A Rapid or sudden shift to working remotely can throw your team into confusion and frustration, and everything feels twice as hard as it should. The aim in this situation is to reclaim your team’s productivity and resume your regular activities in the shortest period of time. Here are few ways to do that.
1. Establish Proper Communication Channels
Communication is the key to being successful in any profession, in remote work it is the greatest asset one can have. Since you’re no longer interacting with colleagues or your manager face to face on a daily basis, the onus is on you to establish that communication link to update your manager and coworkers on goals, projects and daily tasks, whether that’s through 1:1 meetings over the phone or skype or zoom through ad-hoc team chat via slack. Be clear with your people about how they can reach you and also, don’t expect people to answer instantly. Be mindful of their situation.
Make sure to advocate for yourself and clearly state the progress you’ve made in the past week, which goals you’ve surpassed and which projects you’ve led. When working remotely, it can be difficult for your manager and team members to keep your work top-of-mind, so don’t be afraid to bring important milestones up on your own.
2. Consider your workspace
Your workspace should be setup for success, it should a place where you can focus on the tasks at hand. This means creating a designated spot for work at home, where you feel motivated by your environment and ready to tackle your work head-on.
3. Introduce daily or weekly stand-ups
If you are familiar to agile methodologies this is straight from the agile rulebook. When you’re not interacting colleagues face-to-face, it’s harder to keep track of what everyone is working on and what’s on the agenda. This where stand-up meetings come in, this 5-15 minute routine from the agile world helps you and your team stay on track and can easily be done over a video or voice call. Each person concisely shares:
- The progress they’ve made since last time.
- Their plan for today.
- Any road blocks they’re facing or things they need help with.
Typically, in the agile world this is done first thing in the morning every day. This works great for software teams, that focus on incremental progress on projects. However, if your team works on longer-term projects, that don’t have daily detailed incremental updates, weekly or bi-weekly stand-ups can be enough. A thing to note is that you can do these stand-ups in an ad-hoc fashion in your team’s chat room and not necessarily live and in person on a webcam or in a team call. The idea/goal is to ensure active collaboration among team members so that everyone is aware of what is being worked on and by whom.
4. Know when to “log off”
The line between “work” and “home” starts to blur, when you initially start to work remotely, you might find yourself stuck to your computer screen for longer periods of time. You may receive emails and chat notifications at any hour, especially if you have to work with globally distributed teams. This can necessary at times when working on major projects or finalizing a big deal. However, it’s important to develop a habit when you officially step away from the computer and officially log off. The best part of working remotely is having the ability and flexibility to work when you are most productive, so be careful about setting the standard that you are available 24/7.
To learn how Polarion can help you collaborate and be more successful working remotely in a distributed team check out our upcoming Polarion Days Live Webinar Series.