We have been a fully remote company for a year and a half now. Making the transition to being fully remote can be challenging for any team. During the past year and a half we have worked on making sure that our team is as productive, communicative and social as it was when we had a traditional office space. Here are some tips that we have found to be useful for remote teams:
Have a daily call: We have an office-wide scrum call every at 9:45am. We encourage employees to participate via video and to share their goals for the day and any blockers they may have. It is important for teams to have scheduled “face to face” time on a daily basis in order to stay connected. We prefer chatting in the morning.
Time tracking: We use Noko to track our daily working hours. It is helpful for team members to keep track of what assignments they are working on and to know how much time they are dedicating to each project or client.
Let the team know if you are unavailable or out of office: Occasionally errands or personal appointments come up during the work day - this is not a problem. It is important to let the team know if you are stepping out and won’t be online for a while. Being transparent is important, especially for a remote team. We have a dedicated slack channel called
announcements that we like to use for this.
Overshare information: It’s a great practice to overshare information, especially when you’re working on something challenging or you’re blocked. Sometimes you can use a slack channel as a “rubber duck” and get some ideas on how to make progress.
Impromptu calls: We use Slack for most of our communication. It is generally quick and easy to use. However, if something is taking too long via slack, or your question is not being answered, it is important to have a quick call about it.
Know Your Team: We really like to use Know Your Team to get to know each other better. Know Your Team sends out weekly icebreaker questions to team members and then shares the answers with the whole team. Some of our most discussed questions: - What are you going to ship this week? What is blocking you? - Where did you go on your first airplane ride? - Do you feel like we have too many meetings?
Feedback calls: We like to have monthly One on One Feedback Meetings with Ombu Labs CEO Ernesto Tagwerker. We discuss monthly goals, blockers, our happiness level, ways to improve the company and much more. Getting feedback is especially helpful for remote employees.
End of the week call: One of our favorite remote office traditions is to have an “End of Week Team Call” on Friday afternoons. We go over office announcements and news and have each team member share their accomplishments during the week (personal or professional). It is a good time for our team to connect and have an end of the week cheers.
These are just a few of the tips that help our team work together in a remote environment. To sum it up, communication is key. We like to slack chat, have video calls and check-in with each other as much as possible. Have any tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!