4 Ways to Keep Your Remote Team a Team

With the first week of 2015 behind us, things are settling back into a normal rhythm here at 2Shoes. For us, it’s a time of excitement and possibilities. If you’re planning a conference for this year chances are you’re experiencing the same thing. Lining up speakers, hammering down your venue details and signing up for 2Shoes are all on your never ending to-do list. If you’re fortunate enough to be working with a great team you’re also coordinating and delegating.

At 2Shoes, we’re always on the go. Right now the five of us are temporarily in five different states. If your whole team, or just a few members, are remote we’d like to offer a few tips and tools we’ve found helpful:

1. Trello: Trello is our go-to tool for delegating tasks, managing our lead pipeline and keeping up with everyone’s doing. When working remotely we’ve found it to be an indispensable tool. It allows us to not only see what needs to be done if we are free but it also allows us to see what everyone is working on. It provides a great deal of transparency and helps keep us all accountable for the task we’ve taken on. Other similar tools exist so don’t be afraid to poke around out there and see what fits your needs.

2. Weekly Calls: Now we definitely aren’t endorsing meetings for meetings sake here. If anything we do our best to avoid those like the plague. But, having a weekly video call to catch up with the team (and actually see your teammates) is a great way to stay connected and remember that you have other folks out there working towards the same goal. Having one person super dialed at guiding these calls can cut down on wasted time, but make sure to carve out a little time for “water cooler talk.” It’s not all business and keeping the team feeling like a team will pay dividends in the end.

3. Cloud-based storage: No matter what service you decide to use (Google Drive, DropBox, etc…) having your documents, spreadsheets and other important info accessible to the team speeds up work and cuts down on unnecessary emailing or phone calls. Need to know your Twitter username? Post it in a secure doc online. Need a quick way to search an up-to-date list of potential speakers? Create a shareable spreadsheet. Gone are the days of downloading documents that need to be constantly replaced!

4. Be Overly Enthusiastic: I’ve seen it happen dozens of times over my years . An email is sent, with no malicious intent, to a coworker that’s misinterpreted. To avoid this trying being overly enthusiastic!!!!!!!! (okay maybe not that enthusiastic). But you get the idea. Make it a point to dole out a few compliments each time you’re communicating with a team member. It may seem over the top but it may be just what your teammate needs that day!!!!!!!

Working with a remote team can be a blast but it does take some effort that you may not have to put forth in a traditional office setting. These are just a few of the tips and tools we’ve used over the last year to keep our team psyched, accountable, and feeling like……a team!