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Levels of Remote Work

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🧭 Navigating Level 5 of Remote Work: A Journey of Empowerment and Efficiency 🚀

As we navigate the complexities of hybrid teams and the quest for efficiency, I recently delved into the concept of the 5 levels of remote work.

In our Coaching team we reached Level 5 of Remote Work. Here’s a glimpse into our world:

✪ Unity Across Borders: Located across Europe, our team thrives on a minimal time difference. We balance live, on-demand sessions with robust asynchronous communication. Our weekly alignment and daily syncs are not just about updates; they create moments, where laughter and bonding flourish.

✪ Strategic Asynchrony: Our work blends independent projects with collaborative ventures. From drafting in shared documents to brainstorming on Miro boards, we’ve found our rhythm. When immediacy beckons, we pivot to Loom videos or impromptu meetings. yet patience often reveals that not every “ASAP” demands haste.

✪ Clarity in Communication: In Slack, every message serves a purpose - be it a simple update, a question, a feedback request, or a call to action. This clarity streamlines our interactions.

✪ Autonomy and Flexibility: Our approach to time management is rooted in trust and autonomy. I tailor my day around my energy peaks, embracing focused work sessions interspersed with breaks for a power nap or a walk. This freedom enhanced my productivity and allowed me to harness the power of diffused learning.

✪ Integrating Health and Work: My morning fitness Peloton ride (possible through eliminating the daily commute) is a creative incubator where my ideas germinate. This practice underscores the seamless blend of personal well-being and professional commitment in our remote work model.

✪ Deep Work and Home Life: The flexibility to intersperse deep work with personal tasks enables a unique form of cognitive processing. In these moments of detachment I often find clarity and fresh perspectives on complex challenges.

✪ Strategic Planning and Openness: While I meticulously plan my deep work sessions, our team’s culture of openness ensures that collaboration remains unhindered. Tools like Calendly facilitate this balance, allowing for spontaneity within structure.

✪ Mindful Engagement: Regular scans of our digital communication channels ensure that I’m responsive yet not at the mercy of distractions.

Reaching Level 5 of remote is not just about adopting tools or practices. It’s been a journey of empowerment, where autonomy, accountability, and a shared purpose converge to create an environment where each of us can thrive. This reflects in our outcomes and the positive feedback from our clients, a testament to the power of a well-aligned, motivated team.

I experience the high potential of remote work when approached with intentionality and care. What is your experience with remote work?

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Content preparation

Recently I prepared a session about Hybrid Teams and the topic of efficiency and found the model of 5 levels of remote work. And I took some time to reflect on the level that I reached since I joined Blinkist.

I currently work in a team with team members located across Europe. The time difference is within 1h. We have live sessions on demand and work a lot via written and asynchronous communication. On Mondays we align on main topics for the week in a live, digital session for about 1 hour. And we run a daily short 15 minutes live sync to shortly update each other on important things that happened and what we will do on that day, mention where we might need support and work together. This session could also be done async, but it adds the important aspect of seeing each other, having some face time, laughing with each other and bonding.

We have a clear purpose on what we want to achieve and a good overview what to work at the moment and what outcome to aim for. Work is a mix between topics where close collaboration is required and topics where one can work independently. For areas with close collaboration, we often choose the approach of working in written form on a document or Miro board. Often someone takes the lead and creates a proposal in written form and others add comments, extensions.

If topics need an explanation, we create short Loom videos to explain or if a higher level of interaction is required we organize a short session. That is usually doable within some hours, but also is more an exception. Asking myself is this really ASAP necessary to discuss or can I continue and wait for an answer often shows that with some patience it will still move forward fast.

In our written team communication via Slack we work with markers to indicate if a message is just and information, if it is a question, a request for feedback or a call to take action.

We reached a high level of autonomy in managing our time. I can freely plan my day. This provides me the freedom to work respecting my energy levels and work in a flow state with full focus several times a day. When I feel I need a break, I embed a power nap or take a walk. And I learned about the importance of focussed and diffused mode of learning. Based on that I leverage slack time, where diffused mode of learning can take place.

For example I have my Peloton and exercise sessions early morning, after I already invested thinking about a topic. Thanks to not having a daily commute of otherwise 90 minutes, I can wisely invest that time to take care on my health and fitness. Currently often after writing my daily post. During that cycling session I reach a state where my mind is traveling and I often new ideas or solutions to topics I’m currently working on appear. In addition that activity provides me with a high level of energy and motivation that I can afterwards immediately translate into focussed work.

After focussed, deep work phases I often take a phase where I detach from the deep work and e.g. embed a task I need to do at home. And during such activities I often can still think about the topic I processed during the deep work phase. Coming back to the topic after some minutes often provides me with a fresh pair of eyes to look at it.

My day planning is mainly up to me. We have in the team a rough orientation on our availability, and through the daily sync we also notice when maybe higher awareness in important collaboration needs during the day might be required. I block deep work phases in my calendar too, especially when I need full focus to prepare a topic with a given timeline. Otherwise I’m approachable and people can book sessions with my through my Calendly. I experience this as a good mix of have space for deep work and at the same time not blocking my team members.

I scan my Slack message several times a day. This way I can detect where my contribution is required. At the same time I protect my deep work zones. In these phases I detach from distractions.

I summary I think we reached level 5 of remote work in our team. This way of working provides me a high level of accountability, I’m self empowered, feel highly productive as I can leverage my strengths and through our commonly shared purpose to help leaders apply knowledge this leads to high motivation leading to great outcomes that we can measure from our clients feedback.

Posted on LINKEDIN on 2024-02-21_Wed


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