Project Island is underway at Laser Red with both offices in Grimsby and Lincoln closing their doors on Friday 13th March. Unlucky for some – but not for our team – who are now comfortably working from their home offices and sofas.
Laser Red’s management team has been keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 pandemic and, to help limit the spread of the virus, have made the decision to take the business completely remote. All employees have been asked to work from home, and not from public places such as coffee shops, in a bid to help combat catching the virus.
As a business, Laser Red is in a fortunate position to send the whole team remote with very little notice. Over the last few months, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, we were already trialing a completely remote business structure.
Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote working. In the digital age, it is becoming easier to communicate, from anywhere in the world, with anyone in the world. With PM Boris Johnson declaring that up to a fifth of the UK workforce may have to work from home over the coming months, we wanted to share some of our workings practices to make it easier to take your business remote and cause minimum disruption.
To ensure we can continue to communicate, both as a team internally, and externally with our clients, we use the following tools.
Slack, which is an instant messaging and phone system, allows us to quickly send messages to each other. This software has been in place at Laser Red for many years and is helpful for getting quick questions answered.
Basecamp is our project management tool of choice. It allows us to communicate both internally and also with clients. We can set each other tasks, reminders, and quickly update clients on the progress of their projects. We believe that transparency is key and Basecamp certainly helps us achieve this. It has also helped us go remote as all our projects and tasks are easily accessible on both the app and web.
Until further notice, we have cancelled all non-necessary face-to-face meetings and are therefore relying on the use of both Google Hangouts and Slack calls, so our meetings can continue. This digital meeting software provides us with audio, video and screen sharing so it’s like are all in the same room!
We are passionate about providing 6-star service to our clients, and our support service is no exception. All our phone lines have been directed to soft phone systems to ensure all our calls are answered. Our support team also use the Freshdesk ticketing system which tracks the progress of support calls. Clients can submit support issues via email, phone or our website, and are then handled by our dedicated support team worker for the week.
All employees at Laser Red are provided with a laptop when they join the company. Each laptop is installed with the emailing software which we use; Thunderbird, and any other software required to do the job on an individual basis. To ensure all our work is secure, we always connect to secure home networks or VPN’s to protect ourselves. We also use a password management tool called LastPass which ensures all secure logins are kept in one place and accessibly to Laser Red employees only.
Other great apps which we would recommend to take your business into remote working are:
- Google Drive – for publishing and sharing documents
- Forecast – for scheduling work
- Harvest – for time tracking
- Highrise – for logging important calls and client information
- People HR – for requesting time off and tracking sickness