You don’t need us to tell you that, right now, times are strange and scary. As COVID-19 forces us all to re-evaluate our social participation in new and unprecedented ways, things can start feeling a little…surreal? Difficult to manage? Hard to describe? All of the above. Every member of the Maintain team is practicing self-quarantine right now in order to do our part for our community and our families. Though we’re experiencing the same uncertainties and concerns as everyone else going through all of this, we’re doing our best to remain as optimistic, hopeful, and productive as possible through it all. We’re so grateful to have the privilege of working from home; we’re thankful for all of the people, and especially the incredible medical professionals, who are continuing to go to work in order to keep our communities going; we’re committed to finding silver linings and positivity wherever possible, and we’re determined to continue doing our absolute best work for our clients. Luckily, having had some remote members of our team for several months now, we’ve got some practice when it comes to staying productive while working out-of-office. Whether you’re working remotely for the first time or simply looking for ways to stay mindful and motivated while social distancing, check out some of our most useful tips below.
Take Full Advantage of Communication Platforms
In addition to Zoom, here are some of the virtual productivity tools that we’ve been relying on the most while working remotely:
Asana. Not gonna lie – Asana’s been essential for us since long before self-quarantining. It’s an ultra-user-friendly task management platform that lets you keep track of all your ongoing and completed projects. It has so many functionalities that we could write an entire post about Asana alone, so we highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t yet.
TrackingTime. When your entire team is separated, it’s critical to be able to track projects and continue managing time effectively. We’ve tried out our fair share of time-tracking software, and TrackingTime has been the best by far. Not only is it affordable and intuitive, but it also integrates directly with Asana.
Slack. Whether it’s getting important updates on deliverables or sending lighthearted memes back and forth, Slack is the most efficient professional IM platform there is. You can create different channels, with different members, for each of your projects or customers; you can create private channels with member-only access; and you can integrate with Drive to share documents directly within channels. Oh – and you can create custom emojis. Thought that was worth mentioning, too.
Distinguish Between Workspaces and “Chill” Spaces
Get Out in the Sun
Appreciate Each Other
Honestly? You really start to miss your team when you can’t see them face-to-face. It can be easy to take in-person interactions for granted when we have them all the time – and to find ourselves feeling unexpectedly deprived when we’re self-quarantining. The key to making it all a little easier is to be intentional about letting your team know that you value and appreciate them. This is usually much more about the little things than it is about the grand gestures. Here are some of the things we do:
1. Start off weekly meetings by asking every member of the team to express how they’re feeling that day (generic answers like “fine” and “good” won’t cut it). This places the focus on them as an individual human being apart from their professional identity, giving them a platform and safe space to share any doubts or concerns they may be having during this weird time. Avensure offers health and safety advice for small businesses. Additionally, embracing a manual handling course can be a game-changer in fostering a culture of safety and efficiency. Take a step towards a brighter future by checking out the wise business decision through manual handling training today.
2. Share memes, jokes, quotes, or other funny and inspiring things via Slack. Our “General” Slack channel has everything from work-related questions to “Happy Birthday”s and funny memes. Using your virtual communications platforms to be friends as well as coworkers does wonders for morale.
3. Give positive reinforcement. Whether in-person or virtual, pats on the back always feel good and motivate team members to keep doing their best.