Some confusion in reporting here, some sites claim 'employees' choose, some 'team' chooses, and some 'manager' chooses.
Remote Work Experience
Worked remotely as contractor and full-time employee for 8 years. Started after taking time off after the birth of my third child and didn't want to go back to late nights in the office.
The most annoying thing for me is checking Slack/Teams/Hipchat every 15 minutes. Because people can't tap me on the shoulder if they need something I need to proactively check they don't need me.
How does your company deal with taxes? Do they withhold normally and you try and claw it back from the IRS?
Tax law for companies employing digital nomads seems very complicated and one of the better reasons I've heard for people not being allowed to work remote outside their home country.
Trello has integration with Teams, not sure if it comes with the free plan though.
More info on google exec here - https://www.peoplemattersglobal.com/news/employee-relations/google-senior-vice-president-urs-holzle-relocates-to-new-zealand-29958
Doesn't get better when you have more details.
I really like the multiple workspace digest idea
Thanks Rick, glad that you like it, we have a bunch of cool things, would love to chat with you & show you 😀
There's an air of mystery about Mayank 😮. They haven't filled their profile yet.
I think there's scope for more flexibility with a mixture of several types of office days.
e.g. Some days a month mandated by leaders for group events, plus some planned days by individuals published in a calendar ahead of time, plus some adhoc days when the individual just decides to go in at short notice.
Selfishly I am a little concerned that all these fresh remote workers will soon discover and overcrowd all the nearby places you can be remote but not working from actual home.
Rick back in 2018 I worked at a startup that allowed remote workers to schedule WFH days 2-3 times a week. This was usually in the case that you weren't feeling too well, had stuff to do at home, or couldn't make it to the office on time. Many people would take a WFH day at least once a week and then in the winter two times a week. It seemed to work and now that organization is remote-first based on that experience.It definitely was an amount of freedom that I wasn't used to but certainly enjoyed. Now, I think it should have to be a request but always an option for anyone. I think as more organizations adopt a hybrid model, they will see remote just makes more sense and default to remote first. Check out our most recent article where we discuss the different options available Remote First Vs. Remote Friendly: A Pivotal Battle In Hybrid Work Models
-1 year with Almanac.io as a growth manager
-1 year as a content marketing manager with various contracts
That's interesting. I'm pleased it ended well, even if it was just a stepping stone to remote-first. Hopefully that will be the majority of experiences for others now.
There are a lot of issues with Slack, at its best it can be a great tool bringing a real sense of teamwork, but misuse of Slack is rampant and it does little to encourage 'good' use.
Some of the worst examples I can think of....i) Large org 400+ people 'general' chat channels. No purpose, low level activity, but the occasional important, sometimes urgent message.
ii) Secret DM group chat overload, everything is communicated in secret adhoc groups that forget half the team and make the public channels a wasteland.
iii) DM: "hi!" .....
iv) General massive overuse of individual DMs, being chatted by 10 people simultaneously who all think you are just talking to them.
Slack I think almost works better for none work orgs, where nothing is super important and no-one is really waiting for an answer from any one individual.
It also seems to work okay for small orgs of less than 15 people.
The days before instant messaging when we did everything on a Forum feel like they were better.
Hmm, quite a fair judgement. At Flexiple, we are still at the size threshold: 15-20 people. So, haven't experienced the serious downsides yet.
How do you think people should solve this? Forums seems to lack a certain sense of personalisation.
Yes, at Flexiple our tech team is remote. Further, we consistently work with freelancers from our network who are located across timezones. It is an interesting dynamic that poses challenges but also enforces discipline like nothing else I have experiened before.
I think you've got to split groups and and have a 'stack' of tools for the different group sizes. At 15-20 people you've likely already hit the 'judas number' where many people start feeling like they aren't really central to the group.https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Group_Thresholds
Below 10 people I like the virtual office type setups, unstructured text, audio or video chat. Maybe with office hours
Participatory' groups max out around 60 people, which I think is a good max size for a working group forum. People shouldn't expect to participate in more than 2 or maybe 3 of these.
Then to communicate with larger groups you want planned broadcasts possibly with moderated questions.
Right - managing a stack of tools is, I think, an aspect of friction for me. Asking people to jump tools by context is quite tricky.
I do see early signs of conversations becoming a bit more complex on Slack. We have currently solved that by using specific channels that have a sub-group, so that all conversations are always relevant to the channel it is posted on.
But I can see that fracturing as well, as we grow bigger.
That's a great question that I understand deeply.
The solution is to figure out if the candidate has the needed remote work skills (or can acquire them easily). Not to throw out all of the candidates who have no proven remote work skills through remote experience, or ignoring the importance of those skills.
Because it is undeniable that there are particular remote work skills that help people perform well in a remote work environment. For example:
* Being a reliable person that delivers what is agreed;
* Being a proactive person who asks questions and figures out how to make progress;
* Knowing what communication channel is right for each communication goal.
* Would this person enjoy working remotely - e.g. some extroverts have difficulties adjusting to the remote work environment.
(not complete list)
We wrote two blog posts about those skills and how to assess them:
Yes - about 5 years.
Both as individual contributor, and manager.
This is very helpful, Boris! I really appreciate you sharing the list as well. I can see why my recent hire is not working out as she fails on 2 of the 3 items.
The only problem I see now is that recent grads do not usually have any answers to these questions as they have no past experience. In such cases, do you think working with them for a month or so to check for a fit is the solution?
P.S. is knowledge.remotemore.com up? I could not access a couple of links in the blogs - http://knowledge.remotemore.com/land-your-next-remote-job
Yes. I have been working remotely for the last 3 years while building Flexiple and Remote Tools
You are welcome :-)
A trial period is always recommended. For most companies, introducing trial periods of 2-4 weeks is the best way to improve their hiring process.
The interviewing process essentially tries to minimize the unsuccessful trial periods. It is a trade-off: how much time to spend in the interviewing process vs. how often you would have a wrong choice discovered 2-4 weeks later.
For recent graduates:
* Ask them if they have worked remotely (university group work also counts) - and what was their experience with it, what worked well, what didn't work well. Successful remote work experience is the best signal, so if they have this, it would be great.
* "What do you think makes a remote team good" or "Why do you think you will be good at working remotely". This should give an idea of how much they know about remote work, and it is a great way to see their communication skills in action.
* Communication skills - are they good at writing, are they good at expressing themselves. Look at their emails, CV, Cover letter, look at their expression during the interview.
* Organized/reliable - how do you keep yourself organized? How do you approach a goal that you have, e.g. finishing your university degree?
* To be honest, usually I prefer hiring more introverted people for remote roles. Because often extroverts do not enjoy working remotely, and this makes them demotivated after about 6 months. So asking about hobbies helps to figure out the profile of the person.
* Language skills - do they have the language skills to work with the rest of the team.
* Work environment - do they have sufficiently good machine, internet, quiet environment etc. You can ask them where do they plan to work from.
Some of those knowledge.remotemore.com links we have stopped supporting. The one you're asking about is this file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/76i75xifzcy69if/The%20ultimate%20guide%20to%20finding%20your%20remote%20job.pdf?dl=0 - page 10 is probably the most interesting one for you
The unofficial guru of remote hiring at his best!
Thank you, Karthik :-)
This is great, Boris. Have incorporated the questions and the factors to consider in my hiring process now!
2-4 weeks probation seems extremely short, 3-6 months is common. But really you need to balance the impression that you will give someone a fair shot and that they don't stay on 'probation' too long.
Obviously in at-will employment countries you can terminate someone at any time anyway. Official probation policies are more about unions and actually not being able to dismiss someone without serious cause after probation.
You do need to be okay with firing people who aren't working out well enough at any time.
These are great thoughts, Boris!
Honestly, I don't think that previous work experience is necessarily a great indicator of whether a person is suited to work remotely. In some instances it's easier to create totally new habits for people that have no work experience than it is for some to unlearn their non-remote habits.
I'd also add that many of the ways you "work" during your studies resemble remote/async work way more than in-office work does (e.g. long form writeups, teaching yourself things on your own).
It's more a question of the fundamentals, which I think Boris nails in his reply.
Before that built digital marketing agency in SEA
I'm glad to share learning 🙂
Good coffeeand a dog..
Hi, I'm Rick - I've been a developer for 20 years! 100% remote for 8 of those.I'm currently working on creating some new tools to improve remote work.
Welcome Rick!!! Excited to hear what type of tools for remote work you are creating. Where can I learn more?!
I've been building a global virtual franchise for the past 7 years in the network marketing industry and wellness space. Now I'm adding another venture to my plate with a tech start up, Centered, which is transforming the way that we work!