Joe Michels

We are all working remotely today—and will be for the foreseeable future—how long, we don’t know, but I suspect for some time. For many, this is a new experience, however, it does not have to be a challenging one. A major concern of many managers is “Is the work getting done on time”, “ Is the staff ‘goofing’ off”, “Will we make our customer-imposed deadlines?” The truth of the matter is that none of this is really important—what is important is that remote workers have the tools they need to do the job and know what needs to be done. Empirical and academic research has shown that teleworkers are significantly more productive than “in-office” workers—the data substantiates that fact.

Here are some ideas that are used in Agile software engineering. Agile means the ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions in a fast manner. In business and start up companies, the word pivot is used. Rapid pivoting means changing direction rapidly, based upon market share evaporation, changing market conditions, advanced technology implementation.

Our friends at Source pad have provided some key concepts that are easy to understand, work well in a remote environment and produce great results.

With more organizations now forced into remote work, here is a simple and effective way for employees and managers to replace the in-office dynamic with one that works well online.

1. Daily scrums. Whether you use Zoom, Google Hangouts or another service, hold a "scrum" call with your team at 9 AM or 10 AM or agreed-upon time - consistently every workday. If in different time zones, ensure that everyone knows which time zone the call is defined for—if we say 11 AM, does that mean Central Daylight Time, Mountain Standard Time, Eastern Daylight Time? Always clarify the time zone.

( A Scrum is nothing more than a fancy word for a meeting! In engineering terms, this is a framework, however, don’t get spooked—just think of it as a meeting—).

2. Set goals/tasks. In this daily scrum call, everyone states what they plan to do in the next 24 hours and checks off what they did the previous 24 (were you able to complete X, Y, etc.?).

3. Take notes. Using Next24, a 100% free service, everyone lists their goals/tasks every day and then easily checks them off the next day. Next24 takes seconds to get up and going - no lengthy tutorials.

The next day, rinse and repeat.

The basis for daily scrums and Next24 comes from Agile methodology, which has been used by over millions of companies.

The Next 24 tool is free, easy to use and is very powerful. Go to next24.io to begin. You will see the benefit of the tool immediately, your team will better understand the tasks at hand and as a manager/leader, you will have full view of the spectrum of the tasks that your team is working.

! If you need help, call us at Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC, 817-386-3032 or send an email at results@solomonbruce.com.

(1) comment

Dr. Cynthia Ann Miller

This excellent article provides concise, concrete guidance on how to achieve optimum productivity, tailored to address the realities of working remotely. Daily communication to share goals/tasks/results builds teamwork and provides a winning formula for success.

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