With a quarter of our team working remotely full time and all the others who can choose to work remotely when they wish, it can be said that working remotely is an integral part of our culture . But what exactly is remote work at Ferpection? I am a developer and I work completely remotely (or “in full remote”). I will try to supplement this article with my own experiences as well as those of my fellow designers, user research experts and others who also telecommute.
Why does Ferpection rely on remote work?
Ferpection always places people at the heart of every decision. This is why we always take into account our users and their opinions, but also our employees and their well-being. We sincerely believe that this will lead us to provide better products for our customers and partners .To this end; we want to leave it up to our employees to decide the environment in which they feel best to work. Teleworking largely responds to this problem. Does a member of the team think he will work better at home today? So we want him to stay at home. Does he think he will be better surrounded by his colleagues at the office? In this case we want him to come and keep us company. Or maybe it will be more productive in the quiet of a library, in a park, in a cafe? He has the freedom to choose what is best for him based on his job.
How is remote work organized?
Of course, working remotely comes with its share of challenges such as remote meetings, synchronizing teams across multiple time zones, managing schedules, etc.
At Ferpection all employees can work remotely if they wish and when they wish. There are therefore never the same people in our premises. “Teleworking at Perception means working at Station F on Monday and next to my hens the next day.” – Marie, Product Designer If you want / need to work with someone in particular the safest solution is video calling. But you may want to work together in real life. How to do? With us, a bot asks us every day who will be physically present in the offices the next day. Everyone then votes by adding a reaction to the bot’s message.
We have learned a lot about the subject and are still learning a lot from each meeting. We don’t run meetings like we did in the beginning. One of the big challenges in meetings involving teleworkers is inclusion. Indeed, we have regular meetings with the following configuration: It is a classic configuration. What happens naturally if we are not careful is that people in the same location will prefer to chat face to face rather than going through video messaging software. De facto, they pay less attention to what is happening on the other side of the call and the employees working from home find themselves excluded from the discussion. They will hear and understand less well what is being said and therefore participate less in the meeting. To overcome this problem, we decided to ask participants to all use their computers for meetings even if there are several in the same room. This way we put everyone in the same situation (that of teleworkers), no one is excluded from the discussion and the meeting is much more useful and constructive for everyone.
Work in multiple time zones
We have a good part of our employees who work in Paris but some are also in Lyon, Brazil, Canada or potentially anywhere on the globe since they can work remotely. On the other hand, our Remote App Development Team are not organized by location but by skills (or by a shared desire to work on a given task), our employees therefore often work with collaborators on the other side of the world .Working with several people may become complicated in this configuration but with a lot of communication and goodwill anything is possible. To encourage and help our employees in this direction, we use automation and tools designed for this type of case. Our internal messaging tool takes into account the specificities of each employee and warns others of them. For example, if you try to send a message to collaborators scattered across the globe you may receive a message like this: “Your message will be sent to 7 people in 4 different time zones. Some of your collaborators may not see it. Are you sure you want to continue? “The software also warns you if the recipient of the message is not supposed to work for any reason whatsoever (holidays, nights, etc.). So you know that he will not be notified for this message and that he will not respond until he connects again. We also use automation a lot. We have a bot tasked with creating a conversation in the messaging tool every day. In this conversation, he asks our product team to indicate what everyone plans to do today. Thus, other developers / designers / collaborators can offer their help if the task interests them or give information that will be useful to the one who will be working on this task. So we use the tools to encourage people to communicate. But we also don’t want to communicate too much information or communicate awkwardly.
The guilt of the teleworker
The goal of remote work at Perception is that our employees are happy to work alongside us. As we recall, a happy employee is a productive, creative, innovative, committed employee, and full of other interesting qualities from a human point of view and for the company. Unfortunately, working remotely also brings its share of problems that we absolutely want to avoid. Studies show that teleworkers feel a greater need to prove that they are actually working. This causes them to be overly responsive on the company’s internal messaging, to receive too many notifications from all the communication tools we use. Result: they are stressed; they are much less efficient in their work or are forced to work overtime when their colleagues are not connected to make up for the accumulated delay. To prevent this, our culture acts as a shield. We don’t want our telecommuting employees to feel unduly stress and guilt. Each employee therefore has their part to do: be New in graphic design NZ, be tolerant and understanding, and clearly communicate their needs (even if it means explicitly specifying that a request is not at all urgent).Our messaging tool does not indicate if the correspondent is connected or if he has read the message. So he doesn’t feel obligated to read and reply to messages right away. He can manage his time for the best according to his schedule and workload. We really try to create a trusting, healthy atmosphere between remote and on-site workers.