If you’re like most of America, you have found yourself suddenly working from home. If you’re like me, you got excited by the possibility and flexibility of it all.
You’d replace your commute with an extra hour of sleep.
You’d begin work from the comfort of your bed, in your pajamas, with a hot mug of coffee in hand.
You’d peacefully walk the dog between calls and get laundry, dishes and errands all done as you brainstorm your next sermon.
As COVID-19 causes more ministries to postpone physical gatherings, your dream of working from home may be coming true! However, that dream can quickly become a nightmare. It doesn’t take long to realize remote work brings unexpected challenges of its own. The kids are screaming in the background of your important call, your workflow is confusing and unorganized, and you’re unsure how to communicate with your team as things change so suddenly. It’s fun at first, but then communication gets confusing, productivity takes a dive, and you find yourself staring at a blank screen, wondering what to do for the rest of the day.
We are here to help! Our ministry has been working digitally for the past five years. This means that we’ve experienced the challenges of working from home. It’s all about having the right tools and systems in place to help you thrive without the daily drive. As you set up the right systems for yourself and your team, you can use this time to develop focus, productivity, and growth. Use this season to streamline your workforce.
Here are five tools every remote ministry leader should know about:
Asana is a free project management website that has taken our team to a whole other level of productivity and accountability! It’s the center-piece of every system shared by our team. It’s a simple platform that allows you to list tasks and create workflows with due dates and assign them to the person or people responsible for checking them off the list. If you take the time to learn this platform and put it to use, your team might come out of COVIS-19 isolation even more productive than you were in the office!
We hardly use email anymore, as slack has filled that void with a far more user-friendly alternative. Slack is a free, full-fledge digital workspace that has been a total game-changer in our ministry! Everyone on your team can interact on team-specific channels to send chats, request clarity, make updates, talk on calls, and exchange documents all in one place. It’s faster and more casual than email to keep your team in constant communication. As an added bonus, you can integrate Slack and Asana so your to-do lists and communications are all taking place on one central hub!
We are writers, so this app was a no brainer for us. Evernote is a free (to an extent) app that makes digital collaborations a breeze. Our team writes every single piece of content in an Evernote shared notebook then we add the appropriate tags and keywords. This allows the content to be easily accessed by the rest of the team. Using this system, our content seamlessly passes between writers, editors, and distributors for effortless editing, change requests, and revisions. (If you aren’t producing piles of content, then Google Docs may be an amazing alternative for you.)
4. Google Suite
Google suite is the most powerful tool on the list, but that’s because it’s cheating. It’s a suite, so it represents a large collection of web apps and programs. Three of their key remote-gamechanger apps are Google Docs, Hangouts Meet, and Forms. Google Docs allows a team to collaborate and work on a central document. It’s like Evernote meets Microsoft word. Google Hangouts Meet allows you to create a digital conference room that everyone on your team can join for staff meetings or small departmental discussions. Lastly, we use Google Forms for submitting work tickets ranging from communication requests to support tickets. The power of Forms is that it can integrate with Asana or a Google Sheet to give you a central workstation for all submitted tickets and requests.
5. iPhone Downtime and App Limits
Have you ever checked your phone to see what time it was only to end up scrolling through 16 weeks worth of golden retriever videos on Instagram? It happens to the best of us. Help yourself to focus and be productive by restricting your time on social media throughout the workday.
Email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about working remotely or digital discipleship. We are here to support you as your team faces new changes and challenges.