Google just released their distributed work playbook. The key challenges that their research team gathered are:
- Getting connected: reliable logistics
- Being connected: clarity on work
- Feeling connected: building trust
Their playbook appears to be individual pages that are slightly related. Perhaps because it’s meant to be used in that Google thing where they put useful “readme” items in their bathrooms.
Their algorithm is:
- Set team vision and norms
- Reach out
- Traverse time zones
- Appreciate differences
As a fan of timezone inclusivity, I agree with the third point wholeheartedly.
One thing I noticed is that for their system to work, it requires introverts to be good at extroverting on video calls and also making efforts on their own to engage conversation — which I’ve found is something that doesn’t work all the time. Creative folks tend to be be more introvert-y, and I like to say that: designers love to introvert together. When they introvert together, there’s not a lot of talking necessary — it’s more about working in the same space and enjoying things in the same space where communication with each other happens by … telepathy? Hmmmm.