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Tips for remote collaboration, social interaction and charity actions during the coronavirus lockdown

April 23, 2020 / 4 min read

Hands working on a laptop and holding a phone.

The coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns are true challenges for companies across the whole world – and not just economically. Even though the situation is new to everyone, NoA Ignite Kraków already had a lot of experience with remote work. That's why we'd like to offer some tips on working remotely, share what we do to stay sane in our home offices, and suggest some ideas for CSR initiatives.

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All NoA offices, including NoA Ignite Kraków, are closed and everyone is working from home. Though for us digital agencies, it's not such a big deal. Using collaboration tools like Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams and Google Drive was already an established routine also before the lockdown. We are lucky not to be dependent on keeping the offices open. Our office can be anywhere and at the moment, it’s every single employee’s private home.

Online meeting culture at NoA Ignite

A new thing is that instead of one or two people joining our meetings remotely, it’s now everyone and every meeting. Even our monthly employee meeting takes place remotely via Microsoft Teams – with more than 80 people. Yes, it works! Just make sure that the passive attendees turn their camera off and put their microphone on mute. Questions can be submitted in advance via SurveyMonkey, which gives the presentation a good structure.

Most meetings with our clients continue and are mainly unaffected too. The projects go on and as we are located in different countries, we have a lot of remote meetings anyway. For now, NoA Ignite delivers its services as usual, but of course we need to be prepared for indirect effects. Many companies are struggling with the new situation and among them are some of our clients, for example those in the tourism industry.

NoA Ignite’ business development department keeps on being productive, even though there are no conventions or talks at conferences where we would usually get to know new clients. So for now, we’re going digital also by utilising video interviews. Wavemakers from various departments give advice on all kinds of topics around digitalisation, for example digital tools for B2B product sales.

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Physical, not social distancing

While many of our projects are unaffected by the coronavirus so far, social distancing without seeing any colleagues for weeks on end is still a challenge. We have all worked from home before, but of course not everyone at the same time and not for this long. So we are finding new and innovative ways to interact. Here are some tips on how to communicate with your colleagues in times during the lockdowns.

In these testing times, our use of Slack has become more vital than ever. We love Slack and have always been using it for quick messages, even when we are in the same room. Now it is also our number 1 tool for socialising with colleagues. We have even created special new channels around social interactions from home:

#virtual-canteen is for coffee breaks and small talk which, under normal circumstances, would take place in our office canteen. We’re using the donut app which randomly connects two people from the channel. You can then have a 1:1 chat or schedule a coffee break and ask about the other person’s day.

#home-alone is for general social interaction – sharing quarantine experiences, favourite movies, interesting books, life hacks during isolation time and of course corona memes. We’re also playing quiz games in this channel using the Kahoot! app.

One of many memes shared via Slack to brighten up remote work One of many memes shared via Slack to brighten up remote work

#remote-work is for sharing tips and reflections about working remotely. The channel also offers a little challenge: Every week, the author behind the post with the most reactions wins a lunch paid by NoA Ignite. This is not only to encourage people to share their tips, but also to support local businesses in Kraków.

#flying-library is for developing skills and discovering new topics. This group is the place to share study tips and inspiration for self-development.

Staying in quarantine is a good time to read interesting books and articles and to watch educational videos. Many companies have reacted to the situation that people are stuck at home and offer webinars and other learning materials for free!

Here are some study tips shared via our Slack channel:

Charity actions: Opportunities to do good

Learning something for one’s career is certainly a good thing, but there are many other things to learn during this pandemic. Some Wavemakers took the opportunity to explore our 3D printer and produced protective face shields in order to donate them to medical staff in the hospital.

protective-face-shields The first results of experimenting with the 3D printer for protective face shields. Photo: Wojciech Sowa

In fact, the coronavirus situation has made us revise all our charity initiatives and come up with some new ones. In difficult times, small things that can make a big difference even more than usual. NoA Ignite acted promptly and bought protective equipment like aprons and medical gloves (not so easy to find these days!) to support the University Children’s Hospital Kraków. Employees also have the choice of donating part of their personal development budget to local hospitals in need.

We also arranged an Easter charity auction. Employees offered various items for sale and everyone could bid. From home-made delicacies to be delivered within Kraków to fully remote services like Photoshop editing or creating a Spotify playlist, Wavemakers got creative and bids went up high. We collected a decent amount of money to be donated once again to the hospital.

On top of this, the money collected from our Burn for Money initiative is donated to an organisation that is fundraising to buy FPP3 masks for Kraków’s local hospitals. The concept of Burn for Money is that employees do sport activities and track them with the BFM app. The more active we are, the more NoA Ignite donates. Due to the current restrictions in Poland, most sports have to take place indoors, so we changed the system a little bit in order to collect more points with yoga, fitness, stretching and other typical indoor activities. It’s the perfect excuse to keep your sweatpants on! Otherwise, our recommendation is to get dressed like we would be at work.

Big thanks to our great office administrator Martyna who coordinates all the socialising and the CSR activities.

Finally, here are some tips & tricks for remote working. Stay strong, stay healthy and happy telecommuting!

remote-tips Tips for remote work by NoA Ignite

Resources for opportunities during and after the lockdown

Would you like to get in touch and learn more about remote collaboration or CSR initiatives at NoA Ignite? Contact our office administrator Martyna:

People discussing. The photo focuses on the laptops and a cup of coffee.

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Carina a content editor for the German market at NoA Ignite Poland

Carina Glinik

Senior Content Editor

Carina is a Senior Content Editor for the DACH market at NoA Ignite. She studied Media and Convergence Management and gained work experience in marketing as well as journalism in her home country Austria. Since 2017 she enjoys her expat life in Kraków.

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