Entrepreneurs are no strangers to changes and uncertainty, yet a pandemic is rarely -if ever- considered as a possible scenario. It takes a lot of courage to navigate these tough times. No one has been trained to change the working routine of an entire company literally overnight. There is no precedent to this situation.
One of our founders said:
We couldn’t agree more. At TheVentureCity, we are committed to supporting the startup community as much as our portfolio companies and we will be offering a series of webinars and tools to make the best out of working from home, while we comply with our civil duty to protect each other in this fight against COVID-19 🦠. If we look at things with a bit of perspective, this will make us stronger as a civilization, and as entrepreneurs.
What are the tools TheVentureCity team and our founders have been using -and loving- to make remote work as pleasant and manageable as possible? Check them out here. We also added tips to manage the emotional constraints too as we know working from home can be lonely and stressful for some people.
1. The New Normal
We need to get used to it
Remote Work is Actually Great!
Good WFH Practices
From all the advice we have seen circulating, these three practices seem to be the most populartips to help you stay sane, focused and boost your productivity while working from home. Remote work is no longer the future…it is the present!
Find the Perfect Place(s)
Design a Schedule
It’s very important to have a routine and disconnect when you are done with your day’s tasks. Your schedule should be well designed and you should stick to it. Include also time for breaks, lunch, and moving/stretching.
Choose the Best Tools
More important than ever
Ricardo’s 12 Tips for Successful Video Calls
Ricardo Sangion works with us at TheVentureCity and he has been working remotely to some capacity for the last 10 years! So he knows a thing or two about how to make this work. Here are Ricardo’s top tips for being a successful remote worker!
Ricardo’s 4 Technology Tips for Working Remotely
Use good headphones. Wireless ones are convenient but perhaps you can go wired to make sure that you have the best quality microphone. Wired headphones are also better to avoid echos.
Make sure you have good connection and that you’re not competing with other high demand data requests, like Netflix, YouTube, game downloads, etc. Sometimes the quality of a call over the connection of your mobile phone will be better.
Have everybody’s face on the screen during videocalls. There are options on Zoom, Google, etc to, not only the one that is speaking. This way you can make sure that you see those that want to talk, those that are not engaged, etc.
Use the Whatsapp groups to remind everyone that the meeting is starting. In the office, some people get used to being brought to meetings by others. Don’t wait more than 2 minutes to ping someone that is not there yet.
(Over) Communication is Key
People Over Pixels. In difficult times communication is key, remember that you are interacting with people. Lead with empathy and if most of your communication is now in writing, remember to check how someone might perceive what you write. This is the time to use those emojis as they actually help to express sentiment when facial expressions or voice tone are not options 🙂
Assign owners and responsibilities so there are no doubts on who owns what.
Document decisions so people on different time zones or schedules are able to catch-up and understand context. This works well for note taking too. Set up a shared doc and have everyone include their notes.
Respect people’s time and make things efficient. Send a slack message or jump on a quick call before considering a long email.
Tips for Team Managers
📲 Standup: Every morning, at a time that is convenient for everyone, the team should hold a video stand-up – this is a 15 minute meeting for the team members to discuss what has happened yesterday and what they are planning to work on today – very short updates, 1-2 for each team member. The manager of the team needs to be part of the standup and talk about his/her plans as well. This is a daily ritual that allows the team to stay up to date with what the others are doing and huddle as a team.
✅ Status chat: Start a status chat so that the team members can indicate their current status – ie when they start their working day, go away for lunch or finish work. This is done not as a means of control but rather to allow team members to track better their working day, start and stop their work accordingly which sometimes is hard to do when you work from home – especially in the current situation when you are unlikely to have social commitments that would make you stop working in the evening.
🥳 Social chat: We are all human and sometimes we just need to chat about something, not necessarily work related and this is a chat for this all things social/fun/sad/exciting – share the latest joke or gif or video. Team members that are not interested in ‘social’ part of work can turn the notifications off.
🤓 Work chat: Usually no one forgets about this, but still – a place for the team to discuss the project that they are working on, can be done in multiple work related channels in Slack/other chat environments.
We love these tools when we are WFH
3. Mental & Physical Health
Don’t Forget About It
Keeping your mind and body happy
Keeping your mind and body happy
Culture is as important to nurture – if not more – for remote companies because you don’t have the benefit of close quarters for teams to bond. We’ve gathered some of the most interesting, easy and fun ideas to keep colleagues feeling connected to each other when the are apart.
Leave a zoom room (or whatever tool you chose) open for anyone to drop by at any time just to say hello!
Set a day/time in the calendar for a recurring happy hour/lunch/coffee where teams can gather virtually.
Pick a theme and have everyone join a meeting dressed in that theme. Halloween Costumes, Wig day, sunglasses, whatever! Works best for internal meetings only 😉
Create a shared Spotify playlist for teams to collaborate on for different days of the week to keep people energized.
4. Sharing is Caring!
More important than ever