What are the most important things to consider before transitioning to fully remote?

Question submitted by @jessporec

Are you ready for this? Can you focus? Do you have space/environment to work? Do you have the discipline to put in the time and effort required to work without being in an office, without interacting face to face with your coworkers, etc. Do you have a good internet connection and the other things needed (laptop, etc).

Is your work ready for this? It doesn’t matter if you are personally ready, if your workplace is not. You will struggle if your workplace is not fully accepting/embracing, and preferably fully switching to remote as well. Culture needs to change. Expectations and pace change. Policies need to change, etc.

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Excellent rundown of the questions one should to be able to answer confidently before fully considering a transition to fully remote. Thank you.

Do you have thoughts on ways one might go about testing readiness in these examples?

If we were in “normal” circumstances (which of course thanks to COVID-19, we’re not), I’d suggest doing some smaller trial runs, and also looking at what sort of information do you need/refer to at work over some period of time (decisions, policies, etc), and see if they are all accessible from outside the office.

I’d also look at how meetings in particular are run and documented, and if that’s at all transferable to a remote setting (e.g. do people just grab each other, discuss something, then go back to work? That’s going to be a problem – when you’re remote, you’ll need to be able to get the right people, get them together, make decisions/etc, and then document them and make sure other people find out efficiently).

If everything is happening in emails and private Slack messages, that’s going to be problematic as well. We use https://p2theme.com/ at Automattic to move as much communication as possible into “public” (within the company) spaces. That gives us an archive we can look back on, allows people to stay informed about all sorts of things going on, and generally just removes barriers to information access and allows people to operate more independently.

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