Unless you’ve been cowering under a rock in the last few weeks, you will be more than aware (and possibly slightly bored to tears…!) of the potential for a certain virus to take hold, and render up to 20% of the workforce* ‘isolated’ – either not able to work at all, or confined to their homes.

Understandably, this could strike fear into the hearts of some companies, for all manner of reasons, not least because the concept of remote working still isn’t routinely adopted by many. There still lurks uncertainty around team productivity if they’re not all sitting in the same room or in the same building. Won’t it just be much more difficult to get the information you need if you aren’t hooked up to the server? How will I know that I’m looking at the latest information or version of a document?

Here at Oval, we have long embraced both remote and flexible working; it’s given us access to amazing team members who – without the ability to stay at home for some or all of the time – just wouldn’t have been able to work with us. So, we feel like we’re well placed to offer some top tips and FAQs on how to make it work for you – regardless of your industry, regardless of the size of your team. All they’ll need is a web connection.

Where do I start with online collaboration tools?

There is a massive selection of online platforms you can use to connect with your colleagues, wherever you all are. Some you may have heard of include Citrix Podio, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoho, Facebook Workplace….but a quick Google will throw up even more. The premise of all of them is the same; they allow you to collaborate with colleagues, share project updates and files, play the role of ‘intranet’, and keep all of that in one, easily accessible place. Need help deciding which one might work best for you? Give us a shout for a quick chat, and we can talk you through the options.

Won’t it take ages to set up?

Surprisingly, not really. You can get accounts created, workspaces set up, projects inputted, and apps created – to a useful level – within the space of a day or two.

What about the learning curve? We don’t have time to spend days training up the team on how to use a new platform.

It’s useful to think of these tools as you might social media; can you remember how much ‘training’ you needed to get to grips with Facebook or Instagram? Chances are, it was very minimal to none, because they’re built to be intuitive. The same goes for the vast majority of collaboration tools; whether it’s an activity stream, creating a new ‘item’ or task, commenting to pass on info to a colleague…we’re confident you’ll know what to do.

How do I start?

Call us or email us. We use one of these platforms ourselves, and have helped get plenty of other organisations up and running too. In as little as two days, we could have you raring to go, removing some of the ‘what if’ headache that you could be having right now, surrounding potential self-isolation.

*that’s the stat we’ve been given in the UK – it may be more or less if you’re reading elsewhere.