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Tech Productivity

Issue #58  (Open-plan Offices Are Dumb) 03/23/20

For many of you, remote work is becoming mandatory due to the current climate worldwide. We know there are benefits to remote work, and certainly it's beneficial to our health at the moment, but there are also a lot of drawbacks.

World Map with Pins
What are the drawbacks of remote teams?

Taking the view that knowing is half the battle, it would be good to examine a 6-month old Hacker News thread where a reader asks: What are the Cons of Being on a Remote/Distributed Team?

Here are some of the challenges presented in the thread:
  • Communication problems and misunderstandings increase
  • One-to-one relationships are harder to build remotely
  • Loneliness
  • Time zones
  • Lack of trust from management if they aren't fully on board with remote work
  • If the company is not all-remote, there can be work culture differences
That's just a brief summary of some of the things in the thread that caught my attention. Those of you who are just starting remote work might benefit from considering those challenges and do what you can to overcome them early.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!

Tools & Apps

Subclock - An improved clock app for Mac. Fully customizable with the ability to view time in deciseconds.

Bobby - iOS app to keep track of your subscriptions. Get insights on your fixed costs, manage your subscriptions, and get notified when a bill is due.

Integromat - Easy to use tool for automating manual processes. Connect your favorite apps, services, and devices with each other without programming skills.

Screenshot HQ - Screenshot tool with shareable URLs and previewable smart links.

Eggplanned - A planning / to do list application especially designed to let you deposit thoughts faster than anything on the market.

Have Happier, More Productive Video Meetings - makes it easier and faster for remote teams to work together by offering user friendly video meetings with agendas, collaborative notes, and emoji responses. No download required and it’s free to use.   promoted  

Articles & Resources

It's Official: Open-Plan Offices Are Now the Dumbest Management Fad of All Time - A new study from Harvard reveals that open-plan offices decrease rather than increase face-to-face collaboration.

The Science of Well-Being (Free Course) - Yale have just released this course for free. Engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.

Setting Up Your Webcam, Lights, and Audio for Remote Work, Podcasting, Videos, and Streaming - Lots of good hardware advice here if you happen to be considering doing some serious podcasting, streaming, etc.

Hard Negotiations: Why a Softer Approach Yields Better Outcomes - This is a podcast episode but there is an edited transcript on the page.


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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