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Remote Work Experiment

Remote Work Experiment

Coronavirus and the Remote Work Experiment

We’ll never probably be the same. People who were reticent to work remotely will find that they really thrive that way. Managers who didn’t think they could manage teams that were remote will have a different perspective. I do think we won’t go back. Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s head of human resources, in BuzzFeed News

It has been a challenging time around the world—from how we live our daily lives to how we keep our kids safe in schools and our family members healthy.

And then there’s how we work. We’re receiving requests from employees and partners about how to navigate what is turning into a massive global work-from-home experiment.

It’s not ideal on any level. Even at a cloud-friendly / remote-friendly company like Lydde, we rely on in-person team meeting and conferences to strengthen our connections and get work done.

But as the BuzzFeed story notes, this might also offer an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility. Millions of people will get the chance to experience days without long commutes, or the harsh inflexibility of not being able to stay close to home when a family member is sick.

This might be a chance for a great reset in terms of how we work.

Based on reading the distributed work revolution publish by Matt about the Automattic mind approach, I’m convince that we can operate a company without any facilities. But to succeed, we have to keep in mind several things:

  1. Operate as if everyone works from different time zones, because one day they might. This means more communication, likely written, that is accessible to people even if they can’t attend a specific meeting or be in a specific place. So we will embrace asynchronous communication.
  2. When we are hosting a real-time meeting, improve the audio (and video) quality. We sign up for Microsoft Teams, which allows for crystal clear audio calls or videoconference chats. Make video participation optional unless it’s planned well in advance. Record these calls so folks who can’t attend can catch up on what they missed. Everyone must use good headphones with mics to minimize external noise. Need a quiet place without distractions? Try a parked car or a closet.
  3. We use our Microsoft SharePoint & Yammer, instead of email as our central hub of communication so people throughout the company can access every team’s long-form notes, documents, and priorities. This is our new office, always on.
  4. We also use also Microsoft Teams for real-time chat, social connection, and urgent conversations. We use it to chat and connect with our colleagues, but don’t let it replace our long-form planning notes in No. 3. Also create an etiquette that doesn’t force people to become chained to it all day and all night.

The truth is, there are a thousand ways to do remote work, but it starts with committing to it at all levels of the company. We assume positive intent and place trust in our coworkers and employees – knowing that if they do great work in an office they can do great work anywhere – then we will all succeed.

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