Working as a communicator for a non-profit, I used to take every moment I could to work outside of the office. However, when suddenly the office wasn’t an option, some things had to change. I honestly thought that this would be simple. A couple times a week, I would grab my MacBook Air and head to Starbucks or sit on the porch at home and catch up on work. I found it especially helpful when I had writing to do or had to plow through some mundane task. However, things got more complicated when it wasn’t about getting out of the office, it was the new normal. Here is the biggest problem I found.
My organization, despite attempts to be more intentional about work, still accomplishes a lot on the fly. Conversations in the hallway or gatherings after scheduled meetings accounted for an overwhelming amount of communication in the organization. Without that, it seemed like we didn’t know how to work together.
We all realized that our project management processes were actually undergirded by a lot of informal conversations. So, how in the world were we going to make the transition to remote work, especially without being physically present to talk about it?
It turns out all we had to do was actually refocus on the tools we were already using. We are big users of Basecamp for project management. The biggest obstacle that always hindered our use of Basecamp was those casual conversations. None of those would ever get recorded in the project, so there was no record and no way for other people to get caught up. An interesting thing happened when casual conversations stopped. People started putting everything in Basecamp. And with everything in Basecamp, projects are already moving along more smoothly.
When this is all over, I am sure that we will start getting some of our work done informally. But hopefully, our overall efficiency will increase thanks to a renewed focus on more efficient ways to work.
If you want to learn more about Basecamp, you can check it out at basecamp.com. It is one of the simplest and most straightforward project management software solutions out there. It lacks some of the features found on more advanced programs, but those limitations make it much easier to get new people on board and using the software. They offer a free trial and even a free version for small teams if you want to take it for a spin.