No, we won't have a video call for that!

Communications in distributed teams

Florian Haas

Playlists: 'froscon2020' videos starting here / audio

How to sensibly work together as a distributed team — coming from someone who didn't start yesterday.

I last worked from an office 9 years ago. Since then, I have been working in and managing distributed teams, where everyone works from home.

In this talk I summarize what my teams and I have learned together in this period about communications in a distributed work environment: about the benefits of professional written communication, about asynchronous collaboration and minimizing context switches, about focused and autonomous work without stressful and needless interruptions.

And about the fact that distributed collaboration is substantially different from work in an office — mostly, indeed, better. With very, very few online meetings and video calls.

In this talk I cover five important modes of communication, I explain naked pings and why you should avoid them at all cost, I describe why a wiki page is frequently more conducive to decision-making than a meeting, what you can learn about team communications from NATO, even as a pacifist (yes, really!), and how to stem the constant information flow in an asynchronously collaborating, distributed team.