Making Remote Work: Best Practices from 18F

Making Remote Work: Best Practices from 18F

One of the best ways to learn about fostering a positive remote work environment is by learning from other teams and organizations to see what works for them. While every remote staff is different, utilizing tips and tricks from others is a great way to find out what works for you. 

Last month, 18F, a civic tech consultancy, released a blog post about how they make remote work successful for their employees living across the country. They take a unique spin on the term, renaming “remote” work as “distributed” work.

18F’s tips range from communication to navigating work hours– all of which are incredibly useful and important for workers, managers, and organizations. While each of their strategies resonates with us, one of our favorites is: “We make our work transparent to one another.”

18F states:

We’re committed to making all our work, discussions, and decisions available to everyone in the organization at all times. We do this by having:

  • Real-time chat (aka, virtual water cooler). 18F uses Slack to “hang out” virtually. This area is open all day for people to drop in and out as their schedule allows. The important thing is that everyone is invested in using it consistently, something that managers and team leads may need to continually reinforce. Everyone uses chat, even people in the office.
  • The Hub. This is where announcements, weekly team reports, and meeting summaries go so that everyone knows a little about what’s happening in the entire organization. Updates here are brief; as soon as it turns into something that the team doesn’t have time to read, it’s failed.
  • Cloud storage. 18F keeps shared documents in a shared space, all the time. We use GitHub and Google Apps for Government. Adding documents to folders that are pre-shared allows permissions to be set easily and quickly.
  • Documentation in GitHub and Slack. “We do a lot of chatting in Slack during the course of the day, but we also set aside a regular standup time where everybody summarizes what they did yesterday, today and what is blocking them,” says Jacob. “Currently, we do this by commenting on an image posted to the Slack channel so that all comments for that meeting are easier to find later, which sounds hackish, but it works better than trying another tool.

Interested in reading more about 18F and their distributed work tips? Click here!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How do you keep your work transparent while working remotely?
Let us know down below in the comments!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s