Navigating the New Work Arrangements: The Industrial Reality

Our List of Online Tools to Help You Work From Home

Fri May 01 2020 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

With shelter-in-place orders extended another month, many workers are stuck navigating “the new normal.” Additional at-home distractions and unfamiliar technologies present unique challenges to the workforce not seen before at this scale. At DroneDeploy, we’ve doubled down on our efforts to engage with our colleagues and preserve an active company culture. Increasing transparency, adopting collaborative software, and establishing set routines are just some of the adjustments recommended. Below are some tips from our veteran work-from-home employees and People Operations team.

One employee's work-from-home setup.

Valuing Transparency

During weekly all-hands team meetings, executives brief all employees on board meeting discussions and next steps in regards to changing daily operations due to COVID-19. Senior leaders at DroneDeploy have emphasized adaptability and clear decision-making to be as transparent as possible during this period of uncertainty.

Opening up discussions and valuing transparency has gone a long way to building trust within the company. Employees (especially during this time) are looking to feel valued, and keeping lines of communication open will go a long way to strengthening confidence. We understand not all news is good, and challenging discussions have, and will, be made, but treating all employees as equals can only strengthen a company’s bond.

An employee's homemade "live on air" signal.

Designating a Physical Space and Routine

Numerous articles have detailed the importance of establishing a practical, functional workspace and designated routine while in quarantine. An ergonomic desk setup, noise-canceling headphones, or additional monitors can make all the difference in your workday by increasing productivity and comfortability. One of our Product Managers got creative by making a DIY “live on air” sign as a way of letting his children know when he was on-call.

By actively creating a new work-from-home routine, you can establish a sense of normalcy, making it easier to commit to and complete tasks. Setting working hours in Google Calendar, normalizing ordinarily “unprofessional” interruptions, and asking coworkers about their day are all suggestions directly from our People Operations team. Understand that the standard 9-5 may not be realistic for everyone, and that’s okay, too.

Utilizing Online Applications

While most of us already use software like Zoom, Slack, or G-suite daily, numerous free online applications can assist you with note-taking, project sharing, and more. Evernote is a downloadable app that organizes your lists, meeting notes, and projects into searchable folders for easy access. Workflowy, Synology Note Station, and Google Keep are similar options. In terms of collaborative tools, Zeplin and Github are both useful for DroneDeploy employees when working together on design and engineering projects. Lastly, Zappy is a free screenshot, GIF, and recording-maker best used when sending short example videos to colleagues.

DroneDeploy Trivia Night!

Staying Connected

At DroneDeploy, our employees have preserved our company culture through weekly trivia nights, happy hours, and gaming groups. Over 50 workers currently participate in our Donut program, which randomly matches employees up for a 30-minute chat session each week. We’ve also adapted our weekly yoga classes to be provided over Zoom and added in Barry’s Bootcamps every Thursday. These catch-up engagement activities are instrumental in preserving a sense of normalcy and offer a unique opportunity to learn more about your coworkers.

These suggestions have worked well for our team, and we’re continually updating a set COVID-19 resources document to keep employees as informed as possible on new policies. These are challenging times, but we can still be there for our employees and help them feel valued and listened to. We look forward to getting back to the office; in the meantime, though, we encourage you to let us know your work-from-home tips by tagging us @DroneDeploy.


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