We are already 3 days in to Remote Year and Remotes are adjusting quickly to this new lifestyle. There has been a lot of discussion around tips / tricks for working remotely and time-shifted among the group. The obvious challenges have come up, such as needing to run back to the office at 9 pm to hop on a conference call and reluctance to be loud on calls in the shared workspace, but the most interesting things to come up were the benefits of working remotely abroad.
The major theme Remotes have been talking about is focus. They get in to the office at a normal local time and respond to all of their emails from the night before, but once they do that, something very strange happens - SILENCE! Nobody responds to their emails and they don't feel compelled to continually refresh their inbox because they know that there won't be anything new in it. They can allocate their full attention to productive work rather than email triage! Remotes are saying they are more productive than ever just because they can focus on accomplishing important tasks for long stretches of time without constantly getting bothered by their co-workers.
Beyond focus, another benefit people have been talking about is organized communication. One Remote is on a design team based mostly in the US and was really nervous about how many processes he would have to change when going fully remote for the year, but was surprised to find that almost all of their workflows were already cloud based! The only net new change he found was that they needed to improve their naming conventions for files so that they could be more readily and clearly referenced in online communications. This, he said, was a change that should have happened a long time ago and will probably improve workflows across the team.