Lessons from The Beast
Ahhh working from home… You better put some washing on after that call. Carpets look like they need a good vacuum. It’s never quite the right temperature is it? Not to mention that insatiable appetite. Feast from the east anyone?
We all know remote working isn’t for everyone and pre-“Beast”, #TeamTanami would have been the first to admit that it wasn’t practical for them. However, as one of our most productive weeks draws to a close we reflect on a few lessons learned.
Prioritisation: On Wednesday afternoon, just before everyone headed home on the slowest buses known to man, we had 15 minutes for a team catch up. Literally 15 minutes, so there was no time for side stories, no thought-wandering, it was focus. Having just finished our second shoot of the week whilst coordinating several ongoing projects, we needed to quickly prioritise time and delegate responsibilities accordingly. Everyone took accountability of their duties and realistically set themselves deadlines. From here on we are limiting all our daily stand ups to 15 minutes max.
Planning: After an hour’s treacherous bus journey (to Leith) Helen emailed around a summary of the meeting planning everyone’s time for the rest of the week. Everyone referred to this summary to keep us on track. The plan was of course ‘work in progress’ as jobs evolved or unexpected directions were taken. Setting a plan after any team meeting is a great way to ensure complete visibility and that nothing has been misinterpreted.
Communication: Team communication has stepped up a notch this week. We LOVE the Tanami group WhatsApp; it’s been used more this week than ever before! Live Google sheets for collaborative working have also been a saviour and a morning conference call to kick off a day stood us in good stead.
Support: From checking everyone got home ok on Wednesday to congratulating Craig on his (let’s face it, pretty sh**) snow angel, the team support and the way everyone has pulled together has been fantastic to see. Living a short walk from the office, Jonny the trooper was the only one in this week and as well as focusing on compositing work he held the fort by taking calls and fielding new business enquiries.
Positivity: When the chips are down that’s when fighting spirit kicks in – sink or swim! Instead of worrying about the fact you’ve left a notepad on your desk in the office, or Tesco running out of white bread, focus on what you can do and how to make the best of the situation. The snow has allowed us to concentrate on individual tasks and then re-align collectively. It’s that positive realignment that’s driven everyone this week.
Overall, the Beast has reshuffled the Tanami workload; it’s proven that if remote working can work on occasion for a busy production office with simultaneous practical tasks to juggle, then surely more businesses shouldn’t be so afraid of it. It certainly has helped reassess what people need to work on as opposed to what people feel they want to work.
I am currently reading a book called ‘Tribe of Mentors’ by Timothy Ferriss in which life advice is presented by some of the most successful, wildly varied and well-known people on the planet. In a section by Kyle Maynard (@KyleMaynard) he is asked “What have you become better at saying no to?”. He explains that he receives many invitations or requests to work and had to find a way of working out what is a priority. He rates these requests on a scale of 1 to 10. The only stipulation is that he cannot award anything a 7. This is a quick way for him to determine what he needs to focus on. There is certainly something in this and that’s exactly the focus which has been demonstrated this week.