Remote or not remote? That is a question. Not only for employees but also for companies. Todays’ startups are competing and try to convince the future team members that they have to work with this particular company. Home office theme is always like to put the cat among the pigeons when you talk with founders.
Why? Hard to say but I think it depends on how you see it.
Technology has made remote work completely possible for employees to work wherever they want. As an added perk, remote employees say they are happier at work and feel more valued.
You need to remember you shouldn’t leave them out in the cold. They need to be motivated the same as an in-house team.
For me, the best part of remote work is traveling. I travel a lot. I always try to be somewhere else every month. Not for long. A few days, a dozen or so. But still, I “can’t” be in the office all the time. I’m really grateful that company where I work — Untitled Kingdom — allows me to realize my passion. No matter where I am, in which time zone, I can be very productive. But I need to remember one of the most important rules: no interruptions and multitasking.
When you’re working remotely, the chat (we use Slack) is your bridge to the company. To me, being responsive on the chat accomplishes the same as being on time at work in an office. It also hints that if you don’t really want to look like you are taking a lot of let-ups, you might cut yourself to ribbons checking your notifications a lot. Even when you are in a bathroom.
On the other hand, the problem is — on a chat, people can’t see you physically, that’s why they can’t estimate if you are busy or if you can be interrupted. So, you are interrupted a lot. A lot. You can feel forced to answer quickly. So, you interrupt your work many times. You may not realize that interruptions are really bad for your productivity as it breaks your focus.
The other dilemma with this remote chat setup is that your colleges don’t know if you are already speaking with somebody else. I can’t remember how many times I’ve been juggling three different conversations at the same time. To me, it’s stressful, especially when my daily work plan is full and I have to meet a lot of strict deadlines by the end of the day.
Say nothing of “chit-chats”, created non-work stuff post usually, a lot of memes or GIFs. That can become very, very chatty. You might say — “Mute it”. Yes, thanks for simple advise. But wait. Missing everything that was said might be your only opportunity to have some “office spirit” that you are missing by being a remote worker.
Yes, there is a chance to miss something, but no, everything depends on the mindset of the team. At Untitled Kingdom we have to work as a team and have to develop our culture to work together. We must do anything that needs to get well informed and our teams have to don’t forget about remote colleges. You need to have a great software and hardware toolset in your hand to make our days comfortable. We use our MacBook web cameras, Apple TV, and TV screens — there is no question about it. Just hearing is not enough, it is important to see the person whom you talk with.
Remote team-members need the clear direction of what’s expected of them in terms of objectives and company goals.
We bought a good conference microphone. For us, Apogee M/C+ MK96 or Logitec Video Collaboration set were a good choice to talk with a team and our partners on daily calls.
Working remotely you may be productive, but are you meeting your CEO expectations?
In a piece for Forbes, Victor Lipman says that “If expectations are completely clear and preferably mutually agreed-upon, it helps to bring the entire remote working arrangement into clearer focus.”
Needless to say, defining expectations is a key motivator for remote team member.
People like working from their home or different place on Earth. Collaboration is rooted in truth no matter where the work gets done.
From what I’ve learned working at few development companies, no matter where you are, people in remote environments can build deep, trusting, meaningful relationships with their coworkers on the same level as in-house workers.
At Untitled Kingdom we have a privilege “3 days per month for non-explain remote work”. I think it is perfect middle ground for employee and employer. Win-win situation.
But remember to trust your co-workers, give them tools and let’s grow our businesses!
And don’t forget to lock your door while you’re having a very important online meeting.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on February 13, 2018.