Maker's schedule, manager's schedule and how it affects remote work 🧐
A new year, a new beginning! I am sure you must have an umpteen number of goals for the coming year, personal and professional ♀️
I, for example, want to write more regularly, spend dedicated time each week or month reflecting on what I have done or need to do! Also, get more fit . On Remote Tools particularly, we have an exciting set of launches planned, the first being a comprehensive report 'Remote Work 2020' 🤓
What are your goals for 2020? I would love to know more about them
Maker's schedule vs. Manager's schedule
Coming to this week's topic, I want to talk about an interesting correlation I read between the type of work schedule and remote work in this blog by the founder of Friday.app.
Firstly, let's quickly understand the two modes of work that possibly exist, as defined by Paul Graham - the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule.
The manager's schedule, as Paul puts it, is for top execs and involves breaking down each day into one-hour intervals. You are doing something different every hour if you are on this schedule. In effect, you have lots of people interactions, meetings and you do work in small chunks.
As opposed to this, if you are on a maker's schedule, you prefer to use time units of half a day at least. Meetings are a disaster for you and a single meeting can effectively disrupt your entire afternoon.
To summarise, the manager's schedule is driven by interactions and activity while the maker's schedule thrives on output.
How the mode of work relates to remote work
By now, you would be like, "That's all great Hrishikesh, but how does this relate to remote work? 🧐"
Let me start by asking you a question: Which of the two schedules would favour remote work more?
It's fairly obvious. Remote work, by design, promotes async work and minimizes in-person interactions. Hence, it is very much inclined towards the maker's schedule. And that is why we see a lot of engineering teams, even in large organisations, favouring remote work. However, this in effect means that the manager's schedule would not align with remote work by design!
Making remote work a reality for the entire organisation
Now the reality is that most influencers and decision-makers in an organisation are on the manager's schedule. And if you are even thinking of the possibility of a company-wide adoption of remote work, it needs to accommodate and favour the manager's schedule.
Huh! That's great. But how do we do it? 🤷♀️
We spoke about how to find the right balance between sync and async, and this is where our solution lies. Having a good component of sync will ensure your company's remote work setting accommodates those on the manager's schedule too.
A few broad things to do are:
- Using tools that facilitate synchronous communication (1-on-1s, virtual offices etc.)
- Having frequent meetups (team on-sites, conference perks etc.)
- Office hours
Now there are nuances to implementing sync in your company's remote work setting. For example, when and how you deem it suitable to ask your coworker for a call or put simply, do a "shoulder tap". Scott Hanford, Director of Customer Acquisition at InVision, has written about this one of his LinkedIn articles.
In his words, "...in a fully remote environment some interesting cultural dynamics evolve that make this remote shoulder tap a bit more complex. People aren’t as keen to ask individuals to jump on a call as quickly – it is quite interesting. Now, this isn't science...this is just my observation......and sometimes you all would have been better off just jumping on a quick Zoom."
In summary, you need to surely have structures in place to incorporate sync but also ensure that the good parts of remote work stay intact, for example, heavy component of async.
Remote Working Chronicles: I travelled the world while running my business: 16 countries in 12 months
Melissa Smith is the founder & CEO of the Association of Virtual Assistants and author of two books on the subject. The most interesting thing about her is that she traveled 16 countries in 2017 while working and in effect, switched to remote work consulting post that. Want to know more about her journey? Read here.
As always, here are the top remote-first products of the week:
⏱ Atto is a simple timesheet app for small businesses
🌎 RemoteTeam is a suite of HR tools for remote teams
🗂 Due.work helps you manage all your tasks from one collaborative visual space
📝 Paperform helps you create beautiful forms, payment or product pages
📋 Freelance Folks provides free document templates for freelancers