More and more companies are promoting virtual work, with over 43 percent of the U.S. workforce expected to work from home by 2016, according to a 2009 Forrester report. Ninthlink jumped on the trend this year and established a “Virtual Ninthlink.” By building a tightly run Project Management team and working with the latest conference tools and technologies, we’re able to have “offices” in LA and Maui and able to successfully support our team members when they take a V9 day.
Our Project Managers are the key reason that projects are on time and on budget, and that our Designers and Developers are aware of deliverables and client expectations. Without them, working remotely wouldn’t be smooth sailing. Our team uses a handful of tools to ensure that although someone may be V9, everyone is on the same page and work is being produced.
Our Design and Development teams specifically utilize many of Google’s tools, including Google Docs, Google Chat and Google Hangouts. Google Docs allows documents to be constantly updated and added to, by multiple people, in real time without having to worry about misplacing drafts. The team utilizes Google Chats and Google Hangouts to connect with each other on the fly, get updates on project status, answer quick questions, and video chat if more explanation and visuals are needed. Craig Wheeler, our Maui based Designer, weighs in on his experience with Google Hangouts. “Google Hangouts is a great way for quick communication with other team members. I get pinged through my computer and phone, so it’s efficient even if I happen to be on the go throughout the day. But when things get a little more involved, nothing beats a good ‘ol phone call.”
Another tool we’ve found useful, especially when our Designers or Devs need to show clients project progress is InvisionApp. “When it’s time to show off some design comps, InvisionApp is by far the greatest tool I’ve come across. Complete with presentation mode, where anyone can jump on a call and follow along with the click of a link. Easy, intuitive, and pain free” – Craig Wheeler.
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