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Establish new norms

A few days ago, I wrote about the need for establishing a new routine to account for the lockdown so that we set our minds (and bodies) to continue doing all the things they used to do when we were free to go out and about.

Similarly, now that many of us are working 100% remotely, we need to establish new norms on how we work with our colleagues and team-mates.

For instance, my old norm when I used to work out of the office was to default to face-to-face conversations for some tasks and requests as I prefer a free-flowing conversation with my designer, data scientist or engineer while brainstorming solutions. So, if my counterpart wasn't immediately available in office, I'd leave them a message to come find me when they were free and we would have a discussion then. While working remotely, that norm needs to change to a slightly more structured approach.

Perhaps old norms continue to work well in the 100% remote world. Or perhaps they don't.

If they don't, it is better to deliberately establish new norms for how to interrupt people, how to share updates on our work, how much of an overlap to have in working hours, etc.

I've been having a long-standing debate with a friend on whether this experience will prompt more companies to embrace longer chunks of remote work than the current ways. Now that I'm into my third week of being fully remote, I can definitely see that happening, at least in the smaller companies and ones that will be set up going forward.

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