Prepping your teams to work from home

Prepping your teams to work from home

As of yesterday, Oct 28th, Angela Merkel has said that we’ll be going under lockdown for the next four weeks starting November 4th.

So, I wanted to share with you all the things that people should know and have (at least what I can think of) to make the lockdown times as easy as possible for their businesses and employees.

For us in Germany, and for those anywhere else, I hope you find this useful.

The mental health of you and your employees

This is one of the biggest things that will affect your team, and it will be utterly silent unless you are aware of it. Here are a few tips on reducing the mental strain that this lockdown will have on your team.

Perfecting communication

Communicating in person is still far more comfortable than online; however, there are plenty of tools to help with online communication. Here are the tools and tips to get control of your team's communications.

Async communication system tips

Most of the time, people use Slack for communicating online, and I do too. What we’ve implemented at ZenMaid is the following...

1. Have a ‘read’ receipt.

We do this by having people ‘emoji’ announcements and anything directed to them. While sometimes saying ‘got it’ warrants it, sometimes it doesn’t and can bombard the chat. When you emoji something, you know that they read it, and it allows you to keep track of who hasn’t seen it.

2. Static reduction

What I mean by this is try only to have what is needed in the main Chatroom. If it’s a discussion about a specific topic, thread it in slack. We don’t need everyone to read the entire sidebar convo in the main chat. That can cause people to lose hours per week, catching up on something they don’t even need to know.

3. Proper channel structure.

Having a single ‘Marketing’ channel isn’t enough. Ideally, you should divide it by project. For example, we have a c-marketing-summit. Additionally, there are a few other ways you should segment your channels. We use letterings to help order and identify channels for less searching:

A: These are all team-based general chats (a-team-marketing)

B: These are process-related chats (demo summaries, certain repetitive task completion, etc. (b-proc-uploads)

C: These are product features & events that we are working on (c-feature-tax)

D: These are all notification related to teams or tasks (d-notif-dev)

E: These are slow-moving projects or big one time tasks (e-temp-icons)

4. Have a check-in channel

Having a check-in channel allows you to know when your team is online and working or if they're out for lunch or the rest of the day. It will enable you to see if you can get timely responses or if you're going to have to wait to hear back from them. We all know how it feels, not knowing when they're going to get your message.

5. Integrations

This one is pretty straight forward. If your team needs to be notified of something, see if the other software you use integrates with slack (or other chat systems). If it doesn’t, I’d suggest checking to see if you can do it via Zapier. Need help, shoot me a message!

Meeting Rooms

Meeting rooms are super helpful and super useful for communicating in real-time. It allows screen sharing, face to face communication, and I bet you’ve already done it, so I don’t think I need to say more. Common ones: Zoom, Skype, Hangouts.

Async Video Communication 💯

I cannot stress how important and useful async video communication is. It has made everyone’s lives easier within my team, and it adds so much more personality to your communication reducing your questions to 0 (most of the times, if done right)

I’m not talking about recording a YouTube video and uploading it; way too much 💩

I’m talking about this beautiful thing called Loom. It allows you to record 5-minute videos and share them via a link. All you do is install the extension, login, push record, and boom- it’s uploaded when you push the done button 10/10.


Finally, document all tasks, all questions, etc. that you think may come up more than once. It cuts down on dumb questions, gives the team 24/7 assistance, and allows for scaling your company. It truly makes onboarding a breeze when done right. I suggest Notion due to the ease of structuring content and integrating links, videos, and many other things.

Okay, guys, I hope this info helps. If you have any questions, comments, or want to say hey, please shoot me a message! I’m here to help!


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