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Work From Home: Vitamin's Playbook — Vitamin Software

Adapting To Working From Home

A remote worker has a constant blind-spot and is not able to use their full senses to gauge and tweak their work. This also makes them anxious and feel disconnected from the office proceedings. If handling a team remotely, ensure that the reporting/tracking of their work is transparent.

It helps to come prepared in meetings and answer questions in writing while providing a trace of context in your email/chat. Having a preset plan covering a couple of days helps reduce the constant interactions. 

Transparency of communication ensures minimum ambiguity. 

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Work From Home: Vitamin's Playbook — Vitamin Software

Work From Home: Vitamin's Playbook — Vitamin Software

https://www.vitaminsoftware.com/work-from-home

vitaminsoftware.com

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Key Ideas

Tips On Working From Home

  • Choose a place in your home or a corner that can be a make-shift office, preferably not around the living or lobby area where other people can potentially interrupt.
  • Take regular breaks and drink plenty of water.
  • Remember that productive work can be fragmented at home due to temptations and disruptions/distractions.
  • It is important to be supportive and share plans and vulnerable communication.
  • Ensure all legalities are in place for teleworking.

Adapting To Working From Home

A remote worker has a constant blind-spot and is not able to use their full senses to gauge and tweak their work. This also makes them anxious and feel disconnected from the office proceedings. If handling a team remotely, ensure that the reporting/tracking of their work is transparent.

It helps to come prepared in meetings and answer questions in writing while providing a trace of context in your email/chat. Having a preset plan covering a couple of days helps reduce the constant interactions. 

Transparency of communication ensures minimum ambiguity. 

Equipment At Home

Use video communication as it provides an emotional connection with the team, ensuring that the equipment is working properly and there is no echo on the microphone/headphone.

Have at least two modes of internet connections available, broadband/fiber along with wi-fi.

Tools At Home

  • Video conferencing: Zoom software.
  • Chat Application: Slack, which can act as a virtual meeting room. Whatsapp can be avoided as it has an immediacy attached to it.
  • Document System: Google Docs/Google Suite.
  • Also consider a Virtual Private Network set up by work, to access your work documents, if applicable.

Communication Tips

  • It is very easy to misinterpret emails and chats, so do not make any assumptions and be empathic.
  • Follow meeting protocol like preparing the agenda and providing the meeting summary to everyone.
  • Do not disturb people by requesting them to pick up the phone unless really needed. Do not expect an immediate response to chat and email.
  • Repetitive tasks can be documented to ensure that they can be done by whoever is available.
  • Do not rely on knowledge inside one person's head, ensuring it is written down and shared.
  • Use a checklist to track the team’s progress, sharing it with others.

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Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job

  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

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Remote-first Mindset

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...

Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any period.
  • A great culture happens with intentional design and influence. It's the reason you should make your company's mission, vision, values, operating principles, standards, and agreements visible. 
  • Culture is experienced through emotions, including how your employees feel about the company, you, other leaders, and peers. That feeling is developed through human interaction at the water cooler, kitchen, or hallway conversations.

Your leadership presence

Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms that can include weekly video meetings, periodic company-wide emails, or presence in public channels.
  • Err on the side of more communication rather than less.

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Assembling the Team

... that's capable of executing in a remote setup:

  • Hire doers: they will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island.
  • Hire people you can trust....

Software/Tools

In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

Processes

Good processes let you get work done in the absence of all else. They provide structure and direction for getting things done.

A few examples from Zapier:

  • Weekly Hangouts;
  • Weekly One-on-Ones;
  • Bring the team together 2 times/year somewhere cool;
  • Automate anything that can be automated.