Digitising an Design Agency
We have always been an team that thought differently. Putting our clients and our team members in focus and building a Design Agency around the people that are working for Toneyes and Toneyes is working for. This is the Story of a Design Agency and it’s Journey towards Fully Digitalising their way of work.
Many different things have been created through that idea.
Our Internship Program focuses on keeping the Toneyes Team young and to as well support and share our knowledge with the next upcoming designers in Asia. The internship program has become our main recruiting source for years now and has created our agency dynamic and kept it as a platform for designers.
The company structure has been built around the people. Focusing on their talent and building a suitable working company structure around the skillset of our employees has created a competent, flexible team with young passionate experts. As well, the founding of our Toneyes Union that includes 3 board members ensures to fulfill the interests of all parties included in this Design Agency in terms of making decisions about staff members, company project directions and general directions of the company.
However, in the year 2020, every company has had to undergo an adaptive test. A adaptive test that measures the abilities of flexibility, adjustments, survival, skills and discipline.
During the time of COVID Lockdown, Toneyes had the opportunity to try out their remote communication network within the production team that had been used to communicate with our clients located abroad already a few years back. With a virtual office, a special trained team and having all our individuals working independently, we have passed our adaptive test in production by not maintaining our production capacity but rather increasing it.
Creating Remote Working Stations
During the lockdown we were required to make quick decisions. For example, all our designers and developers are working on 27” Imacs. Therefore, we kept the equipment move for the working stations compact but we still made the decision to make any difference between the setup at the office and at home.
Designers need big Monitors
What about using a macbook or a macbook air? Employees were demanding more mobile working equipment. But by having our focus on the production, the management hesitated to give our designer mobile equipment.
Our Designer’s need their 27” iMac 5k screens, otherwise the quality of work can and will be affected. So we decided to buy the 27” iMac backpacks because of following reasons:
- Limitation of Mobility will give our staff members the possibility to work from everywhere they want but in a closed or dedicated office space. We archived the setup of a professional designed home office conducted by our staff members themselves.
Control & the Virtual Office
At the office you are surrounded by others, and at home, you are alone. Self Discipline is good, but a controlled environment is a necessity.At the office you are surrounded by others, and at home, you are alone. Self Discipline is good, but a controlled environment is a necessity.
We have chosen Whereby as our medium and created a Virtual Office, where everyone is required to share their screen. Giving our project managers a real time view what the team members are working on.
This is not only a control freak show bit that gives the directors a great tool to intercept if something goes in the wrong direction. Saving valuable time for the general team.
Discipline, Competence & Project Management
Remote working only works when working with a fine tuned team. Which means the communication network already works in a physical office and the same understanding can be applied to a remote working setup. We have trained all our team members within one year with the following skillsets:
- Clear and Short Communications
- Reliability and Self QC Control
- Cross Checking Procedure with other team members
- Clear and structured way of working
- Project Management and using ApolloHQ for every small minor tasks
Each individual must have its own level of management and efficiency.
A Digital Mindset
Working remotely in a fully digitalised Design Agency requires a new mindset, where our company basically trained our employees to adapt to.
Every phone call or voice communication must include a Video share.
Shy? Or feeling weird while sharing a video during a conversation has been eliminated from our employees mind. The transparency in sharing video takes away all limitations which is given by individualism and privacy. Because similarly, wherever you work during office hours there will often be no privacy.
Video sharing as well gives you more options to see your teammates' emotion and perception of understanding. And as well automatically creates a more personalized interaction.
The screen itself is becoming a new world, a window to a more extended world. Changing our mindset will as well lead to a more openness to use more interactive technology to better engage with each other.
A boost to Performance and Efficiency
We don’t know how your city functions but in Bangkok, some of our employees need to take a 1 hour commute to get to work, which translates sometimes to 2 hours every day. This takes away the freedom of their time, and can also be exhausting for some team members.
“We are eliminating all the negative constraints which are connected to a physical office, and develop a new way of interaction which a physical office would provide.”
Communication and Collaboration with the Clients
As an Design Agency, communication with our clients is the most important, specifically for a consulting business.
We invested in an app for our clients that connects them directly to our project management system, giving them real time updates about their projects.
As well giving our clients a tool to directly communicate with our team for things such as Bug tracking and Virtual Office Visits. We are constantly developing the app, as well finding a way on how to motivate our clients to use our app. Treating it like a game that we constantly try to win with every feature we are adding.
When Digitalisation becomes a Religion
Big words, but a way to brand a way of working if they key is people accepting the way you want to work. Setting a philosophy, promoting it, living it and branding it to your team and to your clients is what other people inspire and maybe just maybe, it will become a drop into the pond to work culture and contribute to the future how teams will be working together in the future.