March 9, 2020

5 Tips to Effectively Work Remotely During a Global Health Crisis (cough…Coronavirus)

Alisa Crowley

Well, no one can say this year has been boring. If you’ve been living under a rock (which is possible considering the lengths some people are taking), Coronavirus is sweeping the globe and with this, comes the usual panic, toilet paper shortages and town lockdowns. So what do you do if your company has never considered remote work before and now needs to take a serious look at how exactly to do this distributed team thing?  Talk to PartnerCentric…We’re an agency of almost 50 employees that work full-time from anywhere in the US. We have been a successful fully-remote organization for over a dozen years and Inc. even called us a shining example of a company getting telecommuting right. We want to share the tools, tips and knowledge that we know can help make you a successful and productive remote organization, whether as a temporary measure for a few weeks, or as part of a larger shift in your organization.

Check out these 5 actionable steps to ensure productivity stays at an all time high and your organization doesn’t miss a beat:

1.Adopt this critical distributed workforce tech stack

These are some of the tools that allow all of us to stay connected and aligned on the organization’s needs and goals.  We’re not paid ambassadors of these tools, but we are raving customers. 

 Zoom –  Crisp video and web conferencing and communication. Makes having a video call with 50+ employees an enjoyable experience.

Slack – The ultimate internal and external communication tool. Slack allows you to chat with employees individually or in large groups. It’s even possible to have an all-hands weekly meeting where everyone shares their updates and projects from the week. We call these our Tuesday Chats and they work really well.

Asana – Track, manage, and connect your projects across any team with Asana.

Google Drive – Edit files simultaneously, share without endlessly needing to save, keep all files in one place and searchable. Need we say more?

Metronome Growth Systems – A cloud-based business platform for CEOs and leaders, providing the tools you need to grow your company.

2. Allow Metronome Growth Systems to be your guide

In Metronome, you can load your targets, action items and expectations. It’s the software to use to keep your team aligned to your strategic objectives and encourage high performance through accountability. You can even hold meetings and war rooms in this technology, keeping images and flip charts, org charts, meeting agendas, and more in one interface. 

3. Adapt your internal meeting cadence to Slack and Zoom

Communication is key when working remote. Have a weekly in-person staff meeting? Move it to video call. Need to have a side chat with an employee while on a video call? Slack is your best friend. The point is there is no need to lose the freedom of communication that you have in an office just because everyone is working from home. You can share your screen with a Zoom video call and circle, annotate and write.

4. Communicate remote expectations for all staff

This isn’t the last days of Rome. The misconception about working remote is that you can just take it easy and don’t have to perform because you’re not in a large office environment. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When working remote, it is important to keep normal business hours, have 100% availability during those hours, make sure employees designate an office space in their home and set concrete goals and expectations for output. Remember that some employees may be working remotely for the first time so having clear expectations will set everyone up for success.

5. Communicate the remote pivot

Send out an email to all clients, vendors and business partners letting them know about this change. Inform them of the steps you will take to ensure day-to-day operations are uninterrupted and be proactive about addressing any concerns they may have. 

6. BONUS Tip

With the success our team has had working remotely, we have so many more great tips and tools to share. If you want to consider introducing working remotely to your company and team as a temporary or permanent option for employees (even after Coronavirus goes the way of Avian Bird Flu), reach out to our team to learn more about our remote work consulting practice.