21st September, 2017 WordPress Meet at Blue Host/ Endurance International
Iam just 2 meetings old in the WordPress community and if you ask me how has it been so far? I would say it’s been resourceful and an enjoyable experience. The best part of these meets is that they are voluntarily organized by some WordPress enthusiasts like Alexander Gounder, Jayman Pandya and others.
So what was in store at this meet, which was held at Endurance International office at Nesco, Goregaon West, Mumbai, India? We had two speakers Mussanif (who replaced Stephane Boisvert – Lead of VIP Support for Automattic, as he couldn’t make it) and Karen Arnold, Head of Happiness Hiring for Automattic.
He discussed about the present and future scope of WordPress. Why it is referred to as the operating system of the web?
He discussed about WordPress VIP Services .
This service is meant for a particular category of businesses and people. When the traffic on the website is massive, often security becomes an issue. For such blogs or websites WordPress has introduced with VIP services. Some of their clients are Indian Express and Justine Trudeau, the honourable Prime Minister of Canada.
This service can be used by Product and Services’ companies and for personal branding purpose too. It also breaks the perception of WordPress being a blog host company. WordPress is primarily known as a platform for blogging but, this service makes efforts to convey to its audience that WP is more than just a blogging platform.
It gives opportunity to big corporates to have their website on WordPress.
The discussion then digressed a bit to Gutenberg- an editor/ plugin that aims at building and adding more flexibility and customization while writing posts. It is an opensource, built by contributors / volunteers.
Then Karen Arnold took over the discussion; she spoke about the challenges and opportunities of working remotely. As a matter of fact the entire Automattic team works remotely.
Karen said that according to research studies if people work remotely there are lesser chances of them quitting their jobs. It may seem that working remotely is fine for a team of less than 50 people. But, surprisingly Automattic team constitutes of 611 people and everyone works remotely. I found that totally exciting since I am a freelancer I work remotely too.
It has its pros and cons, which Karen spoke about and I could relate to the entire presentation.
Challenges of working remotely
You don’t communicate much with your team in person.
It’s tough to define the culture of a company where the team is working remotely (the team doesn’t meet and interact in person).
It’s a challenge to monitor the team and how would you know the productivity of each team member? Employees need to be self-motivated if they are working remotely.
So, Automattic has a six-week long trial process before hiring anyone.
2) Challenges faced by the team:
- The team doesn’t meet at all:
So, they don’t see each other working; they need to be self-motivated.
How would you focus on your work as there are so many things that tend to distract you while wroking from home? But, at Automattic everyone is catching up with timelines as there is a system where teams discuss their progress through different tools.
Most of the communication happens in English but, it might be tough for some people who don’t speak English.
When you work remotely; may be from home or in a travel van like Karen does, you tend to feel alone. You miss the excitement that is a part of offices where colleagues meet everyday and bond.
You might feel irritable and less excited while working as your are bound to your home all day. You don’t leave your house environment and step out. That could be a challenge, isn’t it and can be called as ‘Cabin fever’.
You don’t know if you, ‘Work at home or live at work’.
I could relate to each of these challenges but, let me tell you if you are passionate about your work and the projects that you work on, these things don’t matter. Yes, at times you may feel bogged down by these challenges but, as Karen suggested you can make it a habit to go out for strolls in the morning, evening and take a tiny break in the afternoon to watch TV or read something. All in all, its different kind of fun.
Employees are happy because they can work from preferred location; home, coffee shop, while travelling, co-working space, etc.
You can change what you want in the environment where you work unlike, when you work from the office.
People from across the globe form the team. There are no boundaries; you have a diverse team to work with, isn’t that exciting?
It might seem you are saving on lot of resources especially financial resources, yes, that is true. But, when you meet once in a year, to get together the entire team at one place is quite a cost. So, eventually it’s a trade-off between spending money on an office or on better things like meeting up with your colleagues once a year, communicating and having fun.
How to make remote working a success?
To improve your communication with the team use a lot of tools, share what you have been working on regularly (atleast once a week), skills what you have been working on and the challenges faced.
Choose the right place to work depending on the work at hand. If you have a conference call or skype call be prepared for it a day in advance. You cannot be travelling or be in a noisy place if you are on a call.
Be prepared for the day, use a notebook to make notes about the day’s schedule. Karen said something interesting, she notes down things that she has finished doing so she knows her progress and how much more she got to work on. Iam doing this today and I think it works well 😊
Get up and move away from your laptop, take breaks; this refreshes you.
List of companies that provide opportunities for freelancers:
The next WordPress Meet is happening on 30th September, 2017 at Endurance International from 10am to 5pm. Its called the WordPress Global Translation Day #GWTD3. Its an opportunity where you can translate for WordPress from English to regional Indian languages.
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