Now that most businesses have been forced to work remotely, staying ahead of the competition, quickly pivoting, and executing on the greater company vision requires a whole new level of effectiveness, focus, and team cohesion!
At my company BossBabe, the fastest growing global online community of over 2.3M ambitious women, our team is located all over the world, from LA to London to South Africa, so staying connected and productive is absolutely critical to the health of our business. Today, I’m sharing five of our go-to daily productivity hacks to help teams do exactly that.
Utilize screen sharing
Without being in the office where you can tap your coworker on the shoulder, it can make working together on tasks and projects a much longer process. To help our remote team collaborate easily and stay ahead of our deadlines, we’ve made it a best practice to use the screen share feature in every meeting. This approach allows us to share ideas on projects, showcase important updates for any brand initiatives, and streamline feedback on design, copy, content, more effectively and eliminates the need for back-and-forth emails.
Whether we’re planning a big program launch, or reviewing our ad campaigns, screen sharing has become our go-to tool to make progress on our projects and keep communication flowing. For example, we launched a brand new online program for female entrepreneurs and needed to review lots of content, graphics, sales pages and more to get ready to go live.
In every meeting leading up to the launch, it was imperative that our team share their screen to walk us all through the different elements, so we could stay on the same page and have fast communication on requested changes or approvals. This process has been so effective that we often say screen share has become our new ‘conference room.’
Batch similar tasks
Instead of spending your workday moving from one task to another in completely different areas of your business, we’ve started batching our tasks and dedicating a specific amount of time (whether that’s a two-hour time-block or a full day). These time blocks help to focus our attention and energy on one type of project or area of our business.
Before we started this, we’d find ourselves switching focus between multiple projects, which ultimately reduced concentration, making it much harder to get tasks accomplished. It can also be exhausting to go from creative work to meetings and then back again.
Task batching has helped increase attention span and allow us to get more done in a shorter amount of time. We schedule most team meetings for Monday and leave Tuesday and Thursday open for more creative workflow, which our team loves because they can go into the week knowing exactly when they’ll have uninterrupted time to get in the zone and work on projects.
Create a dedicated WFH channel
Working remotely means there are fewer face-to-face interactions and less time to connect on a personal level with your team. You aren’t walking to lunch together and chatting about your weekend or taking a coffee break and sharing something that’s happening in your life. Now, more than ever before, it has become critical to check in with your team members to see how they’re doing outside of work.
We’ve found that for our team to work most effectively, they must feel supported by leadership and other members of the group. To boost morale and increase connection while working remotely, we’ve created a dedicated WFH chat channel to do exactly that!
Each day we check in to ask our team how they are feeling that day and if they need any support. We also use this channel to share things we’d usually talk about in person, like fascinating articles we’re following, funny memes, delicious recipes, favorite shows to binge, and what exciting things are happening in everyone’s life.
This channel is our space to talk about anything, share resources, acknowledge one another, get support, and stay in communication outside of work-related tasks. We’ve found this has helped boost team morale and connection, making everyone feel closer and happier, regardless of their location.
Here at BossBabe, our team lives all over the world, from LA to London, so it’s been essential to bring everyone together and create that sense of cohesion and togetherness. Without question, it’s become one of our favorite channels to check during the workday!
Collaborate on documents in the cloud
Even before the orders to work from home entirely, our business moved very quickly, and we were constantly pivoting. At BossBabe, we create tons of content for our audience, which allows us to educate and inspire our community daily.
Now that we are remote and need to uphold our fast-paced workflow, we work off cloud-based documents that enable us to collaborate in real-time. We’ve always used cloud docs, but now that we’re virtual, it’s become even more important to employ this strategy in every department.
Document sharing has allowed our team to save a tremendous amount of time sending documents back and forth and has eliminated concern on whether we have the most updated version of something. Working in the cloud, we’ve seen faster turnaround times and feedback loops, which streamlines our overall processes. Something especially beneficial now that we can’t have a quick in-person meeting to look over edits.
Time block your calendar to boost concentration and energy
Now that our entire team is working remotely, they’ve had to take on much more responsibility when it comes to time management, productivity, and efficiency inside their roles. We’ve implemented a simple, yet powerful time management tool that has helped our team boost concentration and thrive whilst working from home.
Here’s how it works for us: time block your calendar to work in 52-minute increments. So, for 52 minutes, you can focus on ONE needle-moving task, and once you’ve finished that block, you have eight minutes to do something for yourself, like taking a walk, getting some sunshine, or having a snack.
We found that without having these breaks in the day, our team members were not moving from their desks, which was negatively impacting their work and was going against our company value for prioritizing a healthy work-life balance. Although this amount of time works for our team, we encourage you to find the time block increments that work for you. We’ve discovered that it’s a flexible method and scalable up or down depending on what’s a realistic implementation in your organization.
Time blocking our days this way has boosted our team’s concentration and energy, whilst reducing stress and fatigue! We’ve noticed improved work quality and have received tons of positive feedback saying how people feel less overwhelmed and more energized throughout their workday. Also, a quick bonus tip is to utilize the buffer tool to create space between meetings in your calendar, so you can more easily implement these time blocks.
These hacks have made all the difference in helping us transition our business seamlessly to being fully remote and staying even more connected and efficient as a global team. As a small business, it’s meaningful to find creative solutions to challenges that arise, such as operating fully remote. I hope these hacks help you reduce stress and introduce simple solutions that can potentially uplevel your effectiveness as a team. Good luck!