When entire team works from home…

I used to work from home when I needed some unbroken time to think and code. In the previous assignments I used to alternate between coding and working along with others to get things done. It is the magic of physical absence that people do not disturb your train of thoughts when you are not around and most often things are not that urgent so there was a barrier to contact someone not around.

Photo by Dillon Shook on Unsplash

Covid situation pushed everyone to work from home and this happened in an instant that there were no understanding of how to interact in async mode and instant response became the urge. For most of the people, whether they are techies or not, some heads down time is necessary in a day, with the effects of the benefit more pronounced for introverts.

Here are two major anti-patterns which is not at all working for me

While I am no expert of workplace dynamics what definitely works for me is to get have asynchronous communication first peppered with calls like standups, IPM etc. I feel often the calls could have been easily replaced with an email thread or a slack thread. Story grooming could be done entirely offline.

Async first has its pitfalls, it is difficult for the executives where a lot of interactions are realtime and have very little time to read through a thread and give their decisions/directions; but for a majority of the techies async will work like charm irrespective of the level of the problem at their hand to solve.

If you in a position where running a team is the primarily responsibility and need a lot of updates realtime; get away from the urge of instant gratification. You should give two ‘3 hour’ slots to team members for unbroken chunks of time, ping the members in chat and they will respond in between their breaks or during the scheduled catchups. Teams should agree on when an issue needs an escalation like a dev huddle, otherwise respect the heads down time.

Slow down on synchronous communication to go faster.

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