re: 6 Months of Working Remotely Taught Me a Thing or Ten VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

If you let you lead into the trap of being available as possible and on cam people will use it to bind you.

Synchronous communication is an issue of process.

Tools like Slack and Hangouts are the wrong way.

 

We use Slack but still guard against the synchronous expectation trap. We try to make most things async, but sync when it's convenient. We primarily treat GitHub issues as asynchronous. Tools-wise, what's your general alternative to Slack?

I will note that I am 100% off Slack, etc. in non-team settings like these big open source projects. I've found it wholly useless.

 

I think chats are nice sometimes.

I'm in the Reason and React-Native Discord channels and it's sometimes nice to get stuff explained so I can ask additional questions on the fly.

But my experience with chats at work was always that people went batshit crazy with them. Suddenly you had 20 messages in Slack, WhatsApp and SMS.

Often the problem was process based, like, when you have no process at all. Stuff getting tested in-production, customers getting mad, ops and PMs shitting their pants and calling for a dev to save their butt and getting angry because no-one is online.

I try to get most things done via email or issue trackers, people expect them to be slower than chats or messengers.

I heard that Automattic uses nice async tools, but I never investigated which, I just met an employee who told me about it.

 

The synchronous expectation trap is hard to get around especially in places that are new to remote working. Of course open communication about expected hours of availability can go a long way to alleviate this but everyone has to be open to compromise on that. The fact that your home is also your "work" should not lead to your supervisor/manager/lead/whatever assuming that you are available whenever they feel like it.

 

Yes it sucks if people call you at weekends or at night, but it also sucks if they want face-time in working hours, independent of the fact that I'm in office or not.

I mean I don't have a problem with 1-2h a week or a 1-2 day workshop every few months, but some people are just always behind your back :D

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