Asynchronous Communication: The Key to Remote Teamwork
I spoke with Kyle Shevlin, a senior software engineer at Webflow about how they can keep the innovation flowing when ~70% of their workforce rarely step foot in the office. Webflow is based in San Francisco, where 25-30 employees gather each day and work while their 70+ counterparts may be coding from the dog park or designing from the beach. Their success in pulling off this hybrid system is, according to Kyle, the liberal use of asynchronous communication.
Webflow uses SLACK and ZOOM for all of their communications. Which enables them to keep their remote and onsite team members focused and working towards a single goal. What makes Webflow, in particular, successful in managing remote teams?
"It's a combination of being realistic and treating people as human beings."
People like to have flexibility in the geographic and temporal elements of their day—particularly when it comes to working. Admittedly, what’s good for employees is also good for the company. “To reduce your talent pool to one small geographic location can be bad for business,” explains Kyle, “Finding great people and letting them work where they want to just makes sense."
Staying Healthy as a Remote Worker
For many remote workers, it can be a lonely experience. When you work from home or the local coffee shop, you’re isolated. Even worse, it can sometimes be hard to focus on the job and balance work and play. Kyle says the keys to being a successful remote worker are:
- Stick to a routine
- Create a dedicated workspace
- Plan social activities (with co-workers and others)
- Prioritize your health
We can’t stress how important it is for remote workers to stay in good physical health. With the ability to work in absolute comfort it can be easy to fall into complacency with your health. We’re working on sharing self care messages through our socials to help remind people that staying in good physical shape is key for mental and emotional health. It can be as simple as taking a walk as a breather. Especially if you’re a dev.
For those preferring to workout at home, I can recommend the exercises from CONVICT CONDITIONING. They are divided into 4 (6 for advanced) exercise types - push ups, stand ups, leg raises and pull ups, where each exercise has 10 levels of mastery. The book also explains why is it reasonable and healthy to start slow, instead of rushing into things and losing both motivation and even possibly injuring oneself.
Remote Work is Here to Stay
While there are some that believe remote work is on its way out, Kyle begs to differ.
"I think the future is remote work.”
While there's something to be said about proximity with people having an impact on work, I think the research has shown that open-offices are a complete productivity failure, commutes are a giant waste of time, and remote allows people to live outside of the urban centers which could be a solution to housing and economic issues.
For Kyle, the best part of working remotely is not having a commute.
"I chose this work-style on purpose and only interviewed at places that would let me continue to do so."