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Publication Title | Distributed Work Playbooks

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Arranging logistics, like rooms and timezones
Ensuring technology supports the work you’re doing
Getting to know one another, building trust
Set Team Norms
Norms set clear expectations for how your team works together. But they’re often assumed rather than explicitly stated, leaving opportunities for confusion.
● Set clear guidelines and budgets for when team members can travel - it’s one of the best ways to support distributed work!
● Encourage team members to create communication and decision making norms (e.g., answering emails/pings off-hours, information-sharing across time zones).
● Set norms for when team members should and shouldn’t join meetings off-hours.
Get Talking
A little rapport goes a long way. Create opportunities to get to know your distributed teammates just like you would if they sat in the next cube over.
● Start meetings with an open-ended, personal question. Try “what did you do this weekend?”
● Try a group chat that is always “on” for work-related questions or fun, social messages.
● Share a virtual meal over GVC. But keep time zones in mind - your lunch may be someone’s breakfast or afternoon tea.
Appreciate Differences
Cultural differences influence how people like to be visible or receive recognition; the way people act; and interpret the actions of others - but we’re not always aware of how culture influences behavior, experiences, or workstyle.
● Reflect: Some behaviors required for distributed work aren’t comfortable counter cultural identities, norms, or personalities.
● Use 1:1s to discuss how distributed Googlers can be heard, supported, and included.
Traverse Time Zones
Scheduling a meeting that works for everyone is hard enough. It’s easy to forget what matters to your teammates, especially time zones and personal working hours.
● Revisit your team meeting schedule. If the same people are joining off-hours, try a rotating schedule to accommodate everyone. Acknowledge those who are joining off hours, and reconsider “friendly” meeting times (e.g., 8am in Singapore is still 5am in Hyderabad).
Working together when we’re not together: A manager’s guide to distributed work
Research shows that distributed work can be as effective as working in the same office, but it isn’t always as easy or enjoyable. Why? Employees struggle to create 3 types of high-quality connections. But simple behaviors can help. This playbook is designed uniquely for you.
What can you do to improve distributed work?
“[Distributed work] is more difficult and requires more effort and moderation...once you’ve
Learn more at go/distributedwork
done your homework it’ll be a much more enjoyable experience”
Connection Challenges

Image | Distributed Work Playbooks

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