“Are all of your conferences so efficient that you simply stay up for them?” Our CEO, Matt Mullenweg, not too long ago requested us to replicate on this query. Reside conferences have their place, and there are conversations which might be higher achieved in real-time, whether or not in particular person or via video chat. However they are often pricey when it comes to time and power.
At Automattic, we are sometimes requested how we handle distant work and the way we keep away from extreme conferences, and inside e-mail chains. We use P2, a product powered by WordPress.com, to collaborate with colleagues throughout time zones. My staff, for instance, lives all over the place from the Philippines to Romania — there’s little or no time for us to fulfill reside. P2 is a platform for us to brainstorm concepts, share undertaking updates, and talk asynchronously. It’s a spot the place all of us begin our workdays, regardless of the place we’re on the planet, and make amends for what we’re all engaged on, what duties should be achieved, and what selections should be made. Consider it as an inside journal. A bulletin board. A digital watercooler.
For me, it’s sort of like studying the morning information. P2 can work for various sorts of groups or teams — individuals who work collectively inside a distributed firm, a digital classroom or workshop cohort, a web-based enterprise interacting with shoppers or companions, and extra. Questioning how P2 can streamline your work, foster asynchronous collaboration, and remove pointless conferences? Listed below are 10 methods:
1. Provide programs that members can take at their very own tempo
We provide programs that will help you benefit from your WordPress.com website. For this curriculum, we use P2 as a group hub the place college students learn classes, ask questions, get suggestions, and work together with different members. This may be achieved asynchronously — college students don’t want to affix Zoom calls at instances that don’t match their schedule, which makes it accessible for everybody, from wherever they’re.
2. Automate requests throughout groups and departments
You should use P2 to streamline processes in your group, similar to making requests. Have to ship a contract to a brand new worker? Submit a request in your authorized staff’s P2. In search of a designer to make a graphic for an upcoming weblog announcement? Fill out a request in your design staff’s P2. Hoping to parse stats on a latest marketing campaign? Publish a request in your knowledge staff’s P2. With these workflows in place, there’s no must arrange conferences to make these requests. Additional discussions can occur within the put up’s feedback as wanted.
3. Share standing updates from throughout your organization
At Automattic, we have now a P2 referred to as Thursday Updates the place each staff is required to put up a biweekly standing replace, which could embrace undertaking highlights and high-level summaries. At many organizations, all these updates are sometimes delivered in PowerPoint or Google Slides at reside conferences, usually to full rooms with individuals who don’t should be there. With P2, you may current info and updates with an array of blocks, together with media embeds and undertaking monitoring instruments.
4. Arrange an area to introduce new colleagues
The pandemic has modified the way in which we work, however historically, in lots of environments, new staff are sometimes taken round and launched to different employees. Automattic is a completely distributed firm, and our teammates reside all over the world. One firm custom requires each new worker to put in writing a welcome put up on a delegated P2, the place they embed a brief intro video about themselves. Different posts as a part of the onboarding course of embrace new worker interviews. These are all efficient methods of attending to know individuals and to welcome them to your staff — while not having to schedule a bunch of in-person conferences.
5. Create a non-public website to conduct trials with job candidates
The method of hiring a brand new worker, from begin to end, might be time-consuming. Your complete interview timeline can take weeks, generally months, usually facilitated via an exhausting mixture of cellphone calls, Slack chats, Zoom calls, and in-person conferences. All roles at WordPress.com and the remainder of Automattic contain a trial: a interval when candidates work with us on a short-term undertaking, and when each side can assess whether or not it’s match. We create P2s for candidates on trial, and at this stage are in a position to be taught quite a bit about them, significantly the way in which they suppose, talk, and collaborate. And that is necessary: we consider a tradition of sturdy written communication is important for distant organizations.
6. Arrange a digital notepad for conferences and brainstorms
Particulars of reside conferences might be misplaced, particularly when nobody takes notes! At Automattic, we doc exterior calls with shoppers and companions, sharing name notes in P2. And since P2s are searchable, staff — previous, current, and future — can entry necessary info mentioned in conferences, even ones wherein they weren’t current, to know why selections have been made or to get the context they should do their work. When you file video calls, it’s also possible to embed recordings on P2 with a variety of video blocks, together with Loom, Vimeo, and extra, to complement name notes.
7. Collaborate with companions and shoppers in a devoted house
When you run a enterprise, you would possibly discover that companions and shoppers usually wish to schedule a recurring assembly, even when there are not any main updates to debate. P2 is a superb platform to enhance — and remove pointless — reside conferences. You possibly can create a P2 in your companion or shopper and model it visually with customized colours and their firm brand, and tweak the sidebar with related hyperlinks and assets. On this devoted P2, companions and shoppers can share written updates, ask fast questions, arrange future calls, and correspond along with your staff all through the week. You possibly can then schedule conferences solely when wanted.
8. Have fun wins, publish retrospectives, and extra
As you browse this listing, you may see the ability and flexibility of P2. Powered by WordPress.com, P2 is, at its core, an inside journal — an area the place your teammates, college students, or group members could make bulletins and share recaps. In some workplaces and work environments, individuals would possibly schedule an after-work outing to commemorate a profitable yr, or plan an in-person retreat to debate the long-term imaginative and prescient of an organization. However today, because it’s develop into tougher to throw in-person occasions and to get collectively in particular person, we additionally use P2 to have a good time wins, put up “state of the enterprise” missives and share different important longer-form content material.
9. Share meetup guides and occasion summaries
Groups at WordPress.com and throughout Automattic periodically meet up in particular person, giving teammates scattered throughout the globe an opportunity to see each other in actual life. Planning a meetup can take up a variety of time, from researching areas and reserving lodging to making sure flight and different journey prices are inside price range. Meetup planners should additionally wrangle or pay attention to accessibility points, visa procedures of all attendees, web pace assessments, and different logistics. P2 is a good way to compile particulars and publish post-trip recaps, and archive journey assets for groups who go to these areas sooner or later. People eager about a specific vacation spot can refer to those guides whereas planning, which cuts down conferences to important ones solely. (Enjoyable reality: traditionally Lisbon, Portugal, and Hawaii have been the most well-liked meetup areas at Automattic.)
10. Publish self-guided assets and inside documentation
Groups throughout WordPress.com have entry to a variety of documentation P2s that we name Universities — similar to Area College and Scheduling College — that permit staff to self-train in new areas or brush up on expertise. These P2s are fairly complete — studying this content material would possibly require a full-day reside coaching session — however with these on-line “universities,” employees can work via assets and tutorials in their very own time.