Slack, Zoom, and other apps go offline sometimes—make sure you have a plan

Justin Pot / Published September 9, 2020

Physical offices rarely just…disappear. Remote ones sometimes do.

Team chat apps are, in a very real way, the remote office, and video conferencing apps are the remote conference room. Sometimes these apps stop working, and it feels like your entire team is just gone. This is particularly traumatic if, like...

Automation is a habit—here's how to build it

Justin Pot / Published September 8, 2020

Two-thirds of people use some kind of automation software, according to a recent Zapier report. Of the remaining people who don't, 33 percent say they just can't imagine how it could be useful to them right now.

I used to be one of those people.

I was a...

How to support your employees who are working remotely with kids at home

Wade Foster / Published September 4, 2020

Life is different now, particularly for working parents who were suddenly given a second full-time job when daycare and schools shut down and are still faced with uncertainty as summer comes to an end.

I won't pretend to have any idea what the parents of school-aged kids I work with...

We tried blocking Slack when we needed to focus. It worked.

Justin Pot / Published September 4, 2020

It's time to write. I make some coffee, open a blank document, then decide to quickly check Slack before I get started.

Two hours later, I've written nothing.

Team chat apps are essential for online collaboration, but their very existence makes it hard to focus on longer-term projects. There's always...

Owning up: Restructuring women's worth at work

Breetel Graves / Published August 26, 2020

I've had a lot of difficulty viewing myself as smart—or, at least, as smart as my peers.

Some of those feelings are rooted in my family history, but there's also an aspect which is due to the misguided notion that it's not ok to acknowledge your own strengths or you'll...

How to make your meetings better with asynchronous techniques

Kate Zasada / Published August 26, 2020

Meetings, am I right? As the world has adapted to remote life, there's nothing quite as soul-sucking as seeing your calendar lined up with a day full of back-to-back Zoom meetings. Part of the dread is that you don't even know if they're going to be a good use of...

Paper beats app: How this software company uses analog tools to get things done

Justin Pot / Published August 25, 2020

Our lives are just screens now. There's work and entertainment, sure, but in 2020 every meeting and most socializing is also mediated. Reality feels like a distant memory.

I spent too much time on screens before all of this, and I remember feeling like it was cutting me off from...

How to create a poll in Slack

Justin Pot / Published August 19, 2020

There's no built-in tool for making a Slack poll, but if you want to ask your team a question, there are options.

  1. You can use emoji reactions as a sort of improvised poll.
  2. You can use a third-party tool if you want something more precise.
  3. If you're going to run...

5 remote team activities that aren't Zoom happy hours

Justin Pot / Published August 19, 2020

Remember your coworkers? They stopped being three-dimensional people months ago and were replaced with fuzzy moving images that you talk over constantly because of lag.

Zoom burnout is a well-documented phenomenon, and we're all feeling it. Hard. So you shouldn't feel bad if, after a coworker proposes...

Promote inclusive language on your team with a simple Slackbot

Dannielle Sakher / Published August 18, 2020

Phrases rooted in racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination have made their way into business vocabulary. Most of us do our best to use inclusive language, but sometimes we slip up—or we don't even know that what we're saying isn't inclusive.

It can be awkward, emotionally draining, and time-consuming...