Seeing how the workplace has evolved over the last few years is really amazing. We are able to work and collaborate from anywhere and this has changed how, when and where business gets done. Having an office for your entire team to go to everyday is becoming less of a necessity. This has a ton of benefits and sometimes a few unique challenges. At the core LooseKeys is built on freedom and flexibility. I’m able to work with and collaborate with anyone, wherever they are. This gives me the opportunity to work with the right people for the project even if they aren’t located in Chicago. This is something that even three years ago may not have been possible. The tools I use to make sure a remote team works well together are Dropbox, Basecamp, Google Docs, Skype and email. Now a lot of times email is replaced with a Google Talk or AIM but for just sending a quick private message or updates email still is a good option. Skype is used for quick calls or chats if needed. Sometimes having that quick call or face-to-face chat can really help the project run smoothly. Google Docs are used to collaborate with others when writing scripts and creating contracts. It’s nice to be able to open up a document and edit it without having to download a new version every time. Basecamp is used for tracking most projects. Getting some clients on board with Basecamp is at times tricky but when you have them there, they really see the benefit. Not only do the clients see the benefit, other people working on the project are able to stay up to date on the status of things without having to send an email and check-in. Then there is Dropbox. I don’t know if LooseKeys would have existed without it or something like it. It’s hard to remember a time when I was constantly uploading and downloading projects to and from an FTP. Having Dropbox there to sync between all the people working on a single project really can’t be beat. If you’ve ever worked in a large or mid sized studio where all the projects are kept on a server and the entire team can work on a project together then you’ll instantly see the benefit of Dropbox for your remote business and team.
Just because someone can’t be in the same office with you doesn’t mean they can’t work as if they were. There are a few other tools that get the job done but these are the five main ones I use to make sure the LooseKeys remote team is functioning at 100%.