2020 has started off being full bat-shit crazy. The full impact of Covid-19 will probably be seen for years to come. While I have always dreamt of a day when everyone is working remotely; it should have never come in such an abrupt way. It's unfair to expect such a big cultural shift to be adopted well overnight.
Lot of people have asked me about tips on this "remote thing". So here you go!
Disclaimer - fix your processes and adapt an async mindset first e.g. instead of mandating 15 min responses on slack or "let's jump on a call" attitude you should empower people to write down everything. Create documentation for questions, decisions and processes. It will help you in the longer term!
Perfect guides if you are new to this
- Doist guide for new remote managers
- Guide by Capiche team
- Guide by Helpscout team
- One of earliest posts that came out on how to manage Covid-19 effects
- Part of upcoming book by Alex Mcgaw, Clearbit
- Remote guide by the Glitch team
Guides from established remote companies
If you are a company that was abruptly thrown into being WFH because of Covid-19 then I would suggest not to read these. The guides below were written by companies that have were always remote first and built that culture from ground-up since Day 0.
- Zapier Manual
- Gitlab Employee Handbook
- Personal review from someone who joined Github and worked remotely for 1 year
- Basecamp How We work
- Doist guide to navigating remote work
Tools to have fun / collaborate
- Netflix party (everyone can watch a movie together!)
- Focusmate (for productivity and accountability)
- Tuple(hands down the best pair programming app for remote. Your engineers would love this!)
- Tandem (little fancy, and I havent tested but people are raving about this)
- Also, use custom backgrounds on Zoom to make things more fun :) https://www.zoomvirtualbackgrounds.com/
Checklists for personal WFH productivity
- Ensure Zoom calls with clients go well
- How to setup your home
- How to do customer development interviews remotely (my favourite Rob Fitzpatrick who wrote The Mom Test)
- A very detailed guide write personally by someone who did the transition
- The MorningBrew guide
- Another guide which we liked; albeit a bit high level
Sidenote - you are probably using Slack wrong
Whatsapp has too many work groups, and Slack doesn't see enough adoption. This is a common theme everywhere I see. If you want to implement a calm and measured approach inside your company then read the Buffer 10 slack agreements.
Note - WFH is not equal to remote. Most remote workers I know still go to an office to work. Either a coworking space or a branch office (large distributed teams like Skyscanner)
Guides by Indian companies
Do read through them, but honestly I dont agree with some of this stuff . Replicating what works offline and forcing Whatsapp groups is a bad idea. Be async first!
A fascinating research report at Bell Labs which completely destroys the assumption that "face-to-face" work is faster and better than doing it virtually.