COVID-19 has changed how we work completely. Before, we might sometimes work from home or remotely with other teammates or clients. However, it is not until this year that working remotely has become a norm for everyone across the globe.
When working remotely, there are some challenges that we often face, such as misalignment and misunderstanding on goals and process, back-and-forth communication due to the nature of online text-based tools, and lack of transparency on each individual's work and progress. While these are all valid challenges, there are ways that we can overcome them. Here are some tips we would like to share with you to work efficiently and collaborate effectively with remote teams:
Select the right online toolset
While we were already relying a lot on online communication and collaboration tools even when working together inside the same office, having the right online toolset is even more important when working remotely. With the right online tools, we can bridge the physical gap we are missing. At BeeCanvas, besides Slack for communications, GitLab to manage development tasks, and Perdoo to keep track of our company OKRs, we use the BeeCanvas platform as our high-level project management tool, collaboration workspace, and documentation tool. Learn how BeeCanvas serves as a three-dimensional workspace to complete the workflow from the beginning to the end.
Communicate clearly and often
When we are working physically in the same room, we can go to our teammates to ask for help or clarification whenever needed without hesitation. We can also look at a screen together, use pen and paper, or a whiteboard to sketch ideas quickly. However, none of these are possible when we are not physically together. Without the right adjustment, communication and collaboration can decrease significantly. Besides, miscommunications and misunderstandings can quickly occur due to the back-and-forth nature of text-based communication tools. At BeeCanvas, visual communication then becomes the key. It is a way for us to fully explain what is needed and what we want to deliver easily. Learn why visual communication is important.
Besides having regular discussions when needed with teammates who work closely with us, at BeeCanvas, we connect and align as a whole team every day for daily tasks and every week for check-ins and OKR updates. It is important to sync up regularly to bring everyone on the team to the same page. Learn how BeeCanvas runs daily stand-ups remotely.
Set goals and plans ahead together
As a team, it is important to set goals and plan together regularly. Setting goals is even more important when working remotely to stay focused on achieving the team's goals. In our case, the entire team set our OKRs online together every quarter. During the regular OKR planning session, we discuss how we imagine our company and our product to be like and what we should do and achieve to turn this imagination into reality. After everyone is clear about the quarter's goals and plans, we will then assign a teammate to take the lead on each OKR. By the end of each session, everyone understands what they should focus on for the next three months and why. With this practice, every task will be another step towards the goal, and we all feel more connected with each other as we know that we are sharing the same vision.
Some of us may still be adjusting to the new era of working remotely with teams. We understand that it can be challenging, and we at BeeCanvas would like to help you with this. Check out all the different templates we made targeted towards remote working processes and workflows. Give them a try and see if they can help your remote team work more efficiently and effectively!