Using the right tools, working remotely comes with numerous benefits. It gives employees independence, enables the company to hire talent worldwide, saves time and money with transportation, reduces ecological footprint and can boost team productivity.
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the majority of organizations are asking their stakeholders to keep digital relations. However, most employees shifting to remote work may face a few challenges and doubts, such as:
- How to collaborate and be productive
- What’s the best way to make the team accountable
- How to separate personal and professional hours
- Strategies to not lose personal connections
- Certify that important messages are being delivered and understood
- What tools are best to use
This article will guide you and your team on how to keep your productivity level high through this outbreak and even further, based on our experience working remotely for the past four years.
14 Main Hacks To Improve Your Digital Collaboration
Based on how we work at Rocket.Chat:
- Define your own work area. A place you go to enter “work mode”. Choose a comfortable seat and a quiet environment. It can be your kitchen table, home office desk or even your living room if you live alone.
- Specify work hours and have breaks. It’s difficult to disconnect, so add a daily calendar event for lunch and another for the end of the day, policy yourself to follow it, it’s too easy to be carried away if you have a lot of tasks and no commute. When you do stop working, leave your work area so you can leave that mindset as well.
- If you share the space, set rules of “interruption” or use of the workspace of the remote worker. It is a good idea to create signals or add a non-disturb note on your door, if you have one.
- Get rid of the everyday sweatpants. Dressing as you are going for the HQ helps to boost your day and get you ready for video calls.
- Warm up your day before you start to work. Take advantage of the lack of time spent commuting and start your morning with walking, working out, meditating, reading or watching something, this will make a lot of difference in your focus.
- Express yourself digitally. Customize your status and use emojis to demonstrate emotion.
- Be social. As if you are going to the office, don’t forget to ask coworkers how they are, schedule random 1:1s (we use a chatbot for this and it works quite well).
- Set meetings through video conferences. Seeing other people’s faces is a mood booster when you are in lockup. Try to schedule a few times during this period to check up on your dearest coworkers.
- Share your calendar. Maybe you didn’t have this habit before, but as we have been using public agendas at Rocket.Chat for a long time, we realized how it makes scheduling meetings so much faster. Besides, knowing when you are available is an advantage since your team and you are not in the same place for now.
- Start using a task/project management tool. Focus on applications that enable you to share your work and progress. Even better if you can integrate this tool with your communication platform for updates of team tasks.
- Transparency is the key to success. Start the week digitally meeting with your team to set expectations and divide tasks. “As soon as possible” is not “stop everything and do it right now”. Manage your time and priorities with the team.
- Integrate your tools. If you have, and we recommend, tasks/DevOps/project management tools, integrate them with your communication platform for updates, chatbots do a great job to keep everyone updated.
- Organize your communication. Since you can’t have in-person talks, define how the team will communicate. Create a structure that simulates real life. In Rocket.Chat, we consider it essential to have a real-time communication platform, because this prevents you from losing track of discussions and gives you agility.
- Find a way to engage with stakeholders. If an entire organization is no longer going for physical meetings, this also means that customers, prospects, investors, suppliers and partners will engage remotely. Be prepared to receive them without having to subscribe to numerous applications or sticking with emails and phone calls. Find tools that are easy to integrate and have different engagement methods (file sharing, video, audio, chat, task tracking).
Still feeling lost or confused about how to manage your team remotely?
We hope these tips will help you to improve your remote work and deal with this challenging moment in a much better and productive way.
Rocket.Chat is an open-source communication hub, ideal for organizations that require privacy compliance and high-security standards, giving organizations total control of their communication.