login


Google Sign inLinkedIn Sign in

Don't have an account? 

The importance of proper processes and tooling in remote teams.

Remote
Team processes

6 December, 2017

Having experienced building a remote work culture from scratch in his team, Nikhil shares some useful tips with us.

Problem

At one of my previous companies, we didn't start out with a remote work culture, but ended up moving slowly towards it. This meant we had to learn about building an effective remote team.

Actions taken

We decided to modify our existing processes to work with remote employees and to set up new processes and adopt new tools for remote work when necessary. When everyone was at the same office we used to have a daily check-in. When we moved towards hiring more remote employees, we wanted to make sure that we didn't get rid of this just because it is harder to do with a remote team. As a result, we set up a daily check-in on Google Hangouts at a time that fitted into everyone's schedule. With people in various time zones (the Bay area, Chicago, Japan) it wasn't easy but turned out to be really useful for everyone. Another important change was to encourage more conversations over Slack. There is a tendency to have in-person conversations with people near you, which can work well if everyone is working in the same office. However, when some people are working remotely, you may end up excluding them from critical conversations, especially if a random discussion evolves into something more meaningful. We worked on encouraging people to move important discussions to Slack and to include relevant people before any decisions are made. This took some getting used to, but became increasingly easier as the company brought on more people who worked remotely. Finally: tooling. Tools go hand-in-hand with processes, and finding the right tools for efficient remote work will have a huge impact on overall productivity of the remote team. We used Slack for most of the communication. For times when typing was not the right medium, we would also set up calls on Google Hangouts. We also used some screen sharing tools to share mockups, and help debug code.

Lessons learned

Communication is critical. Finding ways to ensure that all your employees, even ones working remotely, are kept in the loop ensures your teams work efficiently and stay motivated.


Related stories

Cultivating a Relationship Between Collocated and Remote Teams
3 July

Arjun Rao, Director of Engineering at Place Exchange, highlights three ways that induce a genial, positive, and flourishing atmosphere between collocated teams and their remote, contracted, or outsourced counterparts.

Remote
Collaboration
Company Culture
Arjun Rao

Arjun Rao

Director of Engineering at Place Exchange

Asynchronous Written Communication: How to Make It Work
30 June

Jose Pettoruti, Director of Engineering at CurrencyCloud, describes how to handle multiple inputs from a number of people in an asynchronous mode.

Remote
Internal Communication
Jose Pettoruti

Jose Pettoruti

Director of Engineering at CurrencyCloud

Why Psychological Safety Is More Important Than Ever During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
30 June

Murali Bala, Director, Software Engineering at Capital One, discusses the importance of psychological safety emphasizing its unparalleled significance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Remote
Feedback
Team reaction
Feelings aside
Company Culture
Internal Communication
Murali Bala

Murali Bala

Director, Software Engineering at Capital One

Remote Work in Times of the Coronavirus Pandemic
21 May

Steve Hoeg, Director of Engineering at Faire, provides a detailed list of instructions that will make your remote work in times of coronavirus pandemics more efficient and productive.

Remote
Steve Hoeg

Steve Hoeg

Director of Engineering at Faire

Resolving Remote Communication Issues
19 May

Viacheslav Bessonov, Chief Technology Officer at Algalon Capital, outlines how he improved communication internally - with his fully distributed team, while also improving communication with the customer - located across various time zones.

Remote
Internal Communication
Users Feedback
Viacheslav Bessonov

Viacheslav Bessonov

Chief Technology Officer at Algalon Capital

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.