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Building Remote Relationships

Noah Beddome

VP of Security Engineering at Datadog

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Problem

"I was working for an organization remotely and decisions were being made without me, despite the fact that I should have been in charge of those decisions. What was happening was people would go to lunch, have a discussion, the discussion would turn into meetings, those meetings wouldn't involve me, and decisions would be made before I even found out about them."

Actions taken

"Something that complicated this was that when you're working from home, life gets in the way a lot more than it does when you're in the office. I found myself struggling - people were doing things without informing me, and I felt like I had less time to chase them down while still getting all the work I needed to get done, done. I decided to create a list of people I knew who were actively involved in things I was interested in. I then actively pursued them for relationships. I struck up conversations, not just about work things, but more generally, to get to know them and to build relationships. I also invited them to remote hangouts, and opened up for office hours."

Lessons learned

"While being remote is good, there's a significant deficit if you're trying to lead teams and build social capital. You'll always be working against that deficit. I now have to spend 2-3 extra hours of my day actively pursuing relationships with my onsite counterparts and staff. But by doing this, I've greatly reduced the amount of trouble I have to deal with in terms of decisions being made without me."


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Noah Beddome

VP of Security Engineering at Datadog


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