Like many companies around the world at the moment, S1T2 has been working from home for a month or so now. For us, this was more of a shift than a change. We’re still doing what we’ve always done, just with a little extra distance.
Over on our Instagram we’ve been giving you a glimpse into what this transition has been like for us – we’re @s1t2creative over there if you’d like to check it out. But as the weeks have turned to months, we thought we’d share some of our experience here on the blog as well.
So, without further ado, here are six ways we’ve been making WFH work.
1. Daily Stand Ups
We started our very first day working from home with a whole team stand up, and it’s how we’ve started every day since.
Daily stand ups weren’t something we did before this all went down. But without the serendipitous interactions that come from working in the same space, it was important to us that we all set aside some time each day to check in.
Running for just 5-10 minutes, these meetings are short – deliberately so. The goal isn’t to be long-winded or comprehensive, but to kick things off with a quick hello before we dive into the day. A kind of virtual arriving at the office hello if you will.
Stand ups are also a sign of our wider commitment to communication – to being present for one another even when we’re not together. It took us some time to figure out the logistics, but after a week or two we had it down. Once we were all settled, we even stepped things up a notch with ‘S1T2 Cribs’ home tours and ‘Top 5’ team recommendations to keep things interesting.
2. Project WIPs
Project WIPs aren’t new, but bringing them into the digital world was essential to a smooth transition to remote work. Following the familiar principle of being short and sweet, these meetings are a chance for the crew from each project to catch up (almost) face-to-face.
Whether it’s making a plan for the day’s work, bouncing ideas off one another, or crowd-sourcing solutions to a particularly stubborn problem, project WIPs are the time to figure out where we are for each project, and what the path is for moving forward.
While at times frustrating, the combination of bad internet and video calls has often added an extra layer of levity to these meetings. We have since come up with a variation on musical statues as a way to fill these moments of lag, as all those on the call copy the frozen pose of the unlucky soul whose internet has dropped out until they manage to return.
3. Stretch Time
We were exactly a week into working-from-home when Jananthan realised this new setup had severely limited the amount of movement he got in a day. Figuring that many of us were in the same position (literally and metaphorically), he set a recurring 3:30PM meeting “for those who are not getting enough movement much like me yesterday” and stretch time was born.
As the timeline for working remote has stretched longer and longer, stretch time has become not only a good time to get some gentle movement, but also check in on the well-being of the team. At times we’ve added a short meditation, taken a survey about what other exercise people are getting, and suggested ways that we could all look after ourselves better.
4. Snack Time
At about the same time as JK realised he needed more movement, Aiyana and Nicky were realising they needed more snacks. Instead of eating them alone, they decided to set another open video call for anyone who would like to snack with them.
While daily stand ups involve a quick check-in and stretch time focused on physical health, snack time was conceptualised to help the team connect more informally. This is a time to catch up about life outside of work, or perhaps jam some ideas with team members we might not be working with directly.
5. Brief Bash
Brief Bash is something we’ve been doing every Friday afternoon for about a year now. As the team grew, we’d been feeling the need for a way to catch up together about everything that’s going on. Co-founder Chris’ solution was a quick weekly presentation of pending briefs, current projects and general company announcements. Hosted by a rotating set of team members, these presentations are almost like conversation-starters to get different facets of the company talking.
Adapting these weekly recaps to the world of self-isolation hasn’t required too much change. That said, we have made a new commitment to their importance. Now the team is dispersed, this is often the only time we have to get a sense of where we are as a company. And, as with all video call presentations, if you’re not sharing the deck with everyone at least 2 different ways, you’re just not doing it right.
6. Friday Drinks
If you’ve ever visited the studio on a Friday, chances are you’ve been roped into Friday Drinks. This is a fluctuating S1T2 tradition going back years now, and as such we saw no reason to change things during isolation. Whether drinks are involved or not, we’ve always found that some non-work related social time is a good way to wrap up the week.
What about you?
That’s a snapshot of where we’re at right. As with everything we do, we have been and will continue to experiment along the way. These six things have been more or less constant in our remote work routine so far, but they’ve been joined by a rotating cast of other contenders including ‘S1T2 Cribs’ home tours and now ‘Top 5’ team recommendations.
Is your team also working from home? Have you developed new routines during this time? Or repurposed old ones to better suit where you are now? We’re sharing our experiences over on Instagram (@s1t2creative) and would love to hear about yours as well.
Otherwise, stay safe and stay tuned for the latest updates and insights from the team below.