Are your days becoming painfully monotonous—or on the other hand too chaotic? Do you know what day of the week it is?
Do you feel like the apocalypse is at your door? Maybe it is.. or maybe you just need to focus on your company culture.If you’re a founder, this may not be the case (we thrive in chaos), but employees all over the world are reporting lower happiness, high levels of anxiety, isolation, and feelings of depression. They feel disconnected, not just from their personal lives, but also from their coworkers and teams that they rely on to meet their daily social needs (whether they admit to it or not). And while all of our inboxes now have hundreds of emails on how to move teams remotely from a technical standpoint, I found there to be a severe lack of information on how to lead and keep a remote team feeling connected, motivated, and productive during this pandemic. Even if you’re used to managing a remote team or contractors, (or even if your entire full-time team is already remote), what’s different today is we’re all seeing companies of all sizes make massive layoffs. It’s disheartening to read the news, because everything is focused on keeping us in a constant state of anxiety. On top of that, people can’t even leave their homes. They’re discouraged from visiting any older family and being around friends.
At Newchip, we’re in our second week of our entire team working remotely.We all miss seeing each other at the office, but we’re making the most out of the situation, and our team is crushing it. In fact—we’re actually twice as productive now, and we’re getting a lot of things done. How did we do that? I can guarantee it wasn’t from reading the copy and paste drivel about remote teams in our inboxes. First, I need to give you some context. Being a remote accelerator, we’re used to working with all of our portfolio companies and mentors remotely, and for years we’ve been split between multiple offices with half our team working remotely. This made the transition easier for us than it was for most companies. We had already known how to handle this from an operational and accountability standpoint, so all we had to do was identify risk and make tweaks to ensure we were giving enough attention to the people factor, and communicating more efficiently. Because we’ve had success, I whipped up this post to share what’s worked for us to keep our team motivated, sane, and productive during the COVID-19 panic.
How to Keep Your Team Sane, Motivated, and Productive During a PandemicHere’s what you should be able to do after this:
- Supercharge Remote Productivity
- Build Remote Accountability
- Build Community & Culture Remotely
1. Supercharge Remote ProductivityThe first thing I did when we decided to move the entire team remote was supercharge our Slack workspace over the first weekend. I spent my Saturday night working with our CEO, Ryan, to install these apps on our workspace and run some field tests: Here’s what we did:
- Installed the Loom integration. Not everything requires a Zoom, Skype, or Slack call with a screen share, but you might want to be able to record a quick how-to video of and share with one of your team. For that, I use Loom. Loom lets you record your screen with the option to pick up camera/audio if you want to narrate the recording. It’s perfect for showing how to do something without having to interrupt what everyone is doing to get on a Zoom call.
- Installed the Zoom integration. Okay, you’re probably already using Zoom for all of your teleconferencing needs, but did you know there’s also a Slack integration that lets you immediately launch a zoom call from within Slack? It’s super nifty–all you have to do is type /zoom within the chat and in a couple of seconds you’re in a meeting with the Slack channel or team member you messaged. This may seem like a small upgrade from sharing an event link, but that added efficiency from streamlining your workflow, makes it so that people are much more likely to hop on a Zoom call for some virtual face-time when needed.
- Moved into a virtual office with Tandem. This one is my favorite. Tandem integrates with Slack and allows you to create a virtual office with unlimited e-real estate. Tandem lets you create virtual rooms for your office, where others can join and start conversations to sync up on projects. I joke with the Newchip team that Tandem is actually a big upgrade over our physical office because now we have so many new focus-rooms and conference rooms, that no one has had to reserve any rooms in weeks! Tandem even lets you see what other people are working on if you allow it, so you can track your team’s progress and make sure everyone stays on task.