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The entire Software industry moved to remote work in the last month. Some people are happy with their work-in-home approach, others not so much, but we are all united behind one comforting thought - we are safe at home and still have our jobs.
It soon will a be a month since Botron officially closed it's Headquarters and embraced the remote for the good of the whole team.
How did our work change for a month of a fully remote team? We were overproductive.
Some teams even finished more than a 2-Sprints load in less than one. Our Marketing team was able to handle a few last-minute tasks, a Remote Summit prep, and complete a giant story within a week!
It wasn't long the first side effects to pop out:
An interesting observation is that persons are loading more and more work and keep handling it very well. At our company, people's well being is a top priority, so the managers are putting effort into more "team-building" activities and advise their teams to take it slowly.
I'm not an exception: overloading is not something unfamiliar to me, but now it seems more obvious. I continue to get up early in the morning and catch up with emails and updates before others wake up, and I'm still with 24/7 responsiveness to any requests. And (I'll use my favorite song for that): "It's no Good."
How to prevent the Overload Trap?
If you are a team member: respect your co-worker's personal life and daily routine.
They may be more productive in the evening and use the mornings for 2 more hours of sleep. Let the email with CC rest for another hour and send it later when all your team members are 'up and running.' Turn off the notifications and don't fill their inboxes with Confluence updates at 6 AM - mind that people can feel less productive because of your overloading intent.
If you are a team lead or manager: good leaders lead by example, and the good teams follow their leaders. When you are working in your off-hours or responding to support requests at midnight or weekend, there is a big chance for your team to start doing the same. Be mindful of your overloading or try to do it more "silently."
Don't know to break the ice? Try the Remote Work Bingo! A funny guide through WFH life, especially for teams who forget the essentials of having a break.
Teodora _Old Street Solutions_Community Leader