At the Business of Software conference in Boston this year I attended a workshop on remote working. It’s been a while, but I’ll be working from home next week and intend to try out a few of the things I learned so I thought I’d share my notes.
- Optimise for working remotely. Remote working always comes first. Desk set-up is the same as in the office.
- Optimise for asynchronisation.
- Watch-out when hiring. Hire people who want to work for you rather than want to work remotely.
- Create “Golden Hour” — one hour in the day when timezones allow for everyone to meet.
- Results oriented not checking working hours.
- Invest in documentation.
- Share work plans.
- Unify models and processes.
- Invest in meaningful social contact: Individual info pages on confluence with videos, personal info etc. Lightening talk on personal life. “Friday fun times” — random Google hangout with four people.
- Perks and wellbeing: Company retreat once a year where everyone travels somewhere together; travel to see colleagues occasionally. People get budget to organise dinner, for example.
- Do social things together like gym class if you live in the same city.
- Music channel in slack.
- Create open communication: Slack, Confluence, Bug tracker, Google hangouts, Zoom. NEVER EMAIL.
- Use “Know Your Company” by Claire Lew.
- Monthly Kaizen mtg.
Based on these recommendations I want to try the following when working from home:
- Use email only when I have to.
- Share what I’m working on — usually done at the stand-up.
- Pester my team with info about what music I’m listening to.
- Pester my team with pictures and videos of my cat.
- Invite some of my team for “Friday Fun Times”.
Here’s a picture of how my remote working situation usually looks like. Note the three Macbooks.