We are committed to contribute and help on the situation we’re all living regarding Covid-19.
We are a remote team, and we started a voluntary quarantine, which for us it hasn’t been a drastic change as most of us already work from home.
We understand this is not the case for many of you and we believe that isolation and good hygiene practices are highly important to helping stop the spread and to keep you and those around you safe.
Hygiene practices are the corner stone
The WHO and several publications have mentioned the hygiene practices that you should follow.
These times can be stressful and lead to anxiety. We recommend you read through the WHO’s Mental Health Considerations posted in this document.
Practice meditation, exercise often even at home, practice a positive talk, avoid fake news, and share the most positive news about this situation.
This is possible one of the best measures you can take.
Of course not everyone can do this, it depends on the job and conditions. But if it's possible, please do it. If you have doubts, try it. You will avoid exposure and you will avoid spreading.
We understand that remote work can be challenging for people or companies that have not done this ever before. And this is where we come, as we want to share some tips and tools you can use.
The team behind DailyBot is a remote team, we’ve been working remotely for more than 6 years and understand the pros and cons, and the possible challenges for first timers.
First time with remote work?
Remote work is not as simple as “Ok, I’ll just stay and work from home”.
It’s an approach to work that comes with some big changes.
- You cannot quickly get attention of a person next to you to get a quick answer, or on the other side, you cannot be interrupted all of a sudden to answer to a question, which is why many people report being more focused and productive working remotely.
- There are no meeting rooms and you have to embrace phone or video calls, but calls should be efficient and well prepared, and every person should have proper environment conditions for it.
- As you will not be on the phone all day, there will be a need of more written communication.
- You don’t hear casual conversations at the coffee area neither at the hallway, so the social interactions at a personal level are reduced and you'll lose information.
- As you don’t get to interact or hear what’s going on around you, you might feel lost about what every person is working on.
- As you don’t see the other person, you might get in the doubt of whether they’re actively working or not.
But this is just to name a few. The tools you use and the practices you follow are what make remote work more, or less, efficient.
The best practices for remote work, for the worker
- Establish a remote work space
- Set up a work routine and stick to your hours
- Take a shower, first time in the morning. Just as if you were going to an office, this will activate you
- Health comes first, make time for your food (and on time), make pauses to stretch, take a walk or exercise a bit at home. Practice short meditations along the day
- Define working hours and accommodate time windows for meetings (makes it easier when you have a team in multiple time zones)
- Be responsive and make sure you have a mobile device with you to be reachable during your work hours
- Have great written communication
- Communicate frequently and share updates
- Use video on the calls when possible
- When scheduling calls, share calendar invites with links for the call and provide a context and agenda
The best practices for managing remote teams
- Create a playbook and share a guide to remote work with your team
- Promote the best practices and train remote workers on how to work from home effectively
- Check-in and get continuous feedback from your team about how they feel
- Host all-hand virtual meetings
- Send physical cards, gifts
- Do virtual team building activities to strengthen team relationships
- If the team is not fully remote, make sure the remote members are kept involved in the communications and on important meetings
- Setup daily updates to help your team stay in-sync and to identify blockers soon
- Run retrospectives regularly and promote continuous improvement
These are just some of the best practices, and of course, you require the proper technology stack and tools to make this happen successfully.
A tool stack for Remote
- Cross-platform Chat and collaboration
- Video calling
- Calendar with video call integration
- Collaborative docs on Cloud
- Cloud based project management
- Software for daily updates and check-ins
- Email, of course
We’ll share an example of a Stack that you can use, although of course you can replace tools depending on your current enterprise solution:
- For Chat, you can use Slack (other options are Microsoft Teams or Hangouts Chat)
- For Video Calling and screen sharing, you can use Zoom (other options are Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, Whereby)
- For Calendar with video call integration, you can use Google Calendar, Outlook or Any.do
- For Collaborative docs on Cloud you can use Notion, Google Docs or Office 365
- For Cloud based Project Management you can use Trello, JIRA, Monday or MS Office 365 Project
- For Daily Updates, check-ins and track team motivation, you can use DailyBot
- For Email, we recommend you powerful Email clients that can speed up your email practices, SuperHuman, Spark
How DailyBot helps you
DailyBot helps you automate your daily updates (stand-ups) and it also runs periodic check-ins or follow-ups with your team. It also tracks the motivational state of your team and shares reports with managers.
The most highlighted values are:
- It helps you save time in meetings
- It aligns your team and keep people in sync regarding work
- It reduces micro management feelings
- It enhances your Agile discipline and helps you keep records documented
In our case, DailyBot is the first “person” in our team we talk to, right after you wake up, you’ll get a private message from DailyBot, prompting you a few key questions as “What did you achieve yesterday?”, “What are you planning to work on today?”, “Do you have any blockers?” — this helps every member to think and prepare for the day ahead.
If DailyBot identifies blockers, it will highlight those, so the team and managers can act on it. But you can configure DailyBot to run more kinds of periodic check-ins like:
- Weekly All Hands meeting preparation questions
- Sprint health checks
- Monthly goals or OKRs follow-ups
- Monthly surveys about your roadmap, etc.
DailyBot offers you a chatbot that integrates smoothly in your chat platform: Slack, Hangouts Chat or Microsoft Teams.
You interact with the bot to provide answers and fill out reports and the bot can share those in different chat channels. You also get a web dashboard where you can: search across reports, see stats about blockers, check the motivational state chart, manage roles and visibility. The Dashboard can be configured for as many teams and follow-ups as needed.
Helping with COVID19 Care
Starting on March 13th, DailyBot’s chatbot will begin sharing tips for taking care and preventing the Coronavirus spread. DailyBot will give you these hints at the end of each user interaction. DailyBot will do this for few weeks or months until the situation normalizes.
We believe awareness is important and we want to help creating awareness.
Free 1 Advice Session for Managers
We know how challenging it can be to start working remotely, especially if you have no previous experience. We want to be kind and put our best will in order to help managers that are struggling with this transition.
If you are a manager and need to schedule an advice session with our team, please just send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll get the instructions to schedule a quick call, or you can send questions via email and we will kindly help you.
Please be safe and stay calm
Watch for your health and the health of those around you, be kind and let’s all be strong together.
We made this poster for your homework station! Checkout these tips for working remotely and efficiently, especially in these days where we all are at home.
Click here to download.