My team of five has been working together on a cloud-based learning system for nearly a year. Since going remote, we needed to find a way to keep us connected just as if we were working next to each other in the office.

We decided to try two new things:
- End of the Day Stand Up
- Open Zoom Room

End of the Day Standup

We have our first team stand-up of the day at 11:00 AM. When we found that we had to work from home, one of our team members suggested that we add a second (SEP only) stand-up to close our day. We get together at the same time towards the end of the day to talk about the accomplishments of the day. The short meeting helps us stay on track, and gives us an opportunity to reconnect after our morning stand-up. We recount how we spent the day, where we are with our tasks, bring up technical problems we may have, or talk about client meetings. This also gives us an opportunity to just see how everyone is doing. How is everyone feeling? What’s going on personally?  

Open Zoom Room

Like a few other teams at SEP, we have also decided to keep a Zoom room open the entire day. The open room gives the whole team the opportunity to hang out just as if we were in the office. We turn off video and mute the audio, but anyone can talk at any time to ask for help. This keeps us really connected throughout the day, and has helped a lot with improving the morale of the team.

Here are a couple of quotes from our team members on the benefits of the two practices:

"The additional standup & persistent Zoom room have really helped me keep to a consistent schedule. Normally a commute is the thing that marks the start and end of the day, but now that has been replaced by logging into zoom and logging out of zoom."

“The open Zoom room has been surprisingly great! I say 'surprisingly' because I did not think anything would be able to even come close to replacing sitting next to someone in the office, and the open zoom room definitely does not replace that in-person experience. However, it definitely does more than I initially gave it credit for. Being able to say someone's name and have them pop up on camera and mic in a few seconds has been extremely useful in helping me navigate any tough problems I might have been struggling with. The open Zoom room gives me the feeling and suggestion of office-ness that I think I would otherwise be missing a lot right now.”

Small practices make a big difference. I hope this helps another team working from home.