Remote working – Teaming during isolation

If you didn’t already know, ants are industrious and plan for times that may be trying. (Sinapsis, 2015). There is a species of ants, The Formica selysi, that faces floods often and they have perfected making a raft by combining their bodies to remain afloat. In trying times like the current Covid-19 pandemic we find ourselves in, we might look to the Formica selysi for inspiration and their ingenuous ways of staying afloat through teaming in the midst of a disaster.

Right now, coronavirus is causing havoc in the world of work, and like all other South Africans, the Afro Ant Team is tackling it one step at a time. Many of us have been working from home – in fact, this is being written from a home office.

The Ant HQ Team has been practising social distancing since President Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Sunday the 15th of March, and since his address declaring a national lock-down, we’ll be confined to our dining room tables and home offices even longer still. We are adapting to the new “normal” and we have taken the time to get to understand some of the intricacies of working from home which can be quite an adjustment.

Here are some of the things we are doing to make this new work environment work for our HQ Ants:

  • We’ve set up a virtual daily coffee huddle which gives us an opportunity to connect as a broader team.
  • Meetings and engagements that were set up are still going to take place, the only significant difference being that we are now utilising virtual platforms* to connect.
  • Our face-to-face digital connections with our ants and clients are being increased, as human connection and relationship-building is incredibly important to us.
  • We’re also taking moments to practice gratitude and focus on silver-linings, likeappreciating the additional time gained by not being stuck in traffic be more focussed.
  • Setting up structured “virtual coffees” in our isolated surroundings have also produced an unexpected benefit in which we’re experiencing longer sprints of focus-time with less interruptions on either sides of these coffees.

*Tools we are using extensively for remote working:

  • WhatsApp – for quick discussions and to touch base
  • Microsoft Teams – great for collaboration across the team
  • Skype – for meetings and face to face interaction with our ant and client community

We would love to find out which tools you’ve adopted during this period of social distancing – let us know in the comments below.


Purcell, J. (2016, April 23). How Do Ants Survive Floods? Rafts Of Course. Weekend Edition Saturday. (S. Simon, Interviewer) NPR. Retrieved March 21, 2020, from NPR:

Sinapsis. (2015, June 24). 7 Tips for Building a Great Team. Retrieved from Sinapsis: