Katie (VP, Engineering at Buffer) and Juan (VP, Engineering at Splice) launched their guide for distributed teams this week on HackerNews. Interestingly, people were sharing their personal experiences (commute, loneliness etc.) on the thread rather than talking about the points discussed in the article. This totally resonated with me, as I believe there is a strong need for a dedicated forum to discuss around 'remote'.
But that's besides the point. I found the guide to be a concise summary of most discussion points around building distributed teams. The best part about it, is that both Katie & Juan have sprinkled their experiences at Buffer and Splice throughout the article and created quite an opinionated piece.
Let me quickly run you through the 4 Cs of building effective distributed teams, the guide speaks about:
Communication - They say the default state in remote teams is miscommunication. Hence, one has to be deliberate in over-communicating or repeating oneself. It's best to drop 'passive-aggressives' like 'as I said last week' and 'per my last mail' but rather to overcorrect with emojis, GIFs and explicit communication (emojis = happy, efficient teams 👻).
Coordination - It's important to establish a tempo, for example, when the CEO asks, "When does our next iteration start?" everyone should know the answer. It is the beat everyone should predict and build upon. Maintaining the tempo can be tricky and hence, it is worth exploring customisations. For example, Splice being a hybrid organization, Juan hires people whose timezones align with U.S. Eastern through U.S. Pacific time.
Collaboration - Katie and Juan both stress on explicitly rewarding collaborative behaviours like mentorship and glue work (whatever it takes to make an organization successful). Katie recommends getting your remote team together once every six months while Juan says teams should meet in-person as frequently as possible without making travel a burden.
Culture - Finally, both emphasize that not everyone thrives in a remote environment and it is important to have support mechanisms for people as they transition to remote. Also, it is critical to reinforce your culture constantly if you are a fully distributed team, else you will end up as a network of individuals rather than a close-knit team.
Remote Work 2020 (Releasing soon 🚀)
At Remote Tools, we strive super hard to bring out the best content around remote working, in all forms possible and hence, we are launching an ambitious project!
Presenting the - drum rolls 🥁- "Remote Work 2020" report 😎
This report will include the results of the survey conducted with remote workers. We will also be publishing a guide tackling the most-discussed topics in the field of remote working. This guide will draw from our learnings gained through podcasts with the likes of Gitlab, Invision, Hubstaff, Scrapinghub and FlexJobs, as well as experiences shared with us by successful remote workers (detailed outline below)!
We need your help in making the report better - please share the survey with remote workers you know (and of course, fill it yourself 😏). It is a pretty short survey and shouldn't take longer than 2 minutes. Here is the survey - link.
Remote workers survey stats & analysis
Remote working guide
How to tackle loneliness?
How to manage a remote team?
How to build a culture in a remote team?
Remote-first or Remote-friendly?
Is remote the future?
Remote work chronicles: Stories of successful remote workers
Remote work podcasts: Podcasts with leaders of top distributed teams and our learnings from them
Do share your thoughts around this 🙌
As always, here our top picks of remote-first products -
✍️ Tactiq is a meeting notes app powered by transcriptions
👀 Rearview protects you from unwanted glances at your screen
🗣 UIReview helps you get instant feedback on your designs