How Digital Samba embraced remote work from the beginning

4 min read
June 11, 2020

In these troublesome times, countless companies around the world are switching to remote work – and this doesn’t just apply to companies in IT. Everyone who can is going remote and/or restructuring from the ground up.

We wanted to give you an insight into how we do things at Digital Samba and hopefully provide some inspiration on how you can prepare your company for the new world of remote work.

The global pandemic has proven to businesses that they can indeed function and even thrive from home offices, as long as their workflow is mapped out well.

Digital Samba's diligent team has been working remotely ever since the day the company was founded, so it was no surprise we didn’t have any problems adapting to the new reality. In fact it was second nature to us and many of the learnings most companies are making now have always been core to our culture.

Our team members have plenty of tools at their disposal to simplify the tasks and stay efficient throughout the day. They make our work processes run smoothly and steadily, even though there's no office for us to physically meet in.

Project management

In order to keep work afloat and hit our targets, every project has to be monitored from start to finish. Jira is core in helping us facilitate the work process. We organise projects into manageable tasks and Jira keeps the team's communication flowing until it’s checked off.

Each project is broken into optimal work periods called sprints, allowing for bite-size and steady progress. Once a project is started, it’s followed through every stage, from being in progress to being reviewed and finally accepted. This level of detail is made possible by issue templates for Jira. These pre-defined structures ensure consistency, and clarity, and all the necessary information is captured from the outset, setting each sprint up for success.

Jira allows us to apply an agile approach to project management, which basically means that work is highly adaptive and iterative. Flexible kanban boards allow team members insight into what is coming next and who is working on what, keeping everyone in sync. The comment streams and file sharing associated to each task put communication on record and every team member onto the same page while at the same time keeping the information perfectly in context.

Internal communication

It’s important to keep the communication within teams and across departments steady and direct, so that everyone at Digital Samba can give their best. Remote support solutions play a crucial role in ensuring that our team members have access to technical assistance whenever they need it.

Slack – a chat-centric communication tool – is the communication channel we use for staying connected with each other, sending messages and sharing screen shots, files and web links. Groups are divided according to teams, roles within teams and task forces.

Slack is the perfect intermediary between the asynchronous nature of Jira and a live meeting, you can choose to join a discussion in real-time or join it later, when you get back to your desk.

However, oftentimes it’s necessary to have live meetings within a team or across teams, either in the form of video calls or audio calls. Then we use our very own product, Samba Live, for screen sharing and going through the agenda as efficiently as possible.

This allows our team conferencing to run like clockwork and since Samba live is so versatile, we can use the same tool for sales demos or marketing meetings with stakeholders external to our organisation.

Time management

No use in getting the job done unless it’s also done on time. We put time management high on our list of priorities and, in addition to project sprints on Jira, we also use Google Calendar for project overviews, deadlines and major dates for the entire team.

Since we can share calendars with one another, every member knows exactly where we are in terms of planning, production and delivery and who is available when.

Website & content management

At Digital Samba, we are all about being there for our customers in every way we can. This includes customer relationship management (CRM), applying the best SEO practices, handling email correspondence, managing social media presence through social media management tools, hosting our website and blog, and reporting on our key metrics.

HubSpot is our all-in-one solution for all of the above. We find it efficient and rich in features, which is everything we need to present our products and services the Samba way.

We also use a password manager to keep all of our passwords secure. It’s extremely important to keep everyone’s work safe, because a lot of time and effort goes into every project. Our team members are dedicated to delivering top results and Digital Samba makes sure all the data is safely under lock and key. Our password manager allows us to share access securely across our team.

Digital Samba is ready for the future of work

While so many companies have had a rough time adjusting to the new reality, we were able to avoid the “switch-to-remote” stress. Our work is kept at an optimal level and we continue to grow and develop, embracing new clients every month.

The future of work will continue to shift towards remote surroundings, as numerous companies are discovering the cost savings and new found flexibility. A core attribute of remote teams are trust and motivation, teams need to be tied together by a common vision. At Digital Samba we never knew another way and we are happy to be a part of the digital transformation.

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