How Workplaceless Stays Connected and Productive as a Remote Team with ClickUp
Does this feel familiar?
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We see the above cringe-worthy scenario, or a million variations of it, play out all too often. We want to shout from the rooftops: “It doesn’t need to be this way!”
At Workplaceless, we train teams and companies on developing the skills and utilizing the best-in-class tools in order to thrive while working remotely. We emphasize for our clients, and for our own fully distributed team, the importance of getting teams aligned to communicate and collaborate without friction. One tool that rises to the top of our recommendations list to accomplish all of the above is ClickUp.
The one-stop-shop functionality of ClickUp allows us to use a single tool for everything from project management to performance tracking.
Here are five ways that ClickUp helps us stay connected and productive as a remote team:
#1 It keeps us transparent
At Workplaceless, transparency means questions don’t go unanswered, information is available and accessible, and there is accountability among employees.
Remote work at its finest means employees, managers, and leaders are working asynchronously; so, information needs to exist in single channels for clear and quick retrieval, to employees around the globe. (Highly efficient remote teams don’t let those Tuesday staff meetings become a bottleneck to making progress on assignments.)
One way we ensure that team members’ work is valued and seen as valuable is by helping each person understand how their granular tasks ladder up to larger objectives. We set our quarterly company Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in ClickUp, so our team always knows how our daily tasks and projects align with overall company objectives.
Our CEO, Tammy Bjelland, appreciates that all ClickUp tasks are centralized in one place, and it gives her a high-level view of where we’re meeting, exceeding, or not yet reaching our goals. The ability for ClickUp to automatically align granular tasks back to our overarching vision and goals was a primary driver for Tammy and our leadership team in selecting this software as our project management software of choice.
This transparency and alignment of work to goals begins from day one at Workplaceless. ClickUp not only hosts the tasks associated with our employee onboarding process, but also gives new employees the insight into leadership preferences and company culture. ClickUp allows any team member into the inner workings of the company and gives every employee the opportunity to share the status of their own projects.
#2 It aids in our remote-first management practices
With our clients, we share guidance and strategies centered around building trust among team members. Many different factors go into fostering that trust, but a critical element is to avoid the trap that some companies fall into feeling like they need to watch employees’ every move.
Instead of relying on micromanagement habits or acting as task-masters, remote leaders, and managers should focus on building culture, managing performance, and change within an organization. As remote managers don’t have literal eyes on employees every moment of the working day—nor should they—performance management requires a shift to measurements based on metrics.
ClickUp seamlessly allows for clear expectation settings based on deliverables and deadlines. The rollup views of lists and tasks also allow for easy views of workload and overall team accountability towards collective project goals.
#3 It acts as our accountability buddy
For most of us, the basic accountability of having our name attached to the ownership and completion of tasks for the entire team to see is huge. And for our leadership, it helps us prioritize and communicate projects and tasks across teams while keeping a handle on the workload and performance metrics. We treat ClickUp tasks and deadlines with respect, and this is role-modeled by all managers.
Bryan Stutzman, our CRO, spends much of his time talking to people for business development and partnerships, so he uses the tool most for keeping track of follow-ups. The reminder tool is his favorite feature because it keeps his workday on track.
Bryan explains: “It allows me to use the set-it-and-forget approach, giving me the ability to focus on other opportunities without worrying that I will forget to complete or follow up on something.”
#4 It’s our strategic project management partner
Some members of the team like our CMO, Jacqueline Zeller, use ClickUp for both the strategic and tactical sides of project management. Jacqueline loves that she can seamlessly transition the project management components into campaign management. The functionality allows her to ensure that upcoming campaigns are not only working together but also that they are spaced out properly.
“With all of the various channel and product activations we have going on in parallel, I love the ClickUp visual view of when everything is published and running so I can not only plan for tasks needed but also map out our activations to business outcomes,” says Jacqueline.
ClickUp helps us take that high-level planning view, then drill down into detailed lists and tasks in specific ways. This allows us to allocate resources and ensure, as leaders, that we are prioritizing tasks and maintaining manageable workloads for our team members.
#5 It supports our balance of asynchronous and synchronous collaboration
Effective remote teams don’t rely on solely synchronous or solely asynchronous collaboration. They need to determine a strategic balance and prioritization of when each style is needed and where.
On the synchronous side, we’re hyper-focused on the strategic use of meetings. We don’t just have meetings to share information. As a team, we recognize that our synchronous time together is valuable and meant for engagement and decision-making. With this practice in mind, we use ClickUp to organize and assign the prep work needed to accomplish and achieve our meeting goals.
At the end of every meeting, we take our next steps and action items back to ClickUp to turn into tasks. This allows for efficiency and productivity during our time together and for the other elements of work to be completed at a more productive time for their task owners. ClickUp then also serves as a central location to record decisions made and the next steps needed.
In order to have effective asynchronous collaboration, we need to understand where and when those communications and collaborations will occur. As defined in our team Communication Charter—a must-do for any remote team—we ensure that conversations about projects, tasks, and deadlines take place through the ClickUp messaging boards. This allows for a centralized location to reference when needing information about deliverables or follow-ups. Staying in sync and connected to the work that we are each completing from our independent locations is a critical component to our success.
As a 100% distributed team, it’s not only the tools but the guiding principles of how we use those tools that help us strengthen our culture, our communication, and our productivity.
Just because we work in separate locations doesn’t mean we don’t all work together. ClickUp facilitates that culture of transparency, communication, collaboration, and productivity.