15/04/20

My Group’s Remote Working Manifesto

By Raz Shuty

In light of the current situation, many businesses and companies have switched to remote work, Delivery Hero included. One major challenge we all face is how to ensure that our work remains efficient and effective during these difficult times. My team and I created this Manifesto a few weeks ago, to make the best out of a challenging situation. Hopefully, our learnings can provide you with some useful tips on remote working.

First of all, I’d like to mention that this is not a normal remote situation! We are not experiencing typical work from home conditions, but rather witnessing a global pandemic. That being said, we have to do our best to manage the circumstances. That’s why we decided to draft this Manifesto – to better track our work and ensure that our social relationships are being maintained in a healthy manner.

Overcommunication is key — What do we mean by this? In the office, it’s easy to see when team members take breaks. We see them go out for a smoke, or head into the kitchen to grab some coffee – it’s a form of visual communication. 

When we’re working remotely, our colleagues might be unaware of the breaks we’re taking, so we started getting into the habit of letting each other know when we take time out. It’s not a tracking tool, we aren’t constantly monitoring where everyone is and what they’re doing, but rather we are setting expectations. 

We thought that since we’re now lacking the visual aspect, we needed to communicate these breaks through other means. This could be sending a quick message or a status update in Slack letting your team members know if you decide to take a break.

New joiners Addition — Once this normalizes and everyone begins taking regular breaks during their remote working hours, new joiners will also start to feel more comfortable doing so as well.

Our faces are important – it’s great to see everyone! — By default, let’s switch our cameras on – we know most of us can’t stand seeing our own faces on video, but the truth is, we like seeing each other, and it helps to make things feel a bit more normal during these strange, remote times. We are all so used to visual communication – we see each other’s expressions and understand the tone better if we can see the person while they’re speaking. Unless there’s a specific reason, we try to join most of our calls with our cameras on.

Socialize Virtually — Continue to have lunches and take coffee breaks together. As stated above, it’s nice to see everyone’s faces and it helps stay “sane.” We created a slack channel – #log-remote-coffee-break for all necessary coffee breaks and also organized a lunch hangout open for anyone interested in joining from 12:30-13:30, called the Hangout Room

Let’s invite our co-workers for coffee or lunch and continue to have “normal” conversations with each other. We also continue to welcome and include our new joiners and keep in mind that there might be a few colleagues who recently moved to Berlin, so this situation can be especially difficult for them. Showing support and making someone feel like they fit in can go a long way.

We Love to Pair – Pair! Pair! Pair! Pairing is key when it comes to onboarding and showing someone new how things work. It is crucial to understand everyone’s scope and role within a team and to continuously share and exchange knowledge. Working remotely could lead to silos. Silos kill teams! A great way to share knowledge in an organic way is to pair.

This could be anything from a paired learning or development program that two people might take, to a subject matter expert pairing with a new joiner, or someone new to a field or topic, or even pairing up with our PM’s, or members from a different team when delivering a solution. Pairing is extremely important, as it helps foster communication within relationships and provides guidance and support during the remote working era.

Avoid long slack messages that lead to no results — If we find ourselves in the rabbit hole of never-ending slack messages that lead to nothing, we call. A quick video call could save the countless back and forth on slack or any other internal communication tool. Similar to approaching a colleague in person in the office, it’s way more efficient to resolve and address certain topics face to face or via call.

All in all, it can be difficult to adjust to the sudden change, but there are a few measures we can take along the way to ensure that we stay productive and aligned as a team. Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure we are clear and concise with our communication, check in on our colleagues (on a personal level as well) and always support the team whenever we can.

We hope that you were able to adapt to the new situation quickly and that you found some of this information useful. If you’re currently looking for a new challenge, have a look at some of our open positions – we’re still hiring!