What a crazy world we have found ourselves in during this 2020 pandemic!
Having to move our entire team to work remotely, was definitely not covered in our 2020 Strategy plan, however, we have learned a lot along the way I thought important to share.
One common theme I have seen through chatting to people is that there are all these new trends and apps to help to work remotely. It can feel like a lot of different pieces of information rushing at you, so I thought I would share some old faithfuls and new finds that have helped both myself and the teamwork efficiently from the comfort of our robes.
This is my ride or die of applications. I don’t know where we would be as an organisation working remotely without this amazing application providing all of us with visibility and accountability checkpoints.
Every day at 12.00pm and 5.30pm each staff member will click into their department ‘Conversations’ and leave an update on
Today so far I have achieved:
Working on or expect to finish soon:
Any major roadblocks or concerns?:
This helps every member of the team know who is doing what and can reach out to help if anyone is struggling with a roadblock.
We breakdown each section by department then further into:
Where daily and ongoing tasks can are made and assigned
- Car park
This is used for any fun ideas that come our way that we aren’t ready to action yet, but don’t want to forget!
The Projects sections is for the big chunky goals you have that have a lot of different pieces different staff members need to help out/be assigned too.
- Marketing Calendar
A central place for all staff to know what is coming up and what content we have in store.
This is an oldie but a goodie! I remember when we were first introduced to the idea of Slack the first thing, we all said was ‘PLEASE not another app’
The reason we decided to give it a go was to close the gap between our Warehouse and Office staff as we needed to find a way to maintain one team mentally whilst working from different locations.
So grateful we gave it a go, as I couldn’t imagine working remotely without it.
I couldn’t believe just how much it cut down our inbox especially during peak periods, as we worked out pretty fast that lot of questions can be answered with a quick instant message.
We break up our slack channels in departments similar to Asana, however, we also have some informal chat channels to keep the fun banter going remotely.
Also, the fun alter-ego profile pictures definitely add to the fun of it:
Now I know this one isn’t a ground-breaking new platform and I am sure most people would have used this at least once in their professional lifetime (especially with the move to remote). Until we were put into the position where needed to work remotely we only really used it to its minimal potential for here and there meetings.
However, now we are using Zoom for three main reasons:
- Daily Huddles
- Weekly KPI/WIP Meetings
- Friday Night Drinks
Some main tips we have learned to make the most out of each meeting:
- Mute when others are speaking!
The last thing you want during an important meeting is the loud TAP TAP TAP of people typing in the background, family chatting in the background or dogs barking (no matter how cute they are). We learned real fast that Zoom etiquette is to Mute until your time to talk.
- Have fun with Virtual Backgrounds
As soon as the team discovered virtual backgrounds…it was on! This had us in hysterics and is such a fun way to break up the day and let’s face it a pretty tough time of unknown. So to be able to add a few little cheap laughs to your daily catch ups was a big win for us.
– Get personal
The reality is we are all working from home and really are doing the best that we can. A silver lining to this new way of catching up with the team, that we found was being able to get an insight into their homes and meet family members/roommates that we otherwise may have not met. We have a tight-knit team, so I felt it added a real family touch to our standard Friday night drinks.
Working from home can come with a whole new world of distractions. Personally, I found it pretty hard in my first week to concentrate when it came to writing content. I love to write, however, as soon as I would go to fall into the deep dark hole of concentration, a desktop notification would pop up or call would come through and just like that I would lose all train of thought and have to start from scratch.
That was until our amazing Digital Marketing Manager, Penny introduced me to this absolute gem.
It is an app that’s main prerogative is to give you a distraction-free zone.
It does this by opening up in a full-screen mode with only the basic functions required for writing kick-ass content so that there is nothing to disrupt your creative thinking. Especially if you have the attention span of a 2-year-old, like me!
They even have music to get you in the creative mood, which was a much-needed contrast to my singalong 90’s unwind playlist that steers me into mental tangents throughout the day!
Hoping these can be of help to someone who is finding themselves overwhelmed not knowing where to start, or even someone looking for a way to motivate remotely.