Working Loudly | Engineering cover image

Working Loudly | Engineering


Embrace the Roar of Working Loudly: Letting Tools Handle Status Updates

In a world of remote working it is easy to feel lonely, like you’re on your own little island, unaware of what’s going on elsewhere in the company. Before the pandemic, it was easier to bump into people in the office kitchen and spontaneously chat about projects – creating opportunities for serendipitous information exchange. Some remote companies attempt to solve this problem by leaning into mandatory meetings, status check-ins, stand-ups—rituals that are intended to be a quick way to get everyone in sync. In practice, these meetings often go long and fall short of their intended purpose. At Equi, we instead opted to encourage a style that we call “working loudly.”

Working loudly advocates for ongoing, regular communication and leveraging tools and automation to take care of mundane status updates. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of working loudly and explore how it can improve the way we work and collaborate.

The Power of Working Loudly

Working loudly is more than just a catchy phrase; It's a fundamental shift in the way we approach work. Traditionally, employees have been conditioned to keep work under wraps until it's polished; as close to perfect as it can be; and finally, ready for presentation. However, this approach often leads to information silos; miscommunications/misunderstandings and thus delays in project timelines; and a lack of transparency within teams.

Working loudly flips this script. It encourages individuals to communicate early and often—sharing their thoughts, progress, and challenges with the team from the outset. This approach has several benefits:

Enhanced Collaboration

Working loudly promotes collaboration by encouraging team members to communicate openly and early about their work. When you share your ideas and progress early, it creates a dynamic environment where feedback can be given and received, catching problems sooner in the process leading to better, and more timely outcomes.

Transparency and Accountability

Working loudly promotes transparency within teams. When everyone knows what others are working on and where they stand, it becomes easier to hold each other accountable for deadlines and project milestones. This transparency fosters a culture of responsibility and ownership.

Reduced Stress

The fear of not meeting expectations or encountering unexpected problems can lead to stress and anxiety. When you work loudly and let your tooling share your progress regularly, it reduces the pressure of delivering a perfect end product. You can also see how the other team members are progressing without interrupting their progress.

Tools: The Silent Partners in Working Loudly

While working loudly is a mindset shift, it's made possible and more effective through the intelligent use of tools. Equi uses a number of platforms and applications to automate and streamline status updates, making it easier for everyone to embrace this new way of working.

Screen Grabs and Video Captures

To speed up communication we often use screen grabs and video captures. We use Loom ( a screen recording service) and its many integrations to make quick recordings of problems, solutions, and thoughts. This allows the receiver to watch asynchronously on their schedule and at 2x speed if they wish. In addition, recording meetings gives us an easy and quick way to record notes for those who couldn’t attend. Using AI tools for transcription and hosting in a wiki (Notion for us) gives the ability find this information quickly.

Project Management Tools

Tools like Trello, Asana or Linear allow teams to organize tasks and projects efficiently. These platforms provide a visual representation of work in progress and making it easy for team members to see who is working on what and the status of each task. By linking these tools to GitHub and Slack, they can automatically transition tasks through the statuses.

Communication Platforms

Collaboration tools such as Slack or Discord facilitate communication. They provide chat channels where team members can discuss ongoing work, share updates, and seek help when needed. Integrations with other software make it easy to tie conversations to specific projects or tasks, ensuring that important information is always accessible. Having naming conventions for your channels gives meta information and allows conversations to be had with the right team members.

Version Control Systems

For software development and document collaboration, version control systems are indispensable. By using integrations into GitHub, our version control system of choice, we get a steady notification of pull requests, continuous integration alerts, etc. In addition, we push our branches when we get started on a task, rather than when we finish; this prevents information siloing and helps us make sure we are in sync with other team members. We can watch branches rather than status reports to better determine ordering. By having a shared record we can more easily identify when multiple developers are having the same class of issues.

Tips for Successful Implementation

To fully embrace working loudly and let tools handle status updates effectively, consider these practical tips:

1. Set Clear Guidelines

Establish guidelines within your team or organization for working loudly. Clarify expectations for communication frequency, preferred tools, and the types of information that should be shared. Make sure everyone understands what certain words mean in a context, such as “work in progress”, “ready for review”, and most importantly, “blocked”.

2. Prefer Asynchronous Communication

Asynchronous communication allows developers to concentrate and avoid costly interruptions, as well as providing a paper trail for a paper trail for thoughts and decisions along the way. This isn’t limited to emails; using tools like Loom can make making a quick video faster and easier than having a meeting or writing a document.

3. Choose the Right Tools

Select tools that align with your team's workflow and needs. Make sure they are user-friendly and offer integrations with other software you use regularly for instance we often create tasks from Slack messages in Linear, then use the branch feature name in linear to correlate to GitHub.

4. Identify Your Channels

We use different channels with different priorities in Slack. This allows the sender the message to pick priority; immediate attention versus what can wait until you have a minute. Different teams may use different channels or assign different levels of awareness to them.

5. Foster a Culture of Feedback

Encourage constructive and direct feedback within your team. While no one likes to be criticized, working loudly makes it more apparent that everyone gets feedback and reduces its sting. At the same time it is even more important that sensitive issues be dealt with care and directly.

We use different channels with different priorities in Slack. This allows the sender the message to pick priority; immediate attention versus what can wait until you have a minute. Different teams may use different channels or assign different levels of awareness to them.

6. Continuously Improve

Regularly evaluate your processes and tools to identify areas for improvement. Seek feedback from your team and make adjustments as necessary to enhance the working loudly approach.

Embrace the Roar

Working loudly is powerful for our teams. It allows us to work with confidence and intensity without the constant drone of interruptions, and untimely requests. By committing to open communication early on and allowing your tools to manage status updates, you can solve problems more effectively; create a culture of collaboration and transparency; and achieve better results. So, embrace the roar of working loudly.


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