By Eva Garritsen, Project Officer, AMRC

Published: 15 November 2018

You use ‘the cloud’ every day, even if you don’t know it! ‘The cloud’ is basically any type of service or app that is accessed online. When you’re doing your weekly shop on your computer, you’re using the cloud. Checking your travel route on Google Maps? The cloud again. We already rely on the cloud to solve so many of our day to day challenges, so why not use it in the workplace?

Numerous organisations have already moved to the cloud and with good reason. It reduces costs, increases efficiency, enables employees to work anywhere and anytime, the list goes on. So, for us it was a no-brainer to store and manage all our digital files on the cloud! After selecting our new IT supplier, some preparations were required to ensure a smooth transition.

One major first step was to clean up and restructure our files and folders. After thoroughly investigating (aka googling) the best way to do this, Team ‘organise’ (myself, our Head of Comms, Carol, and our Events Lead, Gill) came up with a solid two-stage plan:

  1. Deleting and archiving files
  2. Renaming the files and moving them into the new structure

Seems simple right? Only one issue needed to be tackled though: how were we going to motivate everyone to do this daunting and seemingly dull task? The answer was straightforward, make it fun!

Stage one

Each AMRC team (policy, research, comms) had their own set of balloons and could pop one balloon every 45 minutes. Each balloon contained instructions to go to the relax area for a zen moment and yoga, the snack corner for some refreshments, or the game area to play some Jenga to stimulate attention and judgment – the skills needed for the day. And, if someone really wanted to give up the ghost, there was an opportunity to pop the emergency balloon, to increase motivation via the medium of memes.

I must admit, I was a little nervous about everyone getting carried away with the activities, hindering any progress. Turned out I had nothing to worry about; a fun break every 45 minutes kept everyone motivated, productive and efficient. Countless files were neatly archived or deleted if they were duplicates or superfluous, leading to a tidier version of our hard drive.

Stage two

Having cleaned away the cobwebs in every corner of our hard drive, it was time for stage two: renaming the files and moving them into the new structure. The bar was set high - how to organise another fabulous and productive day at the AMRC office? After proposing a new folder structure, every team was told to move every existing file/folder accordingly and move all the archived files into the main archive folder. Next step: title inspection. Titles of each file were inspected and changed if they were too long, illogical and unsearchable. One member of each team would join another team to ensure the renaming and restructuring would be logical for everyone in the office.

Of course, there had to be a fun element to it, as this again wasn’t the most thrilling task to fulfil. This time we were going for ‘Punch the box’. As the name already suggests, each team could punch paper-covered holes and find a selection of games and snacks inside the boxes. Again, this exciting activity turned out to be a great way of getting everyone motivated for a job that no one wants to do but has to be done.

Next steps

The two stage-plan is completed and AMRC has prepared in full for a smooth transition to the cloud. Now it’s time for our IT supplier to take over and move us. In the meantime, AMRC has learnt that moving to the cloud is a process: having a clear plan, breaking it up in phases and adding some fun elements seem to be the key ingredients for a successful project.