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TOP 3 Remote podcasts from around the world

Updated: 6 days ago


We've listened to dozens of podcasts on remote working over the last few months, because we wanted to hear how the best of the remote world works. Below are our notes from the podcasts we've picked out as some of the best. The podcasts feature guests from the founders of Basecamp, Automattic (Wordpress) and Zapier, who have been role models and advocates of the remote operating model since before the pandemic.



1. How To Work Remotely - Livestream Q&A - Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson


This March livestream was taken at the beginning of the quarantine period. Basecamp founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson received a lot of questions when the world suddenly went telecommuting. They share their 20 years of experience on the subject along the lines of the questions they received.

Thoughts that inspired us:

  • By the end of the pandemic, many companies will have adopted a hybrid model- with office-based and 100% telecommuting employees

  • "If a job can be done on a computer, it can be done anywhere you can take a computer." (Jason Fried)

  • Micro-management and more control is not the answer, we need to be able to trust people.

  • "Distrust is often an extension of ourselves as managers" (DHH)

  • In teleworking, there is a hierarchy of different forms of communication. It is important to move to the next level only if the problem cannot be solved at that level - In writing (email, chat) --> verbally (call) --> face-to-face

  • In hybrid meetings, rather than having one part of the team dial in together from a conference room and the other part from home, have everyone dial in separately from their own computers.

  • In Basecamp, there is no sharing of colleagues' calendars, making it harder for colleagues to take up each other's time. If one person wants to have a meeting with another, they have to arrange it separately.

  • If you treat your people badly in difficult times, you will lose them when things get better.

Would you listen to the 2-part podcast? You can do it HERE and HERE!

 

2. A Primer on Remote Work and Distributed Teams - Matt Mullenweg, Andreas Klinger


Matt Mullenweg is the founder of Wordpress and Automattic, and Andreas Klinger is part of the founding team of Product Hunt. Wordpress's organisational workings are covered in The Year Without Pants, where, as in this podcast episode, best practices for remote working and the 'future of work' are explored.


Thoughts that inspired us:

  • Telecommuting multiplies the number of potential candidates we can recruit - we don't have to limit our options geographically.

  • More than 15% of job seekers today prefer telecommuting opportunities (over non-remote). It's also becoming the new norm in software development.

  • "It would take a whole podcast to talk about why meetings are bad, but a big part of it is because people just react" (Matt)

Real-time reactions are generally not the most useful. We need to consider, discuss and play with ideas.

It is worth avoiding having to make a decision immediately when faced with a problem or decision situation.

  • Some of the written messages should be replaced by voice messages. Asynchronous, yet a lot of information is conveyed in voice messages.

  • All companies with more than 100 employees are actually distributed, they just pretend they are not.

  • When we hire someone to work remotely, we're really looking for these: learning ability, communication skills, work ethic, curiosity and taste.

Curious about the podcast? You can listen HERE!

 

3. How The CEO Of Zapier Leads A 100% Remote Team


Zapier, founded in 2011, lets you connect and automate different apps and services. The company has grown to 200+ people and has been fully remote from day one, with a presence on every continent except Antarctica. Zapier is also adept at making its organizational operations transparent to the world, so don't be surprised if the term "Zapier model" soon appears in organizational model buzz words.


Thoughts that inspired us:

  • In fully remote organisations, the ability of people to communicate, to share what they are working on and how they are working on it, is key. Transparency and communication are two values that play a big role in the Zapier selection process.

  • Remote working is not just about being able to work from home and not having to travel to the office every day. It requires learning new skills, but it can all be learned.

  • The organisation (Zapier) is fully telecommuting with very low turnover. The only thing you can't buy is how the employees experience working in the organisation. A significant part of this positive work experience is that Zapier is a 100% remote organisation.

  • Many people are under the misconception that you can be a better manager personally, but this is ridiculous. Even in person, the most you can see is that people are sitting at their desks, not that they are actually working. That's not how it works. In a remote environment, the only thing you see is the work (result) itself.

  • You need to use the same managerial skills in remote work as you do in person. These skills fall into 3 groups: strategy, operations, coaching-mentoring. The third is where many people fail, because they avoid difficult conversations, e.g. "This is what I expect from this position and when I ask you to do this, this is what I want it to look like."

  • Another critical management practice in telecommuting is the weekly one-on-one (1-on-1) conversation between manager and subordinate.

  • "I sometimes use the yin-yang method in 1-on-1s: when a work-related topic is brought up, I quickly move the conversation to private questions; if there's a lot of privacy, I ask about work. So there's a balance."

  • Building organizational culture from afar: "We only have company values that we take seriously and these values are part of our regular performance reviews."

Listen to the podcast HERE!

 

Senior Agile Coach @ edUcate





 

Need help adapting to the challenges of working remotely? Want to make the most of your online and office presence? Let's talk: hello@educate.business


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