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Internal Memo: Remote work tips for the Deliverr team

Remote work came at us quickly, with all of the Deliverr offices now working from home due to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Although some of the team was originally remote, many worked from offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Toronto, and WFH came as a shock.

To help the newly-remote team out, we put together some tips on collaboration, productivity, and other resources. We’re sharing it on our blog today hoping that it can help some other teams out there as well, who are suddenly, shockingly, serendipitously, working online.

Collaboration Tips

Send daily updates

  • Weekly sprints are good for your other team members to see what you’re working on, whether you saw the task they asked you for, etc.
  • Daily reports are best for 1:1 manager<>team member updates
  • Slack directly to your manager
  • Include a quick summary of 1. What you did that day, 2. What you plan to do tomorrow (or what’s in progress), and 3. Any blockers (what are you waiting on)
  • This also helps you keep track of what you were working on the previous day

Schedule virtual work sessions

  • Block off 1-2 hours a day to jump on a group video call and work together (even if you’re working on separate tasks)
  • Should be optional, but can help team members feel more connected
  • Also good for people getting cabin fever

Learn which channels to use

  • Conversations should be documented in the right channel, so you (and your team) know where to look for something
  • Ex. Qs about a project in the Asana card, follow-ups on Slack
  • Having everything documented helps when you need to reference something later

Inbox 0, but for notifications

  • Before logging off, respond to everything you can (Slack, Asana, email) so no one is waiting on you
  • When you log back on, the replies will remind you of what you’re working on and next steps
  • This avoids things slipping through the cracks if you forget to come back to something the next day (and that something was waiting on you)

Productivity Tips

Test a time tracker like Toggl or RescueTime

  • See when you’re most productive (some of us are night owls)
  • Can help with motivation as you monitor your own productivity
  • Stay away from distractions during set hours with certain settings

Group your meetings

  • Keep a regular schedule for blocks of meetings
  • Leave the rest of your day open to deep work/”the flow”
  • Avoid sitting around waiting for your next meeting

Group your tasks

  • Work in cycles of similar work (coding vs. meetings, writing vs. editing)
  • Focus on one type of task at a time
  • “The longer you can focus on a single type of task, the faster you can get it done.” (source)

Designate a working space

  • Even if you don’t have a separate office room, a dedicated countertop or table is better than nothing
  • Keep your laptop and other tools plugged in and in one spot
  • Create a physical divide between “work space” and “home space”

Embrace changing schedules

  • Productivity in the office doesn’t equal productivity at home
  • It’s okay (and normal) to take breaks to do laundry, cook, etc.
  • Instead of time/schedule (9-5), focus on deliverables, deadlines, and quality of work
  • Are you getting your work done on time? Then it’s fine that you did something at 11 p.m. instead of 11 a.m.

Learn when you’re most productive (if your role allows)

  • Everyone has different productivity cycles
  • You may produce your best work in the evenings
  • You might be most productive early morning, and late evening, with a lull during the day

Figure out what works for you

  • There are a lot of well-known and widely accepted  WFH tips that don’t work for everyone (ie. get dressed before work every day)
  • It’ll take some time to find out what works best for your unique working style and role
  • Don’t say “I’m not good at remote work” before giving yourself a chance to experience it and tweak it to your benefit (give it at least 2 weeks)

Put on background/ambient noise

Stay healthy

  • Keep a bottle of water at your desk
  • Set a reminder to get up and stretch if you’re prone to losing track of time sitting down
  • Try to find an ergonomic setup (although I know it’s hard to go out and shop for a desk right now)
  • Don’t forget to eat! Here are some easy lunch ideas
  • You can even search recipes based on what’s in your fridge (here’s another tool)

For Parents

A Remote Work Guide, For Parents

A list of thinking games by grade

Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities

Need to distract your kids?

The resources below were taken from a Twitter thread.

Online resources

  • BrainPop
  • Curiosity Stream
  • Tynker
  • Outschool
  • Udemy
  • iReady
  • Beast Academy (Math)
  • Khan Academy
  • Creative Bug
  • Discovery Education

YouTube Channels

  • Crash Course Kids
  • Science Channel
  • SciShow Kids
  • National  Geographic Kids
  • Free School
  • Geography Focus
  • TheBrainScoop
  • SciShow
  • Kids Learning Tube
  • Geek Gurl Diaries
  • Mike Likes Science
  • Science Max
  • SoulPancake

Free learning websites

General Resources

The Remote Communication Cheat Sheet For Respecting @All Team Members

A Quick Security Checklist for Remote Workers (or Anyone, Really)

Remote work starter guide: how to adjust to work-from-home

The non-linear workday: reimagining routine in an all-remote environment

330 Tools for Remote Work

11 Best Practices for Working Remotely

Super bored?

The Metropolitan Opera Is Offering Free Virtual Shows This Week

22 ways to leave home without actually leaving the couch, from virtual zoo exhibits to museum gallery tours

Quarantainment List (crowdsourced things to do)

What about you?

We also started a #remotework Slack channel where people can ask questions and share their WFH experiences, and began hosting virtual lunches so team members can still see each other and socialize during the day.

What are some of the things you and your team are trying when it comes to working from home?

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