The hardest thing about remote working with a small team


Remote working has plenty of unique pitfalls (as does regular office work), but the hardest thing is getting yourself going on a Monday morning. I don’t consider myself a particularly lazy person, but I’ve unconsciously flipped between Techmeme, Memeorandum, and Hacker News a dozen times already. It’s 8:53 am.

The problem, oddly enough, is the lack of a routine that involves people. In a remote setup — particularly one that involves multiple timezones — you can’t just walk into the office and do a Monday morning huddle to get your head straight. There’s a chance you’ll be the only one working for hours at a time. And even when other people are working, there’s a good chance you’re the only person around that does what you do (especially in small companies).

Want to bounce content ideas around? That’s fine, but you’re going to be pulling people way out of their working headspace. Want to plan out a project? You might not have a “content team” per se, so your project planning needs to take into account how other people might fit into your project and what kinds of feedback you want/they’re going to provide. In a lot of ways, you’re on your own. If you’re not a self-starter, this really isn’t a good situation to put yourself in.

There are fixes to everything though, and I’ll be beta-testing a few going forward.

  1. Write out a task list Friday afternoon. I tend to spend my Fridays tying up loose ends and prepping my liver for 5 pm margaritas, but taking the time to prepare your Mondays might pay off in a big way. Instead of searching for inspiration through websites and copious amounts of caffeine, you’ll have a list. Do this. Do that. Feel good about your Monday.
  2. Schedule in a Monday morning walk. This might sound silly, but I think there’s something to catching up on comms, then taking a nice walk to organize all the thoughts. The week is long — there’s no need to fumble through the beginning of it. Ease your way in.
  3. Never ever ever say you’ll have anything ready on a Monday. Seriously, do everything in your power to push back on having to deliver things on Mondays. Take an extra day for editing or testing, then ship on a Tuesday.
  4. Coffee is for closers. Just kidding — you should definitely enjoy a nice cup of coffee before you turn your computer on. Just don’t pair it with something carb-heavy like a scone unless you want the jitters. Unless you’re in your 20s. You can eat anything you want in your 20s.

Have any other tips? Tweet them to me. I’m all ears (eyes?).