I often complain when managers ask me what I am doing, where I am. Because we already have recurring meeting, standups, and we leave many breadcrumbs about what we are working at and where we are.

Let’s consider a scenario we are all familiar with. A team working with GitHub relaying on issues and pull requests.

There are a lot of information that people can gather from where we are. They can look at the activity on assigned issues. If many are active with discussions it means that we are at planning or designing phase.

If many issues have a PR assigned it means that the team figured out what to, and it is busy writing code. Those PRs are ready for review or are mark as draft? If you work in sprints you should expect for the second half of it that many PRs are open for review, if not that’s a red flag that something is not going as planned.

I don’t see the reason for asking how it is going. There are metrics to figure that out, let’s use that time for something useful. And I am not saying this because I value my time. I do but that’s a problem I solve when I negotiate my salary. I said this because I find myself working with people in many different timezones and the little time we overlap needs to be put in great use.

The reality is that reading takes a lot more time than writing, even more when a clear process is not established and accepted by all the people involved.

This is why being able to select your teammate is important because we all have preferences and different needs some of those are incompatible.

How do figure it out? When you hire, if you hire, during interviews if you are at the other side.

A working relationship is bidirectional, and you need to be on the same page otherwise it will be painful for you and your teammate.