What We Need To Work From Home?

  1. Real Time Communication with colleagues

Seeing emotions is helpful. If chat or email gets too long, reach out more personally.

  1. Chat – Equivalent of stopping by someone’s desk.
    1. Microsoft Teams (like Slack)
    2. Google Chat – simple chat one-on-one or in groups
    3. Slack.com
  • time sensitive but asynchronous is fine
  • great for feedback AKA reactions/emojis
  • Great for mobile and desktop users. 
  • Can use for easy voting
  • Integration with Google Drive
  1. Live Meetings – Like a real life meeting

There is still value in collaboration to get everyone to work through a problem together.

Consider a meeting schedule (ex: Department meetings biweekly to establish priorities). Ask yourself ‘How much is unknown?’ and that is where you have meetings!
Make an agenda ahead of time. “What is the point of this meeting?” Justify the time spent. 

Get a facilitator (and rotate) to make sure no one dominates, the agenda moves forward, etc. Consider training your team on facilitation so you are working with the same ground rules, vocabulary, etc. 

  1. Zoom
  2. Skype
  3. Webex
  4. Email – Like an interoffice memo

Mostly external with clients/customers and the general public

  1. Minimizing distractions/being productive from home

It’s a mind shift! 

  1. Choosing when to engage with these tools i.e NOT constantly (setting boundaries)
    1. Use do not disturb functions on things like chat and other interrupters 
  2. Consider a separate office in your home (or elsewhere!) for compartmentalization
    1. Consider a ritual to get yourself in “work mode” and “out of work mode”
    2. Give yourself a ‘commute’ even if an artificial one – ex: listening to a podcast
  3. Consider adjusting your work hours (ex: after kids go to sleep)
  4. Block off time on your calendar for a project or otherwise something you are doing for yourself
  5. Don’t try to ‘outwork’ anyone (ex: a team member in a different time zone)
  6. Communicate with other family members when you are in a work situation (ex: Post It on a door, a candle that is lit when you are working, put on a giant headset, have family members text)
    1. There are lights that plug into your computer that communicate your status. https://redlevelgroup.com/busylight-the-next-level-do-not-disturb-sign/
  1. Doing The Work

Your company may dictate what tools you use and obviously your work will depend on what you need to do!

  1. Project Management
    1. Asana – Assign tasks, due dates, etc. – Consider loom.com for how to videos to go with tasks (MonoSnap is in Mac but might be Windows too for screensharing.) 
    2. Things (Mac tool)
    3. Basecamp
  2. Documents/Spreadsheets – Collaborate on documents at the same time, make comments, etc.
    1. Google Drive
    2. One Note (Microsoft has equivalent)
  3. Password Management Tool
    1. LastPass.com
    2. https://1password.com/ – Company Account that everyone has access to (Shared Groups of passwords). Personal Vault for personal passwords.
  1. Workplace Culture/How We Agree To Use This Stuff

Minimum Viable Product: Before trying to solve the whole thing, get clear about what you are trying to do and pick a tool that does that. It doesn’t have to be the ‘perfect’ one right away so try something.

  1. What tools are used when (Consider creating company guidelines)
    1. How often should they be checked
    2. What do you already use and how can you work with it? (Ex: If you use Microsoft, you’ll use OneNote, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
  2. Create Psychological Safety – It’s important!
    1. Build in personal connection during meetings Ex: Time at the beginning of the meeting to share something personal
    2. Consider channels in Slack for connection (recipes, etc.)
  3. Once a year retreat/ Some way we see each other in real life sometimes
  4. Try one software platform at a time. – Is it worth the pain of shifting? You will lose productivity, spend time on it. Buy in for a period of time and understand it’s going to be rough at first. 
  5. Having company leaders actually use the tool is really powerful and important. 

Remote working takes time and effort to work! Be kind to yourself and your colleagues!


Jill’s Handout Of Useful Tools: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jx90p4x3x8vvsoe/Tools%20for%20Remote%20Work.pdf?dl=0

Upcoming Webinars: Navigating The Remote Workplace During COVID-19 https://learn.electric.ai/remote-support-webinar/ and Dealing with Disruption: Managing the Mindset of Yourself, Team, and Clients During a Crisis. https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7570618449334396429