Getting Started With Transitioning to Working Remotely
tl;dr: Write things down. Communicate with purpose. Minimize meetings.
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
is a 100% remote company, that makes a cross platform library for displaying and annotating PDFs
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:
- How we work
- How PSPDFKit Succeeds at Being a Remote Company
- Remote Work: What I’ve Learned from a Decade as a Remote Software Engineer
DHH David Heinemeier Hansson (Ruby on Rails, Basecamp, etc.)
A 100% remote company focusing on organizing remote work. So they are experts.
- The Basecamp Guide to Internal Communication
- Group Chat: The Best Way to Totally Stress Out Your Team
- The Basecamp Employee Handbook
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
- 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
- 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
- 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?”
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.