Remote Work

Telecommuting, also called telework, teleworking, working from home (WFH), mobile work, remote work, and flexible workplace, is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel (e.g. by bus or car, etc.) to a central place of work, such as an office building, warehouse, or store

Remote Work Firms

GitLab

GitLab is the world’s largest all-remote company with team members located in more than 65 countries around the world.

https://about.gitlab.com/company/culture/all-remote/

GitLab’s Guide to All-Remote

Plus, we value results, transparency, sharing, efficiency, and collaboration. With all that in mind, it just made sense that we would create an open source company Handbook. Our Handbook is actually under a Creative Commons license, meaning that as long you attribute GitLab you’re free to copy and use it at will. We welcome you to do that if you wish! This way nobody has to reinvent the wheel.

https://about.gitlab.com/blog/2016/07/12/our-handbook-is-open-source-heres-why/

Remote Work Practices

The Joel Test for Remote Teams

  1. Do you have a company handbook?

  2. Do you have an internal communications guide?

  3. Do you default to video for calls?

  4. Do you record and share important meetings?

  5. Does everyone dial into video on separate screens?

  6. Do you share and celebrate work contributions as a process?

  7. Do you share working hours and individual work timing preferences?

  8. Do you screen for self-motivation during hiring?

  9. Do you screen for communication during hiring?

  10. Do you provide co-working / conference perks?

  11. Do you schedule time for team socialization?

  12. Do you have at least one all-team in-person meet up every year?

Company Handbook

  • Define all workflows and business processes in the Company Handbook

  • Examples of company handbooks:

  • Ideal formats:

    • Git repo with Pull Request Approval Workflow

Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing Procedures and Etiquette

  • Ahead of time, verify that your camera and microphone work with the software that the team has chosen to work with.

  • Have a plain text agenda (e.g. in Markdown)

    • If you’re leading the meeting, have a plain text agenda.

    • How long is the meeting expected to last?

    • Post the agenda in the text chat.

    • If you’re participating in the meeting, it’ll likely be very helpful if you have already prepared your Three Questions, for example.

    • If there are additional things you want on the agenda, your team may have formal rules for how to amend the agenda for specific types of meetings (i.e. status report, planning, performance review)

  • Get consent and clarify whether the meeting is being recorded and how every team member can access the video, transcript, and text log of the meeting.

  • Mute/unmute:

    • Mute when you’re not speaking.

    • Unmute when you are speaking.

    • Unmute to indicate that you have something to say.

  • Worse than partners, kids, pets in the background: watching you unprofessionally ask them to exit your space.

  • For large meetings, it can be helpful to have a Code of Conduct to refer to before muting or booting a meeting participant.

  • What should I wear?

    • You may need to get up to sign for a package or attend to something that may not require formal wear.

      Why am I wearing a tuxedo t-shirt today?

  • Is video chat necessary, or can we rely upon emoji and written tone in a text chat that we can easily log and use verbatim as e.g. quarterly board minutes?

  • Concurrent text-based chat:

    • Always paste the URLs to the resources that we’re discussing.

Remote Work Processes

Synchronous and Asynchronous Timing

  • The team may be working in different Time Zones.

  • Minimize the amount of time spent idling by having asynchronous Remote Work Processes for handing off work and requesting feedback. What else can you work on while you’re waiting for feedback or a scheduled call/chat? Refer to the already-prioritized backlog.

Remote Work Hiring

Helpful and necessary skills for remote work positions:

  • Self-motivation

  • Communication

  • Organization

Interviewing:

Remote Work Team Building