“Teleworking”. A word that this 2020 has become fashionable and that perhaps, shortly before, was the dream of some, or many, employees and a nightmare surely for many company directors.
We, individual members of Restarting Badalona, are a small translation company, created by two Italians, and this definition includes two of the main reasons why teleworking has always been the normal way of working for us. First, the core of our company is a few people, but we have always carried out projects that required the collaboration of many other external collaborators. And second, although we would not change Badalona for any other place in the world to live, it is true that, being two Italians settled here, our company is international by nature and we have incorporated this way of working during the 12 years that we have been doing business.
We would like to take advantage of the Línea Norte tribune to share a couple of tips on how we have done, and although we do, work efficiently in the world of telecommuting. In Italian we have not bothered to create a new word for this practice and we use the English way of smart working. Therefore, S.M.A.R.T. it is the framework we always have in mind when we put it into practice.
S for study. “Study”. By this we mean that at the beginning of a remote work project it is useful to “waste” a few hours studying the best way to satisfy our teleworking needs. We must group all the software, hardware, sharing and communication tools that best suit our situation. Many companies (especially small and medium-sized ones) simply toil in practice due to urgency and do not carry out this preliminary analysis, causing hours and hours of inefficiency. Being willing to waste a few hours ahead saves you a hundred hours later.
S.M.A.R.T. it is the framework we always keep in mind when we practice teleworking
M for Mattermost (& co.). “Mattermost” (a digital tool). You have to be specific and smart about the choice of software you use. Mattermost is the open source software we use for chatting and messaging, basically a free version of Slack. By saying this we want to encourage you to be creative with technology. Software is no longer a tool. It is the environment in which everything takes place. There are softwares that can be adapted to everyone’s needs and over time you will learn to use them more and more efficiently. Take care of your software and remember: this does not mean going for the big names, but being smart and going for the best option that meets the minimum requirements you have for your company. I guarantee that you will often be pleasantly surprised.
A for automation. “Automotive”. We know of countless cases of companies that still do manually what we have been doing through some kind of software for more than 10 years. Let the need to telecommute be the boost you needed to immerse yourself in technology in all aspects of your day-to-day business.
R for rules. “Rules”. No one has said that “working from home is not bad, I just wish I could still make this 50 minute trip to get to the office” or “oh, how I miss my L2 line to Paral · lel every morning”. What people sometimes lose at home is the ability to achieve total focus, a distraction-free environment, and a routine that brings out its most efficient “version.” This can be solved with few, precise, commonly decided and agreed rules. Plan meetings a few times a week, or even very short daily meetings. Agree on goals or time frames when everyone should be available to colleagues. Give the business a smart roadmap: do it your way but do it.
T for Telecommunication. “Telecommunication”. To make it all possible, needless to say, the IT infrastructure must support us. We are lucky to be in a part of Badalona where the Internet connection is good and our business has not suffered any damage due to the facilities in our neighborhood. On the other hand, there are parts of the city where broadband does not work or is not even installed and this can hinder the ability of a business to grow and expand its services beyond the city limits or the surroundings. It must be said that the current situation makes it more a necessity than an option to rely on the Internet for basically all the actions that one does in their work activity. We trust that the responsible entities will not lose the challenge posed by the labor revolution to put this innovation of the citizen IT infrastructure high on the agenda.
Marco Cevoli, member of the Associació Restarting Badalona