Do you ever talk about how you feel while working remote?

17 replies
Working remote is great, but it creates some distance between you and your team members. With working in different time zones everyone is in a different mind set: starting the day, ending the day, working on some bugs, in the flow (you name it). Being in the same office you can get a sense of the energy of your colleagues, remote this is a challenge. In our team we started to let each other know how we are feeling during the day. First we build a simple prototype in airtable, but now we developed simple product. Everyone shares if they are productive, stressed, zen (etc.) With the result that we started to talk more about why we were e.g stressed, or productive . Talking about how you feel is super important for your own happiness, and that of your team. Do you ever talk about how you feel with your team members while working remote?


Ki Xia
@sven10hove I am just beginning to work on something like this! It can be really lonely when you are working across time zones, there is no rhythm to your day outside of yourself. The smallest check in with a friend can really help change your mood!
@ki_ss I agree! Awesome that you are building something that will solve this problem, good luck! and let me know when its live, curious to see what you come up with :)
@sven10hove love this question! I do talk with my team about this from time to time, especially during onsites when we realise how much more energy we use up when we are together versus working from home. With the women on my team in particular, I do regularly check in to ask how things are going which is a huge help.
Louis Grenard
@sven10hove last year I've worked remotely for six months with the company I'm in (part time today). I needed to sync with teammates on a weekly basis but I was not talking about my feelings during that period of time and mostly focus on work topics or other subjects you'll discuss with teammates usually. However, with the CEO of the company I share everything, especially during that time I was pushing the work for the company and a side project I released earlier this year, and... I burned out, it took me two weeks to get on rails again after that. So yes, I share every thoughts about it with the CEO, but not my teammates in general, I told them afterwards.
@louistiti_fr Thanks for being so open, and good to hear that your back on track. Did this experience changed anything in how you communicate with your colleagues today?
Louis Grenard
@sven10hove you are very welcome! I'm not sure that it changed something with my colleagues, but the communication has always been smooth so far :)
Astha Sharma
@sven10hove I know how you feel! Working from home can often get boring and hard to focus. My company really wants to all the workers to not feel like that so we try to share screens throughout the day. This allows for easy conversation and more reason to focus and do work.
@sven10hove I like the idea of open communication a lot, but why make a product out of it when you can facilitate and encourage open communication through just a group chat? I'm wondering about the added group benefit from a product that I assume tracks these feelings over time before talking them out with the team, but I think it's great for personal tracking and mindfulness :)
@foreverhannahle we came up with a solution that wasn’t going to work with any of the tools we are working with, not saying they can’t be connected to each other. We never build it with the intention to launch it, but soon we thought: why not. It’s not our focus, we are creative agency. Personally I’m always interested in making sure everyone on the team is feeling good, happy and having fun in what they do. Building the product is Basically a test to see if it really does, and in this adventure we don’t want to be depended (or have any restrictions) on other tools.
Christopher Chae
@sven10hove Hey! love your thoughts. I can very much relate to your concern. Our team is fully remote, with 3 different time zones (Seoul, Chicago, and Dublin). And YES we do. I think it's almost a must-thing to do, because you never know how others would feel about being lonely. We try to meet as much as possible via Zoom, so that we do not feel being left out. One another practice we do is "daily scrum". Every day, we meet for a few minutes to go around the table and share what you're working on, what we've finished, and what needs to be discussed. This 5 minute session allows us to see each other's faces at least once a day. It reinforces human interaction at least to some extent.
@chaeschris thanks for answer! Yes, we do something familiar, only in written word, an end of the day update. Planning daily calls across multiple timezones with everyone wasn't working out for us. But every team is different of course :)
Morgan Johnson
@sven10hove totally! I'm an introvert so I enjoy the quiet and focus I get working from home. But I also know I'm missing out on fun and important chat with the centralized team. We make time to have virtual coffee chats with each other - usually in groups of 3 a couple of times a month to chat about non-work. This helps builds my on-site colleagues' awareness of the isolation I sometimes feel and builds our team spirit.
Hadrien Briandon
@sven10hove My team and I have private conversations on Hangouts and Slack to discuss about everything. We say hi to each other and ask for news almost every morning.
@sven10hove here's my story. I ended up working remotely by accident about 7 years ago. I'd been freelancing for a client on site and then moved to a different state on a scholarship to finish my degree. We worked out a way for her to send me everything and kept the relationship alive. When I graduated I got a FT position on-site at the local college and lasted barely over a year. I'd been remote for 3 other freelance jobs at that point for 3 years and on-site was not my thing at all. I highly value asyncronous communication since what I do never truly needs a reply right this second. I bounced back to freelancing remotely then landed a FT remote job. Absolutely loved it. But... At that position I had a schedule - we were all online at the same time every day. There was always a sense of urgency. Everything had to be replied to right at that second or it gave off the vibe you weren't working. Now I have my own remote company I co-founded with two awesome friends. We're in 3 timezones. We work very different blocks of time we know we're each most effective at for deep thinking. We regularly spam each other with life updates, emoji (predominantly party parrots), as well as work commentary. We trust each other to handle ourselves, work, invoice, and get paid. When needed, we hop on a video call, or just call their cell. It's a lot easier to handle a small group of people of course, but remote let's us go do life and touch base later. In an office, taking time to talk about life was slacking off and interrupting someone working. In an async remote environment, it's not an interruption. It's not slacking off. Whoever you're talking to can connect with what you're saying when they have time without sacrificing their work. Our team of 3 knows so much about each other because we can keep conversations going for days at a time. I know more about the lives of the people I see rarely than those I've known for years. As with anything in life, people are more comfortable in certain environments than others. For me, writing and reading is vastly for effective. P.S. I'm still working with that first client all these years later remotely even though I'm back in the same city!