Like many of you, remote working is not a new thing for us. Half of our team sit 1,152 miles away and have done for the last 5 years. A few others are dotted around other places in London and the UK and also work remotely, either occasionally or regularly. In light of all the recent events, we thought it’d be helpful to share some of our remote working tips, our 10 Remote Working Commandments, as well as a list of useful links and resources. It’s an evolving post — we’ll be adding to it over the next few weeks.
“Have an emergency tech bag. I have one with a spare laptop charger and USB C lead, HDMI lead, battery pack and cheap pair of earphones. Handy if you need to leave wherever your normal workspace is.”
“Always assume best intentions in written communications. Is the person being terse? Or is that just how they write?”
“Build relationships with remote workers. It’s nice to have random chats over Slack in the same way you might do in the office kitchen. It’s also nice if you don’t always ‘get straight down to business’ when you’re on a call.”
“Focus on keeping communications structured.”
“Always reply to meeting invites! Even if you’re declining them!”
“Try a video social. We sometimes have a virtual meet up at the end of the day for a chat (and maybe a beer). We’ve been known to use Buzzfeed to create a remote pub quiz.”
“Make virtual meeting agendas structured and engaging.”
“Use Miro for collaborative whiteboarding. It’s been a game-changer for us.”
“If you work at home, have a dedicated work area that’s set up and ready to go.”
“Use your Slack status in a creative way — emoji and a few words let people know what you’re up at a glance.”
“Have a profile picture on the remote working tools that you use. It’s helpful to put a face to a name. It also helps to list your role — we often use Slack as an office who’s who.”
“You don’t need to wait until everyone is in the office to have a meeting.”
“If a remote worker has a regular day in the office, don’t book them in to back to back meetings.”
“Be thoughtful about last-minute meetings and conversations. It’s often tempting to grab someone at their desk or in a corridor and discuss things that are quite important. But who is being excluded from that chat?”
“Set rules around how virtual meetings work. For scheduled meetings, we’ll have a Zoom link that all attendees receive before the meeting starts. For ad hoc chats, we use Slack.”
“Check your messaging formatting. Some of us use Grammarly to help with this”
“Have your video switched on! It’s better when you can see the other attendees faces (sit near the camera if you can), and helps remind everyone who is in the room.”
📜 Our 10 Remote Working Commandments
1. Thou shalt not type ‘hey…’ followed by a paragraph of text 5 minutes later. Imagine doing that in person. It’d be weird, right?
2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wifi. If yours is down, try tethering to your phone.
3. Thou shalt not have your camera switched off during a video call — make sure all speaker and camera permissions are granted.
4. Thou shalt not have a default Slack profile avatar. Use a current photo.
5. Thou shalt not neglect your Slack profile status — the Slack Outlook Calendar app can help you update it automatically.
6. Thou shalt not leave remote meeting participants hanging. If you’re running late, message them!
7. Thou shalt not ignore meeting requests. Answer them — be it Yes or No.
8. Thou shalt not ‘wait ’til everyones in the office’ to have a meeting. There’s no need! Let’s dial in now.
9. Thou shalt not assume a remote worker is chained to their desk. They need to use the bathroom too, or take 30 minutes away from their laptop and phone
10 . Thou shalt not neglect your mute button. There’s usually a keyboard shortcut — its ‘M’ on Slack.
Other tips from around the web
A Twitter thread by @sophiacol
A crowdsourced document, in response to the COVID19 Ccoronavirus, to help those who are working remotely.