Here at Plative, our people are enabled to embrace the #WorkFromAnywhere lifestyle so they can do their best work, from wherever they are inspired to do it. Working from anywhere has it’s obvious benefits, that I’ve written about at-length, but it also has some hidden drawbacks. In this post, I’ll discuss a few of those issues as well as handy freemium technology solutions for each one so that you can up your #WorkFromAnywhere game!
Noise on calls:
Scenario a.) If you have young ones at home, the idea of sitting quietly in an office while your little ones patiently sit well-behaved, fixated on Paw-Patrol might be a little too good to be true, so you dial in to your conference bridge with young ones playing, yelling, or arguing over the iPad in the background. Scenario b) You’re working from a coffee shop or public setting, about to deliver a presentation that you’ve spent hours building, only to be drowned out by background noise and coffee shop jazz in the background.
- A viable solution – Krisp: Krisp is available on iOS and Mac OS X, and kills all background noise with the click of a button using AI. The iPhone app reliably syncs with your work calendar, as well as with the more common conferencing apps like Zoom, so by clicking the not-so-discreetly named “Call Without Noise” button, you’re only a click away from crystal clear meetings, even if you’re at home with the kids or in a crowded coffee shop.
Taking accurate notes:
If you’re on a conference bridge, it can be very difficult to catch what others are saying, especially if others are in the same physical setting and you’re the only one remote. I’ve experimented with many note-taking methods on apps like OneNote, Evernote, Quip, and even pen and paper (which I still swear by for client-facing meetings and one-on-ones), but none of these methods gave me the transcripts that I want, even though I’d consider myself a pretty swift typist. What’s worse, is if you spend so much time focusing on taking notes, you miss the subject matter of the meeting.
- A viable solution – Otter: Otter is another P.h.D-founded, AI-powered company solving big problems. The way that this app works is so satisfying. Like Krisp, Otter is available on iOS and web-app but it also integrates with your calendar and the usual suspects of meeting client apps. What happens next is magical. Otter listens for all voices (including your own), and assigns those voices to people. Then, it takes a full (and surprisingly accurate) voice dictation and transcript of the entire meeting, which it then indexes and makes available for search. You can search for key words or specific threads like “next steps”, then highlight sections and take your own comments and thoughts.
Socializing with the team:
In my experience, companies like Plative that have fully embraced the #WorkFromAnywhere mentality are pretty focused on culture overall which often goes hand-in-hand with bringing on-board a group of talented individuals that form life-long friendships. Naturally, this can be hampered by full-time remote work and lack of meaningful interaction with your colleagues outside of Slack messages and conference meetings.
- A viable solution – RandomCoffees: RandomCoffees is a lightweight and fun, yet impactful application for Slack that randomly selects team members to have a physical-or-digital coffee chat together. This is a great way to take the awkwardness out of asking a random team member to get 30-minutes on the calendar to learn more about each other and what they’re working on. It’s also great for individuals who want to learn more about other departments in the company whether it be for curiosity or career development, and takes the hassle out of cross-timezone scheduling.
At Plative, it’s important that all of our people are enabled to be successful in their roles from wherever they choose to carry out their responsibilities, and as a technology consultancy, we’re always coming up with new tools that help us achieve that goal.
Do you have any work-from-anywhere hacks that you’ve implemented? Write to us and let us know!
If your company hasn’t fully embraced the #WorkFromAnywhere mindset of trusting people to work from wherever most inspires them, I’d encourage you to look at our open positions!
Note: Plative and employees have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this article