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Work from home ergonomics

I've recently learned that it's important to keep the top of your screen at the same level as your eyes and elbows with 90 degrees on the table. I don't have a laptop stand right now, so I'm using some books to lift the laptop higher.

It feels much better already!

Tools for remote work

I'm using Slack for text and Skype for video when talking with my clients. Which tools are you mostly using when working remotely?

I make me sad that we are still using Skype. Clunky program. Any alternative besides Zoom?
Kirill Kovalevskiy · 2 months ago
Cool, I'll check out Toasty!

Yeah, Zoom is probably very popular right now. My friend is a school teacher here and she installed Zoom on her phone today so she could participate in a virtual school meeting :)
Rauno Metsa Founder of RemoteHub · 3 months ago
Zoom for quick meeting for sure, if you want something fun with your team or clients then you can check out https://toasty.ai/ which is an engagement platform.
Kevon Cheung · 3 months ago

Working from home with kids

I've been working from home with one of my daughter + wife for almost 2 years. With this coronavirus thing going on now, there's not much changed. I'm still working from home, but both of my daughers are here as kindergarden is closed and I'm not occasionally going out to a coffee shop or public library to avoid contact with people.

I haven't had any strict schedule or dedicated office space at my home – I'm mostly working at our dining table or couch as I like to be part of the family life except rare video calls that I take in a separate room.

I've heard people doing things like:
πŸ‘Ά Partners working and playing with kids in turns (2h each, then switch)
πŸ“Ή Include kids in their video calls (that's fun!)
πŸ“Ί Setting up virtual babysitters with friends, grandparents etc

A lot of people now work at home with kids – how does your day look like? πŸ™‚

Cute story Paul :)
Kirill Kovalevskiy · 2 months ago
I have my desk with three monitors set up in the middle of our open plan living room because I want to be a part of family life when my kids are home.

My wife for example is a copywriter and locks herself into her home office upstairs to stay focused.
Hannes Kleist · 3 months ago
I'm a coder working from home with an 8 year old and an 11 year old and my partner doesn't work.

I have three agreements with them; After 5pm they can bug me all they want, if I'm talking to my computer then I'm on a call, or if I have headphones on then I'm focusing and they shouldn't disturb.

Other than that I'll do school runs, shopping, lunch, play a game of cricket, tie shoe laces, play music etc. as needed. I do have a quiet space but often work from the kitchen counter. As you say Rauno it is nice to be part of family life.

It does help that my partner doesn't work but also we live in a gated estate with other kids, a lake and a forest. They are old enough to go out on their own, cycle around, etc.
Paul Watson Full-stack web-developer · 3 months ago

Process when implementing remote work?

I know we have some remote work consultants here! I'm curious if you have a standard process you go through when setting up company for remote work?

I always start with a "remote-ready" company audit which is based on four pillars. Evaluation of communication & company culture, processes and procedures, tools as well as legal & IT matters. This allows us to identify areas which need improvement in order to adapt to the remote work model.

Afterwards, relevant changes are being implemented, based on the company's real needs which have been previously evaluated. Then, we proceed with training for managers and employees so that they can adapt to the new environment and thrive.
Nadia Harris Founder of remoteworkadvocate.com · 3 months ago
For typical change management services and strategic consulting contracts, we have a four step process: discover, define, deliver, and evaluate.

More information can be found on our change management website, Ready for Remote: https://www.readyforremote.com/consultancy
Laurel Farrer Remote work expertise and solutions · 3 months ago
Get to know leadership and operations team, understanding the business needs and pain points, analyze the use case, design and propose a unique solution, implement it, train team members, ongoing coaching and support.
Yanislava Hristova Founder at Remote IT World | Remote Work Consultant · 3 months ago

Do you measure productivity in your remote team?

No measurement at current small team (5 people.) It's pretty obvious when someone is struggling and we need to help or change the situation.
Paul Watson Full-stack web-developer · 3 months ago
Everyone owns their schedules, their 'rocks', their deadlines and their own time. If projects are consistently lagging behind, then we re-evaluate the system and management, but we don't find the need to monitor productivity as such in a remote team.
Larissa Murillo · 10 months ago
We just check if the work is done, in a reasonable time.
Louis Kottmann · 7 months ago
We set goals and update each-other on them weekly.
Sondre Rasch · 10 months ago
Productivity is measured by team leaders on each team, and it depends on the nature of the team. For example, support teams are measured by the number of tickets answered customer’s rating, pace, etc.
Laura de Figueiredo · 8 months ago

Have you tried RemoteMore.com?

Hi Rauno,

Thank you for the very helpful feedback!

We should definitely work on our marketing - we keep hearing this reaction: "Wow, I got it after I signed up".

1) Good point about the video scrolling to the right position - we have fixed it now. I didn't realize we have that bug.

2) Yes - you can do the "Agreements" and "Payments" on the platform (or you can use other solutions for those things if you prefer). Those are supporting features for our product, to help people with doing their remote hiring/payments.

Btw, are you based in Estonia? I was once in Estonia, and know some people in the tech industry, who are into remote work. For example, I have a really good first impressions of Rait Ojasaar. He's investing in tech startups, particularly in Eastern European, and he is into remote work/software.

Maybe this will be helpful for you. ^
Boris Borisov Co-founder @ RemoteMore · 4 months ago
Hi Boris and nice to have you on RemoteHub!

Wow, I really like the concept! I signed up as a company and I could then browse developer profiles – it was only after I signed up that I fully understood how cool it really is.

1) I love the videos! Working with remote developers is not only about receiving code, it's a constant communication (often video calls). So these videos really help to understand if it would be easy for me to communicate with the developer (e.g. speaks English well).

Small thing: when I'm browsing developers, there's a button "Video available" – clicking on this allows me to quickly see the video, but when closing the modal it looses my position in the list and I have to scroll down and remember where I was.

2) Trying to fully understand the hiring process. I see there's "Agreements" and "Payments" links – is it so that when I would like to work with a developer, I can sign the agreement in your portal and then will also make payments through you?
Rauno Metsa Founder of RemoteHub · 5 months ago
Hi everyone!

I'm the founder of RemoteMore.

We help world-class developers to find full-time remote jobs. πŸ†

Currently, we have about 3,000 developers on the marketplace, and about 300 companies. Things are going well. But to keep improving the product, I need more feedback.

Do you want to sign-up and help me with feedback?

For developers -> https://remotemore.com/candidates
For companies -> https://remotemore.com/companies

P.S. We are very passionate about remote work, and we are a fully remote company.
Boris Borisov Co-founder @ RemoteMore · 5 months ago

Remote Health -15% off for the first year

I think health insurance is probably the most important benefit company can offer. And it's also one of the hardest to organize for a distributed team.

I love what SafetyWing is doing. They started with a travel insurance for digital nomads and now for the first time remote companies can cover all of their employees or contractors under one health insurance product with their new product called Remote Health, no matter where they live or travel to.

We've partnered up with SafetyWing and they can currently offer -15% off for the first year for RemoteHub community members. It's limited to companies who are the quickest to sign up!

@enelinpaas is also here if you have any questions! Enelin is Head of Business Development at SafetyWing.

You can learn more here: https://safetywing.com/remote-health

This is also cool – @sarahsandnes (co-founder and CTO) is presenting SafetyWing's vision on a big stage of Web Summit 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZTdV32fonU&feature=youtu.be&t=1787
Rauno Metsa Founder of RemoteHub · 5 months ago
Hey! We've built a simple dashboard where you can add/remove insurance coverage of your remote team members. It also allows you to choose optional add-ons for things like dental, maternity, screenings and vaccinations. Happy to answer any questions!
Enelin Paas · 5 months ago

Did you start with a remote team?

I know a lot of companies start with a remote team from day one, but most companies probably add remote team members later.

Curious if you started with a remote team or evolved into one?

Convert has always been remote and that will never change. It's the future and we're proud that flexibility comes first in our team (and we can work in pajamas).
Victoria Harrison Solving your operational problems and hiring the best talent · 5 months ago
The company began providing services in Alaska only back in 2017. It adjusted to remote first in January 2019.
Raul Rovira Project Manager (Remote) · 6 months ago
For GitLab, being an all-remote company did not start as an intentional decision. It was a natural evolution as our first team members started choosing to work from home. Now we have more than 800 team members in more than 55 countries around the world.
Betsy Church · 10 months ago
We had a soft start to remote working with a core hours launch in January 2018. The entire company switched to Everyday Flex in November 2019.
Patricia Moe · 6 months ago
In 2012 we started with a team in office, then in 2014 only our Marketing manager was fully remote, and then our Development team began to phase out the office! We started to make 'remote-first' a priority and finally in 2019, we've gotten rid of the office for good!
Larissa Murillo · 10 months ago
We have always been remote, there is no office space to go to!
Louis Kottmann · 7 months ago
We started remote and will stay that way forever.
Sondre Rasch · 10 months ago
We started to hire for remote positions to access the larger talent pool. After testing it on one team, we knew it was a perfect solution.
Kati Kuustik · 10 months ago
We started as a remote company from day one.
Laura de Figueiredo · 8 months ago

What's your main communication channel?

As I work alone, I'm talking to myself in my head and I don't need any communication tool other than my brain. How do you communicate in your remote team?

Our main communication channels are Slack and video calls, where we discuss project and company related topics, post our status and share tech stuff and other fun things with each other.
Hannes Kleist · 8 months ago
We communicate via emails, Mattermost, and Zoom for video calls.
Laura de Figueiredo · 8 months ago
We usually start and end the day with greetings and goodbyes via Slack. There are also weekly team meetings and campfires.
Kati Kuustik · 10 months ago
We communicate through SYNAPS, communication platform, that we developed. It has an ability to make video calls, but in our team we prefer text (because of the language barrier - its just simpler for everyone).
Evgeny · 8 months ago
Our main communication channel is Slack and there is not an expectation for receiving an immediate response. When people are caught up in 'deep work', it's not uncommon for them to disconnect from Slack.
Larissa Murillo · 10 months ago
We use Sococo for live video and audio, and Slack for text.
Sondre Rasch · 10 months ago

Do you meet your remote team in real life?

As I'm the only member in my remote team, I only meet myself. In front of a mirror! Do you meet your team in real life?

We try to organize company retreats once a year as it's one of the rare times we get to be with each other in person.
Wyn Sutuntivorakoon Partnerships · 7 months ago
We meet up at least twice a year to have some quality face-to-face time, get to know each other better and make memories.
Kati Kuustik · 10 months ago
We have an annual, all-inclusive, company retreat to get the whole team together for a week for work and relationship-building. We've also started having mini-retreats where individual teams will get together for a week to realign on goals and spend time together.
Andrew Gobran People Operations Generalist @ Doist · 10 months ago
The main objective of the whole company offsite is for us to connect and bond in person. Each year we choose a new global destination - often somewhere where we can explore an innovative payment system.
Karen Neov · 5 months ago
We do meet in person as a team at least 4 times a year, and team members meet among themselves often if they're in the same city.
Larissa Murillo · 10 months ago
Yes, we meet in person to work together once a year, or whenever we can. Our first event was in Malaga in 2013, and then we met in Tenerife, Porto, Cyprus, and Split.

Also, smaller groups meet in WordCamps, especially WordCamp Europe.
Laura de Figueiredo · 8 months ago
We try to get together as a whole company every 9 months or so to meet in person, build community, and get some work done!

On a more regular basis, many of our team members who are located near each other will come together for coworking days.
Betsy Church · 10 months ago

Introduce yourself

Thanks for joining our remote community. Can you tell us anything about yourself? Like where you're at, and what you do?

Hi there! I'm the maker of RemoteHub.

With the advent of technology, people can work from anywhere in the world. You don't need an office to open your laptop. Instead, you can stay at home, walk to a co-working space or even take a plane to Bali.

This is not a future, it's happening now! There are a lot companies working with a distributed team across the globe. And there are increasingly more companies who are hiring their first remote team members.

I also like how remote work is removing the boundaries between work and rest of the life. Working from home, you can be more involved in your family life and see your kids grow. Without an office, you can travel to explore the awesome planet you're living on. Combined with flexible working hours, you'll work when you're the most creative.

I enjoy making stuff on the Internet, and RemoteHub is my contribution to the remote work revolution that's happening right now.

PS. bug reports you can send to me!
Rauno Metsa Founder of RemoteHub · 5 months ago