Working in an office vs working remotely

Most of the time when I've been running my own company, I've been working remotely. Today, my entire team works remotely - I don't have anyone sharing an office with me.

But it's not always been the case.

When I've worked in an office with people, I've been shocked at how bad the communication is. Someone can be sat at a desk ten yards away from me and I have no idea what they're doing. With my team, I know what everyone's working on all the time.

Because, when you share an office, it becomes easy for the important communications of the day to become casual. A status report when you pass in the corridor, a discussion about that project while you're waiting for the kettle to boil.

When you work remotely, that just won't do. We need to communicate constantly, so we have systems in place for that. I know who's working on what, because those tasks are all on a (virtual) board and they're all marked as "Started". I know which customers we're waiting for, because their tasks are marked as "Awaiting Approval".

That level of communication is baked into a remote-working organisation. But all too often forgotten about when working locally.

Does that happen to you? What do you do to make sure everyone knows everything that they need to?

Rahoul Baruah

Rahoul Baruah

Rubyist since 1.8.6. Freelancer since 2007, dedicated to building incredible, low-cost, bespoke software for tiny businesses. Also CTO at Collabor8Online.
Leeds, England