As a small company with team members that work remote on occasion, we are fortunate that having to work from home hasn’t been incredibly disruptive for us. That being said, we have needed to come up with some strategies to make it more effective (and enjoyable!).
We want to share some of the tools and approaches we’re using to make this situation a little bit easier, all in the hope it makes it a little bit easier for you and your team, too.
We used Slack when we were in the office sitting just feet away from one another, but now that we’re remote, it’s become an integral part of how we communicate. Every company utilizes it a bit differently, but at Radish, we use it as an internal communications tool that keeps project-related conversations organized and provides a centralized place to discuss other company-related happenings and general interests. For example, we have channels for each project, channels purely for fun, like our #dawgs or #bookclub channels, and some channels where we can share general creative inspiration, talk about staffing, or share updates on business development.
New #wfh Slack channel:
We recently added a new Slack channel to our arsenal: the #wfh channel! This is a place where we can share our joys and frustrations of working from home. It’s a space for camaraderie and socializing and serves as a reminder that we’re all in this together.
Video conferencing tools:
With our need to hold virtual meetings greatly increased, we've had to get creative and start using multiple video conferencing tools. Our favorites are:
- Slack — Slack calls are perfect for when we’re already messaging in Slack and decide it would be quicker to just have a conversation.
- Zoom: This is our go-to for client calls and all-team meetings. We added the Zoom Chrome Extension to our Google Calendar to make adding a Zoom link to calendar invites quick and easy.
- Whereby — We love the simplicity of this tool. Setup your room; share the link; done. There’s even a free version that permits up to four people per meeting.
We encourage everyone to keep their camera on during calls as this helps everyone feel more connected. It also makes it harder to tune out or get distracted. That being said, we understand that everyone’s home situation (and wifi capabilities) are different, and if a video call isn’t possible, then no pressure.
We also push for calls rather than tedious back-and-forth Slack conversations. Calls are more efficient and have the added bonus of being able to hear and see the other person.
Virtual happy hours and meetups:
Virtual happy hours have become all the rage, and Radish is fully onboard. For our first rendezvous everyone showed up with their favorite drink (didn't need to be alcoholic) and before just hanging out, we all shared one thing we’ve been enjoying or have found useful since we’ve been stuck at home. Whether that was an innovative desk setup, a new TV show, or a technique to keep us from going stir crazy, it was a nice way to crowdsource ideas for making this time even just a little bit easier.
Guest appearances by pets encouraged in meetings
A few lucky Radishes have pets and we love it when they make an appearance during an internal meeting. Animals can serve as a great pick-me-up, even through a screen.
Virtual daily meditation:
Every morning at 9:30 we sit down for an optional guided meditation session. We’ll listen to free meditations from Simple Habit, Headspace or Spotify before diving into work for the day. We decided to continue this practice virtually, with one person playing the recording through their computer and everyone else turning off their camera and muting themselves throughout the session. We find that this is a really nice way to ground ourselves for the day, whether we’re able to be together in the office or if it’s done virtually on a conference call.
As the days go on and we settle into our new routine, I’m sure this list of resources and strategies will only continue to grow. We’ll start sharing more peeks into how we’ve been making this transition work for us on social media and would love to hear from you about what’s been working (and what hasn’t) for you or your company! You can connect with us on Instagram at @radishlab.