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Designing a Remote Project

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Klaudio Milankovic

Great article. Thanks for spreading the good word about remote teams.

I have been working remotely for my company for almost two years and had no problems.; in fact, I love it because I can watch my daughter grow up and spend quality time with her anytime, since daddy is working in his office :).

In our company about 60% of the team is remote whilst others like to spend time in the office instead.

I think Trello’s blog is an excellent resource too for info about distributed teams.

Fabien

Thank you for this article!

I was a bit perplexed by “Emails are silos”. Like any other tool, the isolation depends on the setup, no? The use of a mailing list (I know, “old school”, but working…) allows for transparency and archives if necessary.

I’d be interested in more explanations if you can. :)

Jeffrey van Brunt

Well thought out discussion on remote work/teams. I like a number of your points.

The company I work for is 100% virtual spread across the US. One of the interesting things that we hear from people that get a glimpse of what we do and how we work together is that they can’t believe how much of a family our 100% virtual company is. Sure, there are challenges and it doesn’t work for everyone.

Some things that I believe help us be successful are:

1. We work in a results-based economy vs. a time-based economy. In other words, it all about producing results, not about punching a time clock or working between particular hours. Some of us are morning people and get up very early and get to work, while others are night owls and start much later in the day and work later. We are a bit unique in that we have that ultimate flexibility as long as we are producing

2. We hire for fit with our company values. We are a small company so it is a bit easier than in some larger organizations. There is a high priority for a cultural fit with new hires.

3. Trust and transparency are a huge key! The leadership trusts us to get the job done. They are also very transparent about how the company is doing and where we are headed. We use tools such as Trello so everyone can easily see what the projects are, who’s working on them, and what the status is.

4. The last one I’ll share is “Communicate, communicate, communicate.” We have a number of channels where we communicate with each other. It’s not just email and phone calls. We get face-to-face whenever the opportunity presents itself, and have a few scheduled get-togethers over the course of a year for all hands. We use tools like Soccoco, the before mentioned Trello, GoToMeeting, Slack, etc. Having multiple channels where we can communicate, even if it’s the same message at times allows us to stay connected to each other.

As you said in your post, making remote work/teams successful takes planning, cultural fit, trust and transparency. When it’s purposeful it can be an amazing tool to attract and sustain great talented individuals.

Thank you

Nick

We’ve engaged to work with us close to 100 people in the last 3 years or so, all for remote tasks. The number is a bit swollen by writers and project-based designers, but still, we so have a 10-members permanent team, working together on a daily basis, from Monday to Friday. We still think this is the way to go especially for small teams. Why? They’ve all received a proper education from phase 0. Of. Course we had to experiment a lot – these are colateral damages -, but never risked clients’ projects in the process. Bottom line? If you have 2-3 middle management people with a high sense of reaponsability, you can automate remotely almost any type of tasks. Slack, TeamViewer, Skype or Whatsapp were helping heaps, but we also use a great number of tools and tens of tutorials to achieve our goals. I will never go back to office work. Ever.

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