By March 13, 2020, it had become clear in New York, and much earlier in many other parts of the world, that going to the office or school, attending a choral practice or yoga class was no longer a safe thing to do in person. For businesses, this meant having their employees work remotely from the safety of their homes, and moving their communications and teamwork to online platforms.
For colleagues to work on projects together, or for companies to stay in touch with their clients, not to mention for millions and millions of schoolchildren to have access to continuing their education, much wider adoption of virtual solutions and video platforms ensued. Within a week, it felt like the whole world had migrated to Zoom Businesses conducted meetings in Zoom, people checked in with their loved ones, exercise group members cheered each other up, and many schools conducted remote learning sessions on the platform. And the inevitable problems ensued…
In the middle of eight-year-olds’ geography lesson there was suddenly a video of an explicit adult encounter. A large group of consultants got an additional square on their screens with an obscured face shouting out obscenities. This list could go on for much longer.
While slow in their reaction at first, and amazingly not expecting this kind of zoombombing - a new term coined for the phenomenon - the company has since improved their security measures, and the numerous users have also learned to implement those tools to ensure the security and privacy of their online interactions. These are the growing pains that many companies, organizations or private people were facing, as remote working was not a normal state of affairs for most of them.
For us, at MotaWord the term “remote working” always meant “working” even in the Pre COVID-19 days, though. So, our way of life has a new name now due to this pandemic; looks like we have years of “social distancing” or “self-isolation” behind us. While the labels may sound dismal, virtually nothing has changed or needed to be revamped in the way we do our business. Not only our external team of over 20,000 freelancers around the world but also our core team have always been working from wherever they decide to turn on their computers. And this remote working experience, far from being isolating, brought our global team together to collaborate in projects, allowed for strategy meetings with participants in multiple time zones, built a strong sense of belonging - and created a nice tradition of intercontinental e-coffee breaks.
As a platform, MotaWord never sleeps. Hence, we never had any other choice but to implement a distributed workforce model. We have clients from all corners of the world and team members to care for our clients in real-time. We have translators who incessantly answer those clients' needs, and who get the support of our core team around the clock. A team tied to a brick and mortar office wouldn’t cut it. Our remote working model is a significant factor in our ability to revolutionize the centuries-old translation industry. And more importantly, we wouldn’t and couldn’t call ourselves a technology company, if we were using only conventional solutions.
Not to categorize them as unconventional, after all, video calls were widely used before the pandemic, but this is why we had to turn to virtual meeting tools from the very first day. And we love it. We love being able to team up with our colleagues and communicate with our clients whether we’re calling in from Izmir, Paris, or New York. Moreover, our internal meetings are entire via video conferencing from the company-wide meeting on Mondays to smaller groups throughout the week. Our tool of choice is Google Hangouts, yet we are always ready to be present on any platform that our translators or clients use. Thanks to our ability to use these tools, remote working never meant being away from our responsibilities but, on the contrary, provided us with a tool to be present whenever needed.
We understand that for many companies and individuals, working remotely is a new development, and we’re happy to share our experience in the area. Some of the applications below have free options up to a number of users or frequency of usage, for example. Depending on your needs, one of them may suit you better for communicating with your colleagues than the others (the one that’s already localized into your native language, most likely). In addition, depending on the software ecosystem of your business, some of these applications can be easily opt-in with the system.
Google Hangouts Meeting - One of the best features of Google Hangouts Meeting is its deep integration with other Google applications. If you operate in the Google world, this will make your life very simple by linking your calendar directly to the meeting link, and allowing for access to documents in Google Drive and Apps and sharing them in chat, without leaving your call.
Cisco Webex - Cisco Webex provides a virtual whiteboard—with chat and videos on the side. Everyone in the call can type, draw, add shapes, and highlight or annotate anything on the screen, for an easy way to brainstorm ideas.
GoToMeeting - GoToMeeting is packed with professional features, including call recording, dial-in numbers, and it lets up to 6 people on the call to have their video streamed in HD. Attendees can join from their browsers, and while sharing their screen, they can use drawing tools to point out the issues discussed.
Skype - Skype for Business is part of Microsoft’s 365 suite offering and provides an IP PBX for online messaging and web conferencing. It includes features such as live streaming, dialing into conference calls, and the ability to make, receive and transfer calls via computer or mobile device.
Whichever application you choose, security must be the number one priority. Do not forget that you are sharing your screen and your room via your camera. And security aside, this means that it’s a good idea to remove dirty dishes from the table behind you or lock the door to prevent your darling toddler from appearing in an important client meeting. Not to mention that it’s advisable to wear pants, especially if there's a chance you may need to chase the said toddler out of your room!
MotaWord is the world’s fastest professional translation platform. Through the use of cloud technologies, smart algorithms that manage projects around the clock and over 20 thousand professional translators, MotaWord provides high-quality translations in any language 60% cheaper and 20 times faster than traditional translation agencies.