Remote

This post I want to talk about my remote working experiences and share some resources.

My first remote experience is probably I first met huangz on the internet. He is in China. I am in Taiwan. Thanks to him. I started to learn programming. I read his famous writing: using Lisp to implement a simple database. I started to collaborate with him and translated ANSI Common Lisp. Later on I also translated a lot of documents that sometimes received contribution from someone else on the internet.

Translation work got me a job that is open office setting. But after I read Zach Holman's posts on working asynchronously and the Remote book, Remote made me too excited, enough so I found a job to work remotely!

I was in Taiwan working with Jolly Good Code from Singapore. I gave a presentation about working remotely, working from cafes to cafes, I also curated remote resources. The most I learned were trust and thoughtful communication. However, I ended up worked a lot, often too much, I started to learn to take care of my well being.

I also do Open Source work (usually on Friday) that collaborate with people all over the world. That helps me get better working with people remotely, but really, all you need to do is to respect people have life and be patient.

I left Jolly Good Code, found a new job at Cookpad, working in Taiwan with HQ based in UK. We all lived in UTC, but finally Timezones kick in. I think distributed working is a better name for remote working.

After I moved to Japan working with Cookpad, I joined Shopify. Worked with majority of people that are 13/14 (depends on Daylight Saving Time) hours away, and other side of the world (Europe).

This means there is no way to schedule a meeting that everyone can join during normal working hours. Also sometimes may need to work at late nights, maybe weekends (My Saturday is other member‘s Friday), off hours because of Timezones. It is not easy.

Thanks to Slack, chat is easier nowadays, but also comes with downsides (read more in depth). Glad to see there are companies like Basecamp and Twist improving this space, or shall we just go back to Email and cross post every mail on Slack (Stripe kind of does this).

There is also more and more companies invest in distributed working, companies like: Airtable, Automattic, Basecamp, Buffer, Discourse, doist, Elastic, Firstbase, GitHub, Gitlab (Check their Remote Only post), HubSpot, Hubstaff, Teamweek, Trello, Zapier, StackOverflow, and recently Stripe.

One thing to distinguish is that a lot of companies are Remote-Friendly, not Remote-first, and usually most companies only do US Remote.

Now I am continuously learning to thirve on constant changes, having more autonomy, careful communication, having inclusive meetings, and embracing feedbacks from peers I work with.

Reading from people I admire like Julia Evans, Amir Salihefendić, and Managing Remote Teams by Andreas Klinger, Mitchell Hashimoto runs Hashicorp on hiring across distributed offices. Check out https://distributed.blog and https://usefyi.com/remote-work-report/.

Closing...

The Future of Work is already here, it‘s just not evenly distributed.

Happy distributed working 😉

You can also check Remote Setup to setup your home office.