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Getting Started With Transitioning to Working Remotely

Getting Started With Transitioning to Working Remotely

tl;dr: Write things down. Communicate with purpose. Minimize meetings.

ts;rm: watch Peter's talk, get the book REMOTE: Office Not Required

General Tips

What you need to know about transitioning to remote work (Tools, tips, and surprising techniques from 8+ teams that know how it’s done, like Automattic, Buffer, Ada, and InVision)

  • Over-communicate with your colleagues about your work and progress
  • (virtual) face time
  • much of what I do ends up in written form
  • It’s a tradition at RevUnit to post a selfie [screenshot of a Zoom meeting] and something you learned during your meeting in the channel afterwards

Role Model Companies

PSPDFKit

is a 100% remote company, that makes a cross platform library for displaying and annotating PDFs

Talk

Effective Remote Communication - How to run a Distributed Company is a great 30 minute talk by the CEO Peter Steinberger.

Expanded upon in these two blog posts:
Additional resources

DHH David Heinemeier Hansson (Ruby on Rails, Basecamp, etc.)

Basecamp

A 100% remote company focusing on organizing remote work. So they are experts.

Resources
Book together with Jason Fried

REMOTE: Office Not Required. Free at the moment. This has been a best selling book for the topic.

Table of content (extract)

  • MANAGING REMOTE WORKERS
    • When’s the right time to go remote?
    • Stop managing the chairs
    • Meetups and sprints
    • Lessons from open source
    • Level the playing field
    • One-on-ones
    • Remove the roadblocks
    • Be on the lookout for overwork, not underwork
    • Using scarcity to your advantage
  • LIFE AS A REMOTE WORKER
    • Building a routine
    • Morning remote, afternoon local
    • Compute different
    • Working alone in a crowd
    • Staying motivated
    • Nomadic freedom
    • A change of scenery
    • Family time
    • No extra space at home
    • Making sure you’re not ignored

Some extracts from the above

Effective Remote Communication - How to run a Distributed Company

  • 1 on 1 talks where you take notes in a document. Plan time to talk to your colleagues.
  • Document workflows
  • Document on what to communicate how
  • Today and Out For Today later in the day instead of the morning
  • Emoji in slack with specified meaning (done, agree, etc.) to tell people about the status of a slack thread
  • Meetings should have agenda and be time-boxed

The Basecamp Guide to Internal Communication

  • Real-time sometimes, asynchronous most of the time
  • Internal communication based on long-form writing, rather than a verbal tradition of meetings, speaking, and chatting, leads to a welcomed reduction in meetings, video conferences, calls, or other real-time opportunities to interrupt and be interrupted.
  • Meetings are the last resort, not the first option.
  • Writing solidifies, chat dissolves. Substantial decisions start and end with an exchange of complete thoughts, not one-line-at-a-time jousts. If it's important, critical, or fundamental, write it up, don't chat it down.
  • Speaking only helps who’s in the room, writing helps everyone. This includes people who couldn't make it, or future employees who join years from now.
  • Five people in a room for an hour isn't a one hour meeting, it's a five hour meeting.
  • If you want an answer, you have to ask a question. People typically have a lot to say, but they'll volunteer little. Automatic questions on a regular schedule help people practice sharing, writing, and communicating.
  • Automatic daily: Every workday at 16:30, Basecamp (the product) automatically asks every employee “What did you work on today?”

Now what?

Write a suitable guideline on communication, collaboration, and meetings for your company. It doesn't have to be as exhaustive as those mentioned above.


Compiled by me. Please share.

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