By Taylor Duffy
When it comes to remote working, you either love it or hate it. However, there’s one thing we can all agree on – it isn’t going anywhere. Before the pandemic, about 6% of Americans worked primarily from home. In a recent study, they found that that number has risen to around 62%. The pandemic instantly revolutionized the workforce, forcing everyone to adapt to a work life that most of us never experienced before. It became very apparent that communication would be the foundation and driving force to create a successful and fostering remote environment. With half of the SPEC Innovations team working remotely and in geographically dispersed areas, including myself, we make it a priority to communicate through a few different, effective methods that may help you!
Joining the SPEC team in March, I was worried about what communication would be like and how I would stay on track with my career and manager as a fully remote employee. All those concerns were immediately put to rest once I came on board. Although our teammates may be hundreds of miles away, our team’s “open door” policy makes it feel as if we are all in the office together. Aside from the traditional method of email, our team is constantly communicating through Gmail chat, and you can expect almost an instant response. It’s a more informal way to reach out, almost as if you’re popping your head into someone’s office to ask a quick question. This kind of communication even applies to leadership. The great part about working for such a small company is the comfort of being able to pick up the phone and be in touch with the CEO or President.
When it came to staying on track careerwise, my concern became confidence because of the mentorship program SPEC has for new and younger employees. After training with my manager every day for the first several weeks, we continue to meet through Google video meetings every Monday morning. Not only is this a time to catch up personally, but we go through things we want to accomplish that week, questions we have for each other, and training in new tasks that I need to be walked through. I have found that it’s a great way to start the week and opens up informal discourse through chat and phone calls for the rest of the week.
In addition to chat, email, phone, and video conversations, we have a couple of methods to communicate and collaborate in our work. We use Google docs as a way to combine our ideas simultaneously and can leave comments with tags for each other to follow up. Even though we are a part of the marketing team, we use our MBSE tool, Innoslate, when it comes to our larger, planning projects and workflows. Innoslate allows our team to work simultaneously and collaborate on the same project. We are able to chat live about what we are working on or leave comments for another team member to look at later. Innoslate also helps teams track projects through tasking, calendar mode, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts.
We have found many different methods to work well together despite the pandemic, teleworking, and other circumstances that have made communication difficult. We are grateful that we were able to adapt and find the positive in a heavy situation, as teleworking is an amazing solution for employees with families, health issues, and other circumstances. As long as you make sure to maintain communication, you will be able to sustain an amazing and flexible opportunity. I hope our methods can help your team communicate and progress with remote work for your company!
About SPEC Innovations: SPEC Innovations is a women-owned small business that has provided innovative solutions since 1993 to highly critical government and commercial programs. Our people are experts at developing complex systems for aerospace, defense, and the intelligence industry. Innoslate, the first cloud-native MBSE tool, was developed to support the entire system lifecycle. To learn more, visit specinnovations.com.