It’s the 9th week of remote work for the xbird team. We started moving to the home office in the very beginning of March and were completely prepared for that. Last year we already had a discussion about working remotely. Some team members were actively voting for it, and they have been starting working remotely before the quarantine. As a consequence for some nothing has changed but the majority of team members faced this situation for the first time.
Our Senior iOS Engineer Viktor, who was working remotely from the very first day on, shared his experience and gave the whole team some useful advice. We had thoughts about how to arrange the remote work and this period became an experiment that could demonstrate if we are ready for allowing some team members to work from home permanently or if we need some improvement. To our surprise, we’ve been coping with remote work really well and even came up with some useful ideas that can make this process productive and comfortable. We are more than happy to share our practice.
We’ve had a tradition of early morning team check-in meetings for quite some time and keep doing that from our homes as well. Starting from early in the morning our business and tech teams have hangouts meetings for operational setup. A quick discussion about daily plans and goals keeps the whole team aware of the process and really moves it forward. Weekly check-ins with the whole team as well allows everyone to keep track on what we are doing individually or in groups.
We’ve got your back
Working from under the blanket or making a cozy office micro space on the sofa was great for the first day but later it turned out to be absolutely unproductive and uncomfortable. In an effort to save our spines we delivered our office chairs to our homes. It’s definitely better than sitting on a wooden dining chair and it tricks the mind by bringing that office feeling. To get even more of the office feeling (and the productivity that comes with it) to our homes, we also supplied the ones who do not have an extra monitor with an extra screen.
Hello, it’s me
In common times a random call would raise questions and distract but not this time. A random call from team members for tea time or chocolate break brings up a feeling of team spirit and sanity. We have a permanent “water cooler” hangout meeting where we can meet the team and chat about how someone’s avocado seed is doing or the new fridge delivery situation.
We started to do Friday after work mini remote parties and they are way more fun than any of us expected! Every Friday 5 pm is an imperishable Remote Fun time slot. Playing online drawasaurus game is a must. It’s not a time for being bored and aggressive from being alone, we are still together and there is always a place for fun even if it is remote.
It would be unfair to say that this isolation time is very easy for us, we are struggling like everybody else. However, we believe that this period has been a good test for all of us and it revealed our strong and weak points. It helped us to slow down for a moment and look deep inside the process. At the very least, this time will have a lasting effect on how we as a company view working remotely.