5 min read

The Pros & Cons of Working From Home

By Marcelo Garza on Jul 3, 2020 3:00:00 PM

2020 Blogposts_Pros & Cons of WFH

Man, 2020 has hit us hard. Just three months into the year and our have lives turned a full 180 degrees. We have all seen the changes that year has presented to all aspects of our daily lives. Businesses have been forced to adapt and innovate their way of work to maintain operations, like companies in the fashion industry, who have now pivoted to make face masks.

Most people are now working from home, and it looks like things will remain the same going into 2021. Given that we are in the digital era anyways and most work is now done on a computer, how much can things change from working in your office to working in your home, right? It shouldn’t be a big deal. Some employers get nervous when the words "home office" are put on the table. They fear productivity may decrease, issues will appear, or people are not trustworthy to do their job properly if they are not in the same room as their supervisors. Truth is, different studies have shown that most people are more productive when working from home. A lot of businesses are now running even full-time home office operations since there are all sorts of new technologies at our fingertips that facilitate communication and remote work. 

Home office pros and cons

Pros

  • Time saved: Forget about spending from 1 to 3 hours sitting in traffic. No more worrying about being late either to the office or to appointments after work. All that lost time and stress is gone, and now you can invest that time into yourself, your family, and friends.
  • Creating a personal working environment: Don't like your office chair? Your desk? In an office, you have to work with what you get most of the time, but at home, you can make your workspace your own. Pick your favorite place at home, find your own furniture, and get that perfect chair that won't hurt your back.
  • You define your hours: Extra hours just got a lot easier. You are already at home, you don't need to be in a rush, your family is closer, you can start earlier, or you can spend a few more minutes finishing that last briefing you have for tomorrow’s meeting. Why not, take breaks during the day and make up for it later.
  • Casual Friday all week: You can forget about having all your shirts, ties, and suits in order and instead enjoy wearing more casual apparel. While we often joke about "business on top, couch potato on the bottom" for virtual conference calls, we recommend that you get dressed for working from home to keep up with a routine.  
  • No chit-chat noise: How many times have you had to deal with your coworker chit-chatting while you were on an important conference call? It’s very stressful to be on a call and have all the background noise from the rest of the office. But no more of that at home (unless your little ones decide to join your call!).
  • More sunlight and fresh air: Not everyone at the office gets the window, and in fact, most people don't even see the sun until they leave the office. Getting some sunlight, enjoying the weather, and getting some fresh air is very important to relieve some of the stress generated during the day. At home you can always get a glimpse from the windows, enjoy your backyard or take a 5 min rest outside.

Cons

  • Technical issues: Working in a home office can be great at the beginning, but once you begin having internet issues, hardware or software issues, losing access to your company intranet, or maybe even losing power at home, things can get complicated and stressful.
  • 24-hour job: Since you have your office accessible all day long, some days you might find yourself putting in work before or after hours or even on the weekends. However, it's important to set boundaries, even something like the physical barrier of closing your laptop, so that you can separate your work life from home life. 
  • No immediate feedback: If you are at home and you have a question or important matter you need to discuss, it’s not as easy to solve when you don't have people around you all the time. That's why it's important to use Slack or collaboration tools like Confluence to keep you and your team focused and informed. 
  • Isolation is not for everyone: We all crave human interaction. Not everyone can handle social distancing very well. Some employees need to feel connected to and appreciated at their workplace. This last point, socializing, is what I believe is the hardest part, especially given the current situation. 

Importance of socializing at work

We as individuals need people. We are social beings, and we need that relief from our mental load that social interaction brings. Now, I’m not talking about chatting with coworkers or discussing projects and work; no, I’m talking about us as human beings, sharing our likes and dislikes, just speaking with one another about our weekend, going out for a drink or dinner after the office. We don't have in quite the same way right now, we can’t go to the movie theater anymore, go to the club and dance, have house gatherings or in some cases, even go to the park. We all missed that more than anything, speaking and having fun with one another.

Boost in productivity

Most people work around eight hours a day at their workplace, which is 34% percent of our day at the office. It is important to choose how you spend this big chunk of time in your life: either be confined to your desk focusing solely on work or utilizing some of this time to invest in building your team and work relationships. 

image2020-4-20_13-37-47

It’s all a personal choice and a way of working. Some view socializing as an unnecessary distraction that negatively impacts productivity and wastes time. However, a study conducted by Mckinsey Global Institute shows that productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees.

Communication and collaboration

Did you know that a survey of 400 companies cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year due to a lack of proper communication? Communication is a big deal and a lack thereof can cost you.

When co-workers socialize outside of work, working together becomes more enjoyable and keeps people motivated. That is what Stephen Ufford, the founder of a leading identity and business verification company, Trulioo, has to say. He emphasizes that when employees socialize, this leads to improved communication, a good work ethic, flexibility, and a better understanding of each team member's responsibilities.

 

“Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect.” - Mona Sutphen

 

This applies to our workspaces and organizations, too. Employees tend to experience a more positive work environment when they trust their managers/organizations.

If you are looking for ways to support your team while working from home, check out our blog post on how to host a Virtual-Bring-Together or learn about how we keep our employees engaged and motivated to live a healthy lifestyle with our Wellness Challenges

 

Topics: work-from-home
3 min read

How Praecipio Consulting Promotes Wellness & Remote Work Culture

By Robyn Lane on Jun 12, 2020 11:35:50 AM

2020 Blogposts_How Jira helps your team work remotely copy 4

Remote work is our new normal, and the statement “I am here for you whenever you need” has always been my truth to demonstrate my availability to a co-worker or client, at whatever cost. I can honestly say that I've removed "at whatever cost" because of the additional time I have in the day due to not traveling or driving in rush hour traffic, which has allowed me to eat better and make time for regular exercise.

I feel that this shift has made me more available to our team, clients, and family than ever before. Think of all the employees that spend hours in traffic, get sick because someone at the office is sick, or eats a crap diet because who has time to get a real lunch? All of this adds up: long days = lack of sleep and missed workouts. Those are a few things that I do not miss about having to go into an office every day, and I am grateful for the healthier well- being that a remote work lifestyle has allowed me.  

Wellness Challenges

Praecipio Consulting created a robust wellness program where employees can earn up to 5 hours of PTO per month for completing two monthly wellness challenges. They can participate in one or two of the below challenges to earn their extra PTO:

Steps Challenge = 3 hrs of PTO: 10,000 per day x total number of business days per month

Sleep Challenge= 2 hrs of PTO: Women 6 hours/Men 7 hours per night x total number of business days per month 

Water Challenge= 1 hr of PTO: 64 fluid oz per day x total number of business days per month

 

We use JIRA for tracking PTO Credit Hours and Confluence to share information about our Benefits, Health & Wellness Program, a guide to staying healthy. To ensure employees are able to work in the most suitable working environment with tools that help them succeed, all full-time employees can use their annual $600.00 wellness stipend on ergonomic equipment, exercise gear, medical exclusion, health memberships, alternative medicine, and much more. 

For me personally, I've always participated in the wellness program with just water. Being able to work remotely has given me the ability to spend more time with my dog, take our daily walks during lunch, supersede my previous step count, and increase my hours of sleep. Studies have shown remote work, flexible working schedules, and wellness programs contribute to improving employee morale, a decrease in medical claims, and reducing turnover. 

Staying Social While Working From Home

One downside of remote work is not being able to see employees' faces. A solution Praecipio Consulting created was to host a weekly Virtual-Bring-Together, where we connect to Zoom, play games, and engage in fun activities like Bingo, Pictionary, Scavenger Hunts, Cooking with Chef Babb, and Origami. Not only do our team members enjoy our Virtual-Bring-Togethers, but their families do too! 

Considering that most of the country is in a similar position with remote employees (and it sounds like we may be in this position for a while), I feel like we are all healthier and happier because of it. It sure does help that Praecipio Consulting gives me PTO hours for walking, sleeping, and drinking water, AND has found a solution to bring us all together. 

 

How many raised hands can I get from those folks who do a load of laundry in between calls, only spiffy their look from waist up for that video call, and enjoy the extra money saved from eating whole, nourishing foods from the best diner around (i.e. your kitchen)?

For more tips on now how we facilitate a remote work culture, you can read about how to support remote employees who may feel lonely or how to set yourself up for success when working from home. 

Topics: work-from-home remote-work
4 min read

How To Host A Virtual-Bring-Together

By Marcelo Garza on May 22, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_How Jira helps your team work remotely copy 2

Remote work has its perks (do a load of laundry in between calls, take your dog for a walk during your break), but it certainly comes with its challenges. Feeling lonely and isolated when working from home is very real, and as a company that operates 100% remotely, we know how important it is to make sure our team members stay connected. 

That's why we started hosting Virtual-Bring-Togethers, which provides a space for employees to interact and have fun while engaging in an activity that has nothing to do with work. Every Thursday evening, our team members connect via Zoom to play Pictionary, stream movies together, or even enjoy a cooking class. You name it, we've done it! 

Best Apps for Hosting a Virtual-Bring-Together

There are different apps available with all sorts of features that can turn social distancing into distant socializing. These are just some of them that might help you in organizing your virtual event:

  • Skype (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, web)
  • Zoom (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows)
  • Facebook Messenger (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows)
  • WhatsApp Messenger (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, web)
  • Google Duo (iOS, Android, web)
  • Marco Polo (iOS, Android)
  • Houseparty (iOS, Android, web)
  • Discord (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, web)

For a small company, you can easily organize these video calls with all the employees, and if we are talking about a big company, you might want to think of organizing these by teams or departments.

Activity Ideas

As far as the activities you can do, here are some that have been a huge hit with our Praecipio Consulting team members:

Family-friendly 

  • Virtual Pictionary: Divide into teams and use the Whiteboard feature on Zoom to draw pictures. When it’s your turn, you’ll share the screen and draw, and your team will have to guess what you are drawing during the set time limit. 
  • Yoga nights: Let the yogi of the group lead everyone through a restorative yoga flow and some simple sun salutations! Or, if you're feeling adventurous, try some hard moves and bond over the shared silliness.
  • Cooking lessons: If there is a chef in the group, he or she can give cooking lessons for everyone. It's a good way to share dishes, especially if you work with multicultural teams.
  • Playing cards: Organize your regular set of poker, and because you play virtually, it's easier to bluff and you won't have to worry about someone picking an eye on your cards.
  • Book clubs: You can organize book clubs normally would. Just pick a book, have them read a chapter or two to read during the week, and during your Virtual-Bring-Together, discuss different themes and listen to everyone's perspectives. 
  • Cribs: Have team members show off their homes and personality in quick, self-made videos a la the iconic show from the early 2000s. 
  • Costume party: Set themes and have a contest for the best costumes. You don't need to wait for Halloween to dress up and goof around!
  • Origami zoo: Origami nights are easy to organize. Have someone email them instructions before the meeting, and all people need to do is show up with some paper and scissors.
  • Icebreaker questions: Icebreaker questions are simple prompts that allow you to get to know your peers better. For example, you can start a remote meeting by having each attendee share their name, role, and what they like to eat for breakfast. Icebreakers are a simple and effective way to build relationships with remote teams, and to increase the personal connections between your people. You can set different levels for the questions depending on how well you already know each other

Grown-ups only 

  • Bar crawl: If you miss a night on the town, it’s time for a virtual bar crawl. To do this, set up a few spaces in your home to be “bars.” You can try to mimic your favorites or create themed bars! Have a signature drink for each bar! If you're looking for low-cal cocktail options, try some of these!
  • Virtual beer pong: We all know (and love) this classic game, but don't know how to play virtually? Check out this short video with a pretty simple example.
  • Virtual flip cup: Another classic. This one is simpler to play through a video call than virtual beer pong, so I would suggest you try this one first. All you need is your magic red cup, establish an order of turns in between teams, and have a good flick of the wrist.

This last two can also be done with the whole family, just swap your beer out for some water!

Try it yourself!

Socializing amongst team members opens the door to knowledge sharing, builds alliances, encourages teamwork, allows people to get to know others outside of their department, and gives everyone a "big picture" view of the company. When people start socializing, it creates bonds, which translates to caring for others. Having a team that genuinely cares for one another will create a greater sense of belonging and promote collaboration, resulting in improved performance across the board.

A company that provides a space for its employees to relate with one another, to relax, to have fun, and to be humans, shows that it cares for them. So, we encourage you to implement Virtual-Bring-Togethers or something similar with your teams, especially as many of us will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. 

Topics: virtual-bring-together work-from-home
4 min read

Leveraging Statuspage To Support Remote Teams

By Larry Brock on May 15, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_Statuspage

As many writers from a variety of perspectives have observed, we are truly living in interesting times. Before we get into how StatusPage helps remote workers, I would like to express my sincerest wish that you and your loved ones are safe and remain so through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the state of business in which we now find ourselves, many companies have transitioned their operations and workforce to a more distributed model. This has exposed or amplified many procedural failures, demonstrating how the severity of some issues can significantly impact business success. 

I have experienced a few of these workforce transitions and almost without exception, the underlying failure already existed. Because people worked in close proximity to each other, they were able to mask this issue at hand, and that issue is only exposed when the proximity changes. A multitude of reasons can explain why this change may occur, with one being that the business is experiencing phenomenal growth, or like our current state of the world, maybe external factors are the cause. Regardless of the reason, change is inevitable and processes must adjust, adapt, and improve.

There's currently a plethora of information flooding the web on better ways to work, and while a lot of them are useful, what I haven't seen is content focused on how to make better use of tools you already have to solve some of these new challenges related to external forces.

Many organizations today use the fantastic Atlassian tool Statuspage to communicate the status of their services to their customers, users, and possibly any interested party on the Internet. What these organizations may not realize is that Statuspage is also a great way to communicate important information regarding system availability to their internal staff.

So, how can Statuspage be used to do this? Well, I'm glad you asked! Consider these situations:

  • A staff member needs an item from their desk and wants to know if the office is open and accessible.
  • A staff member expects the VPN gateway that they use to access internal systems to be fully operational, 24x7.
  • The staff of a particular department needs to receive timely updates on developments that may affect them as they attempt to complete a particular task.

In each of these situations, the need for information is similar in nature to that of a customer: both are trying to stay updated and informed

If you're already using Statuspage to communicate to your customers, then you know and appreciate the power of letting customers determine what information they receive and the channel through which they receive it. Now, let's revisit the above situations, but with Statuspage:

  • A staff member who subscribes to the company's Internal Operations Status page will have already received an SMS message, a phone call, and/or an email from Statuspage about the closure of some offices when the incident was created under the Physical Locations service. They can check this message for more details or better yet, visit the Statuspage to see up-to-the-minute information regarding building access.
  • A staff member who is having trouble with VPN can check Statuspage to see if there are any notices about VPN, or they can subscribe to the incident in-progress to get updates and know when they can safely resume their connection.
  • The team that builds out your data center infrastructure or computer cluster is waiting on delayed equipment to arrive before converging on the datacenter from their various shelter-in-place locations. With Statuspage, you can easily broadcast the update about the equipment arrival to subscribers who follow the incident related to the delay. 

These are just a few examples of how you can utilize Statuspage to arm your staff with valuable information using a tool that you already have available. Not using Statuspage? Look into this powerful communication tool, which eliminates the guesswork of who to contact and how, not to mention that it allows teams to focus more on their key functions of serving the organization. 

If you would like to learn more about how to leverage Statuspage, check out our webinar. We also have some great resources available on how different tools can help your remote teams, such as Workato and Jira

Topics: atlassian statuspage work-from-home
2 min read

How Jira Can Help Your Teams Work Remotely

By Praecipio Consulting on May 8, 2020 9:15:00 AM

According to a recent article published in the Harvard Business Review, one of the common challenges when working from home is a lack of access to information. At Praecipio Consulting, we often see this challenge with many teams, especially they remotely. Here's how Jira can help:

Visualize current work with Kanban boards

A Kanban board (or a similar variant) can be a remote team’s best friend. Instead of emailing, Slacking, texting, or calling a coworker to find out the status of a particular work item, a team member can simply navigate to the Kanban board and find a wealth of information. A well-configured board is easy to read and quickly conveys a brief description of each item the team is currently working on, as well as the status, assignee, and any other team-specific information. This helps cut down on extraneous communications within your organization and provides remote workers with a quicker and easier way to access information.

Reduce the number of emails by commenting on issues

Not only is commenting on issues quicker than typing up an email, but comments also live in publicly visible space and are saved in the issue. This immediately creates two advantages over email. First, commenting makes it much easier for other coworkers to see the progress on the issue, preventing them from having to send an email to ask questions about the issue, who’s working on it, when was it last worked on, and what progress has been made in the past week. Second, users never have to wonder why somebody made a particular decision or repeatedly ask for information because the entire conversation is stored within the issue. Using @ mentions to tag a coworker or manager helps speed up this process and better organize the information, in addition to drawing specific users to the issue and providing context.

Benefit from linking Jira and Confluence together

When Jira and Confluence are linked together, one can simply enter a Jira issue key into a Confluence page, and it will automatically contain a link to the Jira issue. Similarly, it becomes possible to link a Confluence page to a Jira issue by just referencing the title of the page. A few common use cases include: linking a resolution document in Confluence to the incident issue in Jira, displaying the progress of related Jira issues on a requirements document in Confluence, and linking several helpful articles to a service request in Jira. This helps solve similar problems more quickly, reduces time spent searching for that one Confluence article, and eliminates the need for status emails.

Jira was created to help teammates access information, allowing them to visualize and organize complex and hard-to-see work; and that's why Jira is the perfect tool for a remote team.  

 

Struggling with remote work in this time of uncertainty? Praecipio Consulting provides a turnkey implementation of best practices in Jira with an Accelerator. Whether you're supporting SDLC, ITSM, or PPM, we can rapidly deploy Jira to support your team. Reach out to us to learn more about Jira and how it can facilitate remote work. 

Topics: jira blog teams tips atlassian-products work-from-home remote-work
8 min read

Tips for Supporting Remote Employees Who May Feel Lonely

By Courtney Pool on May 5, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_Remote Doesnt Mean Alone

We've already seen how COVID-19 has impacted the way companies do business, with employees across various industries breaking ties with their cubicles and desktop computers for the foreseeable future. The rapid nature of these changes has left many employees reeling, and the indeterminate return to normalcy may seem daunting for people who already feel like they need to relearn how to do their jobs, not to mention facing wholly new challenges and struggles in doing so.

Companies can ease this transition for newly-remote employees by understanding the challenges they're encountering and proactively finding ways to combat them. To that end, we scoured the internet and polled affected family and friends to identify a few of the more common concerns for those new to working from home, and we put together a handful of solutions that have helped us at Praecipio Consulting.

"I don't know how to get the support I need"

Many employees may feel that it's more difficult for them to get the support they're used to. Now that they're working at home, there's no deskmate to catch the eye of, no supervisor to roll over to, and no IT personnel to flag down as they're making the rounds. This can be especially true for employees at smaller, entirely-local companies who are used to regularly seeing all of the people they ever need to talk to.

If you're worried that your employees are having a difficult time getting the help they need, consider doing the following:

  • Set up a regularly scheduled forum for people to get help from and provide help to others.
    • We have weekly meetings for each department, but you could also extend blocks for already scheduled team meetings. It's important that there is time dedicated solely for employees to share issues they're seeing and get assistance from others. Complex or complicated problems can be difficult to solve over text, so make it easier for your employees to talk through problems with colleagues.

  • Create additional support channels in current communication tools.
    • And don't be afraid to limit the scope! Some employees may feel uncomfortable asking for help in general support rooms, especially if they're worried that their questions may come off as basic or unimportant. Having dedicated spaces for specific job functions, like one for a specific tool an employee may use, make employees feel more comfortable asking "stupid" questions. This also allows teammates to focus their attention on areas where they feel particularly strong.

  • Implement or improve upon a Service Desk aimed at providing employees with support.
    • Service desks are widely thought of as tools primarily aimed at IT/Ops organizations, but a number of other areas can successfully utilize them as well. If you have any group or team that commonly fields questions and requests from colleagues, a service desk could be used to provide structure and oversight to the process, allowing all parties involved to have a more organized exchange and reliable means of tracking.

"It's taking me longer to do my job"

Suddenly, transitioning from working in an office to working from home can leave employees feeling like they need to relearn aspects of their job, whether it's how to work with different (or less) equipment, how to account for things they don't have at home, or even something as simple as how to handle new distractions. Although studies show that working from home ultimately boosts productivity, there's certainly an adjustment period for those new to it.

 

If tasks seem like they're taking longer to complete than they would have in the office, one of the following may help:

  • Encourage the use of time tracking tools.
    • There are a number of time tracking tools and apps available across the web. Promoting these tools with employees will help them to better track of how they spend their time throughout the day. Employees can use time tracked to determine if they need to make some changes to their own routines, or possibly lean on others for assistance. A manager once told me that if you think it's taking too long to do something, ask around because odds are that someone has found a way to get it done in half the time. Accurate time tracking will help employees identify the areas where someone can help them improve.

  • Share productivity-boosting tips within the group.
    • Look to a best practice guide for working from home and take the recommendations to heart. Something as easy as setting up a dedicated office space instead of camping out in that comfy recliner can immediately have a positive impact on productivity and can help people get back into "work" mode.

  • Understand that some things may take more time.
    • If someone was able to walk down the hall to the mailroom before, but now finds themselves having to put on pants and drive to the post office, it's going to take longer to do tasks that may have taken only minutes before. The same rings true for those who are down from three monitors to only one or for those who are competing for bandwidth with neighbors. Likewise for people who now have to wait for others to get back to them versus looming over a colleague's shoulder until they get an answer. These are all acceptable reasons for tasks to take more time.

"Communicating internally is more difficult now"

Good communication can feel unachievable for those working 'alone' for the first time. No longer being able to tap a coworker on the shoulder to get an immediate answer or huddle together in a breakout room to work through a problem can leave employees feeling a bit lost. 

If your teams struggle with communicating well, the following steps are a good place to start:

  • Adopt a collaboration tool.
    • If you're not already using a collaboration tool internally, considering implementing one; and if you are already using one, consider how it could improve to drive better communication. We make heavy use of Slack internally. In our instance, we have dedicated channels for specific clients and tools, which is a great first step toward better communication, but we make use of a number of the lighter elements the tool has to offer too. Doing something as simple as customizing quick statuses or syncing your calendar with the tool will all ultimately help people communicate better. Even something like a custom emoji of a team member (we have a few!) can act as a quick way to get a point across.

  • Set guidelines for when a particular communication tool should be used.
    • Ask yourself, "When should we use email? When should we use the phone? What do we do when all hell breaks loose?  " Having guidelines regarding when to use each communication tool and standardizing those guidelines as much as you can between teams will take a lot of the uncertainty out of communication. 

  • Encourage documentation of everything discussed.
    • Even if you're just jotting down quick meeting notes or doing a two-to-three line recap of a Slack call, having something to reference later will help drive accountability between colleagues and act as a quick jump-off for conversations to follow. We try to keep all of ours stored in Confluence so that each participant can add in their own notes. Working from home often means multitasking for a number of people, so ensuring that there are records kept of items discussed and decisions made will keep everyone on the same page and make future actions and conversations easier.

"I feel so lonely"

Though this is one of the hardest things to help employees with, it's also one of the most important. Loneliness has a real and palpable effect on an employee's mental and physical health, and failure to address it can lead to increased stress, loss of productivity, and lessened quality of work. This is likely to be especially true right now, with many employees being isolated from friends and family for the past several weeks due to stay-at-home orders.

If you're concerned that your employees may feel isolated and lonely, the following can help:

  • Have employees turn on their videos during virtual meetings.
    • This is our internal policy for all meetings, regardless of the number of participants. Having each participant enable their video reminds other employees that they're not "alone," and it helps to keep participants more engaged. Talking to a "real person" instead of a computer screen can help to simulate at least some of the intimacy of in-person meetings, and it allows people to see a speaker's nonverbal cues, like body language and facial expressions, which can be useful in effective conversation. And if nothing else, it acts as a push for everyone to get dressed every morning, which also aids mental health.

  • Schedule virtual get-togethers.
    • We began hosting "Virtual Bring Togethers" for all employees at the onset of stay-at-home orders, and it truly does help. Laughing together over Pictionary or Bingo or receiving a virtual cooking lesson is a great way to keep employees engaged and to lessen the feelings of isolation. Slate has even found people who've successfully figured out how to play board games together over Zoom. Think of some fun things you and your team can do.

  • Don't be afraid to ask direct questions.
    • The easiest way to monitor an employee's mental well-being is to have a frank conversation about how they’re handling the changes. If an employee does feel isolated, you'll have the opportunity to start putting together individualized plans to help.

 

The recent surge of remote employees has already had a major impact on a number of companies, and the effects are likely to last, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Support your newly-remote teams well, and you might be pleasantly surprised by how much happier and more productive they are. 

If you are searching for more resources on how to navigate remote work with your employees, consider implementing daily stand-up meetings, and you can also check out our tips for mastering the work-from-home lifestyle

Topics: confluence workato work-from-home
2 min read

How Workato Helps Remote Teams Rapidly Resolve Incidents

By Courtney Pool on Apr 28, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_Workato

It's 2 AM. You just pushed out a major release, and then it happens. You're alerted to an Urgent bug. Lights start flashing, the sirens are blaring, and in the distance, someone yells, "Get the president on the line!"

Ok, so maybe it doesn't happen like it does in the movies, but that doesn't mean you can't have any bells and whistles.

WFH Incident Management 

When dealing with escalated issues, a swift response is absolutely critical – any delays in addressing an issue can severely impact a company, whether in time, satisfaction, or revenue lost. As such, many companies are quick to set up at least basic alerting through Jira in an attempt to rally the troops as quickly as possible. While relying on notifications from Jira may be enough to mostly get the job done, though, you're still risking some immediacy of response, as many people don't check emails the moment they're received (and some may even filter them directly to junk if the instance is too noisy).

A two-pronged approach is often needed in these situations, with town-criers tasked with alerting others on apps like Slack as well. This approach does work better, but it still relies on a human component, which again, introduces risk. Mitigating these risks is especially important now that most teams are fully remote due to COVID-19, preventing any quick updates over the cubicle wall. Automation can remove these risks while also alerting others as quickly as possible.

Enter Workato.

Mitigating Risk With Workato

Workato is a middleware tool dedicated to making APIs and automation more approachable to the Everyman. It’s also a powerful teammate in the ever-raging battle against mission-critical issues.

To best illustrate this, consider the following use case:

You have a team of internal stakeholders who need to be notified immediately for every Urgent or Critical issue entered into Jira. While the teams that work on the issue need immediate notification,  which team that is is notified will differ by product. You use Slack internally, so notifications typically happen there.

Workato can help accomplish this.

The recipe needs to be built to trigger conditionally based on priority, as identified above. From there, you also know that you'll want to push to Slack, and that which group receives alerts will differ differ based on values selected.

BONUS TIP: If your teams use Zoom, you can even leverage Slack's integration to have a Zoom meeting available when you need it, without having to spin one up yourself.

Expanding on the use case above, if you want Critical issues to notify in Slack and set up a war room in Zoom, have Workato send the command /zoom meeting [ISSUE ID - ISSUE SUMMARY] and wait for the fireworks. Once your recipe is built out and thoroughly tested, you can sit back and relax – at least until the next Urgent issue comes in. Automation will take care of the rest.

By letting Workato take the wheel, you can remove a lot of the risk from addressing escalated issues — and get to enjoy some of the bells and whistles, too.

Topics: workato incident-management work-from-home
3 min read

Step Up Your Zoom Calls With Virtual Backgrounds

By Rebecca Schwartz on Apr 21, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_Zoom in the time of Coronavirus

The typical work week has changed drastically over the past two months. Your morning commute is now a five second walk, your dog is your most talkative coworker, and going out for lunch means getting takeout and sitting on your patio. Since we can't physically interact with our colleagues (or really anyone for that matter), the only "face-to-face" interaction we have are in Zoom meetings. Meetings in general can be pretty uneventful, so why not step up your Zoom game and add a Virtual Background to your video? Below are some options to get you started.

For film/TV junkies

Now's the chance to star in your favorite movies and TV shows! Marvel released backgrounds of Wakanda, Asgard, and more. DC Comics has done the same. Disney and Pixar have also joined the fun with backgrounds of Onward and The Little Mermaid. If you've always wanted to be an SNL cast member or a member of the Pawnee Parks Department, TV Guide has TV-themed Zoom backgrounds here

For the avid traveler

COVID-19 prevents non-essential travel, and for folks like me who had big trips planned during this time, a location-themed background can almost make you feel like you're on that trip. One of my go-to sites for travel deals, Airfare Watchdog, shared travel-themed backgrounds of some of the world's most beautiful destinations. United Airlines has flight-themed backgrounds as well. Travel to your destination during your hour-long Zoom meeting by starting with your background on the plane, then shifting to an image of your destination towards the end of the meeting!

For the happy hour enthusiasts

Did your team have a weekly happy hour spot they frequented? You can still enjoy that team outing virtually! Plus, virtual happy hours are a great way for the team to connect on a more personal level. Choose your favorite bar, have each team member use the same background of the inside of that bar, then make the bar's signature drink. Bottoms up and cheers to virtual happy hours!

For the client-facing worker

Zoom video meetings are great for internal meetings, but they're also extremely useful for client or potential client meetings. Showing your face along with your voice in a virtual meeting is much more meaningful and interactive. If you're frequently engaging with clients or potential clients, turn your camera on, and use your company logo or motto as your background! It helps builds better connections with your customer, and they remember what your organization is all about.

Try it for yourself!

To find your backgrounds, you can do a simple search on Google. I've used Twitter to find most of my backgrounds, just by searching for Zoom backgrounds. Once you find your perfect background you'll need to download it to your computer, so be sure the source you're using is safe. Below are steps to enable your Zoom virtual background:

  1. Once you've joined your meeting, on the bottom left of your Zoom screen, look for the Video Camera icon. Next to the icon is an up arrow. Click the arrow and select Choose Virtual Background.
  2. Zoom has some pre-installed backgrounds, but you can upload your own where it says Choose Virtual Background, hit the plus [+] sign in the box on the right, then select Add Image.
  3. Find the image on your computer, select it, then hit Open.
  4. The image will set to your video background, and Zoom will give you a preview of what it looks like. If you're satisfied, you can hit the red [x] at the top left of the Zoom Settings box. You're all set!

If you need support on enabling your Zoom background, click here to access Zoom's guide.

Topics: work-from-home
4 min read

Essential Services for Pivoting Your Business During a Pandemic

By Brian Nye on Apr 17, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_Services Companies Consider During a Pandemic

2020 has been a roller coaster of a year, and few would have predicted that this year many of us would be working from home and facing some of the most critical challenges of our professional careers. And while this will pass, many leading businesses are taking this time as an opportunity to break away from traditional molds to better position themselves for the next challenge.

Over the past few weeks, we have worked closely with our clients, some of the largest names in their respective industries, to understand where they want to focus their resources to not only weather this storm but also better prepare them for future ones as well. We found that our clients are primarily in need of solutions that keep the business moving forward, connect employees, and control costs. 

Shifting from Legacy Systems

Servers and the teams that maintain them are expensive. This is by no means news to anyone, but when we look at critical systems and infrastructure, most solutions now have cloud options that are less expensive and perform better than legacy server solutions. Most companies that reach out to us want to understand two things:

  • Which is the best solution for me: Atlassian Cloud or an AWS Data Center?
  • What will it take to get me there?

Offloading your current infrastructure for critical business tools like Jira and Confluence on to more scalable, lower-overhead-cost options like AWS or the Atlassian Cloud can save your business a lot of money, plus it takes the maintenance burden off of your teams. To find out which option is best for your business, there are a lot of considerations - things like data residency and customizations made to your current environment.

Praecipio Consulting has a team of experts that would be happy to work with you virtually to understand the complexities of your situation and provide a solution fit for you. For more depth on the subject, try this webinar on planning your Jira Server to Cloud migration, which focuses on migrating to the Atlassian Cloud and walks you through the steps in preparing for any type of migration. This case study on a project we completed with one of our clients in the healthcare industry is also helpful for understanding how to achieve a successful migration. 

Contracting out administrative functions

Businesses are restructuring teams to best serve their companies. This can take the form of job alignment since people are the most expensive and valuable resource. The Atlassian tools are often administered by folks as a secondary job, and in our experience, this role is one that bounces around from person to person in times of reorganization. When companies go through a transition, people tend to make unintentional bad decisions that negatively impact the instance in the long run due to undertrained and overstretched administrators.

If that sounds familiar, now is the time to offload the day-to-day problems of administration to our Managed Service team who can proactively support your organization's administrative needs and on an ad-hoc basis when necessary. This allows your administrators to focus on their key functions, and it gives you greater peace of mind knowing that the work inside your Atlassian environment is performed correctly and fulfilling your requirements. To better understand how Managed Services can support your organization, check out this case study on how we helped a leading rail technology company achieve stability and more functionality through Managed Services.

Optimizing for virtual work

Given that many Atlassian administrators are implementing requests and fixes rather than providing a solution for the problem, many processes built in the tool are not optimized for virtual work. Processes are often built into the tool that assume employees will be in the same setting, which may not translate well for remote work settings. This is the downfall of a powerful tool that has infinite configuration possibilities.

Praecipio Consulting can help your teams understand the principles of leading frameworks like SAFe, DevOps, and ITL, and we develop solutions that align with any type of work environment. Having these frameworks in place and powerful tools to support them sets you up for success and gives you the capacity to easily scale your infrastructure as your business evolves.  For a better understanding of how we maximized the Atlassian tools for a worldwide electronic payment processor using ITSM best practices, check out this case study.  

Virtual training on the Atlassian tools

As employees have shifted to working from home, businesses are seeing that employees may not possess the level of understanding with Jira that they thought. Without the in-person help that comes from an office setting, businesses are in search of ways to train their employees from their homes. At Praecipio Consulting, we are equipped to offer several Atlassian-designed and custom training courses around the Atlassian applications. We have provided virtual training long before the current state of affairs and can easily bring your employees up to speed with essential knowledge and hands-on practice. 

We are in this together!

Although these times are unprecedented, we have operated and navigated within the virtual landscape for many years and would be happy to discuss your organization's challenges. Together, we can keep you on the path for greater success in the future by taking the right steps today. We look forward to learning how we can serve your organization, but until then, stay safe and stay healthy. 

 
Topics: managed-services training covid-19 work-from-home
3 min read

You Deserve a Break To Check Out These Cute Animals

By Mary Roper on Apr 14, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_You Deserve a Break (To Check Out These Cute Animals) (1)

Whether you are new to working from home or an old pro, it is still important to take regular breaks through out the day to maintain focus, productivity, and creativity. Don't believe me? It's science!

To help you fuel your next break, we've curated some pictures of cute animals exploring the new normal, primarily vacant city streets and suburbs. While most of the world shutters inside, these cuties are making the most out of lockdown. Enjoy!

1. These mountain goats could definitely use a lesson in social distancing as they explore Llandudno, Wales.
goats
Image Credit: Christopher Furlong via Getty Images


2. This coyote enjoys stretching its legs during a casual stroll through downtown San Francisco, CA.  coyoteImage Credit: manishkumar457 via Twitter


3. This puuurrr-ty puma takes a solo catwalk down the streets of Santiago, Chile.pumaImage Credit: Andres Pina/Anton Chile/AFP via Getty Images



4. This beautiful peacock appears to be the only one out and about on this street in Dubai. peacock
Image Credit: KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images


5. The absence of human activity means that these orcas can get a little closer to the coastline while exploring the Indian Arm in Canada. 

orcasImage Credit: JIMHANSON_NV/Twitter

6. And lastly, a favorite in our office, these penguins saying "Hi" to their neighbors while exploring Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. penguinImage Credit: Shedd Aquarium

We hope this break has been a bright spot in your day, and we wish you and your loved ones health and safety during these unprecedented times. 

If you are looking for more ways to navigate the challenging times of Covid-19, check out our blog posts with WFH Tips and How to Stay Informed During a Global Pandemic

Topics: work-from-home
4 min read

Navigating a Pandemic in a Digital Age

By Morgan Folsom on Apr 10, 2020 9:15:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_NavigatingAPandemicInDigitalAge

Right now we're living in unprecedented times. With COVID-19 moving across the planet, families and businesses are having to learn how to keep moving forward amongst an onslaught of swiftly changing information. During a conversation with one of our technology partners, Splunk, they shared their current COVID-19 data aggregation:

splunk image

This got us thinking: How can we best stay informed during this crisis while still staying sane?

Check your sources

First and foremost, with public health emergencies, it is always best to stick to official agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC), or state, county, and local agencies where appropriate. 

Outside of that, it is as important as ever that we check our sources before reading or sharing. Not all resources are alike, and with a situation as widespread as this novel coronavirus, not only is there a lot of information out there but misinformation as well. A study by MIT researchers determined that, at least on Twitter, false news stories spread faster and farther than the truth. There are many ways that both individuals and businesses can be sure that the information they are sharing is correct. As someone who reads a lot of news online, there are a few things that I check for. 

  1. Date: When was this published? Is it recent enough to still be relevant, or has it resurfaced due to a clickbait headline? If an article is old enough, try googling some of the keywords for more up-to-date information
  2. Authority: Who wrote the content? Look at both the website and the specific author for signs of bias and credibility. 
  3. Look & feel: Does the website look suspicious? Most of us have run into a website and immediately turned around - whether that means it's extremely ad-heavy, trying to trick you into clicking on things, or looks like it was made in the early '00s. Trust your instincts if something looks off. 

When in doubt, try searching elsewhere for the same information. If you can find it corroborated elsewhere by known reliable sources, you're probably good to go. Some large online platforms, content aggregators, and social media companies are doing their part to assist in this. Pinterest, for example, has limited all of the relevant search results to only internationally-recognized health organizations. Many major news outlets, like the New York Times and The Washington Post that have removed COVID-19 related articles from behind paywalls, are allowing people access to the content without a subscription. Even further, I'm sure you've noticed your inbox filling with notifications from every company you've ever interacted with, letting you know their contingency plan for their services and their employees. 

pinterest image

Right now, it is essential as both individuals and businesses to be sure that the data we're reading and sharing is clear and accurate. 

However...

Stop scrolling 

Amanda Mull recently wrote about plague dread, the specific anxiety that comes from an onslaught of information paired with a lot of unexpected time spent at home or alone. While it is important to follow recommended guidelines and stay informed about local and national announcements, there's nothing wrong with signing off once you get the information you need. My strategy for this is pretty simple: limiting screen time. When at home, it's easy to accidentally spend hours on my phone or computer, so I try to be conscious of this. When I can tell that all the scrolling is taking an emotional toll, I'll leave my phone in another room and focus on something else (have you seen this Buzzfeed list of quarantine hobbies?). 

These are certainly unprecedented times, but we're more connected now than at any point in the past, and that can make navigating situations like these a bit easier. For more information, see Praecipio Consulting's COVID-19 response to see how we're working through this crisis. 

Looking for tips on how your team can adjust to remote work? Check out How ChatOps Can Connect Your Remote & Traveling Workers or Less Meetings More Collaboration.

 
Topics: covid-19 work-from-home
5 min read

Best Practices for Working from Home: Tips from a 100% Remote Company

By Amanda Babb on Apr 8, 2020 9:14:00 AM

2020 Blogposts_Workfromhome

Given the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus and the need for people to practice social distancing, people around the world have found themselves working, teaching and learning from home. Working remotely has its benefits, but adjusting to this environment has its challenges. 

When I started with Praecipio Consulting in 2013, I was the second remote employee for the company. Seven years later, we've grown significantly and while many of my colleagues are in Austin, a significant number of people work remotely from cities like Houston, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Vermont, and San Jose, to name a few. Even as a remote-work-friendly company, we are are still able to support all of our clients, even our largest ones with 24/7 operations and people distributed across the globe. 

In October of 2019, Praecipio Consulting went 100% remote, which was in large part due to our efforts to become carbon neutral by the end of 2020. Previous to this, we had Work from Home Thursdays, where we set a few clear expectations: 

  • Be online and available from 9 am to 5 pm Central
  • Your calendar must be up-to-date
  • Camera must be on for all internal meetings
  • Be mindful of meeting start/end times
  • Use Slack or Zoom for 1:1 or impromptu meetings

The habits we built during that time positioned us to become entirely remote and prepared us for the world's current events.  Below is an excerpt from our internal Confluence instance, where we manage all policy documentation and communication. 

Best Practices for Working from Home

When working in an office, the routine of waking up, getting ready, commuting, etc., can start your day on the right foot. Even though we had Work from Home Thursdays, it became a lot more difficult to work from home every day. There are distractions: other people, pets, chores, solicitors. Here are some best practices that will help you transition from office culture to working remotely: 

1. Establish a routine and stick with it

You've likely established a routine when going to the office or even to visit a client site every day. Now that you're working from home, it's easy to slip into bad habits. We joke about wearing a robe to work or forgetting to put on pants. However, this is a real thing. Working from home is a 10,000-hour skill; it takes some time to master.

  • Maintain your morning routine
    • Having a "commute" is helpful and gets your body moving. For some folks, it's taking kids to school or walking a pet. For others it might be going to the gym or for a run.
    • Hygiene is important. If you typically bathe before work in the morning, continue to do so. Answering that email first thing in the morning while you are still in your pajamas can quickly lead to a day's worth of work without you realizing it.
  • Wear "normal" clothes
    • If you wouldn't wear it in the office, don't wear it when you're "at work".
  • Set your end-of-day time and turn notifications off
  • Set a lunchtime
    • Inform others by blocking it on your calendar.
    • Keep diverse snack/lunch options in your fridge and pantry.
    • If you don't cook (or don't know how), reach out to others for ideas.

2. Create a designated space to call "your office" 

This space should be all yours. Communicating the use of the space to anyone living with you is critical as well. If you're in "your office", other people should respect that space. At the same time, be respectful about working in your space too. Make sure you can keep background noise down so that you can focus when you're working. Either way, communicate clearly what your workspace is and stick to it. 

  • Designate an entire room, if possible, or area of your house as your workspace. 
  • Invest in a quality desk and office chair.
  • Make sure that space is de-cluttered.
  • Focus on ergonomics, not style.
  • Try not to eat breakfast/lunch in your assigned work area.

3. Minimize distractions, stay focused on work and breaks

Distractions don't disappear when you're working from home instead of the office. Resist the urge to do things you wouldn't do at the office like watch TV, interact with social media, visit with your roommate or neighbors, or work from bed. It's important to practice self-discipline to stay focused on the task at hand and know when to take a break. Carve out parts of your day between tasks or meetings to stretch and to tend to things around the house like your pet, laundry, tidying up, or cooking.

  • Minimize distractions like TV, social media, and those in your remote work environment.
  • Schedule time for everyday tasks.
  • Set a reminder to stretch regularly.

4. Set up a physical barrier between you and "your office"

It's important to have a physical barrier between your work space and your home space. At the beginning of the day, you should be ready to start, and at the end of the day, you will need to be "done." A physical barrier will help separate work and home life. 

  • Have a separate room or privacy screen.
  • Close your laptop.
  • Close the door.

5. Switch it up every once in a while 

Once you've established your routine, make some small changes. Working remotely can be extremely isolating, and there are some weeks when you'll realize you haven't left your home all week or interacted with another human. While we are all currently practicing social distancing and only leaving our homes for the essentials, be sure you don't completely isolate yourselves. Take advantage of the technology available to virtually interact with colleagues and friends. 

  • Schedule a "virtual" lunch date or happy hour with a colleague or friend.
  • Make time for exercise at home and block it off in your calendar. 
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood or complex with your dog or just yourself.
  • Listen to a podcast during the time you set aside to tidy up or tend to your home. 

For those working from home for the first time, we hope this will be helpful in the coming weeks. And for company leaders, we encourage you to use this time to explore the opportunities of technology and the benefits of working remotely. 

 

Other helpful resources

Topics: covid-19 work-from-home
6 min read

Distance Learning With Atlassian: Remote Training Your People

By Amanda Babb on Apr 2, 2020 5:01:46 PM

2020 Blogposts_DistanceLearningAndAtlassian

When I was growing up, my parents taught me all kinds of useful skills. By age 12, I helped my dad build my lofted bed. Routers, saws, drills, clamps, hammers: you name it; we used it. At age 19, I rebuilt a 1968 El Camino from the ground up. Everything from tearing down an engine to rebuilding suspension to (somewhat terrible) electrical. Even today, if you've read some of my other blogs, I've installed floors, rebuilt our fence, and completed other small home improvement projects throughout our home. Since a young age, I have constantly been learning new skills and putting them into practice.

At Praecipio Consulting, we help organizations streamline their processes and drive business with the most powerful digital transformation tools, yet their end-users struggle day-to-day with how to use them the right way. After all, you can give the worst carpenter the best hammer, but it doesn't mean they can build a chair.

Employee Learning as a Business Pillar

We've worked with clients of all sizes to implement the Atlassian tools as part of their digital business transformation. Our clients are always pleased with the results (lifetime Net Promoter Score of 70), and the subject matter experts we work with daily walk away with a deep understanding of the processes that the Atlassian tools facilitate. We always recommend expanding that knowledge beyond our champions to end-users and managers alike via training and training programs. While there are a lot of statistics regarding Return on Investment (ROI) for training, instead, we should focus on the learning and development of our employees as a pillar of our business. 

According to this article in Training Magazine, measuring ROI is not enough. Instead, we need to look at five key areas when evaluating the effectiveness of your learning approach: 

  • Individual performance
  • Time to effectiveness/productivity
  • Employee engagement
  • Ability to respond to market conditions
  • Voluntary turnover

The authors go on to say that learning is not a static exercise. Employees should continuously learn throughout the digital transformation process. The article also mentions that learning and development should be strategically aligned with the business, yet only 40% of organizations surveyed stated that their learning strategy is well-defined. We see this with our clients as well: they take time to implement the Atlassian tools to facilitate industry best practices, however, they can't afford to take the time to teach their people how to properly use them. Implementing and using these tools are tied to overall business objectives, and there should be a clear learning strategy for educating your people about them. 

Learning outcomes and measuring success

As we move to remote work, we must first look at where we were. In-person courses were generally considered the most effective. Why? Because of the interaction with the instructor and the accountability of being in a room with your peers. I have served as an Atlassian instructor since 2015, so I have seen a breadth of engagement in my classrooms. Generally, I received high marks for the content and depth-of-subject knowledge. How do I know? Because we ask. At the end of each course delivery (whether it's at a conference, such as Summit, or a private course for an organization), we provide surveys as well as retrospectives to our clients. The surveys are for attendees to provide feedback, and the retrospective reviews the entire process of obtaining the training, from scheduling to logistics and delivery.  

If the organization releases an on-demand training, what is considered a success? First, the organization should ask what the intended outcome is. Learning outcomes depend on the "why" we've provided this training. For example:

  • Is it compliance/security regulated?
  • Is it mechanical (I can do) or do we explain why?
  • Is it tied to a strategic outcome? 
  • Is it tied to organizational change?

Each of these learning outcomes are measured differently. One client organization required every employee and contractor to complete annual compliance training. They revoked access to their systems if not completed within the expected timeframe. Success was measured at 100% completion within 30 days of your start date and every year thereafter by the end of January. This is a binary measurement, however. Did you complete it? Yes or no. 

When looking at other learning outcomes, success becomes less black-and-white. Many organizations are tying agile and agile-at-scale training to strategic outcomes and organizational change. The strategic outcome could be the number of departments or programs that have moved to agile. This is measured by the number and type of certifications held by employees. This is still binary: are you certified? Yes or no. Again, this metric does nothing to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the training or certification as it relates to the organization and general business strategy. 

The Kirkpatrick Model provides both the foundation as well as the "new world" evaluation for the effectiveness of training. While this methodology has been around since the 1950s, it is still relevant today. As with any model or framework, it's the application of these items that become an indicator of success. 

Organic versus formal learning

At Praecipio Consulting, we encourage our consultants to seek additional learning. Certifications are an option, but we also encourage Udemy courses, continuing education courses at colleges and universities, and networking or professional groups. We organize a monthly Skills Exchange for all members of the company, and we have weekly meetings to discuss what we learned the week before. But outside of these formal discussions and learning exchanges is the day-to-day interactions of our people that result in organic learning.

For internal communication, we use Slack. We have dedicated channels based on topics as well as client delivery efforts. No topic is off the table: everything from troubleshooting a problem to a specific function in the tools. If someone needs more dedicated help, we hop on a call to solve the problem. No one of us is as good as all of us together.

What is even more amazing (and I fully credit our people for this) is how much we learn from each other. Because we can teach one another, this reinforces what each of us has learned in the products. Moreover, when we consult and advise our clients, they learn best practices as well as tips and tricks to impart on their peers. Learning does not have to be formal: simply talking through a topic with a peer can teach both people. Providing a solid foundation, however, is where training courses can benefit everyone.

Distance learning and student engagement

While many of us may be working from home for the first time, many a company is scrambling for alternate ways to engage in training. Learning management systems are a great way to provide training content, but as stated before, are these systems delivering the right outcome based on the "why"? Are students actually engaging with the content or are they just checking off a box after completion?

If you can't bring an instructor to your people, bring the people to your instructor. Virtual Training is a great way to provide knowledge and guidance to your people. Praecipio Consulting instructors are live and on camera. They walk through the content and manage questions and discussions through virtual platforms. Hands-on exercises and guided demos provide students with a greater depth of understanding of the Atlassian tools and ecosystem. Other benefits include: 

  • Cloud and Data Center/Server options
  • Audience-specific courses
  • Options to license a recorded session for internal distribution
  • Custom training program development and delivery

Engaged employees equal business success

Overall, your organization must embrace employee training. While the Atlassian tools can facilitate your digital business transformation, your employees need guidance when it comes to working within them. Make the time to provide access to quality instruction and training content on the Atlassian products. And it doesn't have to be delivered in-person to be considered quality; virtual delivery is just as effective, and now is a great time to explore remote training opportunities. Reach out to us to discuss training options for virtual delivery. 

REACH OUT

 

Topics: training work-from-home

Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Platinum Partner

This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

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