Making Remote Work Easier – Using Atlassian Tools
We’re on week ten of working remotely at our office, and we know that many of you are in the same boat. You’ve probably sprinted through a variety of programs, softwares and free trials to stay connected, only to find that while tool X doesn’t have this feature and company ‘Z’ has security questions driving them to pursue company T (If you catch the drift). You’ve got the chat down pat, but what about project management? That’s why we’d like to explore some of the things available to you in the Atlassian suite, that will help you stay on-beat if you’ve been thinking of reinventing your team’s connectivity.
Some of you have grown to like it… word around our office is that many of us have enjoyed the extra sleep we get, or the fact that we can stay up a little later. Others are saying they feel more connected with their coworkers. Some also say they feel more productive working from home due to fewer distractions and a more comfortable environment that stokes creativity. In fact, in 2015 a survey conducted by CoSo showed that 77% of employees felt this way about WFH productivity. Now that the majority of us are experiencing it, the sentiment is truly on a personal level – some would agree, others no.
We know the return to normalcy will be a phased process – early discussions are suggesting some companies will pursue shift work, office rotation and perhaps even change their policies to permit different styles of working. Many companies have seen an uptick in productivity. Telecommuting isn’t fully a recent phenomenon, even prior to the current situation 46% of C-Suite leaders reported working remotely part-time.
All of this adds up to one thing – Long. Term. Planning. The dust has settled and we’re starting to see staff workplace mobility and interconnectivity like never before. So, what are some of the Atlassian tools specifically designed for teams and how can they reinforce interconnectivity inside the office and out?
Teams and individuals all around the world are using Trello in amazing ways to plan, work, and inspire, together. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards, but it’s also so much more than that. The key to Trello is that it’s essentially whatever you want it to be and that makes it a fantastic option.
Organize your Deadlines
The most obvious use of Trello is to organize your deadlines and individual projects on your personal board. Your personal board doesn’t need to be visible to your colleagues, giving you the freedom to set it up exactly how you wish. There are plenty of ways you can categorize your tasks, such as using subtasks, setting up dates you want them done by, and separating tasks by topic. You might say “Well… I have a calendar.”, the beauty of Trello is that you can visualize your projects and keep everything separated. We all know what our calendars look like these days while remote working – Meetings, calls and more lumped in with your deadlines.
Are you a fan of multiple views? Not something you hear every day, but no matter your preference for visualizing projects, Trello has an option. They have recently announced a calendar view for list items, for those of you who prefer that format.
Collaborate on Projects
A job where you work all by yourself – all of the time – is seldom found anymore. We rely on team members and they rely on us to pull our weight during a project. Using Trello allows teammates to know where their colleagues are at without sending awkward email follow-ups or popping by their desks. Automatically view the most pressing due dates at the top, followed by everything else. A quick glance will tell you your priorities.
Another feature that comes in handy, whether or not you’re in an office, is sorting based on what’s assigned to you. This recent addition is a lifesaver when you’ve got several people contributing to one project. It allows you to hide what everyone else is up to and get a plain view of what you need to get done.
Pro Tip: Have a brain-dump card open on your private board and team board. Whenever you have a great idea, type it in and your teammates will feel inspired by your ideas! This is great for brainstorming remotely or in the office. It ensures your bout of inspiration is stored somewhere safe and not lost when the phone rings.
Onboard New Staff
A normal part of business operations is the hiring process and eventually, this will resume! First impressions matter and hiring and onboarding are extremely important to the experience of new employees. Trello is an incredibly useful tool for onboarding and staying organized through the process that sees many different people involved. More than this, it’s also very helpful for remote onboarding. Share a board with a new remote employee for transparency to the onboarding process, so they know exactly what to expect. Keeping a Trello board for onboarding also makes it so that HR teams and direct line managers don’t forget to complete tasks down the road. We’ve all been there – setting up a new employee, getting into the flow of things, and whoops… forgot about that 3-month check-in.
Organize Your Out-of-Work Tasks
This one is just for fun – Trello doesn’t have limitations to the workplace. You can use it to manage your grocery lists, upcoming vacations and workouts. You’ll probably want a different board though so that your coworkers don’t see your Pilates schedule. And what a nice perk to have a tool for staff that can be used outside work too?
Trello even offers templates set up by other users. This helps to eliminate the daunting task of setting up a new tool – simply pick your favourite look and get started. Click here for Trello Templates.
An Atlassian-made option worth implementing for the long term. Confluence’s motto does it justice by saying, “Accomplish more together”. It serves as a central hub for file sharing, communication, team building and more and you can even get templates that are team-specific! It’s a rare event to find something that works for the HR department, Marketing and Finance. If it sounds a little like SharePoint, you wouldn’t be wrong. Both options allow for the storage and management of files, with the main difference about Confluence being that it’s also a place to be social. Teams can interact with each other from a work perspective. They can also do things like getting to know each other and even playing office bingo.
Confluence can be a great choice as a company’s go-to for project collaboration. It’s secure and meant for internal use. Its ‘disaster-recovery’ enterprise feature can give peace of mind to all staff that their data is safe, sound and recoverable. There is also no need to worry about using Google Drive and mixing files up between work and home. For many UX/UI teams, sticky notes on the wall are the essence of brainstorming. This won’t work for global teams, so Confluence solves it with ‘spaces’ (more on that below).
Working Together on a Document
Building on internal collaboration – When uploading a document, Confluence will automatically identify repeated file names, helping to ensure you and your teammates are using the most up-to-date version of a document. Documents can also have statuses assigned to them, and ‘at-mentions’ can get the attention of coworkers who need to contribute to a document. Labels can be assigned to documents, meaning when you have lots of documents on the go, categories are assigned that help you to group and find the content later. This is a lifesaver for employees because, inevitably, not everyone will follow file naming conventions perfectly.
In many companies, there are multiple offices in several cities or countries. Having the files accessible to all can create company-wide uniformity. One thing multinational businesses typically like to avoid is having mismatched processes and branding. The proposal your clients in Hong Kong receive should be equal in quality to that of clients in Mexico City – this is easy when you’ve got all your letterheads and marketing assets in one place.
A key feature of Confluence is the ability to create spaces. Spaces for each team to collaborate and share, and personal spaces for individual employees to store their files remotely. These hubs allow teams to cut out some of the noise that comes when everyone receives notifications. It also contributes to teambuilding, as each department has the freedom to chat, comment and interact with one another inside their space. Keeping people connected and on the same page is a necessary part of remote working! Take a look at these best practices for creating Spaces.
Administrators can control who has access to what within the organization, meaning, confidential files are kept safe and employees won’t have access to things that don’t matter to them. Each Space can have its own admin, meaning, the IT department or a centralized administrator does not need to be responsible for adding and removing each individual person. There are three levels of access on Confluence – Global, Space and Page Restrictions. Page restrictions are handy when documents are for only some eyes!
How do they connect?
Trello can be integrated with Confluence, and they work together to help businesses and their teams achieve goals. With Confluence, you can collaborate and design a broader vision together. Then, using your Trello integration you can break the entire project up into digestible tasks or goals. Use Trello to mark off when steps of a project are completed, then store the final work in Confluence and celebrate its success on Confluence too.
Moreover, Confluence connects with Jira Service Desk – for the Jira users out there. Simply highlight a portion of your document in confluence, and using the Jira Issues option, you can add a description of the problem that will then be categorized as a ticket, by a specific project, within Jira.
As we know, the way in which companies operate and departments work together is changing and likely for the better. Undoubtedly, the integration of technology to make work easier for staff is a great idea. Moreover, it’s a trademark of our economy to have choices and that’s why Atlassian products like Confluence and Trello are so popular among many teams. Individuals can work exactly as they like to!
Both are automatically integrated and consistently in-sync so that the rest of your team can collaborate the way they like to. Don’t drop the ball by having to bounce between organization systems.
If you want to see some extra tips on remote working success, check out this eBook by Atlassian:
The Complete Guide To Setting Up Your Team For Remote Work Success
Ready to get learn more about Atlassian products? Contact us to discuss your needs and to find out how we can implement anywhere with an internet connection.
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