Working remotely has become an unexpected reality for many of us facing the coronavirus outbreak. Adopting smart working solutions can be tricky for those who are used to the office routine, but shifting location doesn’t have to compromise productivity.
For many digital entrepreneurs, uncertainty is just something to get used to. But these days, with the future generating more questions than answers, it can be hard to think of doing business as usual, especially considering how rapidly the COVID-19 epidemic is affecting the way we work.
With this article, we’ll help you apply the necessary changes in the organizational structure of your company to allow for a smooth transition from office-based work to remote work. As you may already know, the team here at Mowgli is scattered all over the place, with marketers, designers, coders, and copywriters working from different continents. We have perfected the art of doing business without a physical location and we are now putting our experience at your disposal.
Smart working strategy: support from Mowgli
Need some help setting up your remote working structure? Is moving out of the office turning into a challenge? Let us help. Mowgli is a 100% remote company with a team of strategists, developers, marketers, and designers that has been operating from different corners of the globe for the past five years. Remote work doesn’t have to be complicated: contact us today for tailored support on how to set up and manage teams, processes, and transactions digitally.
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Best tools for working remotely: smarter not harder!
Remote communication software, cloud-based infrastructures, and wireless connections have made it possible to work from any location. Smart work shouldn’t just be an alternative to the office: if done right it can increase productivity and improve the work-life balance of your employees. Here are some tips and tools to get started:
Good communication is essential for a remote team to function properly. Since you will not be seeing your employees on daily basis, it is important to keep everyone informed with tasks, objectives, and updates.
Communication tools can be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous tools are designed for real-life communication, while asynchronous tools are used when you are managing a long project or are talking with people in different time zones.
- Zoom: an application designed for video conference, ideal for larger groups of people meeting remotely.
- Slack: a messaging application where you can exchange files and create channels for different departments.
- Email: old fashioned but always useful. We recommend using Google Suite for managing all your Google apps in one place.
- Asana: a project management software with an integrated messaging tool to chat about specific tasks with your team.
- Microsoft Teams: an all-in-one application for messaging, videoconference, file exchange and project management.
Project Management and Organizational Tools
Project management tools
- Trello: this web-based app allows you to create boards and divide into specific tasks each step of a project. It is perfect for design, content creation, and programming tasks than involves production, editing, and publishing steps.
- Todoist: an application to create shareable to-do lists and stay on top of remote tasks.
- Asana: similar to Trello, it let’s create boards, lists, and teams dedicated to specific projects. As mentioned, it includes a chat room for communication.
When thinking about the organizational aspect of a smart working structure, keep in mind that managing processes and remote teams can be time-consuming and overwhelming. This is why it is important to build a hierarchy within your team that reflects the new ways of working. This means clearly identify the responsibilities of each member, and develop processes that include multiple reviewing stages.
One thing you want to avoid is having files exchanged via email that risk being lost, forgotten, or sent to the wrong address. Cloud services can help you share files in real-time and keep the organized between members of the teams.
File storage and sharing software
- Google Drive: perfect for textfiles, slides, spreadsheets, and images, shared between private and public folders.
- Dropbox: a cloud storage system to organize and share your files via folders that update automatically.
- WeTransfer: a service for transferring larger files, such as videos, high-resolution images, or design files.
- Notion: a note-taking web-app where ideas can be shared and organized based on the project, task or team.
A challenge when transferring files online is to keep your data safe from theft. By developing good habits and applying a security-first approach, you can sure that every piece of information you need is stored and protected.
- Train your team. Make it clear how you’d like your data to be shared and make sure each member has access only to the necessary folders. This way data won’t get lost or moved to wrong place.
- Share passwords with Lastpass. Lastpass is a service that allows you to share passwords without explicitly showing them.
- Make employees sign non-disclosure agreements. If you want to legally protect the information you share, an NDA agreement will state in print what each person involved in the project is responsible for.
- Back-up your data as often as possible.
Remote team management: how to build trust in remote teams?
The main downside of working remotely is that is can be alienating in the long run. Staying connected doesn’t only mean assigning tasks and reviewing the output. It is important to keep the team motivated by sharing common goals and allowing informal interaction.
There are various ways to build trust in your remote team and keep everyone engaged with the business:
- Schedule weekly meetings, but keep timing in mind. Make sure you save some time to see how everyone is doing and whether there are obstacles that could be removed.
- Empower your employees by asking for feedback. By listening to your team’s request you will not only improve remote processes, but also make each member feel that their opinion counts.
- Give rewards to top performers. Implementing a reward system can incentivize productivity and make a freelancer think twice before jumping to another offer.
- Encourage collaboration. By allowing people to work together on a project you’ll form a tighter team and avoid individuals feeling alienated, an excellent solution to build trust in your remote team.
Working from home: productivity best practices
For those who are not used to it, working from home can prove challenging. It’s easy to procrastinate and get distracted when you are in a familiar environment, but there are tricks to keep yourself productive throughout the day.
- Set a schedule. Keeping a routine will help you manage your time more efficiently.
- Schedule breaks and rewards. Assign a time slot for doing the things you like and switch off from work every few hours, in order to quench your thirst for distraction.
- When in doubt, ask. If you get stuck in a task, ask questions to the rest of your team. Although you are working remotely, someone else’s help is a precious resource to make use of.
- Create a dedicated workspace. Avoid working from the couch or in bed and find an area where you can focus.
- Get out. It is important to get your body moving and take a breath of fresh air during your breaks. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, make sure you take a walk outside to clear your mind and start fresh once you’re back.
- Get inspired. Listen to podcasts, read, and stay connected to find new ideas and stay positive. Want to know more about the future of work? Sam Harris offers an insightful talk on the subject of remote work in this episode of his podcast.
Get in touch!
We have extensive experience in managing smart working structures. Mowgli is a 100% remote company and over the past five years, we have helped our clients find the smart working solutions that best suit them. Contact us today for a chat on how to improve your business outside of the office!