As an employer, how can you run your company remotely if that is something you didn’t practice?
These days humankind is experiencing a very delicate situation with the new COVID-19. It is our responsibility to follow all collective, and individual preventive measures. The most important is to isolate at home. However, as an employer, how can you run your company remotely if that is something you didn’t practice? Here you can find the key points to success at remote working.
At Foonkie Monkey since 2010 when we created our company, we decided to be pioneers in remote working. It has been very positive for all of us. During these years, we have learned how to optimize efforts and get great results working with this methodology. Therefore, I want to share with you the key points to success at remote working.
Usually, when we are sharing new tasks or ideas with the team, they might not mean the same to all people. Therefore it is very important to explain in detail anything you want to say, mainly if it a task that your team members are going to work on. Please be thorough and even redundant, and when you finish your explanations, after that, ask the people involved to explain to you what they understood, that way the entire team is going to keep aligned since the beginning.
According to good practices (Scrum), it is a good idea to have a quick (no more than 15 minutes) daily meeting with your team members. That way all members update the state of the ongoing tasks and solve minor doubts. However, If there is a specific matter to review with one team member, and that doesn’t affect others, it is better to do it afterward in a separate call, so you don’t waste your team’s time.
Keep Single Tasks, and Easy to Track
Separate big tasks or objectives in smaller tasks easy to understand. This way the members in charge, won’t take much time working on it and will be able to present results in an agile way. Use a good tracking platform or way to review the state of each task in real-time.
Use the Right Communication Tools for Your Company
Every company has different requirements for remote working, depending on the size and security of the information. First, check what teleconferencing and chat systems are the right ones for your company depending on the number of people that your company has, and how frequent the conferences are going to be. We recommend using Slack or even WhatsApp as chat platforms and Google Hangouts/Google Meet for teleconferencing. Think about free tools, later on, if the company demands any premium service you can think of paid platforms or services.
Use the Right Task Tracking Tools
This is a very important aspect to handle. If you are new to digital task management, and your teams are formed of less than 3 people per project or objective, you can work with intuitive and easy to use tools like Trello or Asana.
But if you are working on large projects, or managing big accounts or clients, my advice is to work with a DevOps Tool like Azure DevOps or Jira. This kind of tools offers a big variety of functionalities, and sometimes they are not much intuitive, we recommend hiring a DevOps specialist, with experience in the management of this kind of tools, and knowledge in agile methodologies.
Commitment and Trust on Both Sides
Besides the methodology and tools, this way to work succeeds if each member is fully committed, respect working hours, and help proactively to the company. On the other hand, the leaders and high executives must trust in the goodwill and work of all collaborators. You can establish the rules of daily work, for example:
1. If an employee needs to step away from the working station for a small period, he/she must update their state in the chat platform.
2. Establish maximum time laps to answer messages, 5 minutes for example.
3. If the collaborator is going to be absent for an urgent or personal situation, he/she must send an email to his leader so the meetings can be right scheduled.
Create the Best Home Office Experience
Provide good computers, check that the internet connection of every employee is good enough, and check that the working environment is the best it can be.
Use the Right Documentation Management
Finally, for companies that manage delicate documentation and legal contracts, there is an option to handle all documents at the intranet of your company, using a VPN connection. To handle contracts and legal documents, we suggest using platforms as Signaturit or Docusign to generate legally signed documents.
We understand that it is scary to go remotely working. But once you get used to it, you will realize that it is smart to keep using the methodology (you can mix for example 50% home office, 50% on-site), and this is not just a temporary measure to have your company operating during the COVID-19 days.