Nowadays more and more companies are adopting a remote work culture. This has a number of reasons: with your people working elsewhere you will save costs on office space, they will be happier living whenever their families are, and you will expand your network massively. Or do you really think the best people will only be based in the city where you live? The best developers really are located all over the world.
This common practice has some downsides with it, though: communication needs to be promoted, fluid, improved and efficient, which is a big challenge. Also respect and trust need to be built up, which is even harder. Trust is a quality that takes a lifetime to create, and in just one second it could be gone.
Here we present 10 tips to make your life easier when implementing a remote culture in your organisation:
- Don’t provide seats for everyone in hybrid teams: this way you will enforce the idea that your team works remotely, and people will be encouraged to do so if they don’t have the space.
- It’s absolutely essential to use a collaboration tool such as slack or similar. Remember: communication is your #1 challenge, and these tools are fantastic for this purpose.
- Integrate and automate your processes as much as you can: communication tools like the aforementioned support these features. The idea is to make your team aware not only of the things that you say, but also of the things that you do, such as Pull Requests, commits, deployments, alerting, monitoring etc.
- Meet everyone at least once a year. We are human beings: socialise, shake hands, have a beer or a coffee together. Feel your colleagues.
- If you need more than 3 conversations back and forth to explain a problem in the chat, stop right there and use a video call instead. Don’t waste your time.
- Standup and retrospectives are essential tools to keep communication fluid and horizontal. It allows avoid wasted work and it keeps the team focused.
- Avoid being overconnected. Notifications, emails, video calls… they could be your allies….or your enemies. Too much distraction is a productivity killer.
- Keep the remote culture even on site. Of course there will be more personal conversations, but try to work as if you were elsewhere. You could be keeping someone out of the loop.
- Set a common goal separated from work, achievable by remote collaboration (such as building a blog, working on a side project, managing the organisation twitter accounts). This gives you the opportunity to interact with people outside your regular team.
- There may be people working from different timezones to yours: adapt to each other and negotiate when to meet. Distribute your tasks with a strategic mind.