On March 17th Slingshot Simulations went into lock down with the rest of the UK. 100 days on, CEO/CTO David McKee reflects on 100 of the busiest days in the life of Slingshot Simulations.

What would you say have been the biggest challenges with remote working?

Ensuring Health and Well being of the Team

Particularly ensuring team members don’t burn out. Slingshot is privileged to have a really enthusiastic team who are highly committed to our vision but this can lead to working too much and, during lock down, a work-life balance can be much harder to handle.

Collaborative R&D

During our first few weeks of lock down, trying to replicate the ability to brainstorm around a whiteboard was particularly challenging. As a team, we like starting and finishing every day with a scrum, brainstorm, and show and tell, and this is harder virtually.

Have you found any solutions to these challenges?

To maintain the health and well being of our staff we have invested in homeworking equipment (desks, chairs etc.), provided Just Eat vouchers to replace team meals out in Leeds and most importantly, we have introduced our virtual pubs every Friday. This normally includes a quiz but we have also branched out to online board games!

With R&D we have embraced being on Microsoft Teams all the time. This means we dial on at 9am and don’t dial off until 5pm with it running in the background, which we all got used to after a couple of weeks. We find we are comfortable enough now to just chat (unmuting microphones and turning on cameras) as if we were in the office. An important aspect of Microsoft Teams has been its integration with Office 365, allowing us to use things like one note and power point as virtual whiteboards.

What would you say have been the biggest achievements for Slingshot in the last 100 days?

The infographic highlights the key successes, which I think are:

  • Recruiting brilliant new team members, who have managed to integrate within our team seamlessly without having met any of us in person.
  • Corporately, this has been a big opportunity for us to engage with our current and new clients by providing solutions to help them deal with this crisis.

Have you learnt anything new about yourself being in lock down?

I went mad the first few weeks of lock down. There was an article in the BBC mid April that described how it takes 20-30 days to adapt – I was definitely evidence of this! I am an extrovert and my world revolves around meeting people and building relationships over coffees and activities which lock down made impossible.

However over time you do get used to virtual engagements. I becomes the norm and things like our virtual pubs and virtual board game sessions with friends and family have been very important to me.

And, most importantly, lock down has enabled me to catch up on all the new marvel movies!