Efficient Distributed Editorial Board

sexshopers , remote work , distributed office

Our editorial office has been in a remote format for four years now. How we do it – read the article.


Text: Aliona Ryne
Photo: Andrey Zikeev

Russian version

Sexshopers.ru is not just an editorial board, we are a real team! How to achieve this, living in different cities? It's just a matter of organizing your work.

We do not have micromanagement, each team member knows their tasks and performs them according to their own plan, that is, we utilize self-control. This allows “larks” not to disturb others in the morning, “owls” to be productive in the dark, and both to live peacefully side by side. We share joys and sorrows and are constantly in touch, but we do not make work the center of life, while actively integrate it into our daily plan in a convenient way.

Of course, we have standards and regulations for all occasions: banner sizes, information for companies, rules for publishing articles, and so on. At some point in the existence of the site, a decision was made to standardize the size of illustrations, for example. Then we determined the rules for writing the most common words. Thus, over time, we have come to a single style of publications, which is familiar to our regular readers. Standards help us not to get buried in a landslide of daily decisions and save us time and effort. In addition, it is much more convenient to give a new author a memo than to explain that we use the middle dash and the letter “ё” and do not use feminitives.

We know about the existence of trackers and task schedulers. However, a rather archaic method has taken root in our team – a bunch of Yandex-disk (YD), Google-sheets and a working chat in Telegram. This format turned out to be the most viable, as it is convenient for all team members. The translator does not need to learn the planner, the editor does not need to be integrated into the complex process of control and decision-making. We don't make content for the sake of content, and we don't use sophisticated tools to brag about our advancement.

Let's see how it works for us.

Yandex Disk is one of our main working tools. How do publications get on the poison? In different ways. There is a technical editor who “pulls out” texts in English fr om foreign resources. Our authors send test drives and articles by email. There are other ways, but we will not reveal all the secrets.

Among the various tables that we need for work, there is a separate, most important “Working file”. The lead editor creates a publication plan for the month ahead and keeps the file up to date daily. The editor-in-chief approves the current plan, makes changes and additions to it. Each publication has its own numbered folder on Yandex Disk, wh ere materials for publication are located. The entire team has access to Yandex Disk.

Each of us lives in our own time zone and works at our own pace. Since high self-organization is the main skill of the remote worker, the work goes like this: the editor looks at the plan, opens the desired folder on the Yandex Disk, proofreads the text and makes a copy of the revisited text. After that, an icon appears in the plan, which informs the lead editor that the text for the desired date has been proofread. The visual artist works in the same way, preparing illustrations and photos for publication.

The lead editor not only proofreads the texts and draws up a plan, he also checks the stages of completion of different materials. The editor-in-chief, opening the Working file, immediately sees the state of each element of the plan: where the proofreading is not ready, where the pictures are not made, and where both are completed. Thus, at any time you can tell where you can find a window for urgent publication, and where you need to request additional information. As a rule, all publications are ready by the given date.

The work chat helps us to coordinate those works that do not have strict regulations: for example, preparing an interview or discussing a new idea. In addition, we have a casual chat where we share life stories, humor and everything that comes to mind. We are friends and discuss a variety of topics outside the working framework. This allows us to be a team not in words, but in deeds.

Of course, within the framework of one article it is impossible to touch upon all the tools that we use. There are still a lot of processes that remained behind the scenes. However, we hope that now the expression “the Sexshopers team” has become a little more clear to readers. And, although we still have a lot to do, we can already proudly say that we have achieved well-coordinated and effective work, despite the difference in time zones.