Range is an asynchronous communication platform that teams use to promote engagement and work together more effectively. For remote teams, Range relieves some of the burdens and tensions inherent in distributed work.
Check-ins are the primary tool teams use to communicate in Range. They are, at their core, asynchronously-shared status updates that show what individuals and teams are doing, what they need, and how they’re feeling.
Let’s start with a few examples of the more typical use cases we see from teams:
Even amongst the more common use cases, how a team chooses to use Check-ins has a great deal to do with a few factors that are unique to them, such as:
As you explore your Range workspace and settings, you’ll notice that there are some default settings already set up for you. For example, you’ll get reminders at 9:00 AM to publish Check-ins, and at 1:00 PM everyone will receive a summary of all the Check-ins shared by their teammates that day.
While our own team uses Check-ins daily, you might find that checking in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule suits your routine. You can fully customize your team’s Check-ins schedule, but more on that later.
For individual contributors on your team, knowing who’s working on what, recognizing where their knowledge or expertise might unblock a peer, and just generally staying in-sync and connected with one another can be a real challenge. And this can often be true for teams regardless of whether they’re co-located or distributed.
Check-ins will help keep everyone aware and engaged with what’s happening. The increased visibility into the specific tasks of their colleagues makes it easier to be proactive in providing feedback, unblocking issues, and sharing necessary context and information to keep work moving forward.
For managers and leaders, it’s hard keeping up with what everyone is working on, especially when your team is distributed. Trying to keep up often looks a lot like more 1:1s, more meetings, more emails, and more messages. This places increased demands on your time, and introduces further distractions for you and your team, ultimately getting in the way of actual work.
Check-ins makes it easier for you to read an accurate pulse of what an individual on your team has prioritized on a given day or in a week, and it relieves the urge to ask for regular status updates and the tendency to micromanage.
Beyond progress and performance, Check-ins also provide managers and their teams with a snapshot of the moods and overall wellbeing of their team. Indicating our mood with green, yellow, or red and adding a bit of context with an emoji might seem simple and small, but it immediately shows you who might need extra support, when something might be affecting the majority of your team, and when it might be time to celebrate recent wins or schedule some fun.
There are three components that make up a Check-in: Plan, What happened, and Connect with your team. Let’s start by looking at the first two sections.
Plan — What do you plan to do today? What are you working on next? Here, we recommend sharing your top priorities, tasks, projects, and calendar events, such as meetings.
What happened — What did you get done yesterday? What progress have you made recently? This is where you should share links directly to your work through integrations or Range Sync (our Chrome Extension).
Connect with your team — This section comes in two parts. First, you and your team will be asked a team-building question. On Mondays, you’ll be asked about your weekend. For the rest of the week, there will then be a theme, such as communication styles, superpowers, or celebrating success.
Finally, you’ll each be prompted to share how you’re feeling. Take a moment to reflect on how you’re showing up on a given day using green, yellow, or red and add an emoji to contextualize your mood. For example, if I was up late the night before, today I might check-in as 🟡 😴 .
Once you get in the habit of sharing Check-ins, writing them will become second nature. Even better, everyone will know what’s happening. As you do get more comfortable planning and communicating out your work each day, there are a few supplemental features that can bring even great value to your Check-ins.
Done right — right for you and your team — Check-ins can set you up for success, making your team more effective, more productive, and better connected to one another.
Here are few tips to help you and your team make the most of Check-ins and Range:
Now that you have a better understanding of why we created Check-ins, how they work, and how they’re used, you’re ready to start applying what you’ve learned.Write your Check-in for today