Studio Designer, like so many companies, are implementing safety measures that are requiring remote work, and many managers are dealing with remote management for the first time. Whether this is your team’s first experience remote, or something you do all the time, these five things can make your time apart more successful.
1. Define Accountability
What are your measures of success and accountability for your team while they are remote? In a support organization, this might be measured in tickets completed or satisfaction scores. Make sure your team knows what it is that they are responsible for while remote. Include in these communication guidelines. One great example is to always remind your team that “remote time” is “available time.” If you’re 8-5, that means being available from 8-5. Keeping the team members available via Slack or another messaging tool can help ensure that you are getting your full participation from the team.
2. Check in
It is easy to forget how much we can see and hear when we are in person, but also how available we “feel” to our team members. If you’re used to doing a desk drop in once a day in person, up it to 2-3 times a day remotely. Send messages to your team in a group chat in the morning, and throughout the day. Doing helps keep them focused on work, but also reminds them that you are there and available.
3. Turn on the Camera
We’ve all done it. We’re on a digital meeting, but we haven’t fixed our hair, or we have stuff going on in the background and we leave our camera off. Don’t. As social creatures, we pick up far more from facial cues than we do just via voice. In addition, when your employees can see each other and you, there is a significant decrease in “multitasking” during meetings.
4. Recreate the Water Cooler
We accomplish a lot in business when having random conversations. Whether your company normally has this by the water cooler or in the kitchen getting a double espresso and avocado toast, the results are the same. When you are remote, this is one of the single most overlooked aspects. As a manager do your best to create side and group conversations for your team. Easy tips: Ask questions in a group chat, connect two people to problem solve (phone or chat), schedule an extra group meeting for a few minutes to just give people that extra chance to interact and communicate.
5. Understand Your Tools
Most companies today have a LOT of tools to make remote work easier… or a living nightmare. Understanding (and helping your team understand) how to utilize various tools can make a big difference. The big four are:
- Email: We use this every day, but many use it incorrectly. When remote, make sure that you’re not going email crazy. That said, any specific action required or update should be made via email. Don’t get lazy and assume your “Slack Blast” covered it.
- Phone: Again something we all have, but forget how to use. If an email has gone back and forth 3 times, pick up the phone. Need to work something out? Pick up the phone.
- Video Conferencing: One of the two new tools that make remote work great. Using this for team meetings, or instances where collaboration or screen sharing can be helpful changed the nature of remote work forever. Always do this in favor of conference calls. Examples: GoogleHangouts, Zoom, GoToMeeting.
- Messaging: Normally the first and last pin in a company’s communication strategy, messaging makes a big difference, but can easily get out of hand. The best way to have your team think about messaging is “would you walk over and say this to them in person?” If so, it’s probably great to message. Remember though, we get a lot of messages and it can be easy to miss things. Therefore, anything that is a new task, policy, etc should never be sent via messaging. Instead, feel free to send a message as a follow up. “Did you see that email on our new process?” “When you get a second can you respond with the meeting notes you mentioned?”
Helping align on these simple things can make a big difference to your team and ensure that you will be in full force regardless of how long you’re separated.
For interior designers, Studio Designer is a highly useful tool to conduct remote work from your laptop and mobile devices. From sourcing items on vendor websites using Studio Capture to quick online communications with clients and vendors. Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.