During this difficult time, a lot of companies have asked professionals to work from home, and this has created some challenges. For teams that rely on connecting at a physical workplace, suddenly being thrust into a remote atmosphere can seem daunting. The tips below should help make this transition a bit easier for you and your team.
There are many great collaboration platforms that can help ease you into remote work. Some of the most widely used and productive tools are:
Slack - for team collaboration, text messaging, updates, and calls. With Slack, you can keep the emails to a minimum and everything in one place for transparency. Use channels to separate projects and keep things organized.
Zoom - for video conferencing.
Asana - for project management and team collaboration. Asana is great for assigning tasks, assessing where things stand, watching timelines, and keeping everyone on track.
Google Docs - to share documents, spreadsheets, calendars, and presentations.
Regardless of what platform(s) you use, be sure to offer training and support resources to all members of your team.
Set up a channel in Slack so that when everyone signs on in the morning, they alert the others that they are available. Use this to provide a quick update on where everyone’s workload stands. Have each person post a quick sign-off message, so it’s clear who is “available” in the virtual office and who is not.
Working remotely is a great time to encourage your team to communicate more. When you can’t just pop into the next office to check and see where a project stands, you need to know that everyone is on board and over-communicating the status of things and where the pitfalls lie.
The next best thing to being there is to see everyone’s face on the screen. Turn on video so that you can connect authentically with each person on your team during meetings. Make time for questions during calls.
Open a few channels on Slack where team members can chat socially about non-work-related things and blow off steam.
As an individual, there are things you can do to make working remotely feel more natural.