Remote First Culture

I am big advocate for designing businesses to be remote-friendly first. In the past, I have worked remotely for few years. I have had hard times, but also really good times.

The company culture needs to built remote work in mind, otherwise it can cause problems when part of the group is not trusted with remote responsibilities, while others are.

There are obvious advantages for remote workers: Being able to deeply focus on tasks and problems, skip commuting, read books without distractions, go to gym any time you want, eat and wear what you want. This all can make a huge difference in how you feel and lead your life.

But there are definitely problematic things with remote work also. You can get lazy, take a nap or watch a movie during the day. Feeling of loneliness is also very common problem, so it’s quite important to have friends or family nearby. One problem is also trust, which, if you don’t deliver great results, can suddenly go bad since nobody actually sees you do anything.

Most issues can be addressed with self-control, healthy habits and proper communication.

To build a remote first culture means that there are proper principles in place:

  1. Effective communication guidelines, especially written
  2. Guidelines how to do work, e.g. programming, design, client communication, things to avoid and such
  3. Trust and somewhat clear goals and expectations
  4. Occasional healthy meet-ups or hanging out situations. If people are around the globe, this might be more difficult, but still doable through video chats and yearly meetings

The odd thing is that all of the above are very important for non-remote work also. Yet, they are often overlooked when people are busy focusing on non-essential. Remote first culture forces you to focus on the essential.

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