Top remote work tips to keep your team productiveThe Flow TeamLast Updated: May 12, 2020
The ability to work remotely is often coveted. After all, you get to avoid things like long commutes, rigid schedules, wearing pants, and various other daily inconveniences. But while remote work has significant benefits, it can also present unexpected challenges as individuals and organizations adapt to collaborating from a distance. This is particularly true for those who are transitioning to remote work suddenly and for the very first time.
At its best, remote work gives teams the opportunity to communicate and create in ways that improve the work itself and the lives of each individual on the team. However, many find that the tools, norms, and strategies that worked in an office no longer meet their needs. Therefore, successfully shifting to remote work requires understanding and thoughtful changes to meet the new needs of your team. With these common remote work tips, you can start creating a strong foundation together, no matter where you are.
Keep communication open and organized
Communication is key to a team’s success—and when a team makes the transition to remote work, the way they communicate must evolve, too. Even if your team is tech-savvy, relying solely on digital communication can take some getting used to.
Setting new norms for communication and encouraging team members to connect regularly are invaluable steps to ensure that everyone feels heard and in the loop. This could be as simple as using different communication methods depending on who you’re talking to and why. For example, using a chat app that offers direct messaging, group chats, and company-wide channels can save you loads of time.
For teams that need to be in constant contact, email is no longer a productive solution. Finding tools that allow you to easily have one-on-one, team, and company-wide conversations is crucial. Additionally, you should be ready to set expectations for what happens where. The goal is to relay information in the most efficient way possible and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
For most remote teams, video conferencing is a vital way of connecting. Regularly scheduled meetings help team members engage more deeply, share information quickly, and get everyone on the same page. Whether you’re screen sharing a presentation, doing a weekly check-in, or making a company-wide announcement, these meetings are one of the best ways to bridge the gap between the office experience and remote work.
Choose the right platform for your workflow
Remote work is not just replicating the office at home. It’s creating a whole new ecosystem—and you need the right platform to support it.
Today, there are thousands of options available for teams who are collaborating at a distance. For example, web-based software like Google Docs and Dropbox Paper are ideal for sharing and collaborating on documents. Zoom makes advanced video conferencing accessible to virtually anyone. That said, it’s also important to take a step back and look at the big picture.
How do you organize these tools? How do you manage and track your projects? How do you bring everyone into a centralized workspace?
For many teams, the answer is a comprehensive cloud-based productivity platform, like Flow.
Flow allows you to:
- Set up projects
- Assign due dates
- Create and assign tasks
- Automate recurring tasks
- Manage your calendars
- See what your team is working on
- Attach files to and comment on tasks
- Integrate third-party tools like Google Suite, Dropbox, Harvest, and Slack
- Link to third-party tools like GitHub and inVision
- Chat (available in June 2020)
These capabilities make work simpler and allow everyone involved to see what needs to be done, know when it needs to be done, and have the tools to get it done. At the same time, they allow teams to work together remotely in more complex and constructive ways than may otherwise be possible.
Create a sense of community
For all the advantages of remote work, one of its potential drawbacks is the feeling of being isolated from your team. Often, the value of social interactions within an office becomes evident only when they’re gone—whether it’s a quick chat with your neighbor or lunch with your entire team. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t countless ways to make social experiences a natural part of the remote workday.
Some of the best remote work tips that we suggest for creating a sense of community and connection include:
- Setting up interest-based chat channels (eg. pets or food)
- Holding weekly group chats around a non-work related topic
- Eating lunch together on a video call
- Hosting a Zoom happy hour once a month
These may seem like small things, but the interactions they foster can strengthen bonds within your team and make work a more welcoming place to be. With these social bridges in place, the potential for collaboration is even greater at a shared virtual table.
Your one-stop solution for transitioning to remote work
One of the most important things to remember when transitioning to remote work is to listen to your team members. What do they really need? How can you solve problems? What do you want the future to look like? This is a time of collective learning and a chance to reimagine the possibilities of work itself.
At Flow, we understand the challenges of shifting to remote work because we’ve done it. For over a decade, we’ve been a remote-first company with team members all over the globe. We know that this change can bring great opportunities—and we want to help you make the most of them!
Our all-in-one productivity platform brings together every feature and resource you need to build a successful remote team. With our powerful, flexible, and user-friendly tools, we can help you streamline workflows, track project lifecycles, and create an environment that makes sense for your team. And we can do it within days to ensure your team remains agile and responsive in a rapidly-shifting world.
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