Since starting RodLem we have been working remotely, with our team spread out worldwide; different time zones and each one of us with our own reality.⁣⁠

It has been an amazing 3-year journey, during which we have addressed project management challenges, team management and keeping projects on time.

We have explored different work methodologies, dynamics, and tools and today, we want to share with you our 5 takeaways. ⁣⁠

1. Reset your expectations about the way work gets done ⁣⁠

We have been socialised and accustomed to synchronous work and standardisation. We have been conditioned to work together, same office, same working conditions and even the same work schedule. When working remotely, we need to let go of when and how tasks are accomplished, allowing people to do their job on their own terms. This means focusing on results and offering more flexibility.⁣⁠

⁣⁠2. Keyword “Trust”

Sometimes companies are not willing to embrace a remote workforce because there’s uncertainty about whether or not the work will get completed at the same level as done in an office. From our experience, it is the other way around! People are more productive as they have flexibility to work at times that are better for them, and the job flow is focused on priority and the deliverables (deadlines, clear and achievable goals), not on the time itself. To make this happened, it is key to Hire ‘do-ers’ and People you can Trust.

Define clear tasks, expectations, deadlines, and mechanisms to ensure follow up.

3. Communication ⁣⁠

Good communication channels are super important. Managing a productive team remotely begins with a strategy for communication; ⁣⁠ ⁣⁠

✔️Arrange for appropriate number of weekly formal “report-ins.” ⁣⁠ ⁣⁠

✔️Set guidelines about daily needs. ⁣⁠ ⁣⁠

✔️Define priorities. An understanding of what is urgent will mitigate inefficiency, allowing ultimate productivity.⁣⁠

4. Build a relationship and make them feel part of the team

Physical distance can sometimes create an “us versus them” feeling. Building trust and familiarity with the team requires you get to know them on a personal level. We reserve the first few minutes of our calls and video conferences for a simple, casual chat. Talk about “the things you usually talk about at work”— weekend plans, movie recommendations, pets, or last night’s big game. This social bonding builds essential empathy and trust.

What binds together virtual teams are the personal details.

5. Invest in the right software/tools

In a co-located facility, you can always round up the team for an all-hands meeting to steer everyone on track. In a remote team, you’ll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute, without a physical person standing next to them.

Here are some tools we’ve found handy. While the exact tools aren’t super important, you likely will need a tool in certain categories, like group chat and video conferencing, to make remote working successful.

  • Collaborative Working G-Suite – all together under the same collaborative platform. Perfect for simultaneously co-working, track changes and integration of apps.
  • Video-call meeting:WhatsApp + Skype + Zoom.
  • Social Media Manager: Later
  • Day to Day Communication: Slack, Whataspp – organise conversations, share files, and get answers fast.
  • Project Management:Monday.com – Use it to plan, organise, and track projects in one visual, collaborative space.
  • Ideas Environment:Milanote – Helps us to organise our ideas in one place, manage projects, mood boards, define tasks and more.

Hopefully, these insights into our experience of working remotely are useful for you. One of the beauties of initiating remote working is that it can feel like an experiment, causing your teams to be more experimental too; dreaming bigger, pushing boundaries, breaking new ground. So go ahead and experiment!

The biggest wins aren’t usually found in a post on the internet, but in what you discover on your own. If you have tips, tricks or best practices of your own we’d love to hear them too!