What does research say about remote work?
Given all the challenges with forced presenteeism, how do we find connection and collaboration in remote-first workplaces? Despite the dangers, here are great success examples from committing to remote work and the freedom it gives people. Research has found that the ability to work remotely is correlated with productivity for developers.4 Software teams in particular can thrive under the asynchronous and flexibility allowed by remote work when they are able to collaboratively trade generative and collaborative code work between teammates who may be in different time zones or have different expertises to contribute.5 The key is not to have no connection in remote workplaces, but to commit to meaningful connections that places real problem-solving at the center. Unfortunately, we often miss this. Research on software teams dealing with sudden transitions into remote work have noted that practices like pair programming can vanish for software teams.6 From collaboration to solitude and back: remote pair programming during Covid-19. Additionally, developer teams report missing unmonitored social time like brainstorming–even more during the pandemic.7 In this study of 600+ developers, 65% of respondents reported a decrease in feeling socially connected with their team. And less awareness of what colleagues are working on (which is reported by 58% of respondents) was associated with a decrease in productivity. These studies highlight the importance of the organizational transparency engineering insights platforms provide. Flow dashboards instantly enable engineers to not only see what they’re currently working on, but also a snapshot of cross-team connectivity and a holistic understanding of current team tasks.

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