Settling into the Work Home Life

DojoLive! interviewed Matt Perez, Nearsoft’s COO and cofounder, to discuss working for home. In the face of the Coronavirus spread many companies are adopting remote work as a way to minimize risk for their teams.

Here’s a summary of the conversation with all you need to know about remote work.

Keep Your Routine

Follow the same steps as if you were going to the office. Get up and shower at the same time, and make some time to eat breakfast. Look around the house for a “sacred place”, somewhere you can feel comfortable and calm enough to sit for a few hours and still stay focused.

Do not expect an uninterrupted work shift. Do your best to communicate with your team and apologize because things may happen. Be straightforward, if you have a kid your coworkers need to understand they won’t get your undivided attention.

Finally, make sure you can disconnect from work at a specific time every day. Being at home makes work so comfortable you may just keep on until midnight.

Adults Follow a Grander Mission

During the interview Matt pointed out that distributed teams work better when everyone in the team is treated as an adult, and is expected to act as one. In a traditional work culture, there are rigid rules that dictate how employees must work, on freedom-centered workplace teams are trusted to follow a bigger grander mission and act accordingly in a flexible way.

In a few words: the mission is the boss.

Therefore accountability and making sure others work springs from a natural drive to fulfill that bigger vision. When asked about tracking work hours, Matt replied, “who cares about hours?” Pointing out that meeting the deadline with a quality delivery should be the team’s focus instead.

Transparency and Feedback

In a traditional setting rules can be broken easily, an employee in trouble can hide behind a weekly report and the manager will never notice there’s a problem. At least, not in time. In a more open work culture everyone follows a grander mission. So, a whole team is keeping track of how things are going and can spot any problems as soon as they arise. 

Teammates must be transparent when they recognize their problems at work amongst their peers. But feedback is not something that comes easily, whole companies must train on how to give and receive feedback. Sometimes calling someone out on a conduct can be harder than receiving feedback. 

In a remote work context, the same principles apply. The grander vision rules over the project and managers don’t have to worry about work getting done even if the team is not in the office.

Know when to Stop

Establish boundaries with yourself and others. Your home is not the same as the office. It is not designed so you are not interrupted.

Even if clear boundaries are layed out, family always comes first. Especially in a time of so many changes like the ones we’re living in.

So make sure you can stop and continue. As Matt put it,

it’s not about the quantity of hours, but the quality.

Matt Perez

For more on work culture and distributed teams follow Matt Perez.

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