Survival guide for the remote work: IDEA ARTIS experience

13 November, 2020
4 min

Nowadays, basically everyone talks about their experience with adapting to the new pandemic reality, so we’ve decided not to be an exclusion.

Remote work

IDEA ARTIS is an ad agency, and I would definitely claim that running agency nowadays is tough meat itself, and when the pandemic began, we had a feeling that we’re about to lose it. 

Going remote seemed like the only possible option to save our business, so we’ve decided to go for it. Straight away, though, many questions appeared: how to set up the proper workflow, how to track progress of each employee, how to replace office communication and keep everything organized?

Let me tell you about the solutions that we found for successful remote work.

Slack for communication

Even before the pandemic outbreak, for office communication we primarily used Slack and it gained even more relevance when we switched to a remote mode. Chats are divided into several categories: for specific teams, general, personal, and for discussion of a concrete task. There are three common chats: the first one is for notifying all employees, the second one is for memes and random stuff, and the third one is not currently active, it was our office chat, where we used to discuss stuff like ” alert! we’re out of cookies”. 🙂

Slack can also be used for personal interaction, but most employees communicate with each other on social media and personal messengers.

A huge plus – you can’t say you forgot anything or didn’t see it! When discussing something important, we always ask for reaction on the message to ensure that everyone has read the information.

Video Conferencing software

Back in the office days, our day always started with a short meeting and a discussion of current tasks. Of course, we had to think about alternatives right away. There were several important criterias for choosing the relevant service: unlimited time for events, the ability to display screen&files, record meetings, and a substantial sum. 

There are only 14 people on our team, and of course, we wanted to find something “for free”, but after a brief analysis of the offered services, we’ve decided not to skimp on the quality. 

The choice of the platform was not so simple: Skype constantly goes down and definitely became obsolete, Zoom has a complex interface, and Google Meet there is no opportunity for participants to demonstrate the files.

We’ve tested more than one option and ended up with the Proficonf conference program. 

It has excellent quality and reasonable price. Convenient to create permanent rooms, instant and scheduled events. 

The permanent rooms are used for daily meetings, where everyone simply enters at the appointed time; and for each team – where they communicate with customers and discuss current projects – there’s a constant need to frequently use the demonstration center and share documents to keep an eye on the ball.

If one of the employees fails to attend the event – not a big deal – you can record the event and then share it so that no one’s gonna miss important information.

We also have quarantine parties here: we celebrate birthdays, socialize and have fun.

Working together

For collaborative work, we basically use Notion, which has conquered us with minimalist interface and the ability to set the records straight. Naturally, any material created can be shared with colleagues and worked on together in real-time. You can add comments and manage access. To be honest, you’ll have to spend some time getting used to Notion and it’s structure, but it’s worth it. Keep in mind that the free account will not keep you up for long, so you have to be prepared for the subscription costs.

Needless to say, that we couldn’t completely give up the Google products we still use spreadsheets and documents for greater structure and details.

To sum up:

  •  we use Slack for communication
  •  for online meetings with team and clients, remote parties – Proficonf
  • Notion and Google tools for collaborative work.
Remote work

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe for surviving quarantine. The only thing left to do is to sneak through it gradually, testing and selecting the most comfortable options for yourself. In summary, the first few months appeared to be incredibly difficult for us, but now things slowly start to get a little better. And even though we still haven’t been able to reach the number of orders that were “before”, we have managed to establish a flow of new customers, even though it took lots of effort. 

The pandemic definitely became a game-changer for most of us, but we’ve found ways to adapt, our colleagues have set up their home offices, developed new habits and even came up with pets flashmob 🙂

Remote work

Of course, at the beginning of the quarantine, no one thought it would be the beginning of a new reality, but all we have to do now is embrace the new world and learn to work without compromising productivity. 

We hope that our experience will help you to configure remote work for your team.

Oksana Volkhina,

Manager at IDEA ARTIS