our team.