First and foremost, all of us at RowLogic hope that everyone and their families are safe and healthy in these challenging times. We will get through this together.
RowLogic is a virtual company. We have a central office and meet there often, but everyone on our team can work from anywhere. This has helped tremendously in the current situation of our country. Granted, the software industry is much easier to accommodate a remote work environment, but as technology advances each year, other industries are able to embrace the variety of ways to get things done. Some of you may be working remotely or managing a remote team for the first time.
With our unique perspective on the remote work environment, we’d like to share some things we’ve learned through the years that may help you and your team gain control of your remoteness:
1. Check in regularly.
One-on-one communication is still important. Catch up with your team on an individual basis. See how someone is doing. Stay connected, even if through a two-minute daily chat.
Be more precise with directions and procedures when using email and chat, as ideas and intentions can often be misconstrued. Pick up the phone more frequently. Also, continue to have the “water cooler” talk. Don’t make all communication about work. Lighten it up with other things to stay connected.
3. More video calls.
It’s not necessary to do video calls for every meeting or every one- on-one, but it can be very helpful to stay connected to your team. It also helps to keep everyone engaged with the meeting, and prevents other distractions. Special occasions, like birthdays and company milestones, are also good opportunities to use a video call.
Unplug and encourage your team to do the same. We all need our downtime. Working from home sometimes causes us to not have a clear separation between home life and work life. It’s important to step away and not feel like you are always on call.
5. Empower your team to be comfortable with communication tools.
Use the tools enough so that it becomes second nature to all your team members. When you start to embrace more of these tools for the entire company, schedule meetings with a 30-minute grace period at the start to have all communication issues resolved beforehand.
6. Invest in tools for the remote work environment.
Whenever possible, choose tools that allow for anytime/anywhere productivity, regardless of device. There are many file sharing systems, communication tools, and operational apps that allow for a productive remote work environment. (Shameless plug: as for operational apps, RowLogic has a suite of web and mobile apps to help with pricing, dispatch and delivery, tank management, and sales.)
RowLogic uses Slack for daily communication, ActiveCollab for project management, Dropbox and Google Drive for file sharing, and GoToMeeting for virtual collaboration. Other effective tools exist, such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom for communication, Asana and Trello for project management, and OneDrive for file sharing.
We hope our lessons learned over the years can be helpful to you. The challenges we face today make us confront the old ways of doing business. It’s encouraging to know there are techniques and tools to help ease the transition and to maintain that human connection that ultimately drives all of our teams.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you’d like to discuss how we implement a remote work environment. We wish everyone well.
For more information,
contact John Montelepre
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 985-626-7382 x103.