Before we begin, let me give you a little bit of background on our team. WorkingOn has a remote team consisting of three people distributed over two timezones. Our founders, Mark Cicoria and George Diab, are based out of Las Vegas—while I'm located over 2000 miles away in the Greater Boston Area.
How WorkingOn increases team productivity
At WorkingOn, we frequently have one person clocking out while another is just clocking in. This, of course, is the nature of any distributed team. Differences in timezones and individual schedules make it next to impossible for the company to run a synchronized nine-to-five. When I first started at WorkingOn, this troubled me. In my off-hours I would have this nagging feeling that I was missing out. To the chagrin of my family, I would pull out my laptop and quickly check in on Slack. I soon realized that this was not only unhealthy but also completely unnecessary, due to WorkingOn's pièce de résistance—the progress email. Every morning, I am presented with a single email that outlines what everyone on my team did the previous day. Each of us can customize the time our individual email digest is sent out, allowing it to function seamlessly across timezones. This simple daily email is all I need to quickly and efficiently regroup with the rest of the team.
Peace of Mind
As with many startups, at WorkingOn, we each have to wear many hats. Mark, for example, serves not only as CEO, but also as engineer and chief herder of cats. There is little time in his day to run a daily stand-up just to make sure everyone on the team is on task. WorkingOn lets him focus on getting things done instead of micromanaging the team.
In Slack, we have a dedicated channel #the-railroad for WorkingOn activity. Throughout the day he can see an up-to-date timeline of everyone's current and past status updates.
For him, WorkingOn allows quicker adjustments to be made because he is aware of things as they happen.
I can start my day by focusing on things I need to get done, rather than trying to catch up with what everyone else did.
This is independent of time(zone), so he is free to start his day when it makes the most sense for him. He no longer has to worry about being interrupted at 10am by a pesky status meeting. WorkingOn has helped Mark become so well in tune with what the team is up to that he frequently doesn't have to open the progress emails. At the end of the day, WorkingOn offers Mark flexibility and peace of mind.
At times, all of us struggle with maintaining focus. Interruptions are all around us. In the modern workplace, it is rare that we sit down and work a task to completion without at least one interruption. For George, our CTO and engineer extraordinaire, this can be problematic because nothing gets done when you interrupt an engineer.
Luckily, George is an avid user of the WorkingOn Chrome Extension which allows you to easily post status updates to WorkingOn via the Chrome address bar. It also has the added benefit of reminding you what you should be doing whenever you open a new tab.
When in a browser, and switching tasks, it's sometimes easier to open a new tab to post work than to use Alfred. My brain just likes it better in that scenario.
George finds it helpful for quickly seeing what he was working on last. Frequently when he is about to work on something new, because of the Chrome Extension, he is reminded that he didn't finish that other task! WorkingOn may not be able to prevent all workplace interruptions, but it is great at helping you remember where you left off.
Be part of the team
My daily routine is very different from Mark and George's. Since I'm only really involved in product development at a higher level, it is easy for me to fall out of the loop from what is happening on a day-to-day basis.
This is why I love that we utilize WorkingOn's GitHub integration. Like many companies, we use GitHub for version control and for management of our multiple code repositories. Git already has progress tracking built in via commit messages, but those tend to be siloed within the development team, especially since using Git isn't required to complete my daily tasks as a business developer at WorkingOn. By utilizing our GitHub integration, commit messages are now posted, in real time to WorkingOn, for the whole team to see.
This is a huge asset for me. Working remotely can be difficult and WorkingOn's status updates help to instill that I am part of the team and not just WorkingOn's biz dev guy.
One more thing
Don't forget, logging your statuses in WorkingOn is only one step in the process. The goal is to help you save time, increase productivity, and motivate your team. For Mark, George, and for me that comes from peace of mind, enhanced focus, and decreased isolation we experience thanks to WorkingOn.
Are you looking to share your work without interruptions? WorkingOn allows you to stop letting reporting distract you and your team from getting work done. Sign up for a 30-day free trial and give it a test drive. We'd love to hear your feedback. Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below.