You’re used to working in an office. You start each day grabbing a coffee. Maybe dropping the kids off at school. Commuting to an office. Joining meetings. Weighing in on random conversations with coworkers. Replying to emails, and going to lunch with a client. Before long, you’re commuting home to gear up for the next day. The rituals of modern-day office life are familiar and reliable.
The sudden impact of a global pandemic has forced millions of people to transition to remote work without much of a warning or game plan. Most companies are scrambling to recreate office life...outside the office.
There is a lot of mystery around remote work. The remote part, to be specific. This past week, we’ve had many of our own clients ask us how we make remote work, work. We’ve spent over a decade figuring out remote work at MetaLab with a team that works from 12 countries and 8 time zones. We’ve only landed here after years of questioning how we work—evolving our norms, processes, and policies.
So, while we’re adapting to this new norm with you, we wanted to share some of the remote life strategies we’ve developed over the last decade that keep us focused, productive and connected.
As Simon Sinek says, “Your company doesn’t have a culture. It is a culture.” Cultures evolve and we’ve learned moving towards a remote culture means dialing up in some specific areas.
In a remote environment, employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day. Here are some of the things that help put these guardrails in place:
Much of the above may seem like common sense. And it is. People do their best work when they are supported and empowered. The more intentional everyone can be in building collaboration, recognition and autonomy, the stronger and more resilient your culture will be in adapting to the change and challenges that lay ahead.
Communication is so vital to working well remotely that it has its own section. While an entire post could be dedicated to unearthing all the various facets of getting communication right, here are some of the fundamentals of remote communication.
There is a lot of uncertainty about the future right now, and your team’s resilience will be significantly impacted by the culture you foster, communication norms you develop, the tools you use, and the space you create. For specific suggestions about remote-friendly tools, check out Notion’s guide.
While we don’t have all the answers, we wanted to share a bit about what makes MetaLab tick in hopes it helps you and your teams succeed.
If you want to learn more about different dimensions of remote work/life, here are some perspectives from others on our team:
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Some tips on how we've made remote work, work for over a decade.
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Our CEO, Rich, works remotely from wherever in the world he may be. Here's why it works for us.
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We built a blog, our blog— from scratch. Here's why we did it and what we learned along the way.