The current pandemic is requiring every executive to make the transition to having to manage large teams to work remotely. I founded Cloudwiry with the goal of enabling global entrepreneurs to band together and unleash the creative potential together. Remote work is part of our DNA and our team’s ability to get things done is second to none. Having the ability and for now, the necessity to work remotely has many advantages, though you need to make some adjustments as work from home is not the same as work from the office.
Every day is Bring your kids to work day:
It’s important to recognize that working from home is not the same as working in the office. The rhythm of your home life will interfere with your work and it is best to plan for it. We do a daily virtual stand-up meeting, often with a wonderful surprise of getting to know our colleagues’ kids (both human and furry) as they stop by mom/dad’s laptop. This is a bonus, and enables us to bond together as a cohesive team. No need to apologize when this happens, use it as an opportunity to share a bit about yourself with your team.
Everyone needs to know what everyone else is doing, every day. Conversations must be as open as possible and full team stand-up with video calls is the norm. Daily full team virtual stand-up is a must. Screen sharing with demos, open brainstorming sessions to problem solve, enables everyone in the team is aware of what everyone else is doing leading to better productivity.
Avoid isolation, specially with social distancing:
Work from home over long term can be isolating and lead to cabin fever. To have a great remote team, the secret sauce is to create social bonds regardless of the distance. We give shout-outs for work well done every friday, birthdays & other special events are celebrated during virtual daily stand-ups and I don’t hesitate to pop a beer/grab a coffee during late afternoon with my fellow team members and just chat & socialize over video.
A few tips that I would like to share:
- Create a realistic schedule – on you know your rhythm the best. Ink it in your calendar and build in breaks & family time.
- You’re going to move less, so you need to take care of your health: stretch your legs, relax your eyes, use defined time-slots to take a coffee, walk, work on a home project, dance and schedule breaks in your calendar.
- Tooling for remote work is essential, lucky for us in the tech industry, using a ticketing system (Jira), shared calendars (GSuite), meetings (Zoom, Skype), chats (Slack), document repositories (GDrive) are second nature.
- Invest in a great headset and speakerphone. This gives you the freedom to move around and switch between headsets and speakerphone to avoid headset fatigue. After some trial and error, I have found Sennheiser mb pro 2 and Jabra Speak 510 to be the best combination. Bose 700 is another great option if you are in a noisy environment, though it has some consistency issues with background noise. You need to prepare physical workspace that is comfortable for you and minimize disruptions during focused work blocks.