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team productivity

Mic Flip: Lukasz gets grilled on the Industry Angel podcast

Luke Szyrmer January 12, 2021 29 1

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Thank you everyone for making the book a big success on launch week. Basking in the glow of hitting #1 in the Amazon charts for business teams, Lukasz/Luke gets interviewed by Ian Farrar of the Industry Angel podcast

About Lukasz Szyrmer

Luke has managed or participated in remote only knowledge work teams for almost a decade. Most recently, he lead a program of approximately 30 distributed across 13 time zones and 8 different locations. Over the last 9 years, he has lead teams building software, running marketing and sales, and launched a bestselling book. Remotely. In many cases, with people he never met or spoke to in person. Now that everyone has been thrust into a similar situation, he is keen on helping other leaders come to grip with this pandemic, by sharing what has worked well for him in the past.


Welcome welcome. This is Luke again from the align remotely podcast. I wanted to thank everyone for participating in the launch of the book. Last week, it was a smashing success. We had lots of comments on LinkedIn and Facebook.  people were very excited, a lot of downloads and, yeah, from what I see in terms of the reviews coming back, it looks like people are happy with the content of the book. 

[00:00:30]today on the podcast, I have a slightly different thing than usual, , shaking things up a little. So today it will be a mic flip day. So essentially I will be the one who is being interviewed by my friend, Ian Farrar on the industry angel podcast. We go into a lot of remote productivity tips with your team, , in particular, staying positive with your team, , designing a schedule that fits everyone,  how you can innovate online and lots of other things.

[00:01:06] So enjoy and see you next week with another show.

[00:01:11] Welcome to the industry angel podcast. We hear from the best business minds across the globe entrepreneurs, social influences, marketing, mavens, and sales rockstars. We’ve got them all. Kia comes, fuel Wiki does of inspiration with your host, Ian Farrah. 

[00:01:34] Hello, welcome back first live of 2021. And, uh, what happened? Did we go in straight into lockdown, which was pretty crazy, wasn’t it? 

[00:01:43]Luke, because Luke’s been,  busy during this last year,  last year squirreling aware, and he’s got a new book out. So he’s waiting in the wings.

[00:01:54] Ready to tell us all about that. So if you’re here, let me know. As you know, I can throw your comments on the screen and you can ask Luke anything you’d like. Ask him anything you like, and we’ll throw it up on the screen for you.

[00:02:07] Saw that. Let me check my vial. And get a little bit of a little bit of knowledge on Luke because he’s been managing or he’s participated in remote only knowledge work teams for almost a decade.  most recently he’d had a program of approximately 38. 30 distributed across 13 times zones and eight different locations.

[00:02:29] Look, I’m just going to have to bring in what, and so the industry, Angela, Luke Sherman. Hey, Hey, how are you? You’ve been busy man. 30 people. 13 times zones. Eight different locations. 

[00:02:42] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s  it was quite a, quite an intense experience to say, wow. 

[00:02:52] That’s still what you, you, how did you do it? You weren’t, how do you, well, you must have had like lots of tech. What are you using? Like Slack and all these bits of trendy stuff. 

[00:03:00] Yeah.  I’ve been at it in one form or another for a while. In this particular case, it was a software team.  It made it easier that people were used to picking up tech and just using it really quickly.

[00:03:09] And although even there, like, you know, anytime there’s something you. People people do get, uh, to get sensitive about it sometimes initially, but, once you realize what’s,  what it can do, especially for the groups, then that’s great. , and then it works. The starting point for the book actually was that in fact, a lot of the initial conversation around lockdown or COVID really was, just this list of 38 different tools that you can use which is completely understandable, because that was just so new for everyone.

[00:03:38]Having been around and having been doing this for a while at that time, I was like, there’s this other. Whole topic of like, how do you actually get things done when everyone’s remote? And it’s not about the options on zoom , or that kind of thing. It’s about how people work together  and how you divide up the work, how you collaborate together. And yeah, so  that’s how I,  talk myself into writing a book. 

[00:04:03] So when you see who is right, I mean, everyone. Yeah. How many books have you wrote, Luke? 

[00:04:08] This is number two. This is number two. 

[00:04:10] When did you decide to write this one then? Was this, you know, back in March when the pandemic really kicked in, did he say right?Okay. I’m kind of like, there’s not much work or it’s quiet enough. What could I do with myself that you set yourself a target, right? I’m going to, I’m going to get all this knowledge out. Because you’d been working remote teams for a long time before this.

[00:04:28] Yeah. Yeah. It actually was a bit later. What happened was  in March, I was working for Mexico and then I couldn’t get it back home from Mexico because there was lockdowns and everything across the borders.

[00:04:41] And then by the time I got back was quarantine and,  before the dust settled is like off of July came up and yeah. But at that point I was like, all right. Okay. I actually think there’s a missing conversation here about how do you do things together?  and that’s where  I felt I could just be of the most value for people.

[00:04:59]It’s really interesting to see a missing conversation because.  where do I go with this one?  , I don’t want to get really hung up on COVID, but because of it will have gone remote quite a lot. So you’re pretty involved right now. So all that groundwork, you did all that experience. Awesome. Because you’re ahead of the curve, Luke, right?  We’ve really embraced. I mean, look what we’re doing right now. We know this would have been audio only, maybe last year, but we’ve embraced,  the social side of the going live side quite a lot. And also my training and delivering a lecture and in everything I do. That’s gone online as well, which is good because that means I’m not traveling around as much but what I’ve also saw is. There’s companies or educational establishments behind the curve a little bit. And what I mean by that is, so my daughter, Jess, she’s 12, we’re trying to get Google classroom working for her right now. And I think the teachers are learning on the hop. I feel like we’re a little bit behind on this or what should have happened maybe or what could have happened differently to, to make sure that cause this infrastructure is all in place right now.

[00:06:02] To be honest, it’s been in place for a long time. It’s very much kind of  the human side of innovation here  from a change perspective, it’s just like this massive change that suddenly. , everyone has to do whether they like it or not. And yeah, I think with schools, like that’s actually probably one of , the more difficult parts, because it’s kids, they’re basically being forced to work like adults where, they get targets and they need to practically listen to webinars. 

[00:06:33] Yeah, exactly.

[00:06:34] And yeah. 

[00:06:35]And then parents are obviously pulling their hair out because parents have to sort the tech out and they might not be tech savvy and the passwords and the kids are 

[00:06:43] yeah

[00:06:44] Yeah, exactly. Exactly.  I think it just really depended on the school and, from a big picture perspective, what happens with the schools obviously affects what the parents can do and how much they can do.

[00:06:53] I felt that  for a good few months, too, with a six year old, you just get to a point where, you let the kids do what they need to do and you ended up dealing with it somewhere basically, but yeah, from a, like a productivity perspective, like it, it’s very much about this group dynamic.

[00:07:10]It’s the same thing in the classroom, honestly. When I was most recently running the scene, I realized at a certain point that actually  a lot of my role as the man manager was almost like a teacher actually where the,  it was my job to set the environment, get people to feel safe, to experiment, to do things and to have a clear sense of what the goals are. Yeah. And then with them figure out what makes sense in terms of  tracking progress in a way that’s meaningful for them, which with a lot of knowledge work, I think isn’t always obvious,  in the same way that, The quality of a book doesn’t depend on the number of pages in it.

[00:07:45] Right. 

[00:07:48] So there’s a whole bunch of these like nuance type of things where yeah,  it’s just that needed to take into account.  A big one with companies is like, there’s a lot of work that’s done. Which isn’t really relevant for clients, right? So you’re, you might be busy, but you’re not being productive or  you’re doing things which in terms of, productivity, members’ productivity of individual people on a team,  it could be doing work that just isn’t particularly valuable.

[00:08:15] Right? So you need to figure out who the best person is to pick up a certain task. And you don’t want like  your super high-end experience person to be doing stuff that, you could have some. Recent grad do, or,  hire out on fiber or something. 

[00:08:27]Getting that right balance, I think is quite a big part of it really. 

[00:08:31] So your book it’s book, look, your book is all about what, like remote, how is it about how to. What remotely tips is it 

[00:08:41] it’s yeah, I do have some tips.  A lot of it is about just the rethinking of certain things when you’re organizing work for a group of people.  The benefit of it is that it is  going back to first principles that, regardless of whether it applies very much to both remote and in-person work.

[00:08:59] So when we do get, yeah, Back to whatever we get back to, whether it’s hybrid or remote only, , or we’re back in the office. Like, I think  lot of what I was writing about there, I think is still very much relevant about, exactly how do you delegate tasks and a team like that kind of thing.

[00:09:14] But yeah, so almost about like leadership, right? There’s certain things that were just easy to do because everybody was physically in one place,  that shortcut was suddenly just swept away from us. Right. So we need to really be clear on exactly what the intended outcomes are for the team ,  and breaking it down 

[00:09:32] when you were in person. And you’ve got a physical team in front of you. And you can read body language and communicate easily. You can kind of nip lot of things in the board and stuff like that. But when remotely, you know what, you aren’t even on an email, sometimes contacts can be taken out. How do you keep that positivity and camaraderie when it’s remote and effectively stop potentially, annoying a member of your team.

[00:09:57] Sure. Sure. There’s a couple of parts to this. the key thing is from a team perspective, making sure that everybody has some kind of really small bits that they’re doing and that you see that coming in.   A common trap is, you set some kind of a goal that’s out a few weeks or something, and then,   basically the person goes away, they operate in a vacuum. And then after that, it’s just like, well, Now what, 

[00:10:21] whereas it’s much better. If you have this kind of cadence of every day there, they’re doing something that you can see, like in the case of, in the case of tech, you can see people, for example, checking in code or that kind of thing. And then,  I’ve done this with working with editors, all kinds of knowledge work. I think there’s different ways you can break it down where it’s like a small task and then , you build up that confidence with each other. So that. First of all, you see that the person understands what they need to do, and they’re actually doing it from a purely a confidence perspective.

[00:10:50] And then the other side is the comradery. And I think, yeah, I think there, a lot of that really comes into play once you give people autonomy. So I think this is the difficult part, really as a manager, the way that, if you give people autonomy and you trust them, And you let them come to you and help them define their own goals in the context of the team where you’re just coordinating, let’s say the goal is 30 different people to make sure it all comes together.

[00:11:14] That I think helps a lot actually.  and on top of that, yeah, you can do like the drinks, drinks night in front of zoom or that kind of thing. The usual thing that you would do in the office that, that, that can work. 

[00:11:27] Just to touch upon that. It sounds like targets and KPIs or goals could be set. And then literally you’ve got that autonomy where you either get it done or you don’t. And if you don’t, at least there’s some accountability there because you’re not there physically to kind of look over their shoulder and make sure they’re doing, uh, you know, check on them. So it’s about putting accountability in there. That can actually be measured against, is that what we’re saying? 

[00:11:50] yes. Although I think the key thing is that it’s accountability to accountability, to goals they themselves say they have and how it fits into the team. So it’s not like I’m holding you accountable to a unrealistic goal that I said, cause I wanna beat you over the head.

[00:12:05]It’s accountability like, well, okay. We need to get. This particular thing done within the next two months and, tell me how you’re going to do that, break it down. How are you going to work with other people? And then,  how will I know that you’re doing stuff  and just having a conversation with each person and then figuring it out.

[00:12:23]Do you think productivity drops they’ll look. 

[00:12:25] How do you define productivity?

[00:12:30] So that’s a free question. Yeah. I mean, for me, I think innovation Holts when you work remotely, this is just the way, and this is the way I work because I’ll stand up and just blurt something out and then have a conversation around it, worse one on the lawn or work and remorse. Um, I’ve only got me in my four walls. And so I think, yes, I can get stuff done and I might get stuff done in a productive way, but I’m not stretching myself and to innovate in general. What I mean by that? 

[00:13:00] Yeah, I do. I do. Yeah. My other hat, isn’t it. Isn’t an innovation guy. So it is very much,  in the context of new products  where I’ve seen this done. A big, really big part of it is: I’m a huge whiteboard fans, both in-person and online,

[00:13:15] not in a way here. Cause we, we talk about whiteboards, every single thing, homework. What did I do before whiteboard? I do not know. 

[00:13:23] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. having whiteboards, especially online ones that’s the key  tool, but it’s also like a mindset. It’s visual. You have really in-depth discussions. You can map things out in a lot of detail, how things are,  how you want things to be. And then you can get into a lot of detail,  at some point, if you really get into a conversation, you lose sight of everything where you are physically, it’s about having a good conversation with the team.

[00:13:51] And I think it’s more about, getting these different viewpoints out and stress testing, whether or not a particular approach is going to work and brainstorming. And  it comes down to facilitation almost. But it very much can be done.  It’s just as true when you’re working with external people, it doesn’t need to be just people within your company. Even though I think I focus more on the book on that,  whether we’re talking about a bunch of freelancers with you or it’s people  within your team, it’s very much the case. 

[00:14:17] The other thing with online whiteboards that’s really cool that you don’t have with within person ones is that. these are digital copies. So people can in between meetings, go and expand, add more stickies and move them around and reorganize them.  You keep iterating and digging and, , even in between the meetings. So there’s ways of structuring interactions that  you don’t really have in person.

[00:14:38] So yes, there absolutely is a number of things, which you lose if you go online, but there are certain things which are better.

[00:14:46] and. Well, well, like I think, I think being able to really work in line with everyone’s, let’s say natural schedule, , in terms of when you feel productive, you can organize meetings. I certainly had an availability issue with people, all the way  from Sri Lanka down to Columbia. So yeah. So we only had about two or three hours a day where we could actually all meet anyway.  And then there’d be,  lots of smaller meetings throughout the day, but yeah, like you can set up and design how you work in a way that fits with that more.

[00:15:21] For example, you don’t want to have any meetings over an hour and then you can break things up and spread it out over time. So there’s a whole bunch of approaches you can use in terms making it feel more natural for people and also fitting it into the rest of their lives, basically.

[00:15:37]More so than when you’re in person where  you show up at nine, you got to stay till at least five. And, you know, even if you’re sitting there hung over, like you’ve got to be there, . And here, as long as you are working and delivering on the business outcomes that the business cares about, at the end of the day, it’s up to you, what you do. And that’s the empowering bit, 

[00:16:01] you mean by, in terms of what I was you work. So you might not be productive natal five, or you might be sitting hung over. So you’re going to start at noon, but you’re going to work through until seven or eight o’clock in the evening. Is that what you mean? Look, 

[00:16:13] it’s just, you’re not being. Exactly among other things. Some of  the best team members that I had,  they’d be up until 4:00 AM and then they’d get up a bit late, but, they were in, they were available during  those few hours where people were all all available across the time zones. And it’s just the work for them. 

[00:16:32] Thinking about the white whiteboard, but I’ve been using jump board,  from Google and I love it,  the sticky notes and that sort of stuff. What kind of stuff have you been using? 

[00:16:41] So I think the two main ones that I’ve used are mural and mural. They’re both really good. I know  there’s a lot of entrance and a lot of innovation in this space,  and in general with tools, but yeah, visual part of it , is good because  you can have this kind of thoughtful discussion like you have on a call or an in-person meeting, but you’ve got the visual side going on at the same time. So even people that aren’t speaking, it can be like writing things, moving around. So that’s one part of it. So you’ve got like a multimedia aspect. 

[00:17:11] The other thing is  with these whiteboard based meetings is getting a situation where you try to get everybody contributing in parallel. So I think a big issue, you see this again, going back to webinars, right? You’ve got this one, too many blasts of somebody just talking when it was new,  it was exciting, but at a certain point it ends up being something you put on the background. If, if you even clock in at all. 

[00:17:33] Within meetings, like I think a lot of people, the way they subjectively feel a meeting is productive as when they got to say things and then that was taken into account. 

[00:17:44] Yeah. 

[00:17:45] If you think numerically, like what percent of the meeting was each person actually saying something, and if you’ve got, let’s say two people talking for 70% of the meeting, then that kind of means that,  the dynamic there needs some work.

[00:17:57] And I think whiteboards are a great way to  slowly nudge people into the direction of everybody contributing and really getting everybody to pull in. Again, it goes back to facilitation, how do you create that safe space where people feel comfortable saying things and then after you’ve got too much stuff, how do you organize it afterwards to figure out what do you take action on? What’s most important? that’s what it comes down to really. 

[00:18:22] So, um, I’ll, I’ll say that I’ll feed you where he raises a good point there. What he’s saying is there that that zooms reduced or mittens that used to last over an hour to now take 10 minutes and that makes us more productive. And I’ve noticed that even  from a claim point of view, we might want to go and see a client for an hour, an hour and a half, and it might take us 45 minutes to get there and get there and back, so we’re really slimming down. We’re becoming much more productive and we can do a lot more  from here.

[00:18:49] I think clients have accepted now because of this. Whereas before it might’ve been too lazy to come and see me, or am I not important, but to come and see you and see me, but now it’s accepted, which is great because we can get a ton more done it. We’re not in the car for an hour and a half. So do you think that’s being more widely accepted now?

[00:19:06] I think so. Yeah. I was notorious for . Scheduling an hour meeting and finishing in 10 minutes. And it was something that was really odd a couple of years ago, but it’s just, I got to the point where, okay, well we discussed what we needed to,  let’s go on and do something else.

[00:19:19] The other side of this is like, there’s there’s time management, but there’s also again, energy management, only measuring time spent on things is one layer, but also you can spend 10 minutes, but actually feel completely wiped right afterwards. There are multiple things going on here and  it’s just about being open about getting the team to be open about. Where they are.  Then making sure that you create an environment where  it works for everyone on your team. 

[00:19:42] It’s interesting, but obviously it’s about the 10 minutes thing, because I used to go model my team, the boot me out for half an hour, an hour. And I was used to say, why can we not do this for 20 minutes? Why is 40 minutes not a changer? It’s always let the hour. And then because you booked the hour would stretch it, the OMP, or be looking going right to you’ve. We’ve got 10 more minutes left. What we’re going to do is talk about this now. I think we’ve done that. Let’s get out. 

[00:20:04] Yeah. 

[00:20:04] So you touched upon a really good point about energy mines there. Look, I’ve been doing lots of online train and coach and delivering stuff. And half of the day for me is it’s enough yesterday. I did half eight till half three. And it was a lot, it was a lot. And what I noticed was there was seven people in the room.  By the end of it, literally the last two hours, nothing was going in or I had to work much harder to get my point across to help them through that particular task or exercise. So energy management is tough.  If you’ve got any tips on that, any thoughts on how long. 

[00:20:40]It kind of depends on, the meetings  on exactly what you’re doing. there are a whole bunch of rules of thumb that I’ve come across that I’ve included in the book that like in general, for example, with presentations, Anything beyond 10 minutes, you typically lose your audience and 20 hit now.

[00:20:58] Oh, there you go. Right. I mean, it is, it is, it is a little to be fair. It is a little bit different because it’s a conversation, but if it’s just one person talking like it’s, it is difficult. So that’s, that’s kind of one really obvious one in terms of your own, but also more importantly, the audience’s attention and energy.

[00:21:16]Other than that, in terms of energy, it’s more of an awareness thing. Keeping, track thinking of, of paying attention to when you do have a lot of energy, when you don’t and then. Figuring out why? And then,  talking with others about that too, 

[00:21:29] —

[00:21:29] do you, do, do you do partner ropes? Do you try to like shake things up late? Do you, do you, do you randomly put Garfield on the screen and then just get people to think what’s going on there and just to break things up, do you put iceberg as in bits of fun and stuff? 

[00:21:45] Yeah.  from a presentation perspective, that kind of stuff works and, music  but I think to really get things done. It’s more about  this collaborative interaction and getting everyone’s voice heard, and everyone’s stickies on the board and making sure that after you do that, that it all  is internally consistent. And  that tends to keep energy up for quite long stretches.

[00:22:09]Usually, , an hour, hour and a half, sometimes you can do. And then beyond that, it’s better just to reschedule for a different time when people are refreshed and they come back and , they had a night’s sleep. They had a shower in the morning with some, great ideas from the shower, 

[00:22:23] and then come back with a lot more creativity and fresh look and you can keep going. . It’s just one of those things where I think  the trap that. It’s easy to fall into is that it’s only about time and  it’s not like, especially in software, right? Like you can have some idea that suddenly saves you three months of work.  It’s very jumpy in terms of how much It can affect things, but,  yeah,  it’s just, it’s more just a question of paying attention, I think.

[00:22:47] Yeah. And just in terms of attention there, you just mentioned that if people feel like they’ve contributed and they’re included, they’ll pay more attention. It’s about, giving people a voice and including them. 

[00:22:57] Yeah. Yeah.  It’s also in your interest, right?  You want to achieve what you want and they want to help you do it. It works both ways, very much. 

[00:23:04] Yeah, Andrew’s got a question here. So he’s talking about,  in terms of keeping productive,  I don’t know, under his, all of the productivity he’s got every hour scheduled.  do you think that helps stay in productive? 

[00:23:15] I think it’s a very individual thing. I’ve tried all kinds of things myself. I think what, what for me, I think has done quite a lot is trying to create these larger blocks of time to do individual work  and scheduling like actually scheduling what’s important to make sure that it happens. That is really good,  there’s  this really classic essay by a guy named Paul Graham in the startup space, where he talks about,  maker schedule versus manager schedule and,  the maker, the creative person, like they want big blocks of time just to go and,  write or do something.

[00:23:48] Whereas the manager . They typically feel more productive when they have, when they interact with others and they’re on top of things. So they’re usually in meetings and I think you, you see this most clearly when you’ve got somebody who’s moving from maker to manager and then suddenly they’ve got all these doubts about whether they’re still able to create and that kind of thing.  Again, it goes back to, so what does productivity mean for you?  It may be that having , each hour scheduled to be able to allocate that maker time  is really good for you. Or you want to have, hour by hour breakdowns with specific people, or maybe you feel most productive when you’ve just got,  clear out a week on your calendar and go, , create something. So

[00:24:27] in terms of being productive, I had it, I was trending yesterday on an innovation culture, and I think an environment is very important for that because just , you know what, Andrew just sat there on screen and people work differently. Everyone works differently. People like to have different environments as well. When you touched upon there mic as and stuff,  I’ve worked in software for a decade and. What I saw was the techie guys,must be generalized CSR, everyone,  sometimes they want to be quite insular and hidden and behind a desk. And,  as the commercial guys, like ours were bouncing around, we’re on the phones, we’re loud. And we like to wander around and,have open spaces to innovateand talk. When you work remotely, sometimes you’ve just got your four walls. It’s just like you and I are in right now. If you’ve got anything in the book, in terms of your environments to help with this. Keep yourself motivated and things.

[00:25:15] Yeah. So I, I think, a not obvious element of the environment in a remote context is actually the techie stuff. So it’s, it’s exactly what tools you use and that kind of thing. So for example, the difference between Google docs versus Excel, right?

[00:25:29] If you’ve got Google sheets, you can get everyone on the team to contribute something. You quickly get something done. You’re moving ahead. Whereas at least a couple of years ago, I’m not fully up to exactly where they are now, this ability to collaborate and edit at the same time, I think is super important in terms of,  an environment for work and getting things done.

[00:25:48] And then, yeah, like the actual, like exactly which tools you use and what features they have, unfortunately are part of it.  They do contribute to how much people can contribute.  so thinking about it. Thinking through that is really important beyond that. Yeah. I mean, there’s, you know, stuff like standing desks or ergonomic things, so people feel good. There’s quite a lot of,  lists and advice out online,  which go into that.

[00:26:11] you pulled a grenade there, cause you said Google docs or Excel. And what about zoom and teams and stuff? Because we’ve been thrust into some of these platforms and some of them have their own little nuances. And sometimes I pull my hair out with them,  in the breakout rooms and the chats aren’t working and stuff.

[00:26:28]  so again, I think the, the most important filter that I have for this stuff is whether or not people can collaborate. And by by that, I mean, can each person follow what they’re interested in and contribute? And also edit what’s going on. And I think that’s, that’s the thing that it’s worth really looking for. So actually I’m not that big of a fan of zoom for that reason, because it is very much one way. And I think that’s just how people are used to doing things like everything is based on a screen-share.

[00:27:00] Whereas if you’ve got these online whiteboards, for example, Everybody can contribute at the same time and you can do things and you can have a conversation and that kind of thing. Yeah. teams versus Slack.  I think in a, at least in a larger company context, I think it was more about what people are already using and they feel comfortable on. So I think there’s that part of it too, because there’s no point in trying to force the using of one or the other, if everyone is somewhere else completely. Cause there’s, there is this online community aspect, a lot of these things too, which yeah, if it’s just tech without the people, then it has no value. 

[00:27:35] So in terms of people that I mentioned at the top of the conversation he manages, I think it was 30 people across all these different time zones and yeah. Green screens are not green screens.

[00:27:49] We’re very involved quite quickly, but then they the window. Okay. 

[00:27:53] Yeah. Yeah. I could never get mine to work very well. So it was like, uh, not for me. I mean, I’ve got my, post-its behind me when you, 

[00:28:03] when you’re managing all these teams, it’s dead funny, isn’t it? Because , this last year or so we’ve been in each other’s bedrooms and lounges, it’s  very personal. I love that kind of raw authenticity piece. We’ve dropped the armor. And I’ve said this a few times on the shore, we’ve had partners coming in with cups of tea. We’ve had kids burst and then through doors and I love it. It really. Have you, have you had much experience of that where things just cough like that when you’re working remotely?

[00:28:27] Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s funny. If you remember, the Korea correspondent on the BBC, there was this viral video a few years ago where the kids run in and he’s super like, and he’s nine. He tries to drag him away. Yeah. And , now it’s just like, well, okay. And yeah, very much so my, my daughter likes coming in here and when she was home from preschool, then she’d be in and wandering around and doing stuff and coloring and whatever. And it’s just, that’s part of the context, really? 

[00:28:57] when we’re talking about remotely as well, I think sometimes, um, I’m a real victim of this where I’ll just literally work all day and not get out. I won’t walk and get fresh air and stuff out when you’re managing teams. Do you have to build some of that in and really tell them? 

[00:29:11] Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Again, going back to the physical side, the energy side, literally paying attention to what you eat when you exercise like  that does affect,  how much attention you can have  when you’re looking at a screen and somebody is talking and yeah.

[00:29:26] More often than not, I’d actually be telling people to,  go take a break or, , take a day off . I can hear in their voices or I can just see that there’s a lot extra going on. And in fact  they need that time  to really be productive measuring by actually achieving things as opposed to just being around.

[00:29:45] It’s interesting when you mentioned teams though, because. In the physical space, you walk in the door and if your head’s down and you’re not feeling too good, then the team around you will really absorb that and the atmosphere drops. And so when you work in remotely, then when you click a camera on and you have not meeting or your bright eyed and push it, deal and fire, and everybody hopes.

[00:30:07]There definitely is an element of,  I think it’s called emotional contagion from a leadership perspective. I think that’s, , regardless of whether you’re in person or remote, but at the same time, not everyone is , like Tony Robbins style and especially in the tech world, not everybody likes having that kind of a manager too. What I’ve found that’s been helpful is just focusing on making sure everyone feels safe to contribute.  say what they want to say and think,  the potential challenge when you’ve got,  especially a mix of introverts and extroverts is you’ve got extroverts taking over and then drowning on everybody else.

[00:30:44]When you’re remote , you can  try and open it up so that the introverts do feel they have the space to also contribute. And I think  that’s a really important part of getting this right. 

[00:30:53] quite a bit of a curve ball here. Come in there. Question from Andrew. What you think about 3d a weekend for employees? 

[00:31:00] I think it really depends on how you’ve, how well you defined your goals as a company. And if. If they can do that and still achieve your goals the way that you want and why not. Right. Just the other day, I was having a conversation with someone that they were saying that actually better than a three-day weekend, Wednesday would be a good day to have off.

[00:31:24] Right. So you have two days. And then Wednesday to kind of do, do stuff. And then Thursday, Friday, you go back to, full on contributing. And then, , again, it goes back to,  especially in innovation where, you know, , the creative juice is based on to some extent how well rested you are and that kind of thing.

[00:31:42] I think if you go back to.  High-end sports stars, like the people who win the tournament and that kind of thing. They’re the ones who’ve optimized even rest, like when they rest and exactly how and that kind of thing. So it like it’s really get top performance overall on a sustained basis or on certain times,  when you rest is actually super important, It’s just, honestly,  I don’t have Pat answers for every four for every scenario. I think the key, the thing is that I, I want people to pay more attention to it and to how it works for their particular team. And  just to point out, it’s not an obvious thing. And also applying what we did in person. Isn’t necessarily the right thing for remote.

[00:32:23]Let’s talk about the book and before we wrap things up, so how long did it take you to write the book?

[00:32:27]about six months. So I started in earnest around, around July and yeah,  wrapped up roughly in December 

[00:32:34] in terms of writing that book, what was your day like?  Did you write every day or. 

[00:32:38]There’s just a lot of parts to it. There was a period where I was  drafting about a chapter a week.

[00:32:42] Good amount of editing at a certain point. I started also trying to figure out how to cartoon to illustrate certain things.  so that, that extended it a little bit.  I’m happy with it, so it probably could have been shorter if I just went and did the kind of quick Kindle book kind of thing. But yeah, I think I’ve said what I wanted to say. I think so you see, 

[00:33:06] but it isn’t an ebook as well as a hard copy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

[00:33:11] And then also I’ve got a, I’ve got a podcast where I’m interviewing people whose work I found helpful when I was managing or whose research I came across that I found  was quite interesting. , during this year. 

[00:33:22] Do you want to drop that in? And you can just give yourself a little bit of a promotion now look, why or why not?

[00:33:27] Yeah, sure.  aligned remotely.com all the details there. Yeah. And the books on Amazon. So that’s probably the best place. 

[00:33:35]Well, I think we’ll wrap it up there.  So we are live across Facebook. Twitter on YouTube. If you want to jump and look at the Facebook pages, their industry angel, you’ll find it. If anyone wants us to look innocent, what was the website? Again, align remotely.com and they across any social channels as well. Look, are you prevalent on Twitter or anything or?  

[00:33:55] LinkedIn and Twitter  are the two main places.

[00:33:57] Yeah. Fantastic stuff. So I think if anyone has any questions, they can fire you off there, connect with you on LinkedIn and buy the book. Hopefully. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:34:07] Hey, so look, thank you so much for your time this morning. And,  it’s been great. I’m gonna kick you out and I’m going to say goodbye to the audience. So look, hopefully we’ll see you in person maybe instead of remotely one day, that’d be great. Yeah. Excellent. Cheers. Look, you take care now. 

[00:34:25]And if you watch it on catch up, thank you so much. If you found this useful, please share it with your audience and click that little Lake button as well. That’s always good. We love finding new metrics here, so get a chaired. And if you subscribe to the YouTube channel as well, you’ll get a notification of when we’re going to go live and make sure you check out looks book.

[00:34:43]I’m sure it’s really relevant for us all now in this remote way of working. So thank you so much for watching, uh, Amy and farro. This the industry. Angela. Thanks for listening. .

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