How do you approach communication as a remote team? 🤔

Fadeke Adegbuyi
16 replies
I'm working on a remote guide to communication and would appreciate your insights. Would love your answers if you're on a remote team, Product Hunt or otherwise! :) * What are some best practices for keeping everyone on the same page regardless of location? * How can distributed teams prevent a hierarchy that leaves remote team members at the bottom? * How do you deal with the time difference between places like SF and London? (i.e. video calls, collaboration, etc) * How often do team members meet face-to-face? * How much travel should remote team members expect when working on a distributed team? * How should remote team members remain visible and connected to their office-bound colleagues? * What tools do you use for remote communication and documentation?


Julie Chabin
Hey Fadeke! I can only answer some of the questions, but I hope it'll help. To keep everyone on the same page, it's essential to do regular syncs where we can have an overview of all the ongoing work. At Product Hunt, we have a weekly team call, during which the entire team discusses ongoing projects. We also have weekly project calls where smaller teams can discuss the projects in more detail. It doesn't have to be complicated, but communicating is the key. That's why we also have channels dedicated to projects on Slack, where we can share ideas and discuss in an asynchronous way. We also do a written weekly update on Slack. Everyone shares what they worked on the previous week, what they are working on this week; if they are taking time off or are facing any difficulties. ______________ For your second question, I assume you're talking about teams with on-site and remote teammates. For this, I can't really answer as I don't have enough experience with this issue. ______________ For the time difference, we try to be mindful of everyone and pick times when people can join meetings. Being myself in Europe, it means that most of my meetings are at the end of my workday when it's the morning for my teammates in California. Depending on timezones, meetings can be scheduled pretty late for some teammates. This is a risk we pick when we join a remote team, but many perks outweigh it. We have to be mindful of people's location and schedule meetings at the most appropriate time for everyone. ______________ We officially meet "on-site" twice a year, but it's not surprising for us to do smaller gatherings just because we like visiting each others' countries ;) It's excepted that, being a remote employee, we should meet with our team at least once a year. Travel can be very tiring (and expensive), especially when you're coming from far away. ______________ For this question, I don't have much experience, but I'd say communication is vital. Sharing personal stories unrelated to work is also important. It's not that complicated to reproduce coffee-break talk on Slack or any other messaging app. ______________ Slack to stay connected. Quip for documentation. Dropbox to share files. Zoom for video calls. and other more specific apps for design/engineering/sales.
Fadeke Adegbuyi
@syswarren Thanks for the thoughtful responses, Julie! Interesting to see how the team balances asynchronous and synchronous communication. We have the exact same Weekly Update practice at Doist. :)
Hi Fadeke! Our weekly updates keep us all on the same page - it happens on Slack as well as Zoom. We don't really have hierarchy so perhaps it's by design of the reporting structures/roles that helps to present this. We only have a few scheduled group things usually early morning SF time - it's unavoidable that folks further East will have to do a late one. Open to suggestions on how this can be better. F2F meetups happen 1-2/times a year, we don't travel that much. We rely on Quip, Slack and Zoom mostly :)
Fadeke Adegbuyi
@abadesi Thanks for the details, Abadesi! Much appreciated. :) I imagine navigating timezones is unavoidable for most remote teams. We simply have a minimal number of meetings and keep about 80% of communication asynchronous.
Hi Fadeke, I agree with most of the answers. The chalenge that you have to deal with, is the local workforce legislation. For some countries you have to pay the over hours (especially when they work out of the legal work hours to match time zone with other teams), for some other countries you have a minimum number of weeks for vacations...and another aspect you have to keep in mind is the culture. For example, some countries's culture like the team work for others the individuality is most valuable for them. hope this help. Good luck ;)
Brett Warren
Hey @fadeke_adegbuyi, we've just written about this very topic — We're a 20 person remote team at We wrote this to explain how we communicate, document things throughout the creative process and ensure everyone's on the same page. Hope it helps :)
Emem Rita Usanga
@fadeke_adegbuyi Great write up on the tools you're using @yeahbrett. Milanote is exactly what I've been looking for our collaborative creative process
Fadeke Adegbuyi
@yeahbrett Thanks for the list! Float looks cool, we currently use Timetastic. Also interesting to see more and more companies using Notion for documentation.