Business development, Podcast

Ep 46: How to ensure remote team productivity with John Xie

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Ep 46: How to ensure remote team productivity with John Xie

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Problem: Remote Team Productivity

Remote team productivity is an issue that more companies are having to deal with these days. With more and more people having to work at home, it is essential that they stay focused and motivated. But how can one ensure that, when there are so many team members, so far apart from one another?

John Xie and Taskade (which also has a remote-based team) help other companies with remote teams chat, organize, and get things done. They help supercharge companies with collaborative task lists, mind maps, and more, in one unified workspace. Taskade makes the complex task of coordinating team members across the world much more simple and streamlined. Today John talks with us about what companies can do to ensure their work-from-home teams are being productive without micromanaging their every move.

The Components of Quality Remote Team Productivity

The idea behind Taskade was always to be able to replace all of the single-task services and products (Asana, Trello, Slack, and Basecamp). 

The idea for us was always to replace all of them, or as many of them as possible.

Step 1: Real-Time versus Asynchronous

The Taskade team has always worked remotely (not just in homes across a single town, but spanning the globe). Because of that, they have first-hand knowledge of how to run a successful business across time zones. Their rule of thumb is asynchronous most of the time, and real-time only some of the time.

When you’re in different time zones, the way to be efficient is to be optimal.

Step 2: The Importance of Discipline

Taskade is adamant about having two all-hands meetings each week: one at the beginning of the week and one toward the end. At each of these meetings, it is important to make sure that everyone is heard and offers something to the team (whether if it’s a new idea or a status update on current projects).

So the synchronous meetings are only twice a week but throughout the week you might have other, smaller one-on-one sessions or  the teams that need to huddle or talk together can meet on their own.  

Step 3: Communication, Collaboration, Coordination

These are the three things that Taskade focuses on and what they want to help their customers with. Communication, collaboration, and coordination are important for any remote team, no matter what industry.

Creating a tool to replace tools

When it comes to the aspect that John and Taskade want to focus on, it is the task management portion. Getting things done. They want to help teams manage their projects from the ideation phase, all the way to completion.

Why are all of these task management tools still stuck in the past?  

Product Market Fit

Product market fit goes back to prioritization and getting your team aligned so they understand the importance of what they are doing and what the company is doing as a whole.

For us it has been an uphill battle, when it comes to prioritization.  But most of the things that we have been working on in the past year or two hasn’t really changed from our original goal when we started in 2017. It just told us how much more important it is.

A few resources on team management and productivity that John suggests:

Y Combinator – provides seed funding for start-ups as well as other educational resources

Our mission from day one was super simple: to replace Slack, Asana, and Google Docs.

This interview is part of the How We Solve podcast. To hear more from industry experts who are solving everyday business problems, check us out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and on our website.

About the guest

John Xie

John Xie

John Xie is the CEO of Taskade, a company that helps teams stay competitive in the modern workplace by cutting down the unnecessary friction in planning, organizing, and decision making.

How people can people reach the guest:

Website: Taskade

Twitter: @Taskade 

Facebook: Taskade App

LinkedIn: John Xie


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