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Working remote for the first time? The Tulsa Remote community has put together a few tips & tricks that they’ve learned over the years.

Communication Tools & Software Suggestions

"Zoom, Slack and Trello are apps we use to communicate.” – Kate Birtch

“We use Skype for Business which allows screen sharing if it’s for meetings/collaboration. With Skype for Business everyone you work with can see you online and can chat, ask a quick question if a phone call is not needed. Agile teams have their daily check-ins via conference call and Skype screen sharing, other folks meet via conference call. It makes it easy to include teammates from around the world. It’s business as usual. This offers  companies an opportunity to practice/refine or develop a business continuity plan!” – Ronald Walz

“My company,, is a team collaboration tool and we’ve put together some great resources to help teams working remotely. We are also offering the platform for free to universities, NGO’s and hospitals that are helping combat COVID-19.” – Jordan Duvall

“Here’s the first video in a series about remote working that discusses “asynchronous communication” – how to communicate efficiently when you’re not in the same location.” – Anne Perry

“My workplace, Cornell University, is now offering a two-week online course on Building High-Performing Virtual Teams to help people develop the skills and tools necessary to manage a remote team effectively.” – Kate Wilson

“Something our company, SANS Institute, just released discusses how to work from home securely. It can make company decision makers more comfortable with the concept of remote working.” – Dustin Paluch

“We take for granted that everyone knows about Slack, Trello, Zoom, Meet, etc. For companies that aren’t as technologically focused, it’s important to understand that there are free services available that are very easy to use.” – Chase Stokes

Company Culture

“Set up daily morning stand-ups, for less than 10 minutes to make sure your team knows what they are doing for the day and give them a forum to ask for help. Slack/GChat/Zoom (some of which are being offered for free right now).” – Chase Stokes

“Tip #1: trust your workers.” – Aaron Smith

“Even the best managers can be a little weary of working from home because they can’t always pinpoint what their folks are doing. Trello reduces questions regarding who’s free and who has big projects/deadlines they are working on.” Chase Stokes

“Continue to make jokes and connect with teammates on a personal level. Loneliness will kill motivation so fast.” Trae Sjogren

“I recommend virtual happy hours to wrap up a week!” Chase Stokes

“Some social things we organize for our team include:

  • Donut Friends Forever meetings, where Slack randomly pairs us with someone else on the team each week to set up a social chat. No agenda, just the normal chat you would have if you ran into someone in the break room eating a donut. This gives us the chance to get to know each other personally, especially people from other departments, like you would naturally in person.
  • Social Street, where people who are interested in a specific topic can gather for a zoom call to talk about that topic. There have been sessions on mountain biking, technology nerdery, real estate investing, etc.
  • Virtual Happy Hour, where whoever wants to show up can meet on a zoom call, bring a beverage of choice and talk about anything.” – Anne Perry
Team Collaboration

“There’s such huge value in actually showing someone in a short video what’s going on, so that they can see the challenge you’re having. Sometimes, in the process of making a video, I end up “explaining it to a duck” and fixing the problem before I even send the video.” Jonathan Kraft

“Promote screen sharing to enable folks to pair on difficult tasks that they would have teamed up on if they were in the office.” – Chase Stokes

“Establish a “communication guideline” on what medium to use to chat/discuss. For example,  don’t send important client information via chat or don’t use text for lengthy discussions. Seems simple but needs to be written out.” – Kate Birtch

“A weekly (or more often) check in call is great. It makes a huge difference. Video call is even better, but even just a voice call is good to share short updates about what’s going on.” Jonathan Kraft

“Use video as much as possible. Being able to see someone’s gestures and body language helps with communicating. Also, make sure you have enough VPN licensing.” Chris Miles

“My team has a bi-weekly 1-hour meeting called “the water cooler” where basically you get on to chit chat and close out the week. The hardest thing about remote working is the isolation and the distance you have with your team sometimes.It sounds small but has added a lot of motivation to our team.” Vamshi Voruganti

“It might seem trivial but someone in our organization asked for people to post their home “battle stations” then created a montage video to share company wide. Team morale is a good thing and I saw some amazing work from home setups.” J.L. Francois

“Be in the practice of turning on your video camera when you’re meeting with people. We used to not do this, but it makes a difference as far as feeling connected.” Anne Perry


“I would encourage people to be present and active for as many meetings so that leadership doesn’t feel an “absence” when they can’t see you.” Aya Ofunniyin

“Don’t get in the habit of abbreviated writing.” – Kate Birtch

“Promote screen sharing to enable folks to pair on difficult tasks that they would have teamed up on if they were in the office.” – Chase Stokes

“One of the under appreciated tips I have for video conferencing is to mute until necessary and to refrain from using affirmations while someone is speaking because this disrupts the audio and others listening can get frustrated. This eliminates the need to repeat. Use nods or thumbs up or smiles or head shakes to convey that you’re listening.” – Bria Sullivan

“Since I work in Human Capital Management software, I have lots of Human Resource Business Partner  friends and they’ve taught me something incredibly valuable for people management. “It’s ALWAYS a performance issue, it’s never a policy issue.” That means if you have an employee not getting their job done when they work remotely, the issue is that employee’s performance, not the remote policy. If you have employees not getting their job done because they are always on the phone, then the issue is the employees aren’t doing their jobs, you don’t need a cell phone policy.” – Ryan Gillen

“Don’t get caught without a plan. Know which roles can work from home and which are office critical, ensure people have the right equipment/internet hookups so even if you don’t always practice a fully remote environment, your team is ready in the event it has to be utilized.” – Kelly Bulger

“Take a shower, get dressed as if you’re actually going to the office. Don’t sit in your bed for video meetings.” – Anne Perry

Self Care

“Take the opportunity to create a really nice and easygoing morning routine without having to juggle getting ready, answering texts and making it to the office on time. Ease into the morning, make your tea/coffee, meditate, yoga, journaling, etc. — it’ll help start the workday with lightness and enthusiasm and you’ll also be in a positive place around working from home which makes staying motivated a lot easier!” – Teresa Bigelow

“Patience, flexibility and collaboration while working out the kinks as companies transition is incredibly important. t’ll be a process that won’t be seamless or linear, but worthwhile to invest in. Keeping routines is really important for workers self care.” – Jessie Lynn

“Take the same breaks throughout the day you typically would with colleagues,  but do a load of laundry, or some dishes or a quick home task so you still feel accomplished. This is stuff that you’d have to do on the weekends after a busy work week that now can help free you up on a weekend if you do a little at a time at appropriate intervals during the work day.” – Bria Sullivan

"Make the best out of working from home, while children are not attending school in person, with these tips for both mental wellness and productivity.” – Christina Springer

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