"If you want to recreate your open-plan, laid-back office environment, choose tools that match this atmosphere."
Like it or not, many of us are going to be working from home for a while. With the Coronavirus pandemic driving huge growth in remote working and global teams becoming the new norm, we need to adapt and learn new skills quickly. If you’re finding yourself suddenly managing a completely remote team, here’s a few tips from the Dirty Martini team which have been tried, tested and given the thumbs up
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Choose the right tools and resources to match your culture
In a remote team set-up, all communication, collaboration and execution will be carried out using online tools, so it’s essential to choose apps and software that match your company culture and to ensure everyone stays on the same page. If you want to recreate your open-plan, laid-back office environment, choose tools that match this atmosphere. Here are some tools we’ve found handy as a small but fast growing team:Productivity suite
G Suite For successful company collaboration utilising Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar and loads more. For us, it’s an essential part of agency life. Communication and meetings Google Hangouts To meet face-to-face for meetings or informal chats and end of week team building quizzes. Discord An instant messaging platform to humanise communication and recreate the open-plan office environment via voice and text chat and screen sharing. Slack To keep your whole team in the loop by instant messaging and file sharing in open spaces called channels. Work planning & management Monday.com To run projects, workflow processes and everyday work. Sendible To centralise all social media content management. LastPass To save your passwords and give you secure access from every computer and mobile device. Save all your usernames and passwords to LastPass and it will auto login to your sites and sync your passwords everywhere you need them.
Schedule regular catch ups/meetings
To avoid your team feeling disconnected and lonely (which could lower productivity and engagement), set times for the team to come together virtually; it is easier to cancel if the meeting isn’t needed than it is to pull together last-minute conversations without creating additional disruption. If you only meet on an ad hoc basis, you risk excluding some people who are too busy to join or away from their work station. Everyday at 12pm noon, we use the voice chat function on Discord to catch up with each other, discuss current projects and more importantly, for virtual coffees and ensuring everyone is staying sane. For meetings, we have set up a few voice channel ‘Virtual Meeting Rooms’ and invite those who need to be involved in the conversation.
Recognition of great work
Public recognition for a job well done is one of the most effective and most natural ways to motivate a remote team. Shout-outs in a team chat or group email will not only boost morale and motivation but set a standard for other team members to strive for.
This new current climate requires a new frontier of flexibility. Closures of offices, schools and daycares combined with balancing the demands of family and work life means regular work hours are probably out for many people. Instead, trust your team and give them the freedom and flexibility to get work done on the schedule that helps them be the most productive. Whether at the crack of dawn, late at night, or in two-hour shifts with breaks throughout the day, managers could ask team members what challenges they face and allow workers the freedom to choose their own best windows of time to get work done. Trust and respect for one another goes a long way and will be good for your team in the long run.
Remote team building
Whether it’s in the form of a weekly virtual ‘pub quiz’ or online gaming, create and ‘office social life’ by planning fun team activities to boost team morale. Video-based tools such as Google Hangouts and Zoom can be a great way to virtually bring the team together.
We hope some of these tips can help you and your team to communicate and collaborate more effectively and prevent any burnouts. Remember that this is just how one team manages a remote team set up – one of the beauties of a remote team is being able to experiment with all the wonderful apps and tools out there. So, go forth and experiment!