So It’s Your First Day Working Remotely… What Do You Do?

  • How will you stay focused?
  • How do you get unblocked when you’re not in the same office as everyone else?
  • How can you be a contributing member when you work in a different time zone from most anyone else?
  • How will your boss know you’re getting your work done?
  • How do you avoid feeling lonely and isolated?

Expect a Learning Curve

Set Up Your Work Environment the Night Before

List Your Top 3

Communicate More Than You Think Is Necessary

  1. Going into a meeting with a meeting agenda defined and distributed with proper notice for review from all participants
  2. Ending a meeting with important decisions that were made and any action items that specific people need to take and by when
  3. Follow the meeting with a write-up of the information listed above
  4. Managers should list the team priorities to a public communication channel (like Slack) at least on a weekly basis and tag specific people who are responsible for each objective
  5. They should then follow-up throughout the week in public and private chats
  6. Task distribution should always follow-up with questions like: “Does this make sense?”, “Do you have any questions about why we’re doing this?”, and “What are your thoughts about this decision?”
  7. Use emojis if appropriate in your work environment to help convey the tone of your message

Asynchronous Is Your Friend

  1. When you come to a point in your work where you feel like you need feedback, decide if the requested feedback 100% blocks your work or whether there are tasks you can take care of while waiting for a response
  2. Make sure to do the ‘List your top 3’ step above. That way if you are 100% blocked, you have an immediate next task to work on
  3. Communicate early and often. If you wait til the last possible second to request feedback from another person, you run the risk of them not being able to reply to you immediately and end up missing your deadline. Keep the communication flowing with everyone involved in your work so that they know what is needed from their side and can take care of it when they are available.
  4. Start your day by unblocking others, and end your day by sending your own blockers to others. In most cases, you will log on the following day and start your work fully unblocked. The power of working in a remote team across multiple time zones is that the business engine is running almost 24/7 rather than strictly during standard business hours in one time zone. Take advantage of this.

Set Boundaries

  1. Use separate browser profiles for your work and personal life. This allows for different bookmarks and separate browser histories
  2. Use separate password managers for work and personal life. This provides extra friction if you attempt to check Facebook while in your work profile or a work email while in your personal profile.
  3. Use separate desktops in your computers task view for work and personal life. When you’re trying to keep separation outside your browser, this is the best way to do it. This simulates the experience of having separate computers and makes a huge difference especially if you’re the type to leave browsers/programs open for multiple days.

Move

Take Advantage of the Benefits

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