Five Strategies to Make Remote Working Work for you and Your Team

Here’s how we’re making the most of this remote working opportunity.  In many ways, this exciting frontier has helped us be more productive and communicate better than before! 

Use a team messaging app like Slack or Microsoft Teams

Email is an amazing tool but isn’t great for everything – especially quick questions and group conversations.  Consider trying Slack or Microsoft teams for live messaging with groups and individuals.  Using a messaging app is a great way to keep a pulse on the team, quickly get new team members up to speed on a project and share information rapidly.  Plus, you can see who’s online and working at their computer. 

Do a daily team huddle

We implemented a daily all team huddle.  This is a great energy booster in the morning – no better way to start the day than with the team sharing their biggest wins from the previous day and the most important thing they are working on today.  We also invite team members to share any stuck points and we address those issues one-on-one following the team huddle.  Consider incorporating a daily team huddle into your meeting structure. 

Use video!

Now that everyone is meeting working from home, casual conversations that would have happened in-person aren’t happening anymore.  Instead of picking-up the phone, consider meeting face to face with video.  Using video for team meetings and one-on-ones increases trust, strengthens social connection, and improves productivity.  When using video, be responsible and consider what’s in the background.  Always use a headset.  And don’t forget to wear pants!

Take regular breaks and get outside

In the Stay at Home emergency order, it specifically mentions getting outside for fresh air.  It’s springtime right now and a great time to go outside for a walk.  Sitting at a computer all day long isn’t good for your health and will reduce productivity.  Get up and get outside every hour or so. 

If you work off a laptop, try different spaces to work on.  How about standing at the kitchen counter for a while?  Maybe sitting outside will work as well.  A change of scenery can make a big difference. 

Have great meetings

When your team does come together for a meeting, make sure it’s lively and engaging.  Have fun with it!  On our recent Zoom call, we tried to do a Brady bunch shot in the grid view mode.  The same meeting best practices that apply to in-person meetings apply to online meetings but are even more important. 

  • Have an agenda
  • Start and end on time
  • Be clear on the purpose/objectives
  • Send preparation items in advance

A boring in-person meeting is only amplified online when distractions are easy.  If you’re not getting value from a meeting, speak-up and let the meeting leader know your concerns.  As a meeting participant, stay engaged in the meeting by eliminating distractions like email and Slack.  Being present and in the moment will help engage other participants as well.  Use video when possible.  Try using a Zoom virtual background!  They add another element of fun to the meeting.