How to manage remote working well

How to manage remote working well – tips from experience

By Hugo Tilmouth, ChargedUp

At ChargedUp the whole team is now working from home. We made the decision, held a meeting in the morning and by the end of the day on 10thMarch we had made the change.

We’ve invested heavily in building a fantastic team of people and it was important to prevent them, or their families, getting ill. As a small start-up we have very little redundancy and often have one person per key task – therefore losing any one of our team would be very disruptive.

It’s now over a month since we made the transition and we’ve learned a number of valuable lesson that I’d like to share. I hope they’ll help you to keep improving your remote working.

  • Planning for remote working. As the saying goes, fail to plan and plan to fail. You need to be sure that people are well set up to work from home. Our critical objectives were to ensure that we could
    continue to provide a seamless service to our valued customers and secure business continuity while ensuring that staff could work effectively, stay connected, stay motivated and feel part of the team.


  • Make use of resources: There is a wealth of online resources out there. I would recommend https://www.notion.soand particularly Notion’sremote working guideas a source of excellent information for start-ups.Notion is a wiki where companies share best practice and experiences to help other start-ups.  Start-ups simply do not have the resources to produce extensive guidelines and policy documents so Notion has been a life saver.  For example, in preparing our team for remote working we mined Notion.  I would particularly recommend the video Zapier’s Guide to Working Remotely.  We also used Free Coronavirus Workplace Policy to guide us through the swift planning and preparation stage.


  • Help your staff through coaching. It’s not too late to do this, even if you are already up and running from home. It is vital that each team member is well equipped to work remotely. Team leaders should discuss the logistics of remote working with their team members; providing guidance on creating a quiet space, setting a schedule, limiting interruptions from social media and other members of the household, etc.  We coached the team on good working practice, including maintaining regular working hours, scheduling breaks, etc. We have a very committed team and we don’t want them burning out by working 24/7. It’s never too late to do this, so if you haven’t already, then do it now – even if your team has been working remotely for a few weeks already.

One of the key lessons we learned is that it is often difficult for people to find room at home for a desk to work on. I recently took the plunge and purchased a small second hand desk from eBay, after trying to work at a coffee table for a week! The extra investment was well worth it.

  • Get daily routines formalised: To facilitate a structured approach, I suggest starting each day with a 15 minute team stand-up. I would also encourage you to introduce a progress tracking tool such as  This allows you to create templates so that people can report what they did yesterday and what they intend to do today.  We use the automation tool to prompt everyone at 8:30 each morning to complete this form. This is then visible to all team members.  This keeps our team focussed and keeps projects moving forward.


  • Make the most of inexpensive tools:Like most companies we already use collaboration software for audio conferencing, file sharing and communication which of course, are proving invaluable for remote working. We chose Slack, from Slack Technologies Inc., although there are many offerings out there. Slack is a great option for small companies. When we want full video conferencing, we turn to Google Hangout. This enables us to share screens, presentations, etc.


ChargedUp uses from Loom Inc, to record processes, new code, etc., to then share with the team.  For example, the operations team have recorded all of their policies and processes via Loom.  This is so useful for on-boarding new employees.


  • Making online meetings effective:I would strongly recommend implementing a robust meeting policy to ensure that meetings are effective and that each one is time limited, has a clear agenda and that outcomes, actions and owners are agreed. I found a great article on ‘How to run a more effective meeting’ from the New York Times Business section.


  • Keep motivation high:Of huge importance to ChargedUp is the wellbeing and mental health of our team. We want them to stay well so we can hit the ground running when we get through these difficult times. Feeling isolated is one of the key issues raised by habitual remote workers and so we have made a particular effort to create opportunities for colleagues to socialise together online.


We all meet online for lunch at 13:00each day, encouraging down time and an opportunity to chat and share ideas.  We also have coffee breaks using


  • Celebrate successes: Although cash may be tight, go out of your way to praise and celebrate successes. For example, I arranged for a case of Jubel beer ( be sent to each staff member so that our regular Friday 17:00 beers could continue, albeit remotely. We meet online at 17:00 and celebrate our successes and have a laugh. Not only does this boost morale but also supports a local brewery.


  • Planning for the future:We fully anticipate a huge bounce in our business when the crisis is over and we are using this time to plan for the next stage in ChargedUp’s expansion. As things are a bit quieter now it means that we can develop our capabilities, and improve our processes and our application. It’s a good idea to take advantage of this quieter time and get ready for the moment when lockdown is over.



Hugo Tilmouth is CEO of ChargedUp, Europe’s largest phone charging network.



Share this...
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *