Living and working together in groups has benefits that have brought people together from prehistory to the present day.
History has shown us that we have always tended to live and work together in social settings due to fear of being alone, or to enhance each other’s ability and reap its benefits. But over time, with the advent of modernism, we have become more inclined to maintain our privacy and use technology to communicate with each other.
These days, we want to keep socializing with other people to satisfy our mental needs but also be socially distant sometimes and have the time and the freedom to be by ourselves. So we have created concepts such as remote working for different groups of people using technology as the tool.
Working From Home
Is having a remote job the best thing in the world? Certainly not, but for some businesses and in some situations, such as the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the importance of social distancing, it may be the best option available to continue our work and social activities.
After having some experience in close working and working remotely in software development, I have concluded that when it comes to remote working, defining the regulations, procedures, and tools is just as important as it is in close working, if not more. So I’m going to share with you some of the methods and tools that my teammates and I use. I hope these tips can help you improve your productivity and have an overall better experience working from home.
Online file-sharing platforms such as Google Drive
We use online shared files for work procedures and the company’s records on staff, such as a list of the job title, contact info, and time of availability of each team member. There are different access levels on these platforms, some members can only view the files and some can contribute by commenting or editing the file. This is especially helpful for remote teamwork because you can work on the same file at the time with your colleagues and view each other’s work.
Collaborative task management and Communication software
When it comes to remote working, good communication is everything; using software like Microsoft Teams or Trello significantly improves the quality and quantity of interactions. Auditing and joining conversations, assigning tasks to team members and managing the processes are some of the many benefits that these tools have.
2. Build a Strong and Stable Work Relationship With Your Colleagues
As colleagues, we try to help build a healthy environment full of trust and transparency and create a sense of responsibility and commitment in ourselves so we can increase productivity and enjoy working together for our goals. Over the years, we realized that the following things really help:
Holding regular meetings several times a week
Obviously, you can’t always convey everything through text messages, and just like close working, it’s very important for the team members to hold meetings. these days with the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the need to stay home; virtual meeting seems to be the best option, here are some tips:
Writing Meeting Minutes
We have someone responsible for writing minutes of the meetings; if that person isn’t available for any reason, they assign someone else to write the minutes and post it on Team, so everyone is informed.
We include the following in minutes:
- Time and the date that the meeting took place
- Participants and absentees
- Meeting agenda(the topics we discussed)
- Decisions we made and the important details
- Task and action items
Making Essential Calls
Sometimes text conversations can cause misunderstanding or can be unclear and confusing, or your colleague might forget to reply to an email or text message you sent them. In any of these cases, don’t hesitate to call them up and have a friendly conversation to exchange views and clear any ambiguities. Make sure to share your meeting minutes with the rest of the team to inform them of your progress.
3. Have a Routine For Remote Team Management
Team management can be challenging when you’re working from home since you can’t just go around the office and follow up on projects and team members.
Whether you have the responsibility of management or not, you can help with team management by recording your tasks using Microsoft Planner, Trello or any other tools you and your colleagues are comfortable with. Teams also have the option of integrating with Planner; you can add a tab for each channel and make different lists of tasks like To do, In Progress or Done. These tools make managing and tracking tasks assigned to members faster and easier.
4. Manage Your Time Carefully While Working Remotely:
Whether you stick to your regular schedule of working before the quarantine or have a new plan; it’s important to record your hours and keep track of the time you spent on different tasks and projects; my teammates and I use Toggl or Excel Sheets for recording and reporting our hours.
If your company doesn’t require you to be available and work at certain hours, inform your supervisor or team leader and other team members on your times of availability. And make sure to let everyone know about your absence and its duration if you need to take some time off.
Being a good remote team won’t happen overnight, and it is something you and your team need to work on. Keep in mind that it will take time for you to get used to it, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes rather easy and enjoyable, so be patient and stay positive!
We offer solutions and consultation on remote teamwork. Contact us today to get a free online meeting!
Tell us what you have been doing to adjust to working from home?
Stay Home, Stay Safe!