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How we Make Remote Working Work

BY SHAY RUGGLES

Working remotely has become a fairly standard practice, but when your business is communications, it can get a little tricky! Here are some tips on how one Carbon8-er makes it work.

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When I tell people I work remotely, most people exclaim how cool that is in one breath and in the second say, “I could never work from home! How do you do it?” It’s been nearly 3 years since I started working remotely for Carbon8 and at this point and I’d say we’ve figured out how to make it work. It’s not always easy being so far away, but technology bridges the gap pretty well. 

1. Get Set Up

I have an office in my house that’s set up nearly identically to what my office set up was at the Carbon8 HQ. I have multiple monitors, remote keyboard and mouse and my headset ready to go. I always work at my office desk, with no exceptions. When I’m at my desk, I’m at work. When I’m in my kitchen… I’m at home. Having the same technology and set up keeps me physically prepared to do my best work. The only difference is the dog bed that is frequently occupied by one of my two dogs at nearly all times… but I guess that isn’t too different from my desk at Carbon8 after all!

2. Stay Connected

We use a variety of communication tools at Carbon8, the most vital to me is Slack. The entire Carbon8 team is on Slack all day, making it easy to have quick text-like conversations throughout the day.  This easily replaces the quick face-to-face questions and is a big time-saver, even in-office.  We use this for work and for fun.  There is never a shortage of emoticon’s being sent around the horn. This interaction helps me feel connected to my coworkers throughout the day on a professional and personal level. 

3. Make an Effort to be Face to Face 

At least once a day, sometimes many times a day – we engage in video calls. As much as we can, we video call with clients but we also make a point to use this feature internally. Sometimes typing is just not the same but a quick video/screen sharing call can clear up any confusion quickly.  This also helps keep the day fun when I get to engage in some banter with my coworkers and stay connected.

4. Get in Real Face Time

Of course, there is nothing that can replace the camaraderie that’s built when you’re face to face. I fly to Denver a few times a year for team-building events and large kick off meetings with clients. It’s important to have fun and build real relationships with my team and get at least one face-to-face handshake with my clients. 

At Carbon8 we’ve had years of experience bridging the gap between our US-based team and our Vietnam-based development team so branching out to remote US employees wasn’t a huge stretch. With any relationship, working or personal – staying in communication is the most important barrier to overcome. 

 

Shay Ruggles
written by SHAY RUGGLES

Shay Ruggles is the Director of UX at Carbon8 who ensures we are creating compelling experiences that balance user intent, clients’ business needs and site performance. A former Account Manager, Video Producer and Carbon8’s first employee, Shay leveraged her years of experience, education and research to transition to the creative team of Carbon8 in 2012.

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