5 Tips for Teams Working Remotely
More and more businesses are asking employees to work from home during this time. Putting in place a productive and secure environment is one of the biggest challenges organizations are faced with. Our products are all about remote collaboration and secure cloud access, so we wanted to share some of the fundamental ideas that went into designing that ecosystem, as tips that can help you while everyone is being asked to self-isolate from their usual work environments.
1. Collaboration can happen anywhere
Why do people gather in offices to run businesses, in schools to learn together, and in facilities that administer healthcare? Because most problems, mysteries, and roadblocks are better and more quickly solved when we work on them together.
In the past few decades — and especially the past few years, technology has taken strides that allow us to collaborate more effectively online than we ever could gather around a boardroom table or conventional whiteboard. Still, the notion that people can contribute fully, out of sight, is often met with doubts.
Embracing the idea that you don’t have to work in the same room together to do your best work together is the first step in making remote working successful for your team.
2. Use technology that improves on familiar experiences
The shift to remote working isn’t so radical that there should be a big learning curve. Obviously, instead of talking across a room, your conversations will shift to conference calls and video chats. For businesses with offices in distant cities, this is business as usual. Good conversations can happen across all mediums.
Remote teams will rely heavily on secure access of centrally organized assets. Keeping those spaces organized and accessible is essential to an effective remote team.
3. Don’t press pause on group ideation
Whatever your business or profession, ideas are powerful things. While it may feel like the world is grinding to a halt, remote working doesn’t have to impede remote ideation.
It’s an area we are passionate about and have built our products around. To modernize the experience of using a whiteboard or basic smartboard, we built interactive digital writing devices that offer a natural writing experience, with the benefit of automatically saving your work to a secure cloud-based library, that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. When you have multiple devices in different locations, that’s when things get really interesting.
Using our powerful InkWorks™ by QuirkLogic Platform, team members can write on our ePaper based devices and their actions are mirrored across any connected devices, or a phone or tablet using our Quilla Connect app. This allows for rapid ideation, sketches, and collaborative design to happen in real-time — perhaps more fluidly than if you were sharing elbow space in front of a single whiteboard.
4. Learn from other industries
Our products are geared to business, education, and healthcare — three industries hit hard by the pandemic. All three rely on interaction to keep busy and stay productive, all three have had that productivity disrupted, and all three are vaulting over the obstacles of distance in different ways.
School is out, indefinitely. But innovative teachers are moving quickly to get their coursework online, so students can continue learning from their homes. You can do the same by shifting your regularly scheduled meetings, presentations, pitches, coffee dates, and networking meet-ups online. To keep your work moving forward, it’s more important that these events happen, than that they happen in person.
That’s doubly true for hospitals and medical professionals in danger of being overwhelmed. To provide long-distance care, healthcare has shifted to remote information gathering like telephone interviews and virtual consultations, before a patient and doctor meet face-to-face. You can do the same time-saving pre-work by conversing with coworkers via concise emails and calls — exchanging the level of information you might usually trade when passing each other in a hallway or over lunch.
5. Communication is key
Anyone who has heard a school bell ring, filled out a timesheet, or submitted a request for vacation days knows that attendance has long been the backbone of industrious organizations. But, you can be present without being physically present, and productive without being visibly productive. The key to making everyone comfortable with those ideas is constant communication.
Instead of thousands of side-channel conversations, consider setting up a Slack or Teams channel for all group interactions, and to set share your online status. In addition to being an effective replacement for time-boxed meetings, this constant connection also provides the social interaction your team will need amid current events.
Whatever technology you have access to during these challenging times, remember that you can reach normal levels of teamwork and productivity simply by using great tools to their full potential.