Well that is our first week in lockdown drawing to a close. It’s been a funny one, full of ups and downs. Here at Hidden Trax, we thought we’d give you a little run down of some of the things that have helped us stay focused as a business, in this bizarre old time..
1. FutureX Plus
We became founding members of this new venture from the FutureX team just last month, and for the past fortnight have become pretty glad we did. Working remotely has its pros (pyjamas, endless tea, home-cooked lunch) – but it definitely has its cons: motivation, loneliness and feeling mildly stir crazy.
The FutureX Plus community has been a great place to chat with other entrepreneurs working from home, and the new #remote-working channel in the group’s Slack has been awash with top tips for getting through some pretty long and quiet days.
FutureX have also opened up some of the Slack channels for freelancers, for free, in a bid to offer some much needed community support in this lockdown stretch.
-> So get yourself a community, ask them questions, whinge to them, send stupid pictures and generally be in touch with people in a similar situation to yourself!
2. Zoom? Skype? … Or Houseparty (with the cool kids)?
Yep, that’s right. Video calls have become the new coffee meet up, pub gathering, board meeting and family reunion. What platforms have you guys been preferring? Zoom seems to be the most common choice in the world of business just now – and we definitely prefer the link generating system, over Skype’s odd ‘search’ function (which often leaves us unsure we’re contacting the right John Smith!)
And who’s been having fun and games on Houseparty? This latest viral app hit has taken over, and is probably a tad more appropriate for catching up with mates. Although why not schedule some time in with your team, and enjoy the more informal and relaxed interface – while playing a few games together!
-> If you have a call, or you find yourself having a long chat with a team member on Slack, why not suggest a quick video call. Face to face chats with people, even briefly throughout the day, make all the difference to feeling like a sane human.
Without wanting to put too blunt a spin on it, us at Hidden Trax have been taking time more than once a day to think over just how incredibly lucky we are. For now, mainly because we are still well (touch wood – then wash hands). And then of course, because of the fact that we can still operate as a startup, pivoting towards creating content for locals rather than visitors, and trying to prioritise one of our values over the other two (‘celebrating independent businesses’.)
We’ve got a clean, warm, safe place to work from – with food, and the things we need. Right now, that makes us one of the richest people on the planet. So let’s not forget that.
-> Remember all that you have, practice gratitude and remind yourself of the positives in this situation (because there are many!)
4. Combine your messaging apps!
We use Franz at the moment, but know there are a few options. Never before has this become so useful. Ever find hours slip away as you respond to messages not only across platforms: Whatsapp; multiple Slack accounts; Facebook Messenger – but also across different devices? Switching from phone to laptop just increases the chance of distraction.
Get yourself a messaging app combiner for your desktop. Login in to Whatsapp Web, hook up your Facebook and Slack accounts and then YOU CAN PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY. It’s a game changer. Plus, responding to messages with a laptop keyboard is about 500 x more efficient.
-> Download Franz or something similar and notice a huge change to your communication efficiency.