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Lessons from Remote Work: Digital 55

April 6, 2020
Theatrics with Lauralee Sheehan from Digital 55 in our Cafe
Theatrics with Lauralee Sheehan from Digital 55 in our Cafe

Lauralee Sheehan, the Chief Creative Officer at Digital 55 offers her take on remote work  with tools her team is using and things they miss on campus.

How are you maintaining routine as a team – through the day and the week?
I’m still time blocking my calendar pretty hard – even more so now and as a team, we’re keeping up regular touch points in terms of sprints and check-in meetings, collaboration sessions, etc. We use Slack as one of our main communication and messaging tools throughout the day so that hasn’t changed and still stands the test of time for distributed, remote, agile collaboration and communication.

Are you carving out time to socialize online together – if so, what do you guys do and how technically is this achieved?
Not specifically. We’re a lean team so we’ve been checking in and taking time to speak about how people are doing, and feeling throughout this wild time. We’re also trying to be cognizant of the fact that work/life still has to exist even though essentially nobody can go anywhere or do anything. That doesn’t mean people are going to work around the clock like I might as the owner. Those boundaries have to be even more respected in this current situation.

I have also extended the offer for old school phone chats any time, 90s style.

Favourite video conferencing application and why?
We use hangouts because we’re super reliant on google suite for our digital asset management and front end collaboration. Lots of our clients use zoom so we’re on there lots too. We’re used to the video conference life so not much has changed except our backgrounds in our video frame (home office life).

Compared to meeting in person, how has it felt to rely on digital communication tools to speak with clients, colleagues/team-members & partners?
We are so digital anyway so not much has actually changed in terms of how we speak to clients and partners. Our skeleton team can work in this way too for long stretches of time so we didn’t have to worry about too much of an adjustment to rapidly communicate only in this manner.

Any other software or other tools you’ve started using because of not coming together in person?
Not a new tool for us but great collaboration tool in general – InVision Freehand is a great “blank canvas” mapping and collaboration tool that we rely heavily on. Its link-based and super shareable, multiple people can be creating a content map or architecture while running through a digital collaboration session.

What do you miss most about being together?
The smiles and that in person magic that can’t be replaced by digital. There is something about being in a room with people whether it’s concepting, collaborating and brainstorming, dev’ing, designing, testing, or filming media. Although we can do a lot of them remotely, we miss those moments together.

Why are you looking forward to coming back together at StartWell?
We miss everything about StartWell – the lattes, the life lessons, and the community. These things are priceless and keep us endlessly smiling. “Where” you work changes “how” you work and @startwellco has quickly become an inspiring and important part of our day-to-day. As we’ve been scaling and growing, we can’t imagine being anywhere else.

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