Buffer and AngelList researched the state of remote work for 2020. From their results, they identified multiple key struggles of remote workers. We decided to provide some answers. This is part 1 of a series about the top struggles of remote workers.
At madewithlove, we have been working remotely for the last decade and we are happy to help our clients with shifting towards a remote-friendly era. We strongly believe that the remote mindset is valuable for any company, even for the non-remote companies. Yet, we noticed some people are still hesitant about making the switch. That’s why we’ve decided to create this series about the strugglers of remote workers.
We asked our team how they handle collaboration and communication in the work environment. Here’s what they said.
Always assume good intent. — Michał Karnicki
Text communication is hard, especially since up to 90% of communication is non-verbal. How do we succeed in getting our message across? We have a couple rules, the most important of which is to always assume good intent. Whenever you receive a message, read it in the best possible tone. It helps to add emojis!
Video call! Video call! Video call! — Steve Tauber
If your conversation isn’t making progress or it’s been going on for longer than 5 minutes or so, it’s time to have a video call. We use Zoom to meet face-to-face. Not only does it clear up miscommunication quickly, but it also gives you a chance to bond with colleagues. I don’t feel so alone after seeing the face behind the handle. Don’t forget to write a summary of the call in Slack or your documentation center.
Go against my instinct — Emma Fabre
We hire the best developers available since humans are our capital. However, we are careful to avoid the lone wolf profile. Communication is key to the delivery of a successful project and that means fighting the instinct to go in to focus mode and power through a difficult problem. Instead choose to publish a draft pull request to get feedback early or, better yet, pair program to eliminate the delay in the feedback loop.
Make it part of the process — Wouter Sioen
Being proactive is the best way to eliminate issues blocking collaboration. During standups, ask yourself if you can help a colleague ship their work faster rather than start something new. Agile is about working together to delivery value, not moving tickets from left to right. Make it easier to create that value by helping one another.
I hope these tips helped. Our next post is on Loneliness.
Other interesting articles about working remotely
- Basecamp’s guide to internal communication
- Struggles of remote workers, part 3: Not being able to unplug
- Struggles of remote workers, part 4: Distractions
- Why is everybody wearing headphones?
- Which tools should you use to successfully work from home
- Working remotely: a new user’s perspective.
- Keeping your team healthy and more productive using remote work