This article is part of a series about what we recommend at Bunny Studio to get you started in working remotely.

But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:

Choose your internal communication tool

Do yourself and your team a favor, steer clear from Whatsapp, and Email as your main form of internal communication. It’s a fact that you’re no longer in the same physical space as your colleagues. However, this does not — nor should it — block you from checking-in with your team or having thoughtful discussions. Whatsapp and Email will not take you far. These won’t offer you the possibility of organizing your communication based on your projects, topics, or teams. Nobody likes to be part of multiple Whatsapp groups where there are numerous conversations taking place. Nor do they like having their email inbox flooded with emails where too many have derailed into a different topic than the original subject. Both of these scenarios will lead to you and your team feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, inadvertently losing track of information such as decisions taken, and action steps decided on inadvertently ensuring broken communication links within your organization.

Internal communication guidelines

Whether or not you are in a position to change to a user-friendly internal communication tool, if you want remote to work, you need to get your communication structures set from the get-go. Make sure your organization has set clear communication guidelines to establish rules of engagement. This is for both written and verbal communication- on how you want to manage your remote meetings.

  • how to label conversations or subjects — do you have specific prefixes for each team or unit, and should they add a sub-fix to indicate projects they are referring to give you a birds-eye view of your inbox?;
  • what your expectations are towards lean communication practices;
  • when to create email threads or WhatsApp groups and when not to;
  • who should and should not be notified about specific topics (perhaps implement a RACI matrix?);
  • where you should notify your leader on the latest reports/KPI updates;
  • which meetings are mandatory for everyone to be present?
  • what your expectations are regarding remote meeting etiquette — all videos on or off? everyone muted if not talking? rasing hand if you want to talk or do a dance?;
  • what your expectations are in everyone having their virtual calendars updated;
  • how people should book meetings — do they ask the person first, or can everyone access the calendar of their peers and book them on an empty slot of their choosing?
  • etc.

A sneak-peek into our Slack guidelines

Slack or any other internal communication tool can be a major distraction rather than an enabler if you don’t ensure a couple of guidelines to get the best from it (yes, we know we are repeating ourselves here!). We can write a whole article on this, but for now, these are the basics we want to share with you:

  • cx-workbench. CX stands for Customer Experience. This is where our Customer Experience Agents can talk about projects we are currently working on. Only the Customer Experience agents and employees that work with them are registered.
  • wc-all-company. WC stands for Watercooler! Just like in your normal office, you need a space where people can unwind and talk about general things. Given the pandemic, we’ve set up more of these separate spaces to keep our employees engaged, like wc-booknerds for our avid readers, wc-videogames for the gaming enthusiasts, and more.

A sneak peek into our remote meeting guidelines

We’ve gone over written communications, but what about video? You’ll surely have had more than one video conference within the past few days. Going forward, you might be jumping from video conference to video conference with coworkers and people outside your organization. Here’s a sneak peek into our guidelines:

  • It is important that everyone always keeps their camera on during conferences and be present.
  • Always mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.
  • Always have a moderator when engaged in video conferencing.

Documentation — in the cloud!

Along with chat-based systems that facilitate day-to-day communication, you also will need a cloud-based collaboration tool that will allow you to create and store all your processes, frameworks, policies, playbooks, KPIs, product cards, engineering bug, and task reports, etc. Essentially your wiki!

An updated virtual calendar

We’ve only scratched the surface on written communication. However, some issues might require you to jump into a virtual meeting with another team member. For virtual verbal communications, besides having access to the obvious: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. a virtual calendar is your best friend!

Daily and weekly standups

Last, but certainly not least, daily and weekly standups are a robust framework to prevent micromanagement, increase team engagement, and facilitate alignment. We won’t be where we are now without them.

  • Top misses from last week (what weren’t you able to achieve)
  • Top goals for this week
  • What objectives are at risk?
  • Is anything blocking you from moving faster?
  • Is there anything that can help you move faster?
  • Goals I wasn’t able to achieve
  • Top goals for today