I was recently a guest in The Align Remotely podcast, where Luke Szyrmer, the host, focuses on leading distributed teams and everything associated with that subject, like leadership and operations to help achieve together. It is particularly relevant now when nearly everyone works from home. It was a broad-ranging conversation, but we mainly focused on the topic of how to baseline the remote team culture.
I try to read (listen) one book per month. It’s been mainly self-development books. And to be honest I got a bit tired. However, recently I talked to a friend and a colleague who recommended me a fiction book with a unicorn in the title… I read the full title and immediately started to listen. I could not stop, I emerged completely. Today I would like to share three main lessons I learnt from The Unicorn Project book. Let’s go!
We start the new team. We gathered a group of talented individuals and we want to grapple with the new challenge. How can we accelerate the team forming, storming and norming phase? We should start with team agreements. Once done, this exercise will boost team productivity. It will also help to create and maintain the team identity. It shouldn’t be the detailed documentation of the team proceedings in the wiki-style procedure. Instead, we should agree on things that are important for our team. Let’s take a look.
Stress is generally not good for us. When we hear about stress, we think about anxiety, increased heart bit and definitely nothing good. This is true for stress caused by our thoughts, and as a result, difficult emotions. However, there is another type of pressure that we would like to embrace moderately. It is stress that helps our bodies to grow and indirectly helps our minds to be more resistant to the bad stress. Staying fit is nothing else than putting pressure to our bodies to improve. Another type of good stress that we can easily apply is exposure to cold. It has a long list of benefits. It helps to strengthen an immune system and to develop the Spartan mindset.
Have you noticed that working these days seems more tiring? I do pretty much what I was doing before. The “only” difference is that kids are always at home. And of course we have constant information noise about the current situation. Even if we limit access to the television, the news comes to our minds one way or another. I compare the current situation to a long-haul flight with no noise cancellation headphones. There is a constant sound of engines and air that makes us more tired at the end of our journey. I would like to propose three practices that will help to stay sane in a crisis, but also be more positive about the surrounding world.
In the previous post, I presented a list of on-line resources that may help when we need to work from home and also manage with homeschooling, education and also entertain our kids. It looks like it is a popular topic these days, so I would like to present another way to keep the whole family entertained. Google 3D Augmented Reality. Thanks to this technology you can experience real size animals like tiger in your living room, a snake in your shower, or a bear in your garden. Thanks to Google collaboration with NASA, you can also generate some planets, including the Earth 🌏 load into your bedroom and have a vertical journey with your little astronauts before you go to sleep.
Working from home with kids and your partner at home is challenging. We need to create a new routine. We need to be flexible. Work needs to be synchronised with your team and spouse, especially if they can also work from home. But how about kids? They need to carry on education. Children need to be entertained and taken care of. First of all – take it easy – try to agree with your partner when you can take care of children and when your spouse can spend time with them as you need to take this call or do something on your list for today. And secondly, make sure you get creative and prepare a routine for your kids and yourself. Below is the list of some online resources that can help to compile some activity lists for our little ones.
Working from home for the first time may and will feel awkward. We used to go to the train station, get our morning coffee on the way, read the newspaper or listen to our favourite podcast. It’s been taken away. We open our laptop and work is supposed to flow. However, even getting to sit in from of laptop seems difficult, there is no buffer and preparation time. In theory, we have more time, but on the other head we feel like time is shrinking. We even struggle to keep up on what day is today. Is there any first aid for work from home situation? There are many good resources in the webs, I am going to share what is essential for me. Check it out, experiment and see if something work for you.
Remote work is excellent. It has a lot of benefits; it saves you time on the commute, it helps with life and work balance. And what’s been important recently, it limits your exposure during seasonal flu outbreaks. Technology, team agreement and procedures can help with day to day team operations, but nothing will replace face to face communication. Even fully remote teams and whole companies must meet every so often to ponder on the past, plan the future and just spend some time togarther. That means travel. And that usually means long flights, at least for some members of the team. Is there anything we can do be prepared for a long trip? How can we mitigate a jet lag?
We all have plenty of things to do every day. We need to work, and we want to cultivate our hobbies. Our families and friends require a quality time from us. It is interesting for those lucky ones who can work remotely. In theory, we have more time. Reality is – there are too many things to do every day. Unfortunately, staying fit is usually the first thing we give up when we try to decide on how to divide our precious time. The results could be fatal, so the question of how to stay fit when working remotely should be essential.