Eight Tips For Teams Shifting To A Work-From-Home Model – Forbes - Freelance Rack

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Eight Tips For Teams Shifting To A Work-From-Home Model – Forbes

The culture of the modern workplace has changed drastically, and far more businesses are looking favorably at work-from-home arrangements. Industries that have traditionally depended on employees coming in no longer need to conform to the archaic principle of strictly in-office work. The result is a lot more freedom for workers, as well as potentially increased productivity.

However, that benefit only happens if teams manage to coordinate appropriately within the online space. Luckily, other groups have succeeded as remote teams before remote working became a necessity and can share their experiences. Eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council explain how companies or industries new to the remote working paradigm can ease the process of shifting into a non-office-based approach.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Overcommunicate And Train People On The Tools

Communication is truly key. Check in and check in again and make sure that everyone is using the correct tools for all of their various functions. You want to ensure that people feel comfortable with this new online ecosystem they’re dealing with. All these tools that we use can actually become blockers if people aren’t using them correctly, so make sure that there’s training and support available. Whether you’re using WhatsApp, Skype or chatting on Slack, remember to keep the human touch and keep communicating. The combined power of training and communication will ensure that people feel engaged and involved in the company culture, despite all the difficulties going on in the world right now. – Thomas Smale, FE International

2. Have A Virtual Open-Door Policy

My best tip is to build a virtual “open door.” In a remote workplace, you can’t physically walk the floor, so you have to be proactive about creating opportunities for you to connect with your team and for them to connect with you. We do this in three ways. First, I lead our new hire orientation, so I can connect with every new person and set the tone that I’m accessible to them. Second, I read every submission to our anonymous feedback form and share my response with the team. We don’t take on every suggestion, but we always try to show that we’re listening. Third, I use every opportunity to connect with my team. For example, if I ask for feedback in a meeting and don’t get any, I might follow up with participants individually. – Jonathan Steiman, Peak Support

3. Consider It A Work In Progress

Although many of us are accustomed to working this way, there are many other companies and workers where this remote environment is completely new. It’s not going to be perfect and there will be bumps along the way. Take it as a work in progress and learn as you go. – Angela Ruth, Calendar

4. Have Patience

We have begun working from home and what I have learned thus far is that everyone is handling this differently. For some, it was a simple transition, while for others, the disruption to their daily routine has been difficult. Being understanding and patient will go a long way in times like these. If someone is struggling to adjust, be there for them. Don’t make things harder by putting more pressure on them. Be a cheerleader. You will all get back into a rhythm eventually, it just might take some time—and time we’ve got. – Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

5. Set Weekly Plans And Daily Deliverables

The hardest thing for some people transitioning to remote work is discipline. It’s easy to treat working from home as a free day where work just sort of happens whenever it does. However, when you establish weekly plans with your team and break that down into daily deliverables, you create a structure that allows them to understand what they need to accomplish each day so there’s a higher priority among certain tasks and accountability built into their remote schedule. The best way to ease them into the process is by sharing templates on how to design their weekly plan and daily deliverable goals and communicating with them throughout the transition period so they feel comfortable with each next step. – Firas Kittaneh, Zoma Mattress

6. Maintain Normalcy While Upholding Expectations

For a smooth transition to remote work, set up a clear remote process and offer team bonding opportunities. These two together will establish the structure and team morale needed for a successful remote environment—even while social distancing. The upheaval of a physical change in work spaces can be disconcerting, so it’s key to keep your team processes the same. For example, we simply swapped our standard Daily Standups, weekly All Hands and sub-team meetings to Zoom videos, while our weekly goals, daily to-dos and nightly check-outs still happen via Slack lists. On the morale front, we set up a virtual breakroom, morning yoga and sponsored team lunches using apps like Uber Eats. Continuity in process and “team fun” activities have kept us productive and engaged! – Cooper Harris, Klickly

7. Conduct Daily Scrums

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of scrums, especially now that most businesses have work-from-home policies in place. It’s essential for business owners, leaders and managers to be able to have team scrums to discuss daily goals and weekly objectives. The role of scrums can also be expanded to discuss problems that teams are facing in adjusting to their new routine. It’s important to have this meeting within individual teams because based on the nature of work, people will have different problems and concerns. Use software such as Trello to manage tasks, Zoom to communicate and hold scrums and productivity tracking software to better understand how to solve these problems. Discuss options with your team members and provide supportive solutions to individual problems. – Abeer Raza, TekRevol

8. Don’t Assume Anything

When employees begin to work from home, executives may uncover the complexities of parental care and equitable access to technology and resources many of their employees face for the first time. Creating a solid work-from-home policy is critical, but know that one policy might not work for every individual. Don’t assume anything about the access of your employees. Don’t assume that each of your employees feels equally safe and secure in their household. Take the time to listen to the needs of your employees and develop a policy that can cover the basics, but have room for flexibility for those who may be facing a different situation. – Matthew Manos, verynice



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