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Tips and Technology for Successful Remote-Work During Covid-19

Leverage Video Conferencing Services

Zoom, Webex, or Microsoft Teams
If your work isn’t already deeply integrated with zoom, you likely have at least had some exposure to these conferencing technologies. Video conferencing products like Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Microsoft Teams offer a versatile and convenient way to interact with your coworkers. They provide options for screen sharing, polling participants, and holding large webinar style meetings.

Compartmentalize Your Email

Undoubtably, email is a staple of our work as conservation districts. It is secure and universally familiar, but we also get so many emails that it can be difficult to establish hierarchy and identify what is most relevant. Without intervention our inboxes trend toward entropy. They fill with newsletters, automatic notifications (that you swear you never asked for), and urgent messages — all intermixed, and too frequently swallowed in the chaos.

Tips for a more organized inbox
Gmail and other email clients offer custom organization features. In Gmail, labels allow you to categorize your emails by whatever criteria is most applicable to your situation. Gmail also allows for different views of your main inbox, such as: Important First, Unread First, or Priority. In addition to a number of other email organization strategies, one of the most effective ways to declutter your inbox is to transfer internal and casual communications to an email-adjacent service such as Gmail’s Google Chat feature. Other popular and more substantial messaging solutions such as Slack are perfect for chat-like conversations with your co-workers, they also allow for easy file and photo sharing, integrated polling, and project tracking.

The Digital Workplace: Collaborate with Others and Track Projects

Using a project tracking software like Asana, Slack, or Trello is one of the easiest ways to assign tasks and track projects. These tools have a lot of in-depth features that take some time to learn, but the core functionality of these tools are intuitive enough to make an immediate impact on the way your conservation district works. Among other features, Asana or Trello use a simple drag-and-drop board system that functions like a commonly accessible and interactive to-do list. As your district and collaborators get more familiar with the interface and workflow, these tools can emulate some of the immediacy of the work office and offer features that augment the in-person experience.

A Free MACD Service: Google Suite

Kate Arpin wrote a great blog post about this topic, and her enthusiasm for the Google Suite is only more relevant during the Pandemic. For the uninitiated anyone with a google email can take advantage of Google’s deeply useful and accessible software including Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, Forms, and so much more. Kate does a great job outlining how MACD can help you access these tools, and why some of them are so useful. Give it a read.

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