Transitioning Your Company To A Remote Team.... In A Hurry
The outbreak of Covid-19 has changed everything in a very short amount of time, forcing many businesses to close temporarily and for the majority of the population to self-isolate. If your company can work remotely at all, it is highly likely you've already gone that route.
If you’re still holding out, now is the time to grab your work monitor, chair, headphones, whatever made you productive in your office and head HOME. Go ahead look like you’re stealing stuff, I promise your employer won't be mad and you will be so much happier you did.
Working remotely is a whole different world than working from an office, and even under the best circumstances, there's a significant learning curve. It's up to everyone to pivot and adjust- not just for the employees to be disciplined and productive at home but for the managers and CEO's to alter the way they lead.
Our team at Sleekform has been working entirely remotely for the last two years, and we've just about worked out all the kinks. Here are our best tips for how to transition your company to a remote team… in a hurry!
Mimic Your Work Culture.
We know a huge part of office work is the routine and culture of the place. We highly encourage you to use zoom to do normal things as you would in real life- not just for meetings. Have check-ins and chat with your co-workers. We are living in an uncertain time, and we all feel like we're sitting in a state of limbo- how are they handling it? Ask them how they're feeling. The one silver lining about this global pandemic is that we are all in this together....alone. Talk to each other- being remote doesn't have to mean being recluse.
Bring Joy And Lightheartedness Into The Remote Workforce.
Talk about what's been going on at home. Meetings are usually a place to have agendas and be your professional "work-self" 100% of the time. During this transitional phase, everyone is having significantly less interaction with the outside world, so you should expect and encourage everyone to talk more about what their individual lives are like right now. With kids out of school, and spouses working next to them, and pets doing funny stuff, have them tell you about it. Let that steam release, create a space for your team to be a community and hold each other up.
Use Slack to communicate and build out channels to best suit your needs- General, Random, COVID, Location, Content Creation, Water Cooler Chat, Logistics, etc. If your company has it in real life, help build it virtually. Dividing your slack into different channels will also help keep your organization and information more manageable to keep track of.
- Let your team know where you are by using the slack status updates available
- Also by the green bubble means your “online and working” if you are Netflixing do not open slack. People won't think you’re working and you won't be pinged
This is likely going to be a learning curve for all companies, especially ones who specialize in creative thinking. Miro is an excellent virtual whiteboard solution, Zoom helps conversations flow smoothly, and a Google doc is (as always) a great way for people to collaborate and make sure they are all on the same page.
Don't Expect Normalcy.
Everyone's life is being shifted right now, so be upfront with that and be understanding. Hold boundaries on things that MUST get done and be flexible on something that might not be top priorities. Help, guide, communicate, and always prioritize understanding that the entire world is changing right now, and everything is different then it was even a week ago.
Hold Town Halls.
Allow your teams to submit questions on a google form or, depending on the size of your team, come together on a call and ask questions on a subject. Typically the CEO would lead this, but it can be done on a smaller managerial stage as well. Discussing the COVID-19 virus and the current events surrounding it is a great start, but in general, this is a great practice to put in place.
These are presentations the leaders do (recorded or live) about where the business is at. These updates allow everyone to feel a part of things. Right now, the business might be moving too quickly to schedule these out, and town halls are best, but these are a great way to help your teams stay calm and feel like they are being communicated with, taken care of, and have security about the company as a whole.
These are a few simple routines that can easily be implemented a bit of organization and a few clicks of a button. Anyway, to streamline communication and task management is going to make your life so much easier as we try and adjust to our new normal.
If you have any questions about anything you've read above, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. And please let us know any of your companies favorite ways to stay in touch when you can't be together.