How to operate your business remotely through COVID-19 resources out!
Remote work leaders around the world gather virtually to tackle the remote work challenges posed by the current pandemic known as COVID-19.
To our audiences, if you haven't heard by now, we just ran an 8 hour Q&A marathon, 4 hours in English and 4 hours in Spanish because Torre and Remoter were being approached by a multitude of business leaders seeking advice on how to continue operating despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We knew extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures, so as quickly as the remote community is to help, we teamed up with 70+ colleagues at organizations around the world in a matter of 5 days.
Our goal was to advise, assist, and provide answers to any questions businesses might have about how to maintain a remote operation under the current circumstances. We wanted to help reduce the negative impact of forced remote-work migration.
Questions and answers
Here's a glimpse at some of the questions that were asked and answered by our group of top remote work leaders. The full list of questions and answers from our event is here for English and here for Spanish.
Chris asked: What advice would you give business owners who have been defiant about putting a brave face and forcing folks to show up in the office when majority of cities and countries are shutting down?
Tara Vasdani of Remote Law Canada answered: Enforce a Remote Work Policy ASAP and hire IT specialists to loan laptops and set up the infrastructure. This will help with business continuity in an inevitable situation. If you cannot operate remotely, take advantage of government relief to pay employees - but you would be surprised how much can be done remotely (if not all!) - governments will provide relief.
Lidia asked: What systems do you use at your organisation? How do you organise day-to-day tasks for your team?
Janet Mesh of Aimtal answered: At Aimtal, we use Trello to track projects and tasks.
Since we are a digital + content marketing agency, our work is centered around all of our client projects. Here’s how this is structured:
Every client has its own Trello board. Within each board, we have lists that outline our internal content creation, review, and approval workflows. Since everyone on the team works remotely (and in different states around the country!), it’s really important that we have this meeting to kick-off the week and to understand everyone’s capacity. Together, we map out client projects and tasks and add them as cards under the “Open Tasks” list on every client board. With Trello, anyone on the team can see at a glance who’s working on what by referring to the client boards. In between our internal meetings, we’re constantly chatting on Slack and providing updates in Trello. We do have a rule at Aimtal — if you’re chatting on Slack for more than 10 minutes about a problem or task, then you hop on a Zoom call to discuss it. We also request that everyone make an effort to be online between 12 pm to 4 pm ET since we don’t all work on the same time zone. This ensures we can all get some time to work together and hop on a Zoom if necessary to collaborate. Even if we’re miles away from each other, we prioritize clear and consistent communication. “Communicate clearly” is one of our core values! So it’s a crucial way for us to stay aligned with client projects, tasks, and delivering exceptional customer service.
Question asked: My firm does not do remote work. With this new change, how can I confirm the productivity of my team & my sustainability in the insurance industry?
Mandy Fransz of Make the Leap Digital answered: Having worked for an insurance company for 3,5 years where I was allowed to WFH regularly, I can honestly say I was much more productive working from home than in-office. Make sure to establish a culture of mutual trust (set clear KPI's + measure results/impact rather than time spend working) and provide the tools, training and support to empower everyone to do their work from home. More importantly, keep up team morale e.g. through weekly virtual team meetings, virtual 1:1 coffee chats and a team Slack channel for more informal office chatter (funny memes recommended ;)).
Miguel asked: What tools do you consider to be essential for remote work?
Gary Walker of Ready for Remote answered: Aim to find tools that allow you to create a way for your team to communicate with their colleagues and to show the progress of their work.Remember, the tool is not the goal, so don’t lead with the tool. Try to identify the jobs to be done, then map the tool to support it. You can access a categorised list of tools here and visit Remote Work Association for emergency supply kits and tech discounts.
Where can you find our resources?
Our recording is up on YouTube, and again, you can click here for the English questions & answers and resources and here for the Spanish questions & answers and resources.