While many tech teams and companies have been working like this for years, the current situation has brought a temporary change upon many companies, the swift change into working remote.
So, how do you make sure that your employees stay happy, motivated and productive while feeling like part of the team? How do you instill company culture over a webcam? Fear not, help is near! We’ve gathered some tips and tricks for you on how to get started and also a few pointers for you to share with your team.
Encourage collaboration and open communication
Working remote is for many a huge change of habits affecting the ways we work as well as the way we engage socially with our team. This means we need to establish norms on how to communicate and collaborate with each other.
Establish team routines
Maintaining team feeling is important regardless of which task and activities you perform. That's why we encourage weekly meetings and gatherings or even daily quick check ins over a morning coffee.
Use the right digital tools
It goes without saying that hosting meetings and collaborating on projects etc. require the right tools. At Good Monday we gave all employees licenses to Zoom for video calls and meetings. For quick messaging our go-to tool is Slack which we use to share information as well as for more informal chat - e.g. for employees to share pictures of their remote satellite offices. Slack can be integrated with so many other tools as well to ease your workflow, either directly or via Zapiers' easy to use integrations. Slack is also what we use for easy company-wide communication instead of classic emails, as it allows us to set up team / project / general channels!
Create guidelines / code of conduct
There are so many good tools out there, but rules are important in order to optimize usage and knowledge sharing, without overcrowding any feed or video call, just like you wouldn't spam your companies @all mailinglist. Here are some of our rules for Slack and video use:
- Clear descriptions of all channels (except for our random channel)
- Use threads to comment on posts - Minimizing notifications
- Respect the Slack "status" of your team members etc. vacay-mode or meetings
- Expect replies to be made "when possible", but remember that "no-reply" is not an answer
- On video calls with multiple users we mute microphones when not talking
- Webcam use or non-use is specified in invitations
Host town halls as webinars
If you host town halls or similar for your entire organisation, there is no need for cancellations. Simply move them online! Slido is an awesome tool for questions and sorting these and can also be integrated in Slack.
Company culture and 'fun' stuff
We believe that engaged employees that feel they belong to a community perform better. When working remote it is extra important to make sure that employees are still happy and feel they're part of a shared mission. This can be done with full transparency from management in tough situations such as the current one, daily rituals with coworkers (we do webcam-planking every day, remote workspace postings and team coffee-cams ins in the morning) and planning future events. Don't be afraid of overusing emojis and GIFs, since this helps interpret the tone that is otherwise difficult in digital convos 🤪.
Tips to share with your coworkers
Working remote might sound like a dream come true for a lot of people, but as all things, it can be a bit of a challenge for beginners. Especially when it comes to separating work and private life. Here's a few tips to share with your coworkers on how to stay focused and productive while working remote.
Create optimal working conditions
Where ever you may be make sure that you feel motivated by your environment and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Minimize noise and distractions, and (as usual 😉) keep your desk clutter-free.
Stick to a schedule
When the lines between “work” and “home” start to blur, it’s time to take a closer look at your working habits. Figure out a schedule that works for you, plan your day or week ahead of time (including meetings and appointments), and remember to take breaks when you run out of energy. Realistic expectations should be a common theme as you create your remote work schedule.
Get into the "flow" state
Lose yourself in work and lose track of time. Bundle the tasks most meaningful to you and the ones you're most experienced in. Doing tasks we have already practiced makes on more prone to enter the "flow" state.
Workout at home
Take advantage of the flexibility and independence that comes with working remote by incorporating small exercises into your workday (plank, short walk, push-ups, etc.)
All joking aside, there are clear advantages to working remote. For one, pants are optional from now on. But we also listed some more below!
Customize your own Workspace
From desk, to temperature you make your space YOURS! Rumor has it that our Customer Success has been blasting Celine Dion nonstop since Thursday at her home office.
Unless you're sharing tabletops with a partner or roomie, you've got no need to run and find a quiet place to make calls. You've got all the space to yourself.
There's no coworkers stopping by your desk asking if you caught the latest episode of whatever last night. And that means FOCUS. Disclaimer: We do recognize that partners and kids can be quite demanding "coworkers".
No more travelling with 1.000's of people twice a day. You can now spend that precious time with friends, family or Netflix instead.
At the end of the day, truth is that these are harsh times and we'll all face our own challenges. In the coming weeks we'll all gain amazing remote working skills while staying afloat. Because that's what we always do. We meet change, we adapt, and we overcome. Stay safe out there, we're in this together.
All the best, Team Good Monday.