We are living in extreme times and we’ve been forced to go remote. Many companies are doing remote work and some are wondering: What is remote work? Will my company run efficiently while working remotely? Are my employees really going to work?
This is why at Fuckup we decided to create a guide for Remote Work. Thanks to Trello and Zoom for the inspiration and for helping us to improve our processes, we hope that this guide helps you too.
One of the most common tips is to stick to a daily routine. One of the advantages of working from home is that it helps you to understand yourself and identify at which times you are most productive. The advice is to start your day as if you are going to the office:
As with any other workday, you need to finish your day. This is key to maintaining your mental health and happiness. When you have finished your work, disconnect and enjoy your personal time. Turn off all chat and email notifications.
When working remotely, especially if it’s for the first time, you need to over-communicate. If you’re asking yourself whether or not you should ask or clarify something, do it! The most important thing here is assertive communication, this is why you need to make sure that ideas, tasks, and objectives are clear for all.
Fuckup Tip no.1: At Fuckup we organize our work with OKR’s , these create clarity for our direction and how each individual’s work helps to fulfill the purpose of the whole organization.
When working remotely it’s important that we compensate for the fact that we are not bumping into each other in the corridor or at lunch to share ideas and have conversations. Because of this, we need to have a messaging tool.
Fuckup Tip no.2: We use Slack, it’s our first tool for communicating and allows us to compensate for face-to-face interactions.
It’s vital to have a clear communication process and to assign certain channels depending on the priority level and urgency of each communication. This means choosing the right time and channel for your message (chat, video call or email) to avoid saturation and interrupting work flow.
Fuckup Tip no.3: At Fuckup we’ve designated our channels this way:
Fuckup Tip no.4: At Fuckup we hold weekly team meetings, 1:1’s, monthly meetings to share updates on how each area is advancing on their objectives and quarterly meetings to present final results and what comes next.
One of the most common myths about remote work is that employees won’t work and that they are lazy, this is the reason why so many companies fear remote work. This feeling is the elephant in the room that we also struggled with at some point. We understand that the key here is the trust you put in your team.
How can you build trust and accountability within your team? Ensure clarity of purpose and company values. If everyone knows why they are part of the company, how their work impacts others and helps to achieve goals, they can work from home or from a coffee shop in Thailand without losing focus.
At Fuckup Nights we have a flexible working scheme, this means that:
It’s important to remember that working remotely will always bring new challenges for your company, such as how to create team dynamics that boost creativity and growth. This is why we recommend setting processes and systems that help to generate accountability, leadership and ownership, in this way, you won’t need to micromanage.
As soon as the current crisis forced us to go remote, we created a Slack channel to communicate our daily priorities. This is useful for letting the team know how we are doing our job, we send a message before lunch and when we finish our day.
These are some tools that we’re finding useful:
When we need to ask for opinions or to have clarity about something, a video call is always the best way to do this, because we can see each other and this helps with understanding. Also, video is a great tool for sharing knowledge, you can do a tutorial or demonstrate how to use a tool or program.
Consider planning your meetings and time with the team, set priorities and analyze if a video call will help to speed up your processes. Remember no one wants to say “that meeting could have been an email”.
Remember to setup a space for video calls at home, choose a quiet and well illuminated area and try to use headphones to make sure you don’t miss anything. Here is an article with some hacks to improve your video calls with Hangouts Meet.
Fuckup Tip: Don’t forget to keep it real and human. We can’t control everything that happens in our homes, sometimes the kids cry, the dog barks, someone comes to the door, etc. Sharing your life helps with team building (and it’s funny).
One of the perks of remote work is to have a better work-personal life balance, thanks to flexible working hours. Here are some good practices that we use internally to better organize your day when you have family around:
Remember, keep it real. We’re all human and sometimes life gets complicated. Here’s an interesting Forbes article which goes deeper on this work-personal life balance topic.
A happy partner showing us her son’s favorite toy.
It is important to know the personalities that make up your team, this simplifies the process of designing meetings and assigning times and methods to connect with them.
To keep it simple, we can consider three personality types: introverts, extroverts and ambiverts (a combination of the two mentioned above)
Fuckup tip: Each team at Fuckup Nights organize meeting differently and accordingly to their needs. For example, the Movement team enjoys having a 15 minute meeting everyday to catch-up and organize their priorities.
The reason to consider teams personalities is because if you have a lot of extroverts, you’ll probably need to schedule extra video calls and perhaps set more meetings to help them feel connected.
I hope this guide is useful for you. We recommend that you create your own guide for clarity in your team, including what works best for you. You can share it with us, if you want.
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