To combat the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, remote teams are trying to increase camaraderie and improve communication. This week on the Collaboration Superpowers Podcast, I give five tips for simulating the office online. Specifically, how do we simulate the “human-ness” that we get when we’re in the office together.


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Tips for simulating the office online

  1. USE GREAT EQUIPMENT AND MINIMIZE BACKGROUND NOISE. Whether it’s a headset, conference room equipment, or even bandwidth, get the best equipment you can. You will be grateful if you do as you don’t know how many things you can accomplish when you have the best tools and equipment.
  2. EMBRACE VIDEO. Lot’s of people don’t like video but this is a great way to simulate an office presence. There are lots of tools you can use to embrace videos such as pair collaboration, webcams, and teleportation devices like the Kubi from Revolve Robotics.
  3. WORK OUT LOUD. One of the keys to working with remote teams is to let others know what you are doing. You can use instant messaging or updating your Skype status. Whatever your team uses, the idea is to simulate a new form of proximity to each other online.
  4. SCHEDULE UNSTRUCTURED TIME. You can schedule virtual lunches or virtual dance parties. The idea is to schedule virtual time to spend with your team.
  5. SHOW APPRECIATION. When you work with remote teams this is particularly important. You can use an app like Kudobox.co where you can send online Kudos via Twitter.

Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland

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Original transcript

Welcome to the Collaboration Superpowers podcast. My name is Lisette and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely. Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode. So this week I’m excited to announce that the working from anywhere workshop has taken off and is going on a world tour. Where I’ll be going is first São Paulo, Brazil, then Zurich, Switzerland, then Stockholm, Sweden, then Munich, Germany, and then Crete in Greece. If you’re out there and you’re interested in joining any of these workshops, then please let me know. I would love to meet you. The purpose of the workshop is to get your team running so smoothly that you have time to focus on what’s important. A lot of team managers have come to me and said, “I’m spending so much time managing my remote team that I don’t really have time to actually do my work.” This workshop is geared around that problem, how to make your team more self-sufficient so that they’re actually managing themselves. And you want to create an atmosphere that simulates the office. What you’re trying to do is simulate the humanness that you would have if you were working together in an office. So I thought I would dedicate today’s short podcast to giving my top-five tips for simulating the office. Now I realize that each one of these tips has an entire hour-long episode behind it where I could go into the details and the tools. And we do cover this in the workshop. But I’m going to just give you the top-five tips. And if you’re interested in learning more, get in touch, collaborationsuperpowers.com.

All right, so here we go. My first tip is always use great equipment. Whether it’s a headset or a conference room equipment, get the best equipment that you can because you want to keep the bandwidth as high as possible.

The second tip is embrace video. And I know a lot of people don’t like video, but again, we’re trying to simulate high bandwidth here. Okay, now there’s a lot I can go into around the subject of embracing video. I mean there are the tools that we use for embracing videos. There is pair collaboration. There are webcams. There are teleportation devices. And I’m not kidding. There are teleportation devices that are really cool like the Kubi from Revolve Robotics.

I promised to do an episode all about that sometime. The third tip for simulating the office is finding ways to work out loud. And what I mean by that is how do we let our colleagues know what we’re working on while we’re working. So whether it’s instant messaging, whether it’s updating your Skype status, whatever your team uses, you need to find a way to work out loud.

The fourth tip for simulating the office is schedule unstructured time. So I could also do another whole episode about scheduling unstructured time, but on the teams that I’ve worked on, we scheduled virtual lunches and even virtual dance parties. So there are a lot of creative things that we can do, just depends on the team.

And my fifth tip for simulating the office is showing appreciation. And I know that even when we’re in the office, we often don’t show enough appreciation. But I think on remote teams, it’s especially important. I recently recommended the tool Kudobox.co, made by my awesome, Happy Melly colleague, Sergei. And with this tool, you can send online Kudos via Twitter.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these five tips. And this is just one of the segments from the working from anywhere workshop. So I gave you about five percent of some of the tips and best practices and things that you can learn. If you are interested in taking the Working From Anywhere workshop either online or in person, just visit collaborationsuperpowers.com. A huge thanks to Nick, the podcast monster. You can hire him to make you a star at podcastmonster.com. All right, everybody, until next time, be powerful.

Work Together Anywhere Workshop by Collaboration Superpowers




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