The coronavirus pandemic has forced companies from all over the world to adapt to the situation at record-breaking speed, and one of the main consequences is the need to work remotely. In the months and years ahead, experts say remote work will only become more prevalent.

On April 7th, 2020, we hosted a live session to help the TFF Challenge Finalists and Boost Teams set up an efficient and collaborative virtual workspace for their team. This is a short summary of the ‘Working Remotely’ live session. You can find the full summary, recording, and resources, on the TFF Digital Labs.

TFF has always been a remote team and, over the years, we have collected learnings and set up processes which boost our team’s efficiency.

Here are 4 things which helped us form a power team.

  1. Understand your team and their natural strengths and tendencies. We use assessments like Kolbe and StrengthsFinder to map out our team’s strengths.
  2. Set up a work environment with tools that make your team more productive and collaborative. Slack, WhatsApp, Zoom, and G Suite are some of the ones we use on a daily basis.
  3. Set up a personal work environment which helps you keep track of your todos and follow-ups. Check out The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.
  4. Implement processes which include weekly check-ins, dashboards and reporting structures, as well as retrospectives and collective goal setting.

How we nurture our team culture

A team culture is made up of the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours shared by a team. As the founder or CEO, it is important to make sure that your team has shared values and that you define your team’s purpose (check out Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why’).

For us, the informal aspects are what help us nurture our team culture. Work should also be fun and informal, especially when working remotely! We have set up a #chitchat channel on Slack and do casual Monday morning check-ins where we catch up after the weekend. We also like to do virtual lunches or team dance parties!

Why we think mental health is important

Working in a remote team can be hard sometimes. Especially when you are just getting started in your career and find yourself in a position where you have to teach yourself how to solve problems or cope with big challenges.

We have learned to embrace the ups and downs and make sure to check in with our mental health regularly. Here are some tips that helped us maintain mental clarity and stay motivated.

  • Set up a routine for yourself
  • Don’t work from bed every day even if it’s tempting 😉
  • Build small rewards into your day
  • Set boundaries for yourself/ block your calendar for times that you want to take off work/ communicate your off-time with your team
  • Know that it’s not about the time you spent in front of the laptop but about the end results that you deliver to the team
  • Take breaks: meditate, move, stretch, drink water, get some fresh air
  • Set clear goals: daily, weekly, monthly
  • Track your achievements
  • Accept that you can’t have the same productivity levels every day

You can find the full summary and recording of the ‘Working Remotely’ live session on the TFF Digital Labs. We have also included a list of resources to get you started with your remote work setup.

To access the TFF Digital Labs, just log in to your existing account or, if you don’t have one yet, sign up for free—it should only take you two minutes.

This link will directly take you to the ‘Working Remotely’ topic on the TFF Digital Labs.