This blog post has been in my drafts for a year now, so thought it might be a good time to publish it with the
edits in place. Just to show how my thinking has changed.
I’ve been a remote worker for
two years now, and here are my notes:
- The tools are terrible – Zoom, Slack, Basecamp and that’s about it.
New tools include Miro (whiteboards), Notion (collaboration app), Tandem (virtual office) and Around (better video chats), Tuple (pair programming). This space is going to grow faster now that remote work is the new normal, please comment with the best remote work tools you use and I will include them here.
- The pros are great team options – You can hire anyone anywhere you want, but its a lot harder to hire good people remotely.
- Focused communication – Less watercooler talk and more specific work.
Having said that we've got a watercooler channel now on Slack and its quite active since people are in isolation.
- People are being trained to write more using less words – Slack is helping people focus on precision
- It’s tougher if you are not fully remote – HQ still has the in-person conversations which are not good for distributed workers
- Take time to think – sitting in traffic, or waiting in line for coffee helps your mind decompress ideas, meditating or blocking time to be “bored doing nothing” helps a lot
- M&A is not a viable option yet – Big companies not equipped to acquire remote teams
Requires a different type of leader
- Leaders who care about (bonus if they're good at) aligning incentives, resources & outcomes
A good setup goes a long way
- a good camera and comfortable spot is a lot better than the above mat and rug setup. Logitech Brio 4k, a solid wifi router and a good screen + desk/chair setup goes a long way.
But give anyone the option to work remotely, and they will take it both hands down. The tools are terrible, but they will get better.