Remote Together: 8 Tips for Making Remote Work Less Lonely (and More Productive)
This was super useful! Great presentation with lots of concrete ideas and actions, and I really liked the interaction and live anonymous polling. Especially since our team’s work is so collaborative, setting up some of the practices like multiple feedback channels, spaces for collaboration, hosted virtual rooms, etc would really help.
Remote-Together Webinar Attendee
REMOTE WORK IS NOT JUST ABOUT LOGISTICS
From one day to the next, you moved your entire team out of the office and now you’re all working from home. Maybe some teammates had already been working remotely some of the time, but to most, this is an entirely new world of virtual collaboration, communication and connection. By now, you’ve hopefully got all or most of your team members working from home, set up with a computer and connection, sharing files on Drive or Box, collaborating on Slack or Teams, and communicating on Zoom or Skype. While sorting through the logistics of working remotely can be hugely time consuming and inconvenient, at least you know what you need to do. Now comes the hard part.
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
While no one can predict how long the impact of COVID-19 will last, its safe to say your team will need to adjust to this new world of remote work for months not weeks. If you are deliberate about the transition to remote work, your team will come out stronger and be working better together than ever before. If not:
- Team members can feel disconnected from each other. 40% of American workers already felt lonely at work, but now, without the benefit of face time and casual chats that happen in the office, team members may feel even more isolated.
- Well intentioned emails and chat messages can be misunderstood. Depending on the context, over 90% of how a communication is received depends on body language and tone vs the actual words. Because virtual exchanges lack the in-person cues that communicate intent, there is greater risk of miscommunication.
- Irregular schedules and unpredictable response times can kill productivity. When team members are co-located, they can see when someone is at work and/or ready to chat, and they can just go over to someone’s desk to get a response. Those cues aren’t present in a remote workplace.
The end result is that your team becomes ever more disconnected and dysfunctional over time, their performance can start to suffer, and stress and anxiety can build up to a breaking point, which unlike in an office, can go undetected.
TIPS FOR MAKING REMOTE WORK LESS LONELY (& MORE PRODUCTIVE)
As a fully remote company from day one, Ultranauts has spent the past seven years experimenting with new practices and tools for building fully distributed and incredibly diverse teams that are connected, engaged and empowered. Several of our F500 and startup clients asked us to share our learnings and practices as they try to adapt to everyone working from home, so we codified a list of 8 practical tips and tools that we hope will help make working remotely less lonely and more productive for your team.
Even if you’re not an Ultranauts client, we’d be glad to share what we know with you, in the form of a 30 minute interactive webinar that we can run for your team or a 4 page tip sheet you can share with your teammates. The days, weeks and months ahead will strain all our teams, and anything Ultranauts can do to help your team get through these challenging times, we would gladly do. We will all be better together.
To inquire about scheduling a webinar for your team or receiving a copy of the tip sheet, email us with you name, company and team size to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can download the tip sheet here.