Distributed work

Guide for remote work: how we use Octonius and other tools as a remote team

Over the years, the Octonius team has shifted from one primary office at our Palo Alto HQ to three distributed offices (Palo Alto, Barcelona and Singapore) and a handful of remote employees across 6 countries. In doing so, we’ve not only built Octonius (which we use for all of our business functions!) to support remote work, but we’ve also explored ways to maintain a culture, connection, and productivity as a remote team.

As many companies are shifting to remote work, we wanted to share some of the tips, tricks, and tools that helped us successfully make this transition.

Remote work challenges

Remote work comes with a handful of benefits and challenges. The main challenges and opportunities that we identified are:

  1. Communication — communicate with your team to ask questions and share information.
  2. Collaboration – stay on the same page with your team, track your team’s tasks and effort, work on projects together.
  3. Documentation — make sure everybody knows what’s going on and nothing slips through the cracks.
  4. Connection — stay connected as a team to continue building culture and community. Have fun together — it’s important!

1. Communicating with teammates

Communication is often the first challenge that comes to mind for remote work. We need to be able to quickly ask for help or feedback.

However, communication has 2 different modes:

  • Instant communication – we need something urgent, asap, right now. Apps like Slack become important communication tools when we can’t all be together and we need instant replies.
  • Asynchronous communication – when we need to focus on important things, manage work and projects and ask for feedback or provide advise to our colleagues. We use Octonius for this.

At Octonius, we prefer to use as much as we can the Async communication method. It creates predictability, traceability and helps people focus on DEEP WORK. It eliminates the unnecessary noise and stress, allowing us to enter deep work status.

2. Collaboration

This means getting real work done, as a team. Sometimes you need to work together on a file or document, sometimes you need to automate workflows and speed up the process.

With Octonius, you can assign a task to the first person in charge of it and then add task followers that will start working on the same task in a specific order.

Example: Mara gets a task assigned to her: New Marketing website.

She prepares the design elements and then the task moves automatically to the next assignee: Markus, he will be working on the content of the website. Finally the task gets to Maria, the developer publishing the website on the web. Task done! Automatic task assignment is a cool trick to speed up workflows in any organization.

3. Documenting information and updates

It’s important to document daily work as well as in our conversations with each other. This keeps everybody in the loop and makes sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Keeping track of where a conversation left off with a customer or partner is a challenge for any team. Add your updates to Octonius to give your team visibility on your communication without asking for an update.

This way of asynchronous working creates a meaningful conversation around a task, file, or activity, making it easy to find for your team.

4. Connection

It’s important for a team stay up to date, on a team level and organizational level.

We use Octonius to post daily updates on different levels, like a status regarding the sales process or welcoming new people onboard. It’s easy and very fun!

Each morning, we share what we’re working via chat and follow up with an updated check-in in the evening on Octonius. This way, we understand who to ask for certain information, who might be blocked on a certain project, and how we’re all making progress on our goals.

We’re here to assist 🧡

Many of our customers are doubling down on remote work practices or trying it out for the first time.

Get in touch with us for advice on remote work best practices, or to learn more about Octonius for your organization. Or just to say hi! 😃