Dear reader, I hope you are safe and keeping yourself informed about this awful virus sweeping our world.
My inbox has been FLOODED with people asking for help. This resource was created to help you face sudden remote working as well as possible.
And please… stay safe and healthy.
You can DOWNLOAD THESE TIPS (as a PDF) – and pass it on.
(last updated: 19 Mar 2020)
Suddenly remote? Start with this!
If you and your team are suddenly remote, start here:
- Find a dedicated place in your house. Make this an area where you can be productive and is separate from your private life. Here are examples of what others have done.
- Use video. It’s important that your team members can see and hear you well. Have plenty of light and wear a headset.
- Create a team agreement. Talk about expectations for how to work together. Templates available here.
- Set goals and be enthusiastic. Working remote is all about trust and communication. How will you know what each other are doing?
- Get familiar with the tools. There are great tools available for online collaboration like Zoom, Slack and Retrium. Check out what’s available: tools for remote teams.
- Lean in. Start without big expectations, experiment and grow your skills. Put feedback loops in place to evaluate progress. Regular retrospectives on how the team is doing will inspire continuous improvement and trust.
Look for inspiration and try new things
There are some fun ways to spend time online! Get inspired by these ideas, and let’s see what we can do together:
- Virtual coffees – In many physical workplaces, having coffee together is a normal part of the day. Why not try it… online?
- Virtual museum tours – the Uffizi art gallery in Florence is offering digital tours to ease the boredom of forced lockdown
- Netflix parties – If you’re missing your friends and family and could use a movie night, Google Chrome has created an extension called Netflix Party, which allows you to simultaneously stream Netflix with whomever you choose. Equipped with a chat window and a play/pause button, this is a great way to stay connected when you’re apart.
- Virtual opera – The Metropolitan Opera is offering ‘Nightly Met Opera Streams’
- The Sofa Singers – bring together hundreds of people in real-time for 45-minute choir rehearsals, learning a classic song with some optional harmonies/backing parts.
- Virtual dance parties – The Happy Melly team used to have virtual dance parties together… it was weird, but it was fun!
- Read more – You can now download over 300,000 books from the New York Public Library for free.
- Virtual personal training – It can be done – and many gyms and yoga instructors are offering virtual lessons!
- At-home workouts – The best at-home workout streaming services to try during COVID-19
- Virtual bars – More and more people around the world are getting online to have virtual adult beverages together. No designated drivers needed!
- Winchester Mystery House is offering virtual tours to homebound horror fans.
- Listen to this episode of The Daily Podcast by The New York Times, highlighting some creative, loving and joyful virtual experiments. So much is possible.
- “House DJs” – You just have to see this one for yourself 😉
- Yale’s most popular course is now available online for free! The Science of Well-Being.
Just remember, it’s not likely going to be as good as in-person, but it’s WAY better than nothing. And in these days of social distancing, I’m certain that we can find new ways of being close.
Train your team
Get your team trained on how to work online together. In these online workshops we explore how to better collaborate online, and the various tools and techniques for building trust and increasing camaraderie in the virtual workplace. You’ll finish the workshop with a Super Action Plan of how to make your team rock remote working.
Advanced tips for successful remote working
Perfect your game and practice good self care
If you’re working from home for the first time, common advice is to shower and get dressed like you normally would for going to the office. Try and separate your working space from your living space.
Most people tend to overwork instead of underwork. Burnout is a real problem and should be taken seriously. Make sure to take enough breaks and move your body regularly.
- Take the “Are you ready?” questionnaire to see where you might improve your skills.
- Productivity tips for working remotely.
- Tips for better work-life balance and how to manage being always-on.
- How to set boundaries when working from home.
- How to combat loneliness and stay social when working remotely.
- Ways to practice good self care.
- Tim Ferriss’s latest interview with Jack Kornfield “How to Find Peace Amidst COVID-19, How to Cultivate Calm in Chaos“
For a remote team to succeed, its manager must both believe that remote teams can succeed and trust that each member will come through as expected.
Focus on making communicating easy and removing your team’s impediments!
- Download our Manager’s Action Plan.
- Tips for transitioning to remote.
- How and why to become “remote first” (being able to work together anywhere, even if you don’t HAVE to).
- Schedule regular times for reflection and improvement.
Team spirit, online? Yes! It’s possible.
There are tools that can help simulate a working environment or even simulating the physical on-site office. Since casual, personal time spent together is so effective at bonding, it’s important that team members also interact socially – separate from their work activities. This view is widely shared.
- Try virtual coworking together to simulate in-person work sessions.
- Make time for virtual team building activities and building trust.
- Tips for time zones.
Get good at online meetings
Great online meetings are a combination of great infrastructure and good facilitation. Make sure everyone can be seen and heard. Turn on your webcams and get a good headset: a standard phone headset will do, but if you have a noisy background, it’s worth it to invest in a noise-canceling headset. I know it might seem expensive, but please trust me. It’s worth every penny.
- Tools for online meetings. Please note: It doesn’t matter which tools you choose; what matters is that everyone on the team is comfortable with the technology, and everyone agrees on how it will be used.
- Tips for a great virtual conferencing setup.
- Tips for online meeting facilitation
- Tips for those awful hybrid meetings.
- Learn how to host and facilitate great online meetings in a Remote Meetings Masterclass.
Resources for virtual conferencing
Many people are asking how to convert their in-person conferences to remote.
Tools for virtual conferences
- Digitell is popular for virtual and hybrid conferences
- VirBELA – supports formal gatherings, but also spontaneous collaboration (video chat supports scheduled meetings but isn’t conducive to other kinds of interactions).
- Zoom using breakout rooms
- Try any of the virtual offices for your next virtual conference or gathering
Examples of virtual conferences
- Remote Forever Summit. “World class experts in agile, leadership and remote work share their best strategies and techniques to help you sharpen your agile coaching skills, become a better leader and get equipped to improve your remote teams and distributed organizations.” (https://remoteforeversummit.com)
- Remote Future Summit. “The biggest online conference about remote work, where 50 top experts and influencers will share their best practices on how to effectively tackle the remote revolution.” (https://remote-future.com)
- Running Remote. “World’s largest remote work event.” (https://runningremote.com)
- The Remote Work Summit. “World’s largest remote work conference” (https://www.theremoteworksummit.com/)
The Work Together Anywhere Handbook
“Sharing powerful advice gleaned from professional experience, extensive research, and interviews with workers and manager/owners around the world, the Work Together Anywhere Handbook sets out a complete blueprint for optimizing team success.”
Working Remotely… Successfully, The Webinar
Free webinar on how to perfect your own game – and how to work with others online.
Even more community resources
Thank you to everyone in the remote working community who are contributing to helping as many people as we can make the best of an awful situation.
- Resources for #workfromhome during Coronavirus – via RoRemote
- Work in the Time of Corona – via Alice Goldfuss
- Quick, work remote! A guide on how to set up your remote working strategy – by Erin Folletto Casali
- Mentally healthy remote working – by Minds@work (hosted by Three and Remo)
- Distributed Collaboration Manual – a wiki by Edgeryders
- 13 things tech companies can do to fight coronavirus, an open letter from technologists, epidemiologists & medical professionals
- How to embrace remote work – via Trello
- Remote working: A Practical Safety Guide For Businesses – by Glide
- Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success – via LinkedIn
TEDx Kaunas – Work Together Anywhere
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- What the pros are doing
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- How to feel comfortable working from anywhere
- How to build camaraderie on your remote team