Working and convening remotely/General tips

This page contains general tips on working and convening remotely. Please add your own tips and advice for others!

Remote gatherings or meetings edit

See also: Meeting best practices (including remote staff)
  • Provide documents and any visual materials to attendees before the start of meetings.
  • Utilize both video and audio elements of video meetings - unless bandwidth becomes an issue. Remember to MUTE yourself when you are not talking.
    • However, consider utilizing audio only for meetings with people from multiple regions to avoid unintentional bandwidth discrimination.
  • Utilize the chat feature of tools like Google Meet and Zoom to raise your hand "o/" or otherwise indicate you would like to speak next to avoid speaking over others.
  • Keep good notes, clearly commit to next steps, and share a summary of commitments with meeting participants over email after the meeting ends.
  • Pause between sections and after questions. If you find that your pauses creep shorter, then use a clock to time off five to ten seconds, to give people who are not in the room with you enough time to decide what they want to say, find the right tab, un-mute the microphone, and start speaking (people participating can also have a delay).
  • Try not to touch your microphone when it's broadcasting. Otherwise there's a rasping noise (sometimes very loud). If you're using the built-in microphone on your laptop, then it's often easy to accidentally do this when you're picking up your laptop.

Working remotely edit

  • Check in frequently with your teammates on direct messaging tools like IRC or Slack.
  • Set up a schedule for your day and week - try to maintain some routines.
  • Make sure your calendar clearly indicates your working hours and your non-working hours. If your schedule is variable or complicated, then set your default to the widest reasonable level, and mark off individual times when you will be busy. For example, you could set your available hours as 7:00 to 21:00, but then block off time for lunch, sports, getting the kids into bed, etc. with a "Busy" calendar item.
  • Consider buying daylight bulbs for your desk lamp. The natural-style light improves video quality, and can help with depression and seasonal affective disorder.
  • Many difficulties in internet connections are in the last 15 feet to your computer. If you can, use a wired connection over wireless. If you want to use wireless, consider upgrading your access point/router. Many ISPs provide rather basic hardware with poor coverage. Also make sure your wi-fi isn't trying to penetrate through thick books - move it above head height if possible.

See also edit