Tips for Working Remotely
Telework, #WorkHome, #WorkRemote, #HomeOffice etc, are terms that have become part of everyday life "thanks" to the #Covid19 Pandemic. What for many people or companies seemed like a journey never to be implemented; only an epidemic was enough to show that it is possible to work in another way. Today I want to share with you some tips that served us and that may be useful for companies that are just getting started in this area, because this work dynamic is here to stay and it is better to adapt in order to prosper.
Of the 11 years of life that RUBICA has, 8 of them we have worked implementing a culture of remote work, during this time we have been able to take the company with people located in other cities and even countries without having a negative impact on operations. But telling this story sounds easy, the truth is that it took us years to learn to understand the dynamics of work, the gaps between generations and even the realities of the houses of our team to be able to say that we are experts in the subject.
TIP #1: There is no more effective technological tool than true trust.
The truth is that many bosses fear that work at home can be wasted by workers who would rather sleep than do their jobs. I honestly think that the problem there is the company's as well as the worker's. When a company is focused on results and objectives, the day to day of how a worker invests his time is that person's business, in the end what matters is the fulfillment of those objectives and results in the established time. When you as a boss are able to first select good talent, inspire the team to meet the objectives together and create effective methods of accountability; the results will come on their own.
Confidence will always be better than quantifying schedules on screen or marking entry or exit times. The truth is that this only serves to encourage cheating. Besides, how many of us have more or less productive days than others?
TIP #2: Discover the realities of the team.
Not all people have the same realities in their homes. Checking for good connections, separate spaces in their homes for connection, access from their cell phones, good computers etc are keys to good remote communication. In RUBICA we have a physical space for those who for any circumstance prefer to work from the office. In addition we encourage the spaces of connection of equipment of way online 2 times a week not to lose the belonging. There are people more sensitive to human contact, introverted people who prefer to work alone. The important thing is to unite them by the shared values and culture of the company that must remain alive no matter the distance.
TIP # 3 Order and Facilitation.
Virtual meeting spaces especially when handling more than 10 people are always a challenge, in these days where invitations at Zoom, MEET, Teams etc are more recurrent and webinars are a daily occurrence; the importance of being a good host of a virtual meeting becomes vital. It is always key to ensure the punctuality of the meetings, an agenda in advance is always useful, impeccable time management (in RUBICA we use a shared on-screen timer to set the maximum time for interventions), use of the word (techniques such as word circles are vital for this) and the surprise factor (use of trivia, music and videos to welcome, online games to break the ice) are elements that make the meetings pleasant and not spaces of remote torture.
TIP #4 Maintain the human connection.
In RUBICA we have Team Huddle (Wednesday 9am) or Happy Fridays (Friday 4pm) where we call the team to comment on our weeks, challenges, joys and virtual applause to recognize the best of the week. When work becomes solely focused on the "what to do", belonging, teamwork and connection are lost. We generally seek to send gifts or surprises to the team at home and always keep in mind the realities, problems or situations they may be facing. We must not forget that the team is made up of humans, including ourselves as "bosses".
TIP # 5 Rules of the Game
Shared values must be central to the rule-building exercise. One of our values as a company is: "Our word is worth gold" and within the framework of this value we build rules that are consistent with this value, e.g.: delivery dates are respected, we trust that each person in the team does and reports his or her tasks with transparency, we comply with what we are hired for, etc. Working remotely makes it vital that the rules are understood and clear to everyone. In RUBICA, for example, when a person cannot be available, we have a team rule that is to mail everyone with the [OFF] tag or to sacredly record their time in the Google Calendar to let the rest of the team know when they are available for meetings (we are pharmaco-dependent on the Google Calendar). These simple rules make remote work much easier. When the rules are clear, self-management is simpler.
Carolina Laiton Galan
Co Founder and Senior Digital Strategist.