As COVID-19 forces us to stay indoors, many businesses have transitioned to operating remotely. The transition is easier for some teams than others. At RedTree, we were somewhat prepared: we’re a small team, accustomed to working from different locations occasionally, with one team member who is fully remote (that’s me!). And even with these advantages, we’ve still experienced some growing pains as we adapt to being a fully distributed team.
Here are some suggestions for successful remote teamwork that have helped us along the way.
Consider scheduling a daily check-in meeting
You might not realize how often you check in with your teammates throughout a single day until you’re no longer in the same physical space. Suddenly, details are falling through the cracks and some team members feel out of the loop.
We thought a daily meeting (in addition to our many other meetings) might be too much – but it has turned out to be a helpful space to get everyone on the same page before the day begins. We hold our meeting early in the day and try to keep it brief. Let your teammates know what you’ve been working on, or if you need help from any of them to move forward.
Try designating quiet hours vs. available hours
Without visual cues to see that your coworker is deep in thought, you might be inadvertently disrupting their focus with Slack messages or emails. The beautiful thing about the daily meeting mentioned above is that it helps to get questions out of the way in one go. But remote work can often lead to a lot of asynchronous conversation cropping up throughout the day, so consider blocking off a chunk of time and communicating to your teammates that you’ll be unavailable during it.
Use Miro for group brainstorming activities
Sometimes you just need to get together in a room, scrawl some ideas on a whiteboard, and hash out an idea as a team. Miro is a great tool for virtual collaboration that can replicate this experience. We use Miro paired with video chatting software to generate and organize ideas as a team.
Take steps to improve your mental/emotional well-being
Finally, the team can’t function well as a whole if the individuals are struggling. For many of us, remote work is a new experience, and not one we would choose if given a choice! Like I mentioned in my previous post about the joys and struggles of working remotely, working from home can tempt us into degrading our work-life balance. This can lead to unfocused work or burnout. For your own health, consider:
- Committing to starting and finishing your workday at the same time every day
- Swapping the sweatpants for a more put-together outfit
- Getting enough exercise, whether that means taking breaks throughout the day to stand and stretch, or sticking to a workout routine
- Being patient with yourself as you adapt to this new routine
That last one is key! We’re all figuring this out together. We hope these tips from our team come in handy as we all continue to adjust to this new way of living and doing business.
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