With COVID-19 (coronavirus) making its way around the world, hardly any economic sector has been left unaffected.
As the wave is sweeping over the United States, a lot of businesses and organizations are taking measures to prepare themselves for possible quarantines and shut-downs.
Remote working (also known as telecommuting, or teleworking) is a work arrangement where employees are allowed to work from the comfort of their homes for an extended period of time.
Due to coronavirus fears, remote working has quickly become a trend with lots of brands (including Twitter, Amazon, Zoho and many others) urging their employees to stay at home and work from there.
Working Effectively from Home
Is your brand prepared to face a possible 30-day isolation without interrupting its operations? Here are a few things you can do to minimize an impact of the global economic threat:
1. Hold Daily Virtual Meetings
I know what you are thinking… More meetings? Shouldn’t remote working mean less time spent on the meetings? Shouldn’t we stick to emails for now?
Trust me, normally, I am not a fan of meetings. In fact, I do believe they take too much time and often feel like nothing gets actually done.
However with remote working, meetings are more than an organizational necessity. You need them to maintain the feeling of presence.
Now that most of us are isolated, we need to remind one another that we are all still here.
Those daily meetups can be short (~10 minutes long) and quick but they are essential for keeping one another motivated.
Thankfully in our era of fast-advancing technology and Internet connections, you can keep your team as productive at home as they are at work, at least temporarily.
Keeping in touch is quite doable by using tools like ClickMeeting.
For productive virtual meetings, you can use the following options:
- Effective meeting scheduling, notifications and reminders
- Screen sharing, white boards and recordings, allowing team members to collaborate on projects
- In-meeting chat and live Q&A threads, encouraging collaborations and allowing teams to discuss upcoming tasks
- Productive “waiting rooms,” allowing your employees to review agenda items and related files
2. Keep Everyone Organized with Calendar Apps
Keeping your day structured is crucial. It helps everyone to stay on track and cope with feelings of isolation and anxiety.
We have a daily calendar set-up to keep track of:
- Client reports
- In-team virtual meetings
- Lunch breaks
- Client calls
- Fun activities and holidays
To create cross-team calendars, there are a few free options to try:
- Obviously, Trello’s calendars app (It is free. Should I say more?)
- To-do management feature by Zenkit (I love their minimalist, yet feature-rich approach)
- Finally, if you are using Google’s products a lot, Google Calendars are great.
There are many freemium solutions available as well. Here’s a huge list of SaaS platforms offering advanced project management tools to keep your remote teams organized.
3. Use Collaborative Tools to Keep Your Team Motivated
Think about motivating and empowering your temporally remote employees. Keeping your company’s work going is doable but how to keep your employees’ spirits high when you cannot see them in person?
With remote working it is too easy to get discouraged and feel isolated.
Employing marketing collaboration tools is a great way to keep your company’s morale high. It always helps feel accomplished when you are able to contribute to a shared task and learn feedback right away.
ContentCal.io is one of many great options here. To help businesses affected by the pandemic, the platform is now offering extended support options to help set up a collaborative environment for remote employees.
The tool offers a flexible collaborative environment allowing your whole company to get creative and contribute to your branded voice online. The tool also lets you maintain a single dashboard for all your scheduled campaigns.
You can use the teamwork options, including
- Content contributions from across your whole team
- Content approving (to ensure consistent brand voice online)
- Commenting and tagging your team members (for them to be notified)
- Shared calendar view for your whole team to see their updates going live
- Shared notes and comments allowing your team members to exchange ideas and brainstorm together
- Scheduled campaigns for your team members to contribute their thoughts, create assets and brainstorm more marketing ideas
ContentCal is obviously not the only collaborative solution out there. Here’s a list of many more to consider.
It is not too late to prepare your company for a looming remote working transition. Make a clearly structured remote work policy to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Whether the outbreak is going to justify the current panic or not, your efforts won’t go wasted as you’ll come out operating a stronger, more flexible business. Keeping these tools in mind as well as giving them a try, you’ll be facing any possible economic or seasonal outbreaks more confidently as you’ll have all the steps prepared.
With the right tools, professionals can complete many of the tasks at home that they normally perform in the office during this COVID-19 crisis.
During this unprecedented time in our lives, we hope everyone is staying safe and well.
Focus is important in working from home. There are always so many distractions that one has to deal with.
Though WFH is the safest opportunity at hand now, it would still be claustrophobic to a few people who got used to their routine. However, with proper tools being used efficiently, we can kill the boredom.