5 New Things That Make Remote Working Awesome
When you’re starting a movie from scratch out of your house (or in our case, the cheapest apartment we could find), we’ve got to rely on technology to keep us all on the same page. And while the internet has moved things exponentially forward, it’s not just the wifi connection that’s making everything easier, and being a small movie company, these practices have infinitely increased our ability to connect efficiently and have left our minds open to take care of the other, more important stuff, like creativity.
So with the agenda in the beginning of a project our size—like getting equipment, sponsors, and extra hands to help out—these new technologies help set us up and get us to a point where we can focus on the things that we want to: making movies.
- Cloud Technology
I remember when not saving my work and an impending crash when my battery died or when I spilled something on the keys meant hours of work was flushed down the drain. And while it’s not only counterproductive because I was forced to spend hours at Geek Squad looking for even an ounce of hope that something would be recovered, it also meant that I was the only one who could access and edit my files at one time. While that doesn’t seem like such a big deal in an office where everyone is more likely to be on the same page, in the remote workspace, the Cloud has made things connect without having to get super difficult. Not only are my files uploading and saved automatically, but group meetings with people from all the the continent can upload and edit notes together in real time. How cool is that?
- Online Recruiting
Work from home is a perfect solution to start-up companies needing more space before hiring more workers, or before they get a bigger budget and can afford full-time, but it’s also perfect for established businesses that are looking to cut their spending—or hire new talent. While magazines and newspapers have been doing the freelance things for ages, it’s a great opportunity for other companies that were unable to do it before due to the nature of their work to take advantage of the new tech advances and test out their employees before hiring them on full-time.
With us, we need people who can edit, or design marketing materials, and it’s not something we have a big budget for, so recruiting via freelance work helps us weed out people who won’t really be helpful to us very quickly.
Like the Cloud, Discourse.org has its eye on changing the way you interact with your coworkers, and potentially even your clients. As it’s name suggests, Discourse is the ultimate tool for bringing conversations alive with an updated version of the chat room that allows for more notes, more interaction, and more connections to follow. It’s optimized for using on your tablet and iPhone and it also doubles as a mailing list—just add send your announcement to the discussion group and you’re done, no need to transfer to Outlook for have the intern keep track of what’s what.
Hosted phone systems are on the up and up, and once you get the hang of them, it’s not hard to see why. While we’re out on location and someone is back home grabbing supplies or finishing up paperwork, the hosted pbx we work with is doing the hard work for us and keeping us connected to each other. It works on cellphones, computers, and landlines and isn’t a fortune to get started, which is why it works so well in many home offices or companies that work remotely.
Trello is one of those awesome things that is hard to believe is free, but you can’t argue with the facts. This web management program operates online by tracking projects, attachments, and comments in real time and sending you a notification every time they get updated. Assign a task, finish a deadline, or make notes on a post—it’s all automatically updated on this freemium service and the truth is it’s easy to explore and even easier to get the hang of. If you’re working with a lot of clients and are finding your paper trail to be too messy to keep up with, think about transferring them onto Trello and making your life a guaranteed 100% easier.
While the glamour in making a movie is all in the “Action!” the truth is we’d never get to that point without some serious infrastructure. And with a project like ours, that infrastructure has to match our speed, our demands, and the advanced equipment we use, so if you’re branching out or looking for ways to make your creative venture more cost effective, take these for a spin—we can personally attest to their helpfulness and ability to make the boring stuff easy.