Switching to remote: Our best practices using open-source software

As many organizations around the world are now learning the hard way, sending your staff home to work remotely takes some preparation and tools but also some cultural adjustments.
Switching to remote: Our best practices

We at ownCloud are remote-friendly from way back. We have set up our procedures in such a way that colleagues can work equally well from the office or their kitchen table. That is in part because of our values as a purveyor of open-source software to make businesses ready for the future of collaboration. But also because we want to hire and retain the best talent available regardless of where they live, be that Nuremberg or Nepal. Others are more content and more productive working from a place of their choice, while others still come in daily but like the option of switching to remote on a short notice. Here are a few tips based on our experiences if you have to improvise right now:

Lean into informal communication

It happens organically in an office but not if you are home alone. Making social connections with coworkers is vital to building and retaining trust within your organization. You’ll need to communicate quite a bit.

Structure your day

Make daily, weekly and monthly schedules. Stick to it. Make appointments for synchronous communication like calls or video conferencing.

Avoid work-privacy conflict

Have downtime without screens. Don’t start work directly after getting up. Take some time for breakfast and a shower – remember, you do save the commute time. If you can, switch off notifications when your work day is over.

Have the tools you need

The good news: You can address all your needs for working remotely with open-source software that also provides for data sovereignty and compliance with, for example, GDPR.

For Email, Contact Management and Calendars, we use Kopano, a neat and sleek self-hosted Groupware. For seamless chatting across devices, we use Rocket.Chat, which is also self-hosted. It includes an OTR-feature, which encrypts chat sessions and deletes them afterwards. For speaking to our colleagues literal faces, we use Jitsi, an open-source encrypted video conferencing tool that works without accounts. You will also need to manage projects. For this, we like Kanban Boards and use the lightweight but feature-rich and self-hosted Kanboard. And you will need to share and sync files safely and easily – for this we use and recommend ownCloud.


March 13, 2020

Ready to see what’s next?

Having trouble viewing or submitting this form?

Contact Us

We care about protecting your data. Here’s our Privacy Policy.

Read now:

2023: The year of digitally sovereign clouds

2023: The year of digitally sovereign clouds

This year, companies are sure to rethink their cloud strategies and increasingly rely on European clouds. In doing so, they will reclaim their digital sovereignty, implement sustainable data strategies and take the issue of green IT into their own hands.

By Holger Dyroff, Co-Founder and COO, ownCloud

read more
ownCloud Infinite Scale in the Press

ownCloud Infinite Scale in the Press

Various publications have been reporting on ownCloud Infinite Scale, long before the final version was released end of 2022. Find a complete list here – some of them dive in deep in the technology at its core.

read more