A few months ago, we all were setting major goals for ourselves and our companies. We had so many plans and closing the doors of our businesses wasn’t one of them.
Nobody was prepared for this so this pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 has left many of us with no choice but to adapt or close.
And while not every business can have all its operations working remotely, there is still a lot that can be done while working from home.
Here are some tips on how to transition successfully and run your company remotely:
- Get Your Own Quiet Space.
It’s hard to stay focused on work while your kids or pets are running around, your daily chores are right in front of you and your TV is on updating you on daily casualties.
This is why it’s important that you find yourself a designated space for work at home, it is the #1 to stay productive while working remotely.
See, in order to become productive, you don’t just need to be away from distractions – your mind also needs to feel SAFE from distractions.
Otherwise, you’ll be anticipating something all the time and it will be impossible for you to concentrate on important tasks.
2. Connect With Your Team Every Morning.
Team alignment is everything. A remote company works best when everyone within the company works together, despite not being together.
Making time to connect every morning will keep your company culture intact and your teams alert.
Our team starts each day with a team call. Every morning we go through daily plans and activities that are relevant to everyone on the call.
Team leads report on the status of main company activities and we discuss potential blockers.
Usually, it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes and then our team leads continue with their separate smaller teams. This helps us re-align the whole team on a daily basis.
3. Make Company Goals Visible At All Times.
A lot can happen while working remotely. When working from home, you’re prone to make more micro-decisions on your own, without consulting anyone.
It takes a lot more effort to reach out to someone for opinions remotely compared to working right next to someone in the office.
This is the main reason you should ensure your team is aligned with key company goals for the day or week.
Making goals visible can be as simple as a Google spreadsheet, a Trello board, or a morning email that is sent to everyone in the company. I can guarantee you it saves more time than it takes.
This is one of the many important things that will keep your team effective during challenging times. We made a list of 23 other “teamwork hacks” here.
4. Communicate and Collaborate In One Place.
Who said that? When? Where?
Sound familiar? Communicating online helps you work from everywhere, but it has its struggles.
Having one app for chat, a different app for emails and then a different app for tasks or talking to clients can bring more pain than pleasure.
When possible, try to keep all communication in one place, preferably where team communication happens. This ensures nothing falls through the cracks.
We do this by using our own app. We’re able to respond to customer emails, assign responsibilities, and collaborate internally through chat on Loop Email.
You can currently find a great deal for free usage of Loop Email, where extending our 30-day free trial to 90-days.
That’s 3 free months of access to the paid version of Loop Email.
If you’re moving your team to work remotely right now, this might be the best deal out there.
5. Focus On Results, Not Time Spent.
This might be the most important thing of all. Working from home will test our ability to communicate, our trust and our alignment.
By focusing the whole team on results, instead of time spent on each task, you’ll be able to empower people in their home office to make decisions that are better for the company as a whole.
Expose bottlenecks, talk transparently about blockers and lead by clarifying what needs to be done – not how much time needs to be spent on particular tasks.
We had a great interview on the topic of good team communication and office relationships with a well-known teamwork coach from Chicago; Gustavo Razetti. Have a listen below:
6. Communicate Effectively.
Lack of communication is always a huge mistake, but there is no reason to turn every email into a call.
Remember – working from home is a challenge on someone’s productivity – and interrupting calls don’t help.
At Loop Email, we like to keep a simple philosophy:
- if it needs to be solved immediately: call.
- if it can wait for an hour: chat.
- if it can wait for the day: email or think twice if you even need their opinion.
7. Send Meeting Agendas Upfront.
Team meetings play a crucial role when working at home. Make sure you don’t waste a ton of time just telling the team about the topic of the meeting.
Also, if there is no clear structure, the meeting will derail fast. Worse, when you finally get to the topic, it’s common that people won’t have the answers at hand, so they’ll either go searching for them, or the topic is moved to, well, another meeting.
A great way to go about this is to send out a meeting agenda in advance and include a simple request: “Please come prepared with any information regarding the points that concern you.”
That way people in your team have enough time to prepare – pull out data, print out notes, or simply refresh their memory.
We know that these are challenging times, but we also know that every single one of us can and will work through it.
Let’s use this as an opportunity to connect and find ways of working together that will improve our work and relationships in the long run.
Loop Email team.