More Effective Remote Working

Mike McQuaid sharing some really simple (except, maybe the last one) tips on working remotely:

Evaluate performance on output, not on working hours: When everyone’s not colocated in the same place for meetings, pair programming, etc.: you don’t need everyone to work the same schedules.

Evaluating on output is such a no brainer but I still see sticklers for punctuality (as in start your day at 8am) and explicit focus on marking 40 hours of work.

Write more, meet less […] Instead, consider writing documents which can be linked, shared, edited and kept evergreen for discussion.

He makes it sound easy but keeping documentation evergreen is not easy. Making sure people read and understood correctly even harder.

Slack and email are async, not sync […]

Sending an email or a message on IM should not come with an expectation of an immediate response. But the bigger point he makes is further down and it’s has nothing to do with the tools used and more the message and how it’s phrased:

Don’t send messages saying “Have you got a minute?” unless it’s incredibly urgent that you schedule a sync call now. Instead, ask “Hey, about the meeting yesterday, can I grab your thoughts on the migration when you have a minute?”

This is gold, the second message makes it clearer that taking time to think on a response is ok and expected. Without going into the level of dread that a message like “Have you got a minute?” from a boss generates.

Use emoji to convey emotion


Meet in person (sometimes)

First word that comes to mind is “budget” and it makes me want to cry 😭

Thanks for the tips Mike!