20 March 2020
Today marks the end of Expend’s first week of working remotely- goodbye regular chats over the coffee machine, booth saving with a laptop and lunch dashes to any of a variety of food spots (meal pal we miss you), and hello to virtual hangouts, stretch breaks to and from your kitchen, and reminding yourself to step out of your front door. It’s been a week of trialing out new methods of communication and teamwork to enhance everyone’s working from home experiences, and so far, this is what Team Expend have realised works for us:
10 am Department Stand-Ups
We split this into Developers and Sales, Marketing & Operations. The devs really don’t want to hear us waxing lyrical about a new partnership meeting and let’s be honest, the SMOs don’t necessarily understand half of what a developer is saying when they begin deconstructing their task list for the day. This allows for everyone to put what they’re up to out there and if there is a need for cross-department collaboration, that is then brought into the following meeting:
The All Team Meeting
For getting some ‘face-to-face’ time! Again, our developers are used to having to plant themselves behind screens for the day, but everyone needs some social interaction. This time is for briefly checking in on everyone, and if there is a need for cross-collaboration, this is when it’s mentioned. This happens straight after stand-ups for 10 minutes, then again at End of Day to wrap up before everyone logs off.
Getting those #Channels set up on Slack
We all know how it works in the office. Direct messages with your manager and office besties, and a couple of channels for #marketing, #operations, or #random_funny_cute. Now that we are all home-based however, the time has come to utilise the platform for teamwork. Set up group chats for your department, and get clusters of direct messages ready with core teams on certain projects or campaigns. Initially, it may feel like a lot of information, but by starring the crucial channels/messages, a) you won’t miss the really important stuff and b) you can better prioritise what needs your attention.
It may seem pretty basic, but by scheduling in everything you need to do (from emails to meetings to department calls) and sharing it with your coworkers, it gives a clear picture of how everyone’s day is looking. It allows for people to outline when and for how long they need to focus, yet also shows where they could take a breather, leading on to our fifth and final recommendation:
A Coffee Break... or Three
These have proved critical to employee sanity: having a call with someone who isn’t your direct line manager or department coworker to check in with each other and offload. Whether it be over the phone or on google hangouts, it’s a grounding 5-15 minutes where you’re both reminded that at the end of the day: we’re all human, this is a weird situation for all of us to be in, yet we’re in it together and ultimately we will make it out to the other side.
Customer Success Manager
When she’s not taking wonderful care of our customers, she’s cooking up a storm or running around the city.