WORKING AS A TEAM, REMOTELY
Work from home has become a trend over the past few years with larger corporations. However, with the current global pandemic, work from home has become a demand for many companies, large and small. How can a team stay productive, and still work like a team, when working remotely? At ocreations, our team is used to all working in the same room, so the transition to all of us working remotely has been an adjustment. We’ve become much more efficient and organized as the weeks have passed, and have some tips and tricks to share!
When you’re used to stopping by a coworker’s desk to let them know you’re getting started on a project, or planning to give a client a call, it’s much easier when working in an office together. When you’re working remotely, you can’t just have that quick in-person interaction. Make sure you’re letting your team know what you’re doing as much as possible! Now, you really don’t have to tell them every time you’re getting up to go to the bathroom, or that you’ve stepped away to make a quick cup of coffee. But if you’re planning to be unavailable for a period of time during work hours, let your team know!
The ocreations team has a shared calendar system set up in our phones so we can add meetings, sick days, vacation days, phone meetings, etc. so we know everyone’s availability on any given day.
Leaders Need to Keep Team Members Informed
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many workers are being laid off (some temporarily, some permanently). Job security is a huge factor for many working people, so as managers, executives, presidents, or CEO’s, keep your team members informed. Give frequent company updates regarding the status of the company and how the situation is being handled. Uninformed people become nervous, so try to give weekly updates on the situation to keep workers feeling safer than they would otherwise.
Know How to Reach Everyone On Your Team
This should be a given, but for those who work in a corporate office setting, get your colleague’s personal cell phone numbers. This will make it easier to communicate if you need to shoot a quick text, or make a quick phone call, rather than solely relying on email to get in touch with your team members.
With that being said, a great tool to use is a group text!
Sometimes updates, questions, etc. for the group can be communicated more easily through a group text.
Note Project Progress & Keep Your Team Copied on Communications
Let your team members know where you’re at on your tasks or projects! Depending on the size of the department or how many projects are happening at once, send a daily, bi-weekly, or weekly project update so everyone can be in the loop on project progress to make sure questions are being answered, projects are progressing, and everyone is staying busy. Also make sure to keep your team copied on all communications, so everyone can see things happen as emails get sent back and forth.
Set Up Weekly or Bi-Weekly Meetings
This one is a big deal. Set up a time each week (or more than one time) to gather everyone together (on a computer screen of course) to discuss all projects. This is a good time to ask questions on your own projects, discuss next steps, and generally make sure everyone is on track and has plenty to work on.
The ocreations team has been using Zoom for weekly project run-downs, and it has worked perfectly!
Resolve Questions Quickly with a call or text
Need to ask your boss, supervisor, art director a quick question that’s not worth crafting an email for? Send them a quick text or call them directly! It’ll get you an answer quickly and efficiently, without wasting time waiting for an email response.
Help Out One Another
That’s what a team is all about, right? Everyone’s situations during the pandemic are all completely unique. Some of your teammates might have children or pets to take care of throughout the day that have been causing additional stress. Internet connections may be slower, or, someone’s power might go out temporarily (which actually happened to one of us at ocreations)! If you notice someone is overloaded or needs help, step in and offer to lend a hand! Teamwork makes the dream work.
Keep Up The Fun
We all have inside jokes at the office, and when working remotely, sometimes it can feel like your job has become much more serious. It’s important to keep up the jokes and fun – after all, we are all going through the same global pandemic together. Throw in a smiley face, joke, or even a funny GIF into an email to lighten the mood (when appropriate of course). Or, send a text to check in on your team members! It’s so important to personally check in on the people you care about – send a text to the people you spend most of your days with! They’ll appreciate it.
Create Systems for Sharing Documents
If you’re used to working with internal systems, servers, etc., sharing documents with one another may pose a challenge. Trust us, our team saves files to a server in our office, without any outside access or VPN privileges. However, we do have a variety of tools to access files and share documents within our team while working remotely! Here are our tips from our own experience:
Have access to older files.
Two of our team members have a copy of files from 2018-2020 to access if we need to go back and reference files from last year or the year before.
Use Dropbox (or something similar).
Dropbox has been a great tool to use while working from home! Everyone on our team has access to the same Dropbox, so we can upload and download files from that portal at any time.
Need to send a really large file to someone on your team, or even outside of your team? Try something like wetransfer.com, which allows you to send up to 2Gigabytes of files for FREE.
A Quick Checklist Overview of Our Tips:
- KEEP EVERYONE INFORMED
- GROUP TEXT
- CC ON EMAILS
- ZOOM TEAM MEETINGS
- VOICE CALLS
- SHARED CALENDAR
- VPN ACCESS
- DROP BOX
- HELP EACH OUT OUT
- HAVE FUN
So, as ironic as it seems to be a part of a team while sitting alone at your computer in your house, it is possible to keep that team mentality. Just put your mind to overcommunicating, communicating in different ways than you’re used to, and keeping the fun aspects alive in your workdays. We’ll be back to reality soon!
Need help with design, web, blogging, or other creative ideas during the pandemic? We’re here to help. Contact us at ocreations today. Let’s remotely work together through the pandemic, let’s get creative.