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Have your cake and meeting

At WHYPAY? we are firm believers in balance. Taking a holistic approach over black-and-white thinking seems to lead to the best results, and a little bit of anything in moderation is good. That’s why we endorse a flexible work schedule which combines remote working with face to face meetings, fuelled with a few morale-boosting eats and treats. From tasty vegan lemon drizzle cake at Tibits to a hearty lunch at Pret a Manger, we don’t shy away from eating while we work. And with the savings you’d make from using WHYPAY? for genuinely free conference calling, you can afford that extra slice of cake and a refilled mug.

Is remote working the right choice?

Before diving into advice on how (and where) to work remotely, it’s worth taking a look over some background information to help you decide whether it’s right for you and your place of work.

Should you let your staff roam free?

While as an employer it’s definitely worth giving some careful consideration to whether remote working is the right fit for your workplace, it seems increasingly evident that embracing remote working is actually vital for business success.

And there’s no denying that implementing a more flexible working schedule brings its own challenges, the first and most difficult often being the simple act of trusting your employees. For many, the best way to make peace with this problem is by changing how you gauge productivity: it’s about how much work is getting done, not how busy they look. Of course, being able to stay in contact throughout the day is also key. When it comes to managing remote staff, conferencing calling is really powerful, but there are lots of other really useful tools to explore (we’re getting to that, peek a bit further down!).

If you are nervous about giving your employees the opportunity to carry out some of their work from elsewhere, you needn’t panic because there is a tonne of great advice about employing remote staff available at your fingertips.

Could you really work away from the office?

Of course, transitioning into remote working can feel really daunting. Some people feel they wouldn’t be able to work as well away from the office, but more often than not this is merely a result of the remnants of what is now a pretty outdated attitude to the relationship between setting and productivity.

You need only ask people who are already out there doing it – and that’s just what Canada Life did. After conducting a survey, they found that remote staff rated their productivity as high as 7.7/10 on average, while the figure fell to 6.5/10 when asking people who worked from a traditional office. And this isn’t just because the survey included people who were working remotely particularly successfully, or there were a few anomalously high responses which raised the average: another study found that 91% of remote staff work better out of the office.

You might think that a coffee shop simply isn’t as conducive to work as a more straightlaced office environment, but it turns out that for most people the access to wifi, the relaxed atmosphere, the steady stream of caffeine and the counter-full of delectable food really do help them work. In an investigation carried out by Direct Line, researchers found coffee shops to be the very best setting for work, as it was chosen by the largest number of respondents when queried with where they found they worked best. And we’d be inclined to agree! We’ve had plenty of great meetings from the comfort of Oxford Road’s Caffe Nero, spending the £7.47 we save by using free teleconferences (plus everything we save by not having to commute) to get a nice hot ciabatta, a raspberry and pistachio slice and a steaming capuccino.

How to make the switch

If you’re sold on the idea of some work being completed from outside of the office, read on for some top tips on technology which will facilitate your telecommute.

Trello

We’ve been big fans of Trello for a while now, finding it a really valuable tool for free project management. If you are part of a collaborative team or working on a project in a group, this could be the key you need to be able to work from opposite corners of the country. Its user-friendly interface includes project boards; checklists of things to do, things which are in the process of being done, and things which have been completed; cards which represent tasks which make up the project; labels; and plenty of other useful tools.

And as this is another free piece of tech (which featured in our freemium campaign!), you can add another few quid to the £7.47 you’re saving on every conference call which you make free of charge with WHYPAY?. That means even more toppings and even a cup of coffee to go with your free-from fro-yo from one of our favourite spots, Yorica.

Hipchat

This is a wonderful communication solution which we are almost constantly using. Hipchat provides secure instant messaging, group chatting, video chat and screen sharing to make sure you can stay in touch from wherever you choose to work. It’s compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Linux, and also gives the option to use the web app, so your whole team should easily be able to chat away.

Drift

This is the self-titled first conversational marketing platform in the world. With Drift, you can gain connections with the best leads to make sales in real-time. It provides a much more humanistic B2B marketing experience and allows people to have proper conversations about the products and services they offer.

Call.Group

Of course, we are big proponents of the free conference call, but by upgrading to some of the paid plans on Call.Group, we get access to really useful extra features. With HD video we can make sure we give our colleagues some serious dessert-envy with our vegan tiramisu from TiramisU, and although we can share our screens as well as files, sadly we can’t (and absolutely wouldn’t…) share any pudding.

But we are generous enough to share these tips and tricks for remote working, and for finding some of the yummiest and most productive places to carry out virtual or face-to-face meetings. There are so many potential savings, from the £7.47 for every WHYPAY? conference call, to the savings on commuting to and from meetings, to possibly not needing to rent out a meeting room and potentially even closing up your office altogether! You can definitely afford to treat yourself and create your own map of top spots for telecommuting.

Gabi JamesHave your cake and meeting
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