To Our Valued Customers and Vendors:
For several years, Lux has been a remote-first organization. We are thankful that this has allowed us to continue working and supporting our projects with minimal interruption, given the current COVID-19 situation. We will continue to be available during normal business hours via email and telephone.
The transition to a virtual work environment didn’t happen overnight for us, as change is always difficult. As many of our clients and partners are currently transitioning to a virtual work environment, we thought we would share best practices and lessons learned from our own experiences, in hopes that these lessons may better help others navigate through this time of change.
You want to keep your remote work environment running like a well-oiled machine, especially in terms of communications. It is critical to stay on top of availabilities, schedules, time-zones, and so forth to ensure optimal workflow. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to cover all aspects of remote team needs. Many of these tools can even be leveraged for free on a smaller scale.
For sharing files, consider Google Drive.
For virtual meetings, consider Google Meet and/or Zoom.
For real-time chat communications, consider Google Hangouts or Slack.
For remote desktops, consider Amazon WorkSpaces.
We also recommend investing in both good web cameras and headphones. Virtual teleconferences tend to produce electronic feedback; good headsets help with this problem.
Make new technology fun. Hold several meetings in which your team uses the tools to accomplish a “fun” task, such as showing off shared spreadsheets with an interactive “Two-Truths and a Lie” game or playing “Win-Lose-or-Draw” in a shared Document file.
Management of Personnel
Set up a daily “stand-up” meeting with your new remote workers to ensure you are all on the same page. The meeting should run no more than 15 minutes and is only designed as a touch-base. Overtime, as trust and communication mature, you may be able to drop this meeting.
Schedule routine company-wide virtual meetings to help your team stay in touch and learn what each other is doing.
There is a tendency for remote work to creep into other aspects of employees’ lives. To help ensure work-life balance, set expected hours of availability and try to limit contact with employees to these times.
Maintaining a Company Culture in a Virtual Environment
Lux had always prided itself on maintaining a familial atmosphere when our headquarters was brick and mortar based. We had frequent company events and social gatherings. We also encouraged community outreach and charity through our LuxGives initiatives. I am happy to report that this doesn’t have to stop when an organization transitions into a digital environment. We worked to maintain our culture by focusing on virtual team building activities, such as virtual socials and virtual all-hands meetings.
Do your best to maintain and translate the habits and processes that created and sustained your organizational culture into a virtual environment. Use whatever tools are available, just be sure to maintain that personal contact. In this time of recommended isolation, sustaining our social interactions is more important than ever.
Stay Healthy, Aware, and Informed.
From All of Us at Lux Consulting Group, Inc.