And a few helpful tools we use to teamwork remotely
We’ve had the pleasure of working with clients from all over the world, including America, England, Kenya, Mozambique, and Switzerland. All the work for our international clients is produced from this beautiful little seaside town of Muizenberg, Cape Town.
It’s so easy these days, all you basically need is good Internet connection and you can work for anyone, from anywhere, in places far away.
We like it here, but we also like to work with other nationalities, global companies and on varied projects.
Apart from us doing a good job and delivering creative and effective solutions, there are two main additional benefits as to why overseas clients should consider looking over the ocean…
1. Capitalising on the exchange rate
Yes, not great for us South African’s at the moment if you’re planning on going on holiday or starting an imports business, but great for overseas clients wanting great design at great prices! With our ‘favourable’ (to say the least!) exchange rate, our foreign client pool is on the increase and we safely predict it continues to rise.
Working for the UK for instance gives us a head start of 1-2 hours (depending on the time of year), and more then half a day’s head start to America. It’s great for our clients and partners to know that by the time they have their first cup of coffee, we’re probably already on our third and well into their projects ready for feedback and discussion. Time also plays a part when it comes down to tight deadlines – in certain instances companies have called upon us purely because without the additional sets of hands their deadlines would not have been met.
Working remotely is so much easier today than ever before; there are so many new online platforms, software and apps to help with teamwork and remote access. Some of the online tools we use when working with overseas clients or collaborating include:
Dropbox – Don’t know what we did before Dropbox. All files in one folder, easy to share, and we can add comments to files, plus it tells you if someone else has the file open that you are working on, which is quite handy.
Skype – Skype is great, and is probably the second most used tool in our office. It’s good for conference calls, instant messaging with clients, and chat rooms, quicker and less formal then email (always good to free up that inbox).
Adobe Creative Cloud – If you are sharing working files with different offices, being on the same Adobe suite is crucial. Creative Cloud offers monthly or yearly subscriptions to the full suite or you can choose individual applications (such as Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign).
Google docs – We don’t tend to use google docs that often with clients, but it’s great for keeping Word and Excel documents in the cloud for instant access on the go. Google docs have also recently added ‘Forms’ where you can do surveys, registrations and polls.
Trello – A simple project managing system that lets you organize anything with anyone. It uses a drag and drop card based system, where you can create columns, checklists, and add team members. It’s an easy way to instantly get a full project overview.
Toggl – To keep track of time we either use toggle, or a simple pen and paper (where we afterwards input to a spreadsheet). Toggl is a very easy-to-use time tracking tool, it gives you reports, and you can also download the app for you phone.
One of the recent projects we worked on with our ‘affiliate’ office in London, Grand Creative, was a set of reports for Arup, the world-renowned consulting, engineering, design and architecture firm.
We worked closely with both the Grand Creative team and the in-house team at Arup to deliver several reports over a couple of weeks. The timelines were tight and the workload heavy, but with great communication, helpful online platforms and using synced applications resulted in great looking reports and all deadlines met.