According to a study by the investment bank Morgan Stanley, half of all employees in Germany spent August 2020 at least partially in home office. Working hours and locations will become more flexible in the future because, as Bitkom President Achim Berg nicely summarises, the most important driver of New Work is clearly digitalisation: "Digital technologies enable mobile and self-determined work without being tied to fixed times and places." We, too, have believed in flexible working hours and remote working since before the onset of COVID-19. Our entire workplace infrastructure has been set up digitally since our initial founding, so apart from the social inconveniences, the changes due to the pandemic were not difficult for us.
In our experience, working remotely with our clients is particularly productive when the associated freedom and flexibility are met with the appropriate level of trust. This requires clear and constant communication - such as regular video check-ins and reports, so that our clients know exactly what we are doing and feel confident in our ability to deliver on our goals, even when they are not able to see us in-person. This building up of mutual trust that takes place during these video exchanges or via reports, offers the opportunity to question the jointly set goals and the outcomes of the project. During the cooperation, it is also essential that both sides take the time for an open and regular exchange about current events, challenges and the individual wishes of the company - because communication is always the key. What is important to us is the way we work: Competence beats hierarchy, and a “just do it” mentality. How do we do it? With digital tools, the right groove and a big dose of humour:
Slack - the "WhatsApp" for companies - is very helpful for us to communicate in real time within different teams. Slack allows you to create different groups and invite the appropriate people into certain discussions. A variety of different external products such as Google Hangouts and Dropbox can also be integrated so that a seamless exchange of information is achieved. Slack is by far less complicated and much more informal than email.
We work with the web-based project management tool Asana. It is used for communication, task distribution and coordination processes. Individual projects, subtasks and files can be displayed visually and are visible to all project participants. With the help of the overview on the boards and the timelines, it is possible to see the current status and the progress of a colleague’s tasks. At the same time, everyone can communicate with each other and share files inside the task. Responsibilities are clearly assigned, deadlines are clearly defined and the status of the project is visible to everyone. This is not only reassuring for us, but also pays off when someone spontaneously drops out and anyone is able step in to fill the gap.
At the heart of our projects are our texts and documents. These are all organised via Google Drive. They can be easily shared, edited, commented on, changes tracked and everyone can be kept up to date from anywhere. We can easily ask our clients follow-up questions, insert comments into text and exchange ideas on certain parts of the text.
We also use Google Hangouts as our medium for our regular check-ins, both internally and externally, sometimes with or without video depending on the connection quality of our clients.
And finally, we like to share our ultimate Spotify playlist, perfect for getting focus and celebrating successes at the same time: headphones and playlist on!
monoceros is a strategic communications agency based in Berlin. We develop customized, target-oriented PR campaigns for digital disrupters, startups and tech giants. The basis for our outstanding results: Over ten years of PR experience on the corporate and agency side and the motivation to establish an agency with the highest standards. On our monoceros blog we regularly highlight essential topics of our PR work and report on the latest developments from the digital economy.