What remote working means?

People often ask me about my job. I work for a relatively big company with a small team, and I work in a different city than the others.  So basically, I work remotely.

Expectations

Almost every single person who I have talked about that have a picture of me working as a machine: someone sends me the task and the input, and I send back the solution. That is the way how a human can work remotely.

They think it is impossible to involve me in the life of the team and I will miss a lot of important information just because I am not there: I do not hear them because my desk is several hundred kilometres away from the others.

The other expectation is the worst: they think you just sleep all day and get your salary for nothing. You have plenty of time because you do not go to work so you do not work at all.

When you work home, you do nothing but sleep in the bed.

Reality

That expectation is both true and false.

Yes, there is a chance to miss something, but no, everything depends on the mindset of the team.

In fact you work as hard as the others. Just sit on an other place

We have to work as a team and has to develop our culture to work together. I must to anything that needs to get well informed and my team has to do not forget me. and we have to have a great software and hardware toolset in our hand to make our days comfortable.

Hardware toolset

  • We have to use our web cameras, there is no question about it. Just hearing is not enough, it is important to see the person who you talk with.
  • Buy a good conference microphone. For me, Jabra was a good choice to talk with a small team.

Software toolset

  • A good chat program. Currently, we use Slack.
  • A good meeting software. For smallest meetings, we use JoinMe, for largest ones, GoToMeeting.
  • Calendar and email tool like Office365. It is important to share our calendars to see when we are available for each other.

Conclusion

Remote working does not mean you are separated from the world and work in a small room and never see the sunshine.

Remote working means you are available online and you and your team must accept the fact that you have to do a lot of things online that a regular, in-place team can handle in-person.

Remote working means you are a part of the team, not the expectation that the others have to handle different ways. That is all about the discipline and the team mindset.

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