It’s almost three years since the day most of us woke up to realise we just couldn’t go to the office. For Hype people (the agency I found and exited later on), it was no different. The pandemic hit and nobody knew what it meant. Before that, we would meet in the office and solve problems together. If you wanted anything, you just asked a colleague.
But March 2020 was different.
The first thing I realized was that we needed proper rules to function effectively. Having fix meeting times, assigned tasks, and identified the right tools plus a simple tutorial on how to use them. You know, having those “use Asana for task assignment instead of Slack, so it won’t get lost” kinds of guidelines in place.
Thank God, we were using most of the tools long time before, which helped us navigate the pandemic successfully.
Fast forward and I manage a remote company building and managing remote teams. I still see this decision of having the 1. rules and 2. infrastructure set properly as the most crucial part of remote management.
- If rules are not set properly, everyone interprets things differently. And that leads to huge chaos.
- If the tool infrastructure is not built, nobody is able to follow the rules, even if they want to. It simply takes too much time just to think about the guidelines and that kills productivity and leads to excuses.
- If there is no infrastructure, you can’t oversee whether you’re going the right direction. That leads to constantly asking questions and micro management. And trust me, there is nothing worse than a remote micro manager.
So, to anyone questioning remote management, check whether you have clear rules set and an infrastructure to overview them remotely built.
If you don’t, you’ll find out too late when something breaks.