office life Archives

  1. The 1:1 Meeting →

    In the wake of the world’s recent condition, there’s been a lot of talk about remote work. My last role was as a remote team leader who regularly engaged with 13 employees across a handful of time zones. Aside from the numerous messaging and conferencing tools available, the single-handed most valuable tool that I used to stay engaged with the team were our 1:1 meetings (read “one to one”, or “one on one”).

    Each week, I met with each team member for 30 minutes. We talked about project priorities, task challenges, caught up on our personal lives, and periodically checked in on their career trajectories. The 1:1’s helped me build and maintain great relationships with our team, and allowed us to minimize interruptions during the week while each of us were “in the zone” on our projects. I could go on about the benefits, but I think you can already see the value behind this tool.

    If you’re considering running 1:1’s in your new role as remote team leader, I recommend getting started with this guide from Michael Lopp: The Update, The Vent, and The Disaster

    (Hint: If you schedule your 1:1’s in blocks, you can still have big blocks of time for other tasks associated with your role.)

  2. In the absence of information, people make shit up. Worse, if they at all feel threatened they make shit up that amplifies their worst fears. This is where those absolutely crazy rumors come from.

    Rands

  3. The quality of my workday is directly proportional to the number of chocolate bits in my morning trail mix snack.

  4. Do I really have to do all of this paperwork? Can’t I just, you know, design? →

    Great write-up.

    For a lot of designers ‘work’ is when you’re sketching thumbnails, pushing pixels, poring through code, or daydreaming about organic free-range fixies. That is work, but it is only part of the job. We have a strange saying at Floate, “The work around the work is the work.” By that we mean that timesheets, meetings, phone calls, conversations in Basecamp or any of a million other things are part of the fabric of what we do. This work around the work comes with the territory and get ready for this one crazy thing they didn’t tell you in design school — if you are bad at this stuff then you are bad at your job. Period.

    (via Alex King)

  5. On Decisions at the Workplace, and Employee Dissatisfaction

    If you are dissatisfied with the decisions being made within the company you work for, you are doing a disservice to yourself and the company by not articulating to your team leader why you believe a decision is not being made in the company’s best interest. In fact, articulating issues within a company is your *duty* as an employee of a company.

    Decisions are made by team leaders based on the context of how and with what they have been informed. If you can add new context to their perspective, they may be able to make a better decision that improves the company, and makes you more satisfied as an employee.