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Lessons and Learnings: Six Months of Working Remote [Discussion]

Jenn Riek Atlassian Team Sep 01, 2020

Hey there, folks!

For most of us, the past six months- yes, you read that right- have been a journey. More people than ever before have pivoted to working remotely, and navigating being on-screen, all the time, has been a learning experience for everyone.

All throughout the month of September, we’ll be releasing a series of our best work-remotely resources and tips on our Twitter page. From helpful “The Workstream” articles and Confluence templates to our favorite remote-friendly features, there’s always something new to improve how you and your team work together online.

We’d like to learn from you too! For instance: 
- What Confluence features or other tools have been the most helpful?
- How has your team changed the way they communicate?
- How has your home office evolved over time?

You can either leave a comment on this post or if you’d like to join the Twitter conversation, follow our page. You can also search for the hashtag #6MonthsRemote.

We’re looking forward to hearing your tips!

3 comments

Bill Bailey Community Leader Sep 03, 2020

I always find this discussion interesting in that I have been working remotely since 2003. ;-) In other words, little has changed for me; just now my coworkers understand my world far better (and why I have three monitors). They also now understand what it is like to always have to "dial in" for meetings.

And I have been an admin of Confluence for a few organizations over the past 8 years, and as a result, a big advocate of Confluence because of the ease of collaboration. I pushed my current organization to move the entire company to Confluence some three years ago, With the pandemic, that move is now paying huge dividends as it has enabled the shift to remote work without missing a beat.

Like Dave Liao likes this

Like Bill I have been working remote for more years than I care to remember both in Australia and now in Indonesia and there has been a lot of technology enablement that has happened. We consult to companies on how to leverage remote working, either from home or site offices to improve productivity. Mirroring Bill's comment they are always interesting discussions.

There are two parts to Working Remote, one is the tools that are used but the second, and most important in my opinion is the culture change and the way of working. Not all employees are initially suited to working remote. In a collaborative environment the key is development on the fly so that the deliverable is a dynamic work in progress that the team can see being developed and can comment on so changes can be incorporated as the deliverable is being built. Confluence is great for this and we have now moved all our consulting deliverables to a Confluence Space that they own. They can see the work being done in near real time irrespective of physical location.

The other key part is agreeing on standards of use like agreed tags (agreed list) used in Posts. I have the tags placed at the front of the post in capitals and in square brackets eg [QUESTION], [RISK], [IMPROVEMENT], [WATCH] etc. Also when to use a document comment verses an inline comment and how to do the reply. The inline comment is much better than what Microsoft have in TEAMS which is a section comment. 

Meeting management is another area and this in the remote working environment needs to have good planning so that the meeting is short to the point and focused on resolution. I run daily project meetings for each project with a maximum time limit of 20 minutes. These are in Zoom, Skype, Teams and even WhatsApp or Telegram. The time of the meeting is based on its importance and important meetings are always in the morning when people's thinking is not cluttered by daily events.

To be frank with you @Jenn Riek - the on site installations of Atlassian software weather it is Bitbucket, Bamboo, Jira or Confluence is somehow working better than the "free plans" that you offer to Startups and Projects.

Roughly 50% of the stuff that works at Work is not working in the Cloud or it takes ages to find out how it works.

You have a lot of buttons where people can add Stuff or get Confused.

Editing and positioning stuff has not been your priority.

Like Crazy83 likes this

What I do not like is when a Link to an external page like most of the "Help Link" overwrite the current browser tab. They could open a new one. Then my user has a Tab for Confluence and one for Confluence Help, maybe a third for Confluence Forum.

Get a quick intro into what spaces are, and how to best use them at Confluence 101: organize your work in spaces.

Hitting the browser back button is not always working as expected.

Some people struggle to remember weather they logged in with their Google, Microsoft or Whatever account.

A reminder on the Login Page - the last time (date) your logged in with (account) could be helpful.

Most of my mates are used to Online / Remote work - no change for us.

The lack of coffee machine and smoker breaks reduces clearly the productivity at Work.

Bill Bailey Community Leader Sep 22, 2020

I am not a big fan of the cloud solution:

  • You are forced to upgrade per atlassian's schedule, features can disappear, workflows break.
  • The solution space is smaller, for example, I often write user macros to handle special functions or fill in holes in Atlassian's solution. Not available on the cloud.

I run a version of server of small BRIX ( 4in x 4in x 2in PC) screwed to my wall. Doesn't take a lot of power, and I am in complete control.

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