Remote work at Coletiv

Remote work at Coletiv - Coletiv Blog

Even though it was not the norm until recently, remote work is not something new to IT workers. Most of us have done it at one time or another, and some of us even have it as a full-time “perk”, allowing us to work from anywhere.

The pandemic changed the paradigm — most IT companies, including our own, have shifted to an almost full-time “remote-friendly” environment. Even though we were already remote-friendly at Coletiv, we only practiced it partially, so this was a whole new boat for us.

We’re an IT company, we are used to it, it’s going to be fine…

Yeah, we said this… 😅 And so many others have said it too. “Supposedly”, for IT companies this would be an easy task. However, we found over time that this is not completely true — what was previously a benefit or perk, started raising some issues which were hard to tackle and showed we were definitely not as prepared as we thought we were.

Don’t get me wrong though… Remote work has some great benefits, and the pandemic has made it so that even outside IT, some other more traditional areas are finally opening up to this modern concept — taken in just the right measure, and in the correct setting, it can be a great tool to help us balance our daily lives.

The problem lies exactly in achieving the balance, and through our many ordeals we found ourselves raising a question:

Is there a formula to make remote work successful?

Our problems are not only our own, so we hope our experience and attempts at finding this formula, whether or not they were successful, can help others on their paths.

Our struggles

We found ourselves exposed to other types of problems for the entire company, such as knowledge sharing or lack of identity of the company itself. In response to these types of problems, we adopted different strategies:

Exposing daily doubts Exposing daily doubts

  • At the beginning of the confinement, we would just interact with our peers to expose daily doubts about what we were working on. We went through this phase because we adopted remote work a little earlier than most companies in the field.

Daily syncs in the morning Daily syncs in the morning

  • Due to the lack of interaction felt between collaborators, we started doing daily voice calls at 9 AM with the purpose of syncing everyone with what we did the day before and what we would do in the present day. With this, two problems emerged: oblige the morning workers to stop their focus to attend the meet (and vice versa) and the monotony of the meetings caused disinterest among people who do not share the same project on a daily basis.

Open hour after lunch Open hour after lunch

  • In an attempt to fix these problems, those meets were replaced by open hours Wednesdays and Fridays after lunch, where we would debate various topics like social problems, things we found on the stack we are working on, projects presentation, games, team building, cryptocurrency, etc. To keep the sync with the topics that were previously discussed in the morning meeting we created a dedicated place where everyone writes what was done yesterday and what we will do today.

The last strategy is what we currently use and until today we didn’t find any issues with it. Collaborators keep the engagement on the company (in the best way they can) and actively participate in the open hour.

In conclusion, we have been adapting remote work to our individual and collective needs but we are not sure if this is the formula for success and we do not even know if there is a formula for success. Either way, how did you, the reader, kept alive the social engagement in your squad? And, if any of the solutions that didn’t worked on our company worked in yours, how did you managed to do it?

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