When the primary means of collaboration is asynchronous (as is the case of remote work), the rules and norms of a remote team need to be more deliberate. Social time for the team to bond and have impromptu conversations need to be scheduled since they don’t happen spontaneously with people in the same office (e.g. tea time). Chance encounters need to be intentional (e.g. random coffee chat pairing). Even working hours and setting norms for when people work can be necessary.
- Remote work creates less weak ties which is important to counteract for product teams.
- Organizational support of remote work correlates with reported productivity—another reason to be deliberate and thoughtful.
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With remote teams, it’s not like you can look over someone’s shoulder or visibly see if they are struggling—the only observable information is the outputs. That’s why remote team management needs to be centered around saying what you’re going to do and then comparing that to the output.
A mission should be boiled down to a single aspirational statement that encompasses what the team actually does that’s valuable (not necessarily what leadership says they do), metrics describe the observable effects as the team succeeds in the mission.