We’ve been working remotely for almost seven months now with, unfortunately, no end in sight. But, that doesn’t mean that we will stop production on new initiatives or pause growing our team. While some departments like content and web design aren’t typically affected by the switch to working remotely, managers can have a more difficult time keeping an eye on the many projects going on and maintaining closeness with all team members. Here’s what our VP of Operations Stephanie Sjoblom and our Marketing Manager Kasey Dean have to say about managing our team remotely.
Stephanie introduced Lone Beacon to Asana, a project management app, to track internal assignments and schedules. This has been a major help for Lone Beacon while working remotely and is a tool we will continue to use after we go back to the office. After reviewing several project management systems, Stephanie chose Asana for its visual layout and collaboration capabilities. “You can view info as a calendar, a list, or a board, which is helpful since different people prefer to organize information differently.” Now, deadlines are easily tracked as Asana adds an element of clarity or organization, and everyone can spend more time working and less time going back and forth about due dates and assignment details. “It’s increased clarity, accountability, and efficiency,” says Stephanie.
It’s one thing to go remote after having already established relationships with people in person, but it’s another to start a new job completely remote. Lone Beacon has hired four new employees since going remote and has changed its training and communication process. Kasey was the first to start remotely and is now transitioning into a project management role.
“It feels strange to ask people to do things, or rush projects at first when you don’t know people at all,” she says, “so first I wanted to get to know everyone and understand how everything works before jumping into managing projects.” This meant getting a sense of how long it takes to do certain tasks and projects, understanding what everyone’s contribution is, and taking the time to casually chat with people. She came from a much bigger company and says that Lone Beacon is “light years ahead in terms of organization and processes.” It was already a well-oiled machine, “and my job is to make it run more efficiently and smoothly for everyone.”
Stephanie helps bring people into the Lone Beacon family and has changed the process since going remote. “We give people more exposure to more people at the company: In the first few days they meet everyone over video chat, even if they won’t end up working with them directly often.” This way, everyone can talk about their role and how it fits into the bigger picture.
Since we’re a digital company, it was always possible for us all to do our jobs remotely. The challenge was just figuring out how to best run everything and maintain our community. We have Zoom happy hours, an active group chat, and recently got together for an outdoor picnic. It can be easy to take the small interactions you have in the office for granted when you’re always there. “We’ve focused on overcommunicating since going remote, and like to check in with everyone about how they’re handling projects and their general wellbeing,” says Stephanie. All things considered, Lone Beacon has excelled in the last few months, which culminated in the company being awarded the prestigious Inc 5000 List award for fastest growing companies in 2020. Get in touch with us to learn about how we’re growing our offerings and helping advisors take their marketing efforts to the next level during the pandemic.