Q Remote Guide — make remote work fun & productive

Remote is all fun and games when it’s optional. But as a must, it can quickly become frustrating and even depressing, especially during the coronavirus outbreak and the general quarantine.

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Remote is all fun and games when it’s optional. But as a must, it can quickly become frustrating and even depressing, especially during the coronavirus outbreak and the general quarantine.

No matter if you live alone or in a full house, it is natural to feel kind of cut off during these “physical distancing” days. There is no lunch break mingle or usual team morale power-ups like pool table, PlayStation, and Foosball.

So what then? How to bring the team spirit back up?

You’ve probably heard our motto already: “Whatever the Q, we got the A.”
And if successful remote work is a Q, these are our As:

1. 100% Transparency

Fostering the right company culture is of great importance, which is why we simply cannot describe the value of transparency. We all know that happy employees are more productive & motivated at work, and according to multiple studies, transparency is one of the ultimate factors that determine their level of happiness, which is why we try so hard to achieve it. Some of the initiatives described below are just a part of this never-ending project.

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Partners: Dalibor, Filip and Vedran

2. Management Weekly Announcement Videos

Our first stepping stone in remote work was to make sure everyone is up to date with all the crucial decisions and relevant information. It was, therefore, natural for our Big C Four (CEO, COO, CBO & CTO) to immediately start working on weekly update videos.

Since the first week of remote, Fridays are the days on which Qumans receive a short pragmatic (but also fun) video which covers all of the week highlights. They listen about ongoing projects’ updates, client feedback, and other in-house news such as promotions & new employee announcements to plans & goals.

3. Roundtable (without a Table)

Most of your employees must have a lot of unanswered questions these days, and we are highly aware of the issue. Even though we do have the previously mentioned weekly update videos, surely some of the question marks are left unresolved, which is why we decided that every 4th video will be in the form of a roundtable discussion (without the actual table though).

All of our employees have a chance to anonymously post direct questions which will be answered by our Big C Four in the form of an interview with our HR Specialist Sara. We believe it is vital for everyone to be heard and don’t want to leave anything swept under the rug. Can’t wait to include the mighty table in the discussion as soon as we get back to the office :)

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4. Weekly Surveys

Whether it’s just about the weather or about remote work, we want to know how our employees feel, which is why our HR Team regularly sends surveys on topics like “Quick Mood Check-In” or just about their personal opinion on a specific matter. Also, any other feedback is more than welcome!

5. Education, Education, Education

Qumans are always hungry for knowledge, which is why education has become our primary focus lately. Unfortunately, all of the cool internal workshops we had in mind had to be postponed for a while. Juuuuust kidding. Of course, we brought them online too! There is no corona caused postponing in our case ;)

We have just reorganized them a little, so our primary focus now will be stress management, for all of the obvious reasons. Now inhale deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly & let the next chapter relax your mind :)

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Education

6. Slack & Meet Team Quiz

Dear Slack and Hangouts, thank you for being our best communication support during these hard, remote only, days. It looks like our creativity thrives during a lockdown, so we’ve come up with a comfortable yet fun way to use our everyday tools for arranging an online quiz.

The idea is simple: the moderator writes a question on Slack and the team captains answer. Points are won on the first-come, first-served basis. As for the Hangouts Meet — that’s where the brainstorming happens. Each team has its Meet, where they discuss the possible answers. And watch out for typos — may the most spelling correct one win!

7. Quarantine Cookbook

Working from home usually includes everyday cooking. Surely you all have some tasty backup recipes, but with the isolation length remaining unknown, you can easily find yourself repeating the same three meals all over again.

So why not use your community for some fresh recipes? Well, we certainly have. And we have already found some serious cooking talents, so when the Quarantine is over, we will have our cookbook full of Q Masterchefs!

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(Quarantine Qookbook — kitchen elements designed by freepik.com)

8. Workout Challenge & Online Yoga

Summer is around the corner, and just when we were all about to start our summer body preparations, the self-isolation came. Nevertheless, we still want our employees to stay fit and healthy, and encouraging each other is the best way to do it. You can find loads of them online or even go as far as making your workout videos. Lucky for us, we’ve got our fitness coach within our rows and our yoga instructor who’s come up with some neat stretches you can do when you start feeling back pain.

We said farewells to our in-office yoga and welcomed live workout videos by Q production :) As for the equipment — forget about the kettlebells and dumbbells, this season is all about flour packs and oil bottles! So let the Workout Games begin! And don’t forget — exercise makes your mind clearer and your code cleaner :)

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9. Virtual Couch Sessions

To make your mind even more precise, we have introduced Friendly Talks with our HR Manager Anja. A psychologist in the HR is a precious gem which especially shines through this quarantine gloominess. If you have one (or more) within your rows, make sure to use their knowledge correctly. Believe us when we say it can be quite useful to have a virtual cup of coffee with a professional when you’re feeling a bit down.

10. Q Talks

Since we are very proud of all of our members and believe an appreciation of uniqueness is key to unity, we decided to give everyone a chance to be a star for a day and share their experiences and knowledge with everyone by creating theme-based talks through Hangouts meet. Our first Q Talk was about Dorotea’s Patagonia & Desert outdoor 3-week adventure and exploring the magical Buenos Aires. After our QA Engineer Dora the “Explora,” as we love to call her, our Project Manager Davor took us to the magical Philippines. We can’t wait for our Head of Communications to take us to Vietnam this week!

But Q Talks is not just reserved for travelers. Whether you’re interested in sharing each other tips & tricks on a specific topic such as surviving remote work while being a parent or would just like to share some of your experiences, Q Talks is the right place for you. And everyone is more than welcome to participate :)

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Davor took us to Filipines

11. Quman Stories

This situation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (well, at least we hope it is). Don’t just count the downsides, recognize & embrace the positive ones too. Make a template for Quarantine story sharing so that everyone can easily show how they’re spending their time & it will always stay as a reminder to this unique state. The braver ones can also take their colleagues on a tour of their homes in the form of “My Crib“ videos. Lights, camera, action!

12. Free Time Games Channel

Our dear pool table is gathering dust right now, and we can’t continue all of our fun in-office tournaments until we get out of the Quarantine. (We should think about opening reservations because we can already imagine the lines in front of our Fun Room.)

In the meantime, we decided to open a games channel with suggestions like online Pictionary, Card games, etc. In this way, you’ll know who’s interested and when you’re up for a short break, just send a Slack message and wait for someone to reply to your challenge.

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13. Movie Night

Unfortunately, the cinema is a big NO these days. But lucky for us, Netflix has an excellent new addition called Netflix party, which allows you to stream movies on multiple devices simultaneously and even integrates a chat box so you can comment while watching.

It looks like we’re all in a long-distance relationship now. Isn’t that cute? #LoveInTheTimesOfCorona

14. Learning Together

Since we won’t be leaving our homes any time soon, why not use this extra time efficiently and learn something new, especially since multiple sites offer free online courses on different topics. Some of them are Ivy League Courses, EdX, Udemy, Coursera, etc. It is also quite useful to open a Slack channel dedicated to education (ours is called #knowledgesharing) so that you have an ultimate one-stop knowledge shop. So every time you read or discover something interesting, you can easily share it with your peers.

Motivate your teammates to become your classmates and exit this isolation with more precious knowledge. Stay home, but work on yourself too :)

We hope you enjoyed reading this at least half as much as we enjoyed creating and implementing it. At first, we were a bit skeptical about how this Quarantine would impact our community. Still, it turns out that the high bond we have been working on has just proven to be one of our critical assets in this fight the whole world is facing right now. We have shown that even though we’re distant, we can still be “together.” And being together makes us much stronger. :)

That is the ultimate reason we will keep working hard to make our employees feel accompanied and supported, primarily through the most challenging times like pandemics, isolation, and earthquakes.

EXTRA TIP:
Sum up all of your team building activities and share them in the form of a PDF Remote Guidebook to make sure everyone is familiar with them. And it will also make a great memory. Win-win!

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