Tips on Workin' Remotely - Hop Studios

Cap'n's log

Tips on Workin' Remotely

Hop Studios be a small five person company, wi' two principles and three employees, one o' whom works wi' us from Boulder, Colorado. Havin' team members based from different locations be a common occurrence amongst many tech businesses these days, and it can be a tricky business t' keep everyone connected and engaged as a team. It’s been a good learnin' experience fer us and so we’re passin' on our list o' tips about workin' remotely:

  1. Keep th' team connected through daily check-ins at a set time via video chat—we use skype. Th' purpose be t' get a sense fer what everyone will be workin' on fer th' day, t' make sure th' workload be manageable, or if input be needed t' complete tasks.
  2. Communication throughout th' day often happens through chat programs so make use o' th' presence o' yer IM client t' be clear on availability. If ye’re away or don’t want t' be interrupted, make sure everyone knows.
  3. Be aware o' th' limitations o' long distance communication tools because they can’t work as well as face t' face. It be really important t' take people’s words in emails or o'er video chat at face value rather than readin' into a tone that may not be there.
  4. Don’t be afraid t' o'er-explain things. Be really clear wi' th' information ye be tryin' t' impart t' yer shipmates and include as much info as ye can.
  5. Use an online project management tool everyone has access too. In Hop Studios’ case, we use Basecamp t' manage all o' our projects and t' communicate wi' clients.
  6. Try t' work in th' same time zone as th' rest o' th' crew, or at least as much as th' time difference will allow. In our case there be only a one hour time difference betwixt us and Justin, so there be a long overlap durin' th' day.
  7. Make sure there be tasks ye can plan t' do without assistance when th' overlap time wi' others isn’t available.
  8. If ye use ichat or video chat weigh anchor it on t' get a feel fer what be goin' on at th' main office. Imagine th' silly things ye can potentially overhear. 😉
  9. Maintain an online schedule everyone has access t'. We use google calendar.
  10. Don’t forget about personal communication amongst shipmates, like sendin' music, or sharin' a non-work related site ye come across interestin'.
  11. Make sure ye be usin' th' same tools as th' rest o' th' office—file formats and online tools.
  12. Meet in person at regular intervals. Face-t'-face time cannot be beat.
  13. Say good mornin' when startin' fer th' day and good night when signin' off. Don’t just disappear at th' end o' th' day.
  14. If ye have anythin' further t' add, we’d love t' hear yer ideas.

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