Remote Work Is The New Black – Part III

Remote work is the new black
All "Remote Work" Posts
IntroductionInformation IInformation II
GamblingPrioritiesPart VI

We’re considering how remote work tends to slow us down, and how we can pick up the pace without losing quality, or steam. Last time, we’ve talked about the lack of availability of information with remote work. Let’s dive into that for a bit.

As we all know, things change all the time. A lot. Remember when we used to laugh at Corona beer jokes a couple of weeks ago? Who’s laughing now?

The toilet paper manufacturers. But that’s another story. Anyway.

The way we interact in the office, the culture, the process of delivering and receiving information – we’ve grown accustomed to how things work, when everyone’s around. That changes a lot when we do remote work.

Say for example, you’re really good with visualizing data in your team. You have dashboards all around you, and you can’t miss an update, even if you try. Things are not like that now.

Or, let’s say you’re really lousy with visualizing data, but depend on people documenting everything. Whenever you go to Jira (after saying a short prayer), you always find your tasks prioritized.
Things are not like that now.

Or, say your team is really lousy with communicating. You always need to dig and investigate for more data. You file a bug, but is it really a bug? You expect some answers within a reasonable time period.
Even those things are not like that now.

When you remote work, and miss out on information, or work on tasks based on wrong information, you’ll make mistakes and then go back to fix them. Or just wait for the right information, then do something with it. That slows you down.

So what can you do? Set some ground rules:

  • Set communication time slots, where people are available for questions.
  • Assert roles in the team, so people know exactly who to turn to for answers.
  • Pair online, so you know better, get answers quicker and more people have answers.
  • Agree on where and how to document stuff – requirements, bugs, anything of importance.
  • Review every couple of days if the rules work, and adapt.

Next time – more about how lack of information slows us down.

But you don’t have to wait: Get your remote team working again . Check out my First Aid Kit plan.

Remote Work Is The New Black – Part II

Remote work is the new black
All "Remote Work" Posts
IntroductionInformation IInformation II
GamblingPrioritiesPart VI

Early morning, off to do some remote work.
Just kidding, Early? Right. Anyway

You got your task work ready for you. You know exactly what you’re going to work on today. You start coding, or writing a doc, or testing an app. And then stop.

You have questions, or some great ideas. And there’s no one around to ask. Sure, there’s going to be in a few minutes when they come online, on their own sweet time. So you wait a few minutes, have that conversation. Hopefully not texting, or slack. That would slow us down even more. And a few more minutes go by.

Then you continue to work. Until the next bump.

If you’re not used to remote work, the first thing you notice is lag in accessibility. We take availability of information and people for granted, but when everyone’s remote, things bog down. We slow down.

So tip #1 in the communication field doing remote work: Over-communicate.

You need to talk more with teammates. More than before. Set working times when everybody is available and working on the same things. And if you haven’t yet – set them as ground rules.

And notice the lag. Try to count “stuck moments”. See how they accumulate and affect your remote work.

We’ll get back to ground rules a lot. To be effective, the team agrees to play by the same rules. Soon as next time.

In the meantime, get your remote team working again . Check out my First Aid Kit.

Remote Work Is The New Black – Part I

Remote work is the new black
All "Remote Work" Posts
IntroductionInformation IInformation II
GamblingPrioritiesPart VI

I looked around the office, and there was no one working. No typing. No staring confusedly at code. No arguments about where to eat lunch. Empty rooms.

There are more and more workplaces like that. People start remote working, or on leave. Or worse.

But how does work continue? Slowly. Very slowly.

We believe we will live through this. No, not the virus.

The period until victory and when life resumes. But as a team, and as team leaders we want to continue working with the processes we had success with before. Now it’s a whole new world of remote work we didn’t prepare for.

We don’t know how to make the jump. The result is work slowing down.

I’m going to write for a while about different problems I see happening, from the remote worker’s perspective, but mainly from the whole team’s perspective. It’s how to keep the team development standards as much as possible in a remote world.

The next post is going to be about the first thing we notice: Lack of accessibility, and how to counter it.

In the meantime, if you want my help to get your team working again in the age of COVID-19 check out my First Aid Kit program.