Hanson’s 5 Productivity Tools for Exceptional Remote Work

To protect the health and safety of our employees and in direct accordance with CDC guidelines, Hanson joined the wave of employers asking their employees to stay put and work from home in 2020. 

After the first Ohian winter without scraping ice off our car to get to work, it got us thinking – why weren’t we offering this kind of thing all the time? We made the decision at the end of 2020 to offer employees the option to work from wherever they wanted – whether that be at our headquarters in Toledo, our Columbus workspace, or even from their kitchen counter.  

With a few years under our belt, we now consider ourselves experts in the many accountability methods and project management tools utilized by agencies in the past two years for remote collaboration. We know what doesn’t work, what’s actually useful, and what allows us to produce our best work. 

Here are our 5 Productivity Tools for Exceptional Remote Work

1 – ClickUp

“What’s the timeline look like?” is usually everyone’s first question before diving into a project. To keep deadlines and deliverables in one place, we now monitor project progress in ClickUp, a project management tool. Task lists are simplified and easy to find so expectations are always met. 

Project Managers update tasks according to client needs and monitor projects every step of the way with ClickUp. 

Quote from Director, Project Management, Susan Hanifan: “ Using ClickUp has provided us with an enhanced visibility to our project plans, tasks, statuses and dependencies which allows us to do our work with fewer blockers and greater confidence. ”

2 – Jira

Designing customer journeys on client sites is a collaborative process between our Development Team and Visual Designers. Jira, a bug and issue tracking system, allows for the Development Team to flag issues and to receive reports from the QA team about bugs prior to “go live” dates.

Quote from Managing Director, Design and Development, Dave Rodriguez: “Jira lets me collaborate with clients, PMs, and other developers on complex issues to share information on the problem, ask the questions and get feedback, and move through our development workflow from request to ready for testing to deployed“

3 – Invision

Invision allows teams to come together and create multi-phase projects, from wireframes and moodboards to complete designs and copy. Tagging team members directly on designs and copy considerations allows for the conversation to continue even after the Teams meeting. 

Working side by side is essential for integrated designs and Invision Freehand makes that possible virtually. Clients are given access to Freehand to leave comments for visual designers to make necessary adjustments before delivering the finished product.

Quote from Associate Creative Director, Chris Hatfield: “I use Invision to create fast wireframes, collaborate with copywriters and designers, and document thought processes or ideas for clients. Freehand is my tool of choice because it helps me express many things, a mood board, a site map, and concepts…and it’s fast. Rather than turn every communication touchpoint big and small into a somewhat laborious deck, I hop into freehand where appropriate.”

4 – Keeper

At Hanson, we protect our personal and client information with a private VPN network and constantly change our passwords to keep hackers at bay. Many Hansonites enjoy using Keeper, an online encrypted vault that remembers and protects log-in passwords for our many platforms. This Chrome plug-in also protects confidential client information, as part of our written Information Security policy.

We love smart tools that save time and energy. Simply click the Keeper icon on websites with a saved password and the plug-in does the rest. 

Quote from IT Manager, Aaron Essig: “ We have a lot of digital assets that are shared amongst our designers and engineers, with the increasing importance of multi factor authentication and rotating passwords, Keeper has made managing this a breeze.  Using Keeperfill, we have been able to minimize exposure to our shared passwords, and with their SSO options we are able to control access to Keeper using Active Directory.  Our shared passwords are long and complex and there are no complaints from our users.”

5 – Bamboo HR

As Hanson grows, we want to stay true to our values and true to our employees. Anonymous submissions through Bamboo HR empower Hansonites to speak up if they feel like we need to change something. 

For personal growth and development, Managing Directors encourage each Hansonite to add their personal goals to Bamboo HR so we can help achieve them. Whether that’s designing a client’s first-choice logo, developing a VR-enabled app, or winning their first CLIO – we’re here for it and we want to get them there. 

Quote from VP, People & Culture, Mike Hirsh: “Bamboo has automated so many processes for us that were painstakingly manual before. It not only saves us countless hours each week that can be spent doing more important things, but it’s easy for everyone to use and provides us with great data and insight to make smarter decisions for our people.”

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