The number of people who prefer the freedom of working remotely is on the increase. Moreover, many companies are in need of remote workers, which makes this type of workstyle very popular.
According to an UpWork survey, approximately 63% of US-based companies have at least one remote worker. In addition, similar findings suggested that 43% of employees in the US worked remotely at least for a certain period.
Regardless of how popular remote work in the IT industry is, it’s not always possible since there are numerous factors that affect the quality of work. This is especially true when it comes to building disruptive products, such as the ones related to blockchain and Web3.
Is It Possible to Build a Product by Working Remotely?
When it comes to blockchain development and building Web3 products (since that’s what we do and know best), remote work is theoretically possible. However, procedures related to blockchain products and their development are complex and require a team working together.
3 Reasons Why Nobody Did It on a Massive Scale Yet
There are several reasons why remote work hasn’t been widely accepted in the world of product development. Here are the three most common ones.
It’s Highly Cross-Functional
Developing a Web3 product requires gathering people from various professional backgrounds to work together. While some of them, such as coders, are able to work remotely, there are some roles, including those of product managers, that require being in immediate contact with co-workers and even the customers.
It’s Highly Collaborative
In the process of developing products, close collaboration is necessary. Team members often make adjustments that require being in constant communication with other members and working together in the same office.
Innovation and Creativity Are Often Spontaneous
Innovation and creativity work in mysterious ways, but there’s one thing we know about them for sure — they are often the product of the hive mind rather than just one person. Once someone comes up with an innovative idea about the product they’re building, other team members often get inspired by that, further shaping that idea and putting it into practice.
This is a spontaneous process that requires people working together in the same room — especially in the world of blockchain development.
Sadly, remote work is sometimes the only option, and the COVID-19 pandemic proved that most tasks can be done if we put in additional effort. If you’re planning on making your team remote, there are several things you should take into account.
Most of the tips presented below are applicable to the majority of remote teams — not only to those that focus on developing products. Read on!
Lay the Foundation of Trust & Psychological Safety Before Starting Remote Work
People who work remotely often feel isolated. Many of them aren’t used to this type of work and can feel pressure during the first weeks of working remotely.
That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to the psychological wellbeing of your team, as that’s the basis for performing well at work. The bad news is that you cannot see your team members and determine whether they are feeling under the weather or are unmotivated. Many of them won’t be willing to share their emotions, which will directly hinder communication.
Finding motivation and inner peace while working remotely is something the entire team should be working on instead of letting each member deal with this challenge on their own.
Web3 Remote Work Requires Unambiguous Communication
Web3 development, as well as blockchain development, requires communicating ideas clearly. However, there’s often noise that gets between what we say and what the listener receives.
By noise, we literally mean noise that’s created when our microphone picks up and transmits sound. Just remember the Yanny/Laurel debate.
Also, we use the concept of “noise” to refer to the unnecessary information that surrounds remote communication. In the office, the “show, don’t tell” rule is vital, especially when we want to communicate ideas that need to be both explained and demonstrated. Yet, that’s more difficult to pull off in a remote working environment.
Explaining a simple idea with an actual example could mean using software remotely, which can come with a whole set of challenges along the way. All that creates unnecessary “noise.” By the time the recipient processes your idea, the team will have lost a lot of precious time.
Then, there’s the Chinese Whispers problem. The internationally popular game simply called “telephone” in the US, is a great example of how information can get lost along the way. The original idea can get distorted when passed on from one team member to another. Such problems are solved more easily when the team is in one place.
So, what’s the solution? Simply put, you have to practice clear communication. It means passing on the idea in its original shape to the rest of the team and making sure that nothing gets lost in the process of communication.
You should know what’s essential and make sure that the choice of your words doesn’t leave room for misinterpretation. But there’s one more thing!
Remote Work Also Means More Communication
Overcommunication is sometimes essential. Don’t feel guilty if you repeat yourself over and over in order to get the idea across. Sometimes, over-communicating is just a matter of staying connected to your team and making them listen, and sometimes, it’s about making sure that every aspect of your idea has been communicated.
Establish Clear Working Processes When Building Web3 and Blockchain Products
Working remotely on blockchain product development — or on any other kind of product, for that matter — requires taking extra steps. One of them is establishing clear working processes that are usually taken for granted when working in an office.
One of the ways to do that is to use project management and project tracking tools such as Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Todoist, etc.
Whatever you’re working on, you’ll be able to establish and follow some processes using one of the tools mentioned above. If you haven’t used them before, make sure to explore them and learn how to make the most of them with your remote team. Some of these tools were created specifically for teams working remotely.
Stick to Rituals
Rituals exist in almost every company. Whether it’s drinking coffee by the coffee machine or just taking your time to chit-chat with colleagues, these rituals are an important part of socializing. In fact, they are an inseparable part of working together with other people and are often beneficial to overall performance.
Even though it’s not easy to maintain such rituals when we’re not physically close to our co-workers, it is not impossible.
It’s Not Only About Blockchain Development — It’s About Good Times as Well
Every development team should celebrate its achievements. Don’t forget that relaxing and cheering for yourself and your team is as important as working hard. When working remotely, your achievements might not feel so great if you’re not in the same room as your co-workers. Therefore, make sure to let the good times roll in Zoom meetings whenever you can!
Final Thoughts: Remote Work Can Be Productive If Done Right
Product development, especially the type that focuses on complex products based on blockchain or Web3, is extremely difficult and requires the team to work together. That’s why every team member, in order to make it work, needs to go the extra mile when working remotely.
Once the entire team learns how to deal with all the nuances that come with remote work, they will develop a feel for working remotely and even get comfortable with it.
However, to reach that level, you need to pay attention to the things mentioned in this article, so here’s a quick overview of the things we covered:
- Build trust with your teammates by paying a lot of attention to their psychological well-being
- Make sure to communicate your ideas clearly
- Overcommunicate if needed
- Establish clear working procedures
- Don’t forget about daily rituals
- Don’t forget to celebrate the good times
Hope you found this article helpful! Ping us if you need advice from experts. 🙂