Work Flexibly, But Predictably

A marketing team is goal-oriented, and the nature of the work is more creative than time-sensitive. Combine this with the possibility of remote work, and there is a lot of flexibility on the hours when one can work. 

And we all believe that the best work is done disconnected. Having to check Slack or Basecamp or – God forbid – e-mail for messages every 60 minutes is not productive.

But as a member of the team, you have a responsibility to your managers and to your teammates; they need to know when they can expect a reply from you, or when they can expect your tasks to be updated. The fact that you work from home doesn’t mean that your work happens in a vacuum.

In fact, when you can’t be seen working, you have to create a situation where people know when you’ll be “at your desk” so they can drop by for an update.

Your mileage may vary, but here’s what I ask my team: that they pick the times that work best for their own focus and productivity. Then, they are to bookend that period with one-hour blocks that are marked on their calendar. During these show hours, people KNOW they can ping them for a real-time conversation, or that whatever deliverables they have been working on for the day will be done by then.

I’ve been doing remote work for a while now – first, managing editorial teams, and later, raiding with guilds – but it still feels like a brave, new world.