Over the last 3 years, I've spoken to 100+ of the leading remote-first companies on the planet

This is what I learned about building a great remote team

[ a thread ] πŸ’»πŸ πŸŒ
✍️ Documentation: documentation is the unspoken superpower of remote teams

The most successful remote companies write down and record knowledge rather than lose it if people leave

Knowledge grows and is improved over time as everyone contributes to a repository of intelligence
🚨 Asynchronous: remote work is a bridge to async work

The best remote companies aim to avoid replication of the disruptions of the office

Async work empowers individuals to do deep focussed work without distraction
πŸ“† Flexibility: to attract the most talented people you need to be flexible to individual needs

Office-first companies are one size fits all which work perfectly for nobody – remote is the opposite

Pick your kids up from school, surf before dawn, work when you do your best work
🏝 Time-off: remote companies prevent burnout

'Wellness days' are regular breaks they enforce, often without prior warning they're about to occur

Most do 1 day every 2 months on top of regular holidays where a minimum number of days off are set & expected to be taken
✈️ Time-together: being remote doesn't mean never being together physically

When remote teams come together it's with purpose which drives deeper connections and trust

The cadence for this varies across orgs & functions. The right cadence is typically 1-5 times per quarter
πŸ—£ Communication: who, when, why, what, & where to communicate is codified

You would never email a fire station if your house was on fire. Remote comms should be viewed the same way

Use different communication methods depending on the immediacy of response required
πŸ‘“ Transparency: the best remote organizations I know operate from the POV that having more information is better than less

They open up everything for anyone to view, contribute to, or consume. This breeds a more collaborative approach and leads to more aligned teams
πŸ“ˆ Performance: output becomes the only measure of performance that matters

How long someone spends sat in a chair does not tell us anything about their quality of work

Remote companies are more scientific and granular in how they track progress and objectives
😴 Meetings: become less important and happen less frequently. When they do, they're for debate & decision making

All the work & exploration of the subject happens outside the meeting, enabling more diverse opinions, exploration of ideas, and better decisions
🧰 Equipment: it's incredibly difficult to do great work if you don't have the right tools and equipment

The best remote companies kit out their teams with everything they need to do great work, guaranteeing they are as safe and comfortable remotely as they would be in an office
🌍 Hiring: office-first companies hire the best person they can afford in a 30-mile radius of their physical location

Being remote lets companies hire the best person on the planet for every single role
⏰ Time-zones: are the most divisive issue

Some swear by a +/- 3 hour range
Others believe it shouldn't matter

How async a company is decides what works
πŸšͺ Diversity & Inclusiveness: remote orgs should be far more diverse & inclusive because they're more accessible

- single parents
- caring for others
- health conditions or impairments

Remote work discriminates against nobody making it far easier for anyone to participate
πŸ‘©β€πŸ« Education: continued learning and professional development is integral to success

The companies doing remote work successfully invest heavily in education

Most give funding to empower individuals to take control of their own progress
πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Community: more than 'culture', the best remote companies are communities

They have rituals that are widely understood and respected by the entire team

They encourage things like running clubs, or gaming nights but allow them to emerge organically
πŸ›° Workspace: remote work does not mean work from home – it means work form anywhere

The best remote companies on the planet empower their teams to work wherever they are most productive and give them what they need to do it
🧠 Mental Health: isolation and loneliness is a valid concern while working remotely

It requires individuals to be more purposeful about human connection and it's very important that this is encouraged and ensured
⭐️ Self-care: wellness, health, and happiness enable us all to do better and more meaningful work

The best remote companies heavily encourage clear boundaries and time away from work to enable this
❀️ Empathetic Leadership: management and leadership remotely is very different

Rather than a command and control model, the best leaders in remote teams care passionately

The concept of servant leadership is something echoed widely in great remote organizations
Interested in why these companies are talking to me? FirstbaseHQ.com

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More from @chris_herd

19 Feb
2020 was the year remote work exploded in importance

2021 will be the year the leading companies emerge

Here are the areas that are most interesting πŸ‘‡
πŸ’¬ Messaging: since remote workers are not in an office, companies must implement the right communication tools

Synchronous comms dominates today: @Slack, @WhatsApp, @Microsoft

Expect to see async alternative like @doist Twist to continue to grow in popularity
πŸ“Ή Video Communication: equally important if not more!

Picking up on non-verbal cues that were once easy to pick-up, are now a challenge for remote workers.

@Zoom, @Cisco Webex, @Microsoft dominating sync video

Async platforms like @Loom and @cloudapp are emerging rapidly
Read 14 tweets
19 Feb
The 2020s will be remembered as the remote work decade

Having spoken to 1,700+ people about remote work, here are a few reasons why people want it

[ a thread ] πŸŒπŸ πŸ’»
❀️ Life-Work Balance: The rise of remote lets people prioritise what’s important to them

People realizing they are more than there job will lead to deeper purpose in other areas
βš–οΈ Greater Control: 9-5 working is a remnant of the industrial revolution

Nobody is productive being forced to work 8 straight hours every day

Remote allows people to work around living rather than sacrificing life for work
Read 22 tweets
14 Feb
Remote isn’t just about the future of work

It’s a bridge to a higher quality of life

Rather than a job – and an office – being the anchor of our social lives, it’s about democratising access to opportunity

[ a thread ] πŸŒπŸ πŸ’»
Remote work should lead to individuals having more choice

Not just spending time with people selected by HR teams, where your deepest common bond is a shared reliance on the economic success of that employer – where if that changes relationships end
Offices have been great for certain demographics – but disqualified/discriminated against almost most others

- single parents
- caring for family members
- health conditions and impairments

The offices makes staying in office work incredibly difficult if not impossible
Read 11 tweets
9 Feb
I've spoken to 2,000+ companies over the last 12 months about their plans for remote work going forward

Here are a few things I've learned

[ a thread ] πŸ’»πŸ πŸŒ
🏒HQ’s are finished: companies will cut their commercial office space by 50-70%

The will allow every worker to work from home 2-4 days a week, and come into the office 1-2 days a week
🌍 Fully distributed: ~30% of the companies we talk to are getting rid of the office entirely and going remote-first

Companies doing this have seen their workers decentralize rapidly, leaving expensive cities to be closer to family
Read 23 tweets
4 Feb
Them: you should try to see this from the office perspective. Rather than telling everyone that doesn't share the same option as you that they are wrong

Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug

Only 4% of people want to work in an office full-time
A massive part of the problem around the rise of remote and flexible work is the media reporting this as something that is nearly 50/50

96% of people never want to work in an office full-time again
Millions of people will never work in an office again

Millions more never want to work there again

Let's stop pretending otherwise
Read 4 tweets
23 Jan
I spoke to 5 global enterprises about remote work last week

Here’s what they told me about their plans for the future

[ a thread ] πŸ’»πŸ πŸŒŽ
πŸ’° Office space: All of them have $Billion real estate portfolios

All of them plan to cut it by atleast 50% and as much as 70%
πŸ“ Talent Access: The thing they are most interested in is access to talent

Rather than hiring the best person in a 30-mile radius of the office, they’ll hire the best person on the planet
Read 21 tweets

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