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The lockdown of 2020
Will things ever be the same?
With each successive day we find ourselves mired further and further in an unimagined space. The interesting question is how much this will change work forever. As we enter a third or fourth month of remote working it will become clear what we need to travel for - and what we don't. If the last 5 years have seen the decline of the high street - shops boarded up as we move to buying 20% of all goods online - what will the city centre look like in 5 years?
Listen (from the ESWR archives): leaders from two remote only firms, Buffer and Basecamp, describe how to make remote working succeed.
Courtney from Buffer describes her learnings from 4 years working remotely.
“If you’re an introvert, fewer and fewer things will feel worth going out for. If you’re an extrovert, more and more things will feel worth going out for”.
Probably the best advice: “Close your laptop and mean it at the end of the day. Work will always be there tomorrow”
Keep it bursty
The most important thing of making remote work is having times of ‘bursty’ communication. That might mean agreeing that you’re all online and ready to chat from 9.30 to 11.30 and 2.30-4. Quick responses makes everyone feel they are getting stuff done - allowing deep work at other times. Read more here and some of the research is linked here.
The founders of Basecamp, Jason Fried and David Hansson were refunding people who bought copies of their book, Remote, this week. They ran a live Periscope of their experience of 20 years of remote working (YouTube version).
don’t work the same but remote (you’re not simulating the office)
ask yourself which meetings really matter and get rid of the unproductive ones
take time to chat about social things
if you don’t trust people to do a good job you probably hired the wrong person
I have a new podcast on this coming on Monday. I went to chat to London Business School professor, Dan Cable, about how to lead without seeing your team, how to remain productive and the opportunity presented by this Great Undoing. Obviously there’s a lot of businesses who are going to fold in these difficult times - sorry to be discussing what comes after when I know that’s not a given for everyone. To hear this episode make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
New episode: as a distraction from the news I thought it might be nice to hear from one of the wonderful people who look after us in these times. I chatted to Christie Watson who has written a bestselling memoir about being a nurse. Listen here.