Dr. Bonnie Henry announced yesterday that self-quarantine and physical distancing are working – the corona curve is flattening in BC. That’s great news, but it doesn’t mean we can go back to business as usual. After Dr. Henry lifts this stay home order, others could follow until COVID-19 outbreaks can no longer overwhelm our health workers and facilities.

We’ve talked about getting online in a hurry to connect with your clients, but what about your staff? Without the face-to-face interaction that happens in a typical workplace, how are they supposed to work collaboratively?

We’ve got a few suggestions.

Tools for Online Collaboration

Slack is a great choice for staying in contact with your whole team. The simple, intuitive app allows you to create group chats so your team can discuss their work informally. This is a better choice for team communications than group email. Email chains get long and cluttered, making it difficult to find specific information later. With Slack you can just scroll up.

Google Hangouts allows you to host your scheduled meetings with staff and clients online, with video. It’s free and simple to use. All your employees need is a mic and a webcam, or a device with those gadgets built in. Don’t like Google? Zoom is another excellent choice for video conferencing.

Trello is a simple, elegant project management tool. It’s a fun, intuitive design that you don’t need much computer savvy to use. With Trello, you can create lists of tasks, assign them to particular staff members, and track their progress right through to the finish line.

Asana is another great option for project management. It has a few additional features, like a project timeline. That makes it a good choice for more complex projects or larger teams.

G Suite Calendars for business can be shared with your whole team, so that everyone knows what’s happening. It’s integrated with the rest of Google’s business tools, so you can send Hangout meeting invites via Gmail with only a couple of clicks.

A heart felt thank you to the Squamish business community!

We are deeply grateful for all the businesses that continue to operate, providing essential goods and services to the Squamish community. Workers are taking a big risk when they interact in person with clients and team members. We thank them for their service to the community, and hope these tools allow them to reduce their own risk by working from home.

Do you have suggestions or feedback about these tools or other apps for online collaboration? Tell us in the comments below.