When it comes to managing your remote team, we have learned a few things along the way that have allowed our team to grow, thrive, and communicate effectively across time zones and continents.
If you're a small business owner you are likely glued to your business all the time. With today's modern communication tools you can get away from your store, or business and still maintain communication with your staff and clients.
With Summer around the corner, we want to share communications tools that can help you stay on top of business, manage staff, and still get away and enjoy some downtime this season.
So, grab your phone or laptop and get ready to log in from the cottage, pool, or beach.
The number one way our remote team manages projects communicates and gets stuff done while working from different countries is Slack.
We use Slack for our internal meetings, discussions, and day-to-day communication.
Slack has a voice and video call features that allows us to stay connected as a team. This feature is great for having weekly meetings as a team and daily meetings between individual departments.
If you are looking to improve your communication with your team and want to try managing from afar, Slack can be an excellent way to do this. Check them out here!
When it comes to project management systems, the BentoSMB team has tried just about all of them! We have never been afraid to shift gears if something isn't working, or could be improved upon.
However, currently, we are using Monday for our project management needs. Monday has been a great addition to the Bento team, allowing us to more effectively manage our projects and tasks.
No matter your industry or team size, there is likely a benefit to using a project management system. Whether you use something more lightweight like Asana or Trello, or something more robust like Jira or Monday, there are so many solutions to choose from.
Not only are these tools great on desktop, but their mobile apps mean you can stay up to date and monitor projects from anywhere.
To have a look at Monday and how it can help better manage your team and projects remotely, click here.
Okay, this one seems pretty obvious, but we are including it anyway! A shared calendar such as Google Calendar is vital to our organization and remote life.
Everyone on our team keeps their calendars updated and really detailed, so we know where and when we can reach each other.
With flights, meetings, and different time zones to compete with, it's so important we all know when our colleagues are offline, and when they are reachable.
We also encourage downtime, days off, and ample holiday time, so tracking that is important so we can make sure all of our bases are covered while someone is away.
If you're just starting out managing staff, this is absolutely essential and a good place to start.
Using a ticketing system to manage incoming requests and bugs from clients has been essential to how we run our remote business.
Having support emails come into a ticketing system, as opposed to just into an inbox is key. A support email landing in an inbox may not be seen by the person who really needs to do the work. It might mean forwarding emails and attachments around which can get messy.
By having these requests land directly into a designated support system, you can set things up so all or some of your staff have access. This means more hands on deck, faster response times.
The ability to assign these tasks to our developers remotely right from withing Desk has been a game changer. This is a ticketing system we have been using for a few years now, and love it.
Click here, to take a closer look at Desk and how it may be an asset to your remote team.
Aside from all of the tech tools at our disposal, a successful remote team also relies on attitude. Everyone has to trust each other, pitch in, and, as cliche as it sounds, "be a team player".
It's corny, but it's true.
All the gadgets and apps in the world can't make a team gel. So, we make time for face time (like actual face time), with each other whenever we can. Have lunch, have beers, go bowling, something!
In person bonding, before your team goes more remote is a great way to ensure success as you put entire continents between you.
If you're about to start going more remote with your business style, that's awesome! Our team has checked email from beaches in the Caymans, built apps in co-working spaces in Thailand, drafted proposals on wifi equipped planes over the Atlantic, and Slacked about a client's question from the Costa Rican jungle.
Where there is a will (and a strong internet connection), there is a way!
Earlier this year Shopify launched the Shopify App Challenge. The brief, create an app that helps solve a challenge amplified by COVID-19, but that would also have staying power beyond the pandemic crisis. We knew, without a doubt, that we wanted to be a part of this challenge. So, our small team set to work building our second public Shopify application, Recipes.