on Remote Teams

Insights on creating more efficient remote teams mentions Flux

Software Advice, a firm helping businesses simplify the selection process of online project management software, just published new research that includes quotes from Ron Schultz, CEO of Flux regarding Flux’s approach to remote employees / teams.

Flux’s file orchestration software is used in enterprises spanning the globe. Time to market, enterprise quality, and software performance underpin our development processes. In building our development culture to achieve these goals, one unique aspect is that everyone works from home.

Frequency of Remote Work

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It looks like we’re not as unique as we thought! 20% of the respondents in the survey were fully remote. If you’re a manager or executive looking at remote teams, consider the tools, policies, and culture required to make this work effectively.

Regarding tools (from the survey):

With improvements in software and technology, the U.S. mobile workforce is growing. Over the next few years, more and more businesses are projected to begin offering telecommuting as a competitive benefit. For organizations wishing to gain this professional advantage, online PM tools can help foster productivity and collaboration among remote teams.

Regarding policies:

Write a communication policy for remote staff that details when, how often, what, and by what means everyone is to communicate with one another. At Flux we created and enforce an “Overcommunicate” policy that outlines these elements.

When writing or revising your communications policy consider the following, taken from Flux’s Overcommunicate Policy:

Communication serves as a means to many purposes. One can communicate, for example, a direction, an action or task, an emotion, or information of either a specific or of a general nature. Yet the act of communication is complex and prone to noise, degradation, misinterpretation, and misunderstanding. Communication involves senders, receivers, encoding and decoding, and channels. To communicate requires a sender to determine what they want to communicate, determine a means to encode that information, create and encode the information, then deliver the information across a channel. A receiver must in some manner listen for the information on that channel, receive it, un-encode the information, process the communication and hopefully come to understand what the sender was trying to communicate.

Any organization, and especially a distributed one such as Flux, requires highly effective communication in order to be successful. Communication and its relative effectiveness can enable and facilitate our success, or cripple and disable our success. So in communicating, please consider the following as a starting point:

  • Are you clear on what your current tasks are?
  • Do you know what ‘done means’ for your tasks, and what quality means in the context of your daily activity?
  • Do you know who is impacted by the completion and quality of your tasks?
  • Are there others who can provide insight or assistance to improve the quality, or reduce the time, to complete your tasks?
  • Do you know what your assignments mean strategically to Flux and its customers? Tactically to Flux and its customers?
  • Do you believe there are other more important tasks that need focus, and if so, have you communicated that?
  • Are you clear on where Flux is headed, what its goals are, and how achieving (or not achieving) those goals will impact your day-to-day life?

Do we all ‘Overcommunicate?’