It replaces internal email and acts as a great archive for anyone on the team to reference old discussions and keep up with company updates. Slack is where we talk about work, while Async is where we share work with the rest of the team. Doers will get stuff done even if they are working from a secluded island. You don’t have to give doers tasks to know that something will get done. You’ll still have to provide direction and guidance around the most important things to be executed, but in the absence of that, a doer will make something happen. One of Zapier’s core values is “default to action”—teammates who embody that value get work done. In August of 2012, Mike moved back to Missouri while his girlfriend was graduating law school, and in October of 2012, we started hiring.
Text communication quietly underpins everything your remote team can accomplish. By keeping in touch with chat apps like Slack, your team can quickly and accurately stay up-to-speed – not just with work, but with each other’s lives. Place them in a virtual handbook that new employees and existing ones can access at any time. In moments of uncertainty – for individuals as they deal with customers, or for the leadership team as they decide the path forward – being able to refer to these values will be important.
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The less we will distract each other from the workflow, the higher will be the productivity of each specialist. It is crucial to reduce the number of required meetings; they should be organized only when called upon. Thanks to the to-do list, each team member can plan their working day more flexibly, taking into account household chores and family time.
Remote work stops working when you can’t trust the person on the other end of the line. If you continually find yourself worrying what someone is doing, then you are spending brain cycles focusing on something other than the product or customers. It’s highly unlikely you could pluck any random set of people, at any random moment in history, dispersed around the globe, put them together, and expect them to build something amazing. Our first hire was Micah Bennett, Zapier’s head of support, who lives in Chicago .
Spend time as a team discussing your communication channels and tools and how to use them, including things like expected response times. In many ways, if you’ve really hired the right people, you shouldn’t have to worry about this. You should trust your team, trust them to be the adult professionals you hired. But it’s a fair question, and one way to help answer it is to look at your tools. At Atlassian, we use Trello, Confluence, Jira, Slack, Zoom, and a host of others. But whatever the tool, it’s all about how you use them and being transparent about what you’re working on and when, and sharing all of it with your team and stakeholders. In “normal working life,” lots of decisions are made in hallway conversations or over lunch.
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