In this time of social and physical distancing, many of us are getting creative in our remote work environments. With team members on the east and west coasts covering events in all time zones, the Race Roster crew has been connecting remotely for a while now. With that experience to lean on, we’re sharing a bit of wisdom to make the most of your altered operations.
Here are some tips to help you and your team face the challenges of COVID-19 through virtual collaboration.
Although it’s tough to provide clarity as we navigate uncharted waters, opening the lines of communication across your team and with organizational partners will help. Clear communication builds trust and right now we are all leaning on trusted relationships to get by. Slack is an awesome tool for breaking out conversation into channel topics, reducing emails, and keeping everyone on the same page. It’s also a tool where you can incorporate some lighter content to break up tough news throughout the day. We use Slack in every part of our workflow, which made the transition to working away from the office much easier. Slack has a great free version – we recommend trying out Slack with your team!
Here are some ways to leverage a chat communication tool in operating your business:
- Invite partner users – Collaborate with your timer, your social media lead, and your customer service person in a real time way.
- Create relevant channels – Create channels relevant to the challenges you face, a space to share industry articles, news updates, covid-19 action plan communications, and event specific threads.
- Encourage collaboration – Encourage the team to collaborate in the moment to support quick decision-making where you are all informed.
- Use a chat software – Using a chat software like Slack will humanize the business experience and make you feel more connected. It will also reduce the back and forth volume in your email inbox.
Keep pace on projects and adapt quickly by leveraging a task management tool. Whether you’re transitioning from an in-person event to a virtual one, canceling, or postponing your event, there are big lists of tasks associated with each. Leverage a project management platform such as Asana or Trello to keep all project-related tasks and conversations in one place. This will reduce emails and allow you to track priorities as they shift. For us, the calendar view in Asana invites us to prioritize critical tasks by day, pushing back items that are no longer pressing. Project software also means we can collaborate on tasks outside of our email inbox by tagging colleagues, tasking one another, uploading files, tagging colleagues, and ultimately marking as complete. It feels great to check something big off that list.
With so many good video tools out there (Slack, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Vidyard, Google Hangouts), there’s really no barrier to connecting on screen. In this climate full of obstacles, human connection appears to be critical to our ability to move forward together. As long as your wifi and computer can handle it, jump on a video chat. Don’t forget to mute your microphone when you’re not actively speaking to avoid an unanticipated echo of dogs barking or screaming kiddos in the background.
Short daily ‘stand up’ meetings may be more important than ever. Our biggest takeaway from these past two months has been that things change every day and strategies have to be quickly adapted. To keep your team clear on priorities, customer communications, and plans, make time for a quick 15 to 30 minute huddle. Place it in the calendar and kickstart your day by connecting with your team members over a coffee.
Set a reminder to take a break, go for a run, do an at home workout, meditate, or have lunch. We can’t function optimally without proper breaks and now more than ever it is important to pay attention to how our mental and physical health impacts our ability to create, innovate, and execute.
If you’re finding it challenging to connect and organize in this new climate, don’t hesitate to resource us. The Race Roster Customer Success team is ready to support you.