Tom and Domas

Editor’s Note: Tom compares remote working with working in the London office – now he’s been for a visit and met us in real life for the first time since we started working with him 6 years ago!

Tom and our other coder Domas have just been visiting us in London. You can see them in the pictrue above on the left! Having worked with TLD creating pixel perfect code for 6 years, it’s neen amazing to have Tom and Domas in the London office. I asked him to write his views on working as a team!

Working as a team

I have been working for Top Left Design for a while now. All this time I have been working further from the core team which is based in London and have never got a chance to meet them in person. But now I have finally visited the team and spent a few days working together with everybody. It has always been great working in Top Left Design – no matter far away or now right here in the team.

Therefore, I would like to give a few great things about working outside the core team and some excellent things about working closely in the team.

Focus

First of, when I am far from the team I focus on the job entirely. I really do care about the job and I am hard working. When working on projects, I think through all scenarios I can, sometimes even those that clients are not initially aware of. This stimulates self-sufficiency and self-confidence with your thoughts. This does help in coding, where you have to consider many options, many ways of doing things, and also many things that can go wrong. You need to think bravely.

Clarity in communication

Having said that, I also try to carefully think through messages and reports that I write to the team. I want to make them as accurate and comprehensive as possible. I keep asking myself – Have I forgotten anything? Does the message explain the issue fully? Is it easy to read through the message and understand it from the first time? What is more, working further from the team encourages me to create or research team collaboration tools that could work online. Lastly, when I have spare time, I spend it mostly doing research and learning new things.

At close range

Working right there in team is a special experience. You constantly get a sense on what the people are breathing. You also learn more about what they do in daily life. You really do share emotions with everybody and easily dive into the emotional atmosphere. This does add to the trust that we are constantly building and is the best way to get to know more about the person, including personal traits as well working habits.

In terms of work, there is also a lot to mention. I was able to explain things in person to project managers. I noticed that this way it’s easier to persuade them with regards to technical decisions. There is more involvement in decision making process in terms of shaping tasks and designs. That way I can make sure I can avoid technical issues later on and keep everybody happy. Furthermore, you feel closer to the client and are able to explain technical details. Last but not least, it’s easy to assist with something quickly or just make a quick cup of tea.

To sum things up, there is no wrong way unless you are not a dedicated and hard working person. I believe you can contribute to a team in many ways far or near. The challenge itself is useful if you are all up to the one goal. The challenge can pull the best out of you and you’ll find new methods to work as a team.

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