April 8th, 2020

Your Guide to Working Remotely

COVID-19 is causing an epicly unplanned global work-from-home movement. Whether this is for a short-term trial or indicative of a larger worldwide movement towards remote work, you will want to take advantage of the tools and resources from companies who have been there. 

With the Amazons and Googles of the world encouraging most of their employees to work from home in the face of COVID-19, it seems like only a matter of time before the rest of the business world follows suit. These companies have already built some of the most flexible work cultures even before this health crisis. How can you begin to leverage the tools, resources, and processes of these legendary companies? What will the transition look like? 

Our CEO, Brian Holmes, has interviewed hundreds of business owners and founders on The Franchise Story Podcast who all say the same things when it comes to mentorship: find a mentor that is two steps ahead. People, and companies, that are two steps ahead of you can be the best resource for a combo of both relevant and sound guidance. They are far along enough to talk about successes and what they would have done differently, but not too far removed from the tangible struggles of getting there. 

Here at Franchise Ramp, we have been a fully remote company since our beginning in 2018. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our fair share of missteps. We are a team of 15 people, working all over the world.  We’ve learned from our mistakes, and have produced an easy-to-duplicate productivity regime that will work across a multitude of different industries. In order to help other small businesses transition to remote work during these unprecedented times, we’ve also compiled our already-documented processes, resources, and tools in order to make this transition as seamless as possible. 

1. Assess your needs.

The opportunities of remote work lie in finding new ways to stay connected with your team and to keep work moving forward. The challenge is knowing where to start and what to prioritize. The good news is that many people are working from home and staying productive, so you can too. The questions people are asking are pretty universal: Will I be able to keep up with my work? Will colleagues and managers still notice my contributions even if I’m not in the office? Will I feel isolated now that my team is at a distance? Asking the RIGHT questions, then answering them, will be crucial in setting you and your team up for success. Consider grouping these questions in the following categories: Productivity, Visibility, and Creation Human Connections.

2. Centralize your systems.

You will need to update your employment policies to facilitate remote work while equipping your managers for the transition. 

How to Plan and Organize Your Business Documentation

We house our Online Company Playbook on our Intranet Site. This includes important links, accountability charts, employee tools and expectations, and any other tools relevant to the job. Make sure to showcase your companies’ mission, vision, and values. 

How to Leverage Your Team to Document What You Do

What better way to take ownership of your role than to document what your job entails? Prompting your team, and mangers, to document their processes in an organized manner will not only facilitate ownership of projects but also the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity necessary in this new reality. 

3. Establish a communication plan.

This step is crucial. How you establish your communication plan will coincide with how you’ll be able to audit your team’s productivity. Hit deadlines, review documents, make approvals. When all of your communication is in one place, you can drive results from anywhere.
To keep meetings to a minimum, we leverage cloud-based tools like Zoom and Slack

How to Audit Productivity Remotely 

  1. Managers develop daily routines for employees working from home
  2. Set clear cut expectations with performance reviews 
  3. Outline Decision-Making Processes to prevent bottlenecks

4.  Set firm expectations.

In the process, you will have redefined what productivity looks like. Spelling this out explicitly will be vital to the success of your team. Be results-oriented. Over-communicate at every turn. Inspire your employees by putting your culture on full display. 

Extra advice: Utilize Zoom for a weekly company happy hour! In times like these, when people may feel isolated, provide a platform that inspires community.