Remote Work Tools to Help Accelerate Your Business Growth
Our global team here at Ooze Studios has been remote working for many years. I’ve tried and tested a whole heap of solutions. Continually trying, testing, and iterating until succeeding.
Since the start of the pandemic, many workplaces have started to embrace remote working as their new normal. This is not a new concept, but it’s now being implemented at a greater rate than ever before in history.
While some have already adjusted to a different workplace setup, others are still looking for ways to make their work more efficient. I wanted to help our community the best way I could. So in this article, I wanted to share our experience, recommendations and the best remote work tools you can use. I’ve broken our tips into these 4 categories:
- People & Culture
- Governance & Security
Remote Social Interaction
This is very important. Just because you can’t be next to each other doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy social interactions. You can play virtual board games and trivia quizzes to keep social engagement up. It might sound silly but here at Ooze, we do it every week for 60 minutes. It’s a good space to find out how everyone is doing and build better social connections.
We have a dedicated social fun time every Thursday, where a team member is in charge of the activities or games. We also take part in virtual experiences every month. Some of the activities we’ve tried our murder mystery games, virtual escape rooms and boozy drag queen bingo.
If you want to try easy virtual social activities with your team, I highly recommend boardgamearena.com. It’s free for most games. But don’t play chess! We tried that in our first week and we all ended up being in complete silence trying to think of the next move—the worst social interaction session.
I recommend the following games that are easy to learn, fun, and social; For Sale, and Yahtzee.
There is a natural pull to micro-manage team members when remote working, as you can’t see them physically. Progressively the requirement for trust is amplified to the point that it can become uncomfortable.
To overcome this mindset, have clear transparent workflow systems. By setting clear objectives, workflow structure, and internal meeting structures, you eliminate the need to micromanage, which no one wants.
- Daily morning huddles over video chat so you can see each other’s faces
- We reconcile our weekly workflow on Fridays so on Monday morning, whenever anyone starts their day, they’re clear on their objectives. Part of remote working is not everyone starts at the exact same time, so it’s important to encapsulate this.
New Space = Better Headspace
It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole when your workspace = your living space = your sleeping space. You feel the walls become smaller, the fridge starts to annoy you, the lounge rug is so boring now. Where possible, take the opportunity to leave the house and work in other places like coffee shops or coworking spaces. It’s easy to get into a bad habit here, so break that habit.
It’s extremely important to keep all channels open for clients to communicate their requests. Not all clients will need video conferencing but some do, keep this option open.
Zoom is popular for a reason. It’s easy for both parties to use and send a meeting link. Anyone with the meeting info can also call in if they don’t have access to data.
We also use a VOiP landline over Skype. No matter where you are, the call will come into a Skype account which can be picked up by one of many staff members.
Audio > Visuals
When talking with clients or team members over a video call, the better the audio, the better the engagement.
Don’t use your laptop’s mic if you don’t have headphones with a microphone. Those built-in microphones are usually bad, so try signing in with your computer and mobile device instead. Zoom allows you to login twice from the same account. Use your mobile for audio, and laptop for visuals. This allows for a very smooth, high engagement meeting.
Also, if your internet connection is bad, don’t force it. Turn your visuals off.
Security – Password Sharing
Never share a password over email. It should be shared via onetimesecret (a free, temp link service) or LastPass (a paid enterprise level software).
Security – VPN
The best VPN options are NordVPN and Express, with Nord being cheaper but having less international servers. If you’re travelling a lot, then ExpressVPN is your best bet.
You just have to be careful when choosing one and use a respected VPN that protects your data and has a no-logging policy. A VPN can see everything you submit over it, if it really wants to.
At Ooze, we use Hubstaff, a time-recording app that helps us automate time tracking and generate detailed timesheets. This is especially helpful if you’re working with different clients and you need to know how much time your team spent on a specific project.
By leveraging the power of these remote work tools, you can streamline your business operations, improve communication and ultimately enhance productivity and efficiency. Try to explore and experiment with these tools to find what works best for your team.
If you want to read more resources about remote work or workplace culture from us, click here.