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Working Effectively Across Spacetime

Nate Ebel
August 28, 2018
170

Working Effectively Across Spacetime

Remote work is becoming more and more popular, but how do you build and maintain effective teams that are spread throughout space and time?

Engaged, effective remote teams don't happen by accident. They require buy-in, trust, communication and empathy. Thankfully, there are a variety of strategies & tools that help make a remote team effective and enjoyable.

In this talk we'll explore
- common concerns & how to handle them
- effective communication strategies
- how to handle different timezones
- tools to make remote workflows nice and smooth
- how to keep your team engaged and productive

Nate Ebel

August 28, 2018
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Transcript

  1. About Me - Android dev at Udacity - last 2+

    years fully remote - currently based in Seattle @n8ebel #DCNYC18 2
  2. Our Team - 75% remote - 2 continents - 3

    countries - 4 timezones @n8ebel #DCNYC18 3
  3. Increasing Popularity - 60% companies offer telecommuting opportunities 1 -

    37% would change jobs to work where the want 2 - 11.5%/year increase in fully remote programmers 2 2 Gallup - https://news.gallup.com/reports/199961/7.aspx 1 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) benefits survey @n8ebel #DCNYC18 5
  4. Working Effectively Across Spacetime What We'll Cover: - benefits &

    challenges - communication strategies - team engagement - common questions @n8ebel #DCNYC18 9
  5. What Is A Remote Team? - email & chat from

    a mobile device? - work from home once in a while? - one person that isn't colocated? @n8ebel #DCNYC18 11
  6. Our Definition Of Remote? - remote first - spread across

    locations & timezones - practices & technologies in place - 5% increase from 2012 - 2016 2 2 Gallup - https://news.gallup.com/reports/199961/7.aspx @n8ebel #DCNYC18 12
  7. Why The Distinction? - differences in technology, policies, workflows -

    easier to let things slide @n8ebel #DCNYC18 13
  8. What's the biggest benefit to working remotely? 3 3 Buffer

    - State of Remote Work 2018 Report @n8ebel #DCNYC18 16
  9. Individual Benefits: Time - 53% say greater work/life balance "very

    important" 2 - less travel time & expense - more time with family & friends 2 Gallup - https://news.gallup.com/reports/199961/7.aspx @n8ebel #DCNYC18 17
  10. Individual Benefits: Flexibility - flexible hours - flexible location -

    cost of living - new location != new job @n8ebel #DCNYC18 18
  11. Individual Benefits: Productivity - control over working environment - fewer

    distractions -> increased flow - 10-15% increase in productivity with less observation 4 4 http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0001839212453028 @n8ebel #DCNYC18 19
  12. "90% of remote workers plan on working remotely for the

    rest of their careers" 3 3 Buffer - State of Remote Work 2018 Report @n8ebel #DCNYC18 20
  13. Organization/Team Benefits - lower costs - larger talent pool -

    diversity - increased retention @n8ebel #DCNYC18 21
  14. Organization: Support - must invest in supportive technologies - must

    develop clear policies & expectations - must trust employees @n8ebel #DCNYC18 24
  15. Organization: Hiring - larger talent pool to screen - screening

    a more diverse set of applicants - selecting for remote-friendly traits @n8ebel #DCNYC18 25
  16. Team: Engagement - full team communication - equal contribution -

    team building - timezones @n8ebel #DCNYC18 26
  17. What's the biggest struggle with working remotely? 3 3 Buffer

    - State of Remote Work 2018 Report @n8ebel #DCNYC18 27
  18. Individual - staying productive - boundaries - isolation - no

    catering/snacks/perks @n8ebel #DCNYC18 28
  19. Communication: Set Expectations - async communication - core hours -

    define where communication happens @n8ebel #DCNYC18 32
  20. Communication: Be Intentional - over communicate - document & share

    your work - share questions, concerns, ideas @n8ebel #DCNYC18 33
  21. Communication: Different Mediums - escalate when needed - use video,

    emoji, images to make up for lack of non- verbal cues - always put a face to the voice - find a quite space for video @n8ebel #DCNYC18 34
  22. Engagement - must be first-party citizens - buy in -

    trust from day one @n8ebel #DCNYC18 36
  23. Engagement: Group Involvement - regular sync ups & 1:1s -

    encourage casual communication - schedule time to chat as a team @n8ebel #DCNYC18 37
  24. Engagement: Group Involvement - make time to discuss & brainstorm

    in a high- bandwidth manner - value/seek input & views from everyone - groups > 1:1 @n8ebel #DCNYC18 38
  25. Engagement: Team Building - team on-sites - shared activity weeks:

    hackathons, tech-debt, etc - lunch & learn, conferences, etc @n8ebel #DCNYC18 39
  26. Engagement: Build Connections - assume good intent - protect 1:1

    time with manager - make yourself visible - build relationships @n8ebel #DCNYC18 40
  27. Workflows: Planning - diligently plan - document & update requirements

    - enable async assessment of progress @n8ebel #DCNYC18 42
  28. Workflows: Code & Design Review - blend async & video

    review - escalate when appropriate - leverage available tools @n8ebel #DCNYC18 43
  29. Workflows: QA - group video & screen share - images

    & video are invaluable - shared documents @n8ebel #DCNYC18 45
  30. Tools: Chat & Video - Slack - Hangouts, Zoom -

    Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc - Vysor - auto-add video to meetings & conference rooms @n8ebel #DCNYC18 48
  31. Tools: Planning & Documentation - Jira, Trello, GitHub issues -

    Confluence, GitHub wiki @n8ebel #DCNYC18 49
  32. Tools: Misc - World Time Buddy - Doodle - Slack

    polls - QuickTime, screenshot @n8ebel #DCNYC18 52
  33. Effective Remote Teams - communicate intentionally - cultivate engagement -

    develop remote-first workflows @n8ebel #DCNYC18 60