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Remote Work: Tips & Tricks From Startups

May 25, 2022

Business, In the media

How to be productive working remotely?

It’s been around ten days since a large part of the business in Bulgaria have switched to a remote model of working due to the outbreak of coronavirus and the measures to stop the spread. And while for the tech sector it’s relatively easy to adjust due to the specifics of the work, for more traditional sectors the concept of working from the couch or the kitchen table is a bit unusual. 

Pavlina Desheva, founder of Webdesh: Set ‘quiet time’ for bigger projects and announce it to everyone

Pavlina is the cofounder of WordPress development agency Webdesh and the leader of an almost completely female and 100% remote team of ten people. The core team is in Sofia, but there are freelancers from Dobrich, Silistra and other places in Bulgaria. Right before the outbreak they rented an office (after working remotely for years), and are now back to their remote normality.  

– What practices, methodologies, rituals and tools can you recommend?

Communication, planning, clear priorities and adaptability – these are the key factors that help us be productive while working away from each other. 

We have co-working days (at least 2 in a week in normal circumstances), just to connect better as a team and to progress faster on small and ongoing tasks. Whether we are together or not, we have “quiet time” (at least 2 hours) so that each of us can focus on bigger tasks. 

Using specific and strictly determined communicational tools is key. We use 3 things:

  1. Discord (similar to Slack) for discussions
  2. Asana comments to track task’s progress, challenges, deadlines 
  3. and phones if we need to (usually with clients or for team brainstorming) 
  4. More tool ideas here

We don’t miss a daily call, we do scrum and keep in touch during the whole day (and often – night… we do IT/design stuff after all so we are quite productive during small hours :)). In our team we care about each other so we don’t rush the calls – we take our time to ask each other how we feel, how are we, etc. and then we jump on the work specifics and updates.

Learning on the go and celebrating wins is key for keeping up with the good work at Webdesh, so we try to make learning sessions on the go (the moment somebody learns something – they share it with the team over a video call or Discord #knowledge channel and we drink wine when we launch a new website (we are 80% women in the team ;)).

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