We all know that getting forced by global pandemic is not the ideal start for remote work. This scenario usually doesn’t count with the ideal remote infrastructure, nor the adequate culture. But people can get better results on many day to day tasks, taking advantage of some remote features. I’ll list some of them here, focusing in which features and triggers are intrinsic from remote work and how you can exploit them.
The main thing here is to admit: We’re not going back to normal. Many companies already knew the advantages of remote work, and those who didn’t, now are rushing to learn. Some of the core benefits include global hiring and less costs with mobility and offices. The COVID-19 pandemic only made this transformation faster, while we all deal with the challenges that come along.
So what can we learn about on this transitioning? The first thing is to understand that in-office procedures can’t be translated to remote context. Usually we need to reshape many interactions to fit into remote scenarios. But in many case it means get more done with less time/resources. Let’s dive into some examples:
Or any important, decision driven, high level meeting you might look into. This kind of gathering usually is very expensive, and people don’t want to waist these resources. The idea is to let the meeting to discussion, not to present things. People can read for themselves. Working with supportive technology, you can decrease the synchronous time needed:
- Share all the needed information, such as presentations, numbers, graphs and sheets.
- Have all the important questions that need to be discussed ready before the meeting. Everybody should contribute with questions and relevant matters should do it in advance.
- All outcomes must be registered and be available for the interested parties. A formal document structure is important, but not crucial.
Of course, these are steps that can be taken on in-office cultures too. The thing is, only remote workforces can see how valuable synchronous time is. So this road comes as the natural way of getting things done and saving time for other tasks.
Yes, I’m talking about tech workshops, and I understand that there is a lot of things to take in consideration when talking about different levels of education. Teaching in kindergarten sure have different implications about this, so let’s focus on enterprise education. As Kent Dodds would say:
One attendee had trouble and instead of awkwardly weaving my way through people's chairs and bending over to see their screen, they just screen shared with me and I could see their screen perfectly...— Kent C. Dodds 🧑🚀 (@kentcdodds) April 15, 2020
Remote workshops are better than in-person workshops 🤘
Those workshops are cheaper. Also, you can bring in knowledge from every corner of the planet, tailored for what you need. remote-first workshops usually take advantage of knowledge-sharing tools and well documented support material. Just be aware of:
- Have/Keep good support material, well organized. This includes: examples, repositories, presentations and references.
- Be sure the structure of the workshop is well designed: chapters, subjects, classes, etc.
- Have all the infrastructure needed available: good internet connection, earphones, camera and access to the support material.
When you can’t just go to your neighbor’s desk and ask for something, you’ll need better ways of organizing things that must be done. On remote work, you should overcommunicate by default, as well as formalize all informal interaction. This means it’ll be easier to have assignments centralized on management tools, and take out the best of them. Just be sure of:
- Learn how to use your management tools.
- Have clear a workflow, and be sure everybody knows about it.
- Be organized: milestones, projects, folders…anything that give you different follow perspectives that make sense.
Yes, this is not the best time to start a remote culture. So first of all, be careful to not set high benchmarks for you and your time in such trying times. Be sure you understand that we are in a atypical context and you should think all transitions as a emergency plan. However, many transitions from in-office to remote jobs were already meant to happens. This scenario we live now only catalyzed the change.