So these are crazy times for the world, and we will get through it. But for some businesses, the thought of letting your teams work from home can be scary. Especially in this weird time in our history, it’s almost being forced upon businesses across the world to accept and have our staff work from home radically. I understand that not all companies are ready for this leap and you’ve probably got some questions.
Over the last few day’s I’ve been urged to stay home as a family member has come home from a recent overseas holiday, so It got me thinking about how we correctly do online teams. For the last three months, Convodojo has adopted a (what I call) virtual culture, This is how I remotely can work from anywhere.
Here are some things I’ve learnt over many years of working remotely for other companies including the last three months with Convodojo.
1. Culture is everything.
I can’t stress this enough. You need a good culture if you ever want your team to work from home. Now, you may ask, how do we do that? Well, I’d start with these simple points:
- Let your team know the reason for going virtual (not just because of the world at the moment). Explain why the how and your expectations and the rules.
- Stop the negative talk and workplace rumours. Rumours and negative speak about the company and staff is one sure way to ruin culture. If I hear it, we nip it on the butt quickly
- Trust your team and explain or make sure your team know the vision of why they do what they do. For Convodojo, our vision is to see businesses have and crate genuine conversation with their customers online. My team know that I want to see every small business using live chat on their website by 2025.
2. Trust goes both ways
Letting your teams work from home can be a scary thought. Many business owners like you share two common questions about remote work.
- Will my staff work productively from home?
- If I can’t see them, how do I know they are even working?
These two questions will be the demise of the whole “virtual Culture”. If your staff don’t believe you trust them, they will be more apprehensive about doing the work. You need to trust your team and that they stand for what your vision is. If they don’t stand for your companies vision, then your culture needs work. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
Keeping yourself and your team accountable while working virtually is an essential part of the virtual culture. Here are some steps that help our team stay liable for each other.
- We share timesheets – I ask my team to time track their time purely as accountability to themselves and each other. I have them share their timesheets with our slack channel called “Remotely”. This allows our team to share positive feedback on the work that’s being achieved and what each other are working on. Even I time track my days and share them with the team. I have found that this has helped our team be more productive and kick goals and KPIs from week to week.
- We incentivise timesheet logging. If a team member crushes their expected timeframe for a task, they are rewarded. If a team member goes over and beyond the call of duty for a client, they are rewarded. If a complete 3u hour a week timesheet is completed, they are rewarded. This keeps the team eager to complete timesheets.
- Whilst a team member is time tracking, we have an open-door policy, meaning anyone from the team can call or video call that team member. That Includes me.
- Side note: time tracking meetings are essential, but usually, we have a calendar that we can see everyone’s meetings; this is an exception to the above rule.
4. Set project expectations, never expect tasks
Even for myself, this was a hard point to learn. It took time. But, if you can get over this hurdle, you surely can have a unique virtual culture and have your team working at full compacity from anywhere!.
Let you teamwork in their time.
*side note: Except rostered calls, meetings and live chat duties.
What do I mean by this? Well, let your staff work at any time they please as long, AS LONG as they meet their weekly hourly quota and provide excellent outcomes at the end of the week/fortnight when we have our catchup as a team. This has had a tremendously beneficial impact on my team’s wellbeing, and I get amazing results. It’s a win-win. However, this is the hardest thing to let your staff do especially if you’re new to remote working yet, can change your companies culture for the good!
Secondly, I meet with all my team every fortnight via a zoom call. It’s a compulsory meeting, no questions asked. We discuss the tasks ahead for the fortnight, our goals and KPIs, and I finish with the expectations I require by the end of the fortnight. I don’t care how my team get there, as long as those expectations are met.
I hope these points give you some starting points on creating a virtual culture in your workplace. I’m always happy to answer any questions you have about running your teams remotely, especially in this crazy economic period, we are going through.
I want to continue this topic next week with some programs we use and how our team utilise their features to run Convodojo remotely effectively. If you found this post helpful, please leave a like or comment below.
Until next week