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Library Technology Services: Managing Remote Teams

Resources from Library Technology Services, for library employees

Tips for Managing Remote Teams

In addition to technical resources, it’s ideal to have socio-technical supports for folks who are/may work remotely.

 

Working from home can be lonely and difficult. Technical tools like MS Teams can help with chat features, and zoom for connecting on meetings. Socio-technical practices like daily stand-up meetings and shared readings are useful. 

 

Programming, digital project management, and other digital teams offer these ideas:

  • Meetings for 1 hour End After 50 Minutes (and 25 for 30 minute meetings)

    • ​Working from home means no time, even for walking from one meeting to the next, so people recommend that meetings that would be an hour should end after 50 minutes (and 30 minute meetings should end at 25 minutes). Doing this gives space to breathe and be, and prevents an endless stream of Zoom meetings.

  • Daily watercooler/stand-up meetings:

    • These are short daily meetings done at the same time each day, where people literally stand-up (to encourage folks to be concise) and give their updates and plans for the day (https://www.agilealliance.org/glossary/daily-meeting/). Daily stand-ups are a best practice, and are very useful for productivity and connection. These have developed from agile programming practices and because, with so many programmers working remotely across the world, programming management practices have evolved to support remote workers.

  • Regular online social hour (can be work-related, like a reading group):

  • Informal Check-ins and Animated GIFs:

    • MS Teams has chat where people can have casual, timely conversation, and send stickers and animated GIFs.
    • Casual conversation and tools for fun conversation are fun and critically important.
  • Provide maximum flexibility:

    • See this article from Slate which reminds “Employers relying on a newly remote workforce should be offering maximum flexibility in these difficult times.” https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/03/coronavirus-working-from-home-remote-workforce-telework.html

    • Appropriate or minimal technology (the lowest possible computational power that meets the core needs) are great to remember. MS Teams may be best for some groups for some work; a text message group may be best for many more. Remember to use the technology to support your needs, and contact Library IT to have us consult with you on your needs, attend meetings, and/or participate with and support your team to help the technology enable your work and your team cohesion.

 

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