Mainly taking the week off from the newsletter this week (for positive reasons - some family celebrations); things will return to normal next week. But there were some things I wanted to share with you.
First, on the discussion from last week of planning for hybrid distributed/local work, we heard from long-time reader Adam DeConinck about what he's learned:
I’m fortunate at the moment, because my current team was fully remote before the pandemic started. That said, here are a few thoughts based on some of my recent experience.
Several of my past roles have already been “hybrid”, where either some employees were remote vs some not; or where employees were split across many offices in multiple time zones, which often led to similar communication challenges.
The general philosophy that has seemed to work has been to split “location” by team. I.e., everyone on a team should either be remote, or should be co-located in the same office. This basically works to allow each team to find their rhythm.
In the cases where teams have been split across different work “locations”, I’ve mostly seen the effective formation of “sub-teams”. E.g., while the [city X] and [city Y] offices may in theory both have members on the same team, they tend to split responsibilities to minimize overlap. Or, if there’s a core group in the office but a few remote folks, the remote team members form their own “team” where they mostly collaborate with each other.
Based on this experience, I suspect organizations which are large enough to have a lot of teams will go through substantial re-orgs over the next year!
Granted, this is a lot harder for orgs where there are fewer teams, or where they’re smaller or harder to split. In those cases, unless everyone can make it back into the office, I think the only thing that works is to go the “remote first” model: everyone works as if they were remote, joining video calls individually and putting most communication in text. And then in-office interaction is purely social.