In light of the recent dramatic changes to working arrangements, we at Obie.ai decided to publish a four-part series aiding companies who are being pushed into unfamiliar territory, with some pro tools, tips and hacks that we have seen our customers and other growing enterprises use to accelerate their remote teams.
Part 1 of our series is about helping your employees help themselves. At the beginning of a journey into remote working, employees must be armed with a stack of tools that enable them to meet their objectives efficiently. Once their toolkit is ready, your management team can implement some strategies across the organization that accelerate their productivity. First, let’s start with the tools.
The Right Tools
The right tools start with a solid cloud-based tech stack. This can help employees get immediately up and running on short notice if necessary. The following list
- Internal messaging – Slack or Microsoft Teams
- External messaging – email
- Teleconference – Zoom, Skype, Hangouts
- Video Messaging – Loom
- Project Management or SCRUM – Trello, Jira, Asana
- Storage – Google Drive, Dropbox, Box
- Security – VPN
- Knowledge – Obie
For a deeper dive on a good full stack of remote working tools, check out our blog below.
Now that you’ve got the right tools in place, consider these strategies for accelerating your remote employees.
Centralize product knowledge, processes and support articles
You almost certainly have critical knowledge or data that employees must access. Employees might be working on specific projects, supporting employees IT needs or helping ensure customer success. So for remote employees, the key to knowledge access is centralization. By pairing up your knowledge with a technology that matches the desired data structure, you can create optimized central access. For example, Trello is ideal for visual representations of progress. Confluence is a great all-around rich-content creator. Consider these opportunities to centralize frequently accessed knowledge:
- Trello boards for managing project plans
- Confluence documents containing FAQs for IT support teams
- Confluence documents with support articles for customer success
Pin common docs for easier
reference through Slack
After centralizing your documentation using an appropriate technology, it is important to connect it to where your employees spend most of their time. In many cases, whether your team is remote or not, chances are they use Slack for internal communication, so they are likely to spend a good part of their work hours there.
Within Slack users have the capability to “pin” messages to a channel. It makes for very quick access to documents that are of high importance or are frequently referenced. This might include project plans, readme’s or product specs.
Communicate known issues
While a tool like Slack or Teams accelerates internal communication, it is still threaded, so it lacks the ability to communicate ongoing status such as a known issue impacting workflows across the organization. For example, if a particular server is down, inventory is low, a major product is being introduced, marketing documents have been changed, or there’s been a change to a customer policy that needs to be communicated, getting the word out to your employees on Slack is convenient, but team members might be frequently seeking updates on status.
In this particular case, we at Obie.ai have seen many companies used a tool like an public or private Trello board with a good track record of success. Trello allows stakeholders keep abreast of breaking changes by either viewing the board or subscribing to updates.
Keep knowledge up to date
With knowledge being the currency of the remote worker, it is absolutely paramount that your company knowledge is kept up to date so that the remote worker can have access to the accurate accurate and timely information. Of course you can conduct scheduled reviews of knowledge to verify its accuracy, but to make the verification process easier, you must match the knowledge format with its frequency of access and style of consumption. For example, you wouldn’t bury a guest wifi password in a video tutorial. It would be best kept in a FAQ snippet document that is short-form and unformatted. This way knowledge is easily updated and maintained.
By implementing some of these strategies, you are truly helping your remote team help themselves. Join us for Part 2 of our series coming up shortly.