Sharing our remote practices
Updated: Mar 20
Co-authored by the Emergence Collective and Spring After Winter teams
There is a lot of uncertainty around how COVID-19 will change what our communities look like, what our jobs look like, what our world looks like. Understanding we can’t predict the way these challenges unfold, our team has been sitting in that uncertainty together and with colleagues across the country - and we invite you to join us.
Our teams have worked primarily remotely for the past two years and frequently host interactive virtual meetings so that people with financial or geographic limitations can still co-conspire for a better world. As communication and collaboration modalities shift quickly, we thought it could be helpful to share some of our experiences in building a hyper-collaborative and compassionate remote work environment from the beginning.
Things we want you to know we’re conscious of as you read our posts:
We think family and health comes first. We’re not sharing these tools because we think that society should prioritize work over safety, but in the hope that perhaps something here is useful to you or your team.
We know some people don’t have a choice about whether or how to work. Maybe you’re with our colleagues on the front lines providing screening and healthcare, maybe you have a job in the service industry and your work has halted as restaurants and bars close, maybe you have kids to care for as childcare centers and schools close. For those of us who can work remotely or have a choice whether to work, we can’t forget people whose options are limited.
A lot of our partners’ missions focus on providing critical support to communities hit hardest by the coronavirus. We’re always learning and growing, and we’re interested in working alongside you to figure out how to maintain that momentum working virtually.
Even though we work 90% remotely, we think some in-person time is irreplaceable and key to building trusting relationships. As opportunities for in-person gatherings re-emerge, we don’t advocate for 100% remote work in the long-term.
We offer this blog series focused on tools and best practices for participatory virtual meetings and virtual democratic decision making in the spirit of encouraging concise and productive remote collaboration. These methods help us to generate consensus with and gather data from important stakeholders, and to seek the input and guidance of collaborators, while also maintaining social distancing and accommodating remote work.
As the situation develops we will have a better sense of what post-COVID-19 “business as usual” will look like and how long we’ll need to function with the realities of social distancing and reduced bandwidth for work. As that becomes clear, we suggest you consider these strategies as tools in your kit.
As much as possible we encourage you to reassess your priorities to contribute to efforts to reduce the stress and demands on your coworkers, colleagues, and volunteers.
With this framing in mind, in this blog series we cover the following topics:
Basics of participatory virtual meetings
Making your virtual meeting engaging and inclusive