February 8, 2019 | Kendra Higgins
Today’s technology has broadened your access to hundreds of web development firms and design studios across the United States and internationally. You can choose to work with giant organizations or small studios with just a few clicks of a button.
So how can you be sure you’re achieving great design while working remotely? We’ve put together three simple guidelines from our experience as a remote studio.
Like any great relationship, communication is key. Based in Michigan, we recently worked exclusively remote with a client located in California. Since we weren’t able to pop into their office on a whim, we scheduled weekly calls at the same time, on the same day, each week. This consistency helped to establish trust while allowing both parties to check in on progress.
Having communication is key, but having multiple lines of communication is even better. In addition to weekly calls, we were sharing documents through Dropbox, and posting to a project management platform daily. When big deadlines were met, video calls were scheduled for reviews.
We wholeheartedly believe in adapting to our clients needs, and the ways they like to communicate best.
Now some of our smaller clients don’t want to be bothered on a weekly basis. Often times once a project is booked over the phone, communication moves strictly to emails on a monthly basis.
A common misconception of remote teams is that because we’re not onsite, we must not be working as hard. It can be difficult to convince a client that just because you don’t see me everyday, doesn’t mean I’m not there, working for you.
We’re open to our clients about where we work along with our hours of availability. It’s important during our open communication that we set boundaries and share expectations. This is especially important if you’re working in different time zones. An aspect often overlooked that can disrupt scheduled meetings, expected response times and cause unnecessary frustration for everyone.
There is nothing worse than jumping on a conference call, just to talk over each other and hear nothing. As a remote agency, the hour of time we have with you each week is highly important to us. Same with email communications, we’re not here to fill your inbox, we’re here to solve your design problems. So when it comes to meeting etiquette, we expect everyone to value the time we have together.
We create outlines for each meeting, to ensure all the hot topics are discussed, priorities are being met or realigned and most importantly the team members we need input from are present.
When hiring us, or any remote team we encourage you to ask the hard questions. How many other projects are you currently working on? Can you report to me daily, weekly, monthly? Where do you work from? What is your process for meetings and daily workflow?
The more you know about how the studio works, the better chance we’ll be a great fit. Because as you know, when good people work together, great things happen.