Remote offices, technology, and your brand
One of the most amazing things about technology is its capacity to connect us, regardless of physical distance or location. This remote accessibility provides incredible flexibility in business, especially when it comes to which kind of office setup you want.
Office set-up and how you communicate with staff and clients is another important part of a company’s brand.
Some of today’s greatest companies have a workforce spread around the world. IBM, WordPress, Invision, Basecamp, Upworthy and many more.
They say you should set big, audacious goals. Well, our goal is to be one of these companies.
David, our lead developer, is based in Europe and has been part of our daily team and culture since the beginning. We won’t lie. It took some time to get used to not tracking the time he spent in-office and to just be concerned with the amount of work he gets done. Today, he is an integral part of MM inventory, culture and has provided key leadership during projects such as Campbells, Krys-Global, and Cupid’s Brand Guidelines. Daily emails, Skype calls and proper project management allows him to be as connected to daily company business as he would be if he was based in our Cayman headquarters.
“When people work remotely, the managerial focus shifts from how much time they spend in the office to what they’re getting done every day.”
A remote office is possible to set-up, even for a small company like MM. There are many pros and cons which I wont mention here (I am sure you can Google them). There are however two important lessons we want to share from our experience:
1) It is important for team members to see each other in the same physical space once in a while. It ensures staff are living the company culture and feel part of the team.
2) Use the right productivity tools. For us it’s Trello for project management, Skype for long distance team communications, Harvest for time tracking, Google Apps for email and calendaring, Grasshopper and others. We even humour the guy who wants us to use Slack (not really).
“It’s much harder to fake productivity when you work remotely, as long as managers are focusing on goals and outcomes for their employees and teams.”
One other big benefit that I personally experience when working remotely is a quieter work environment. Many people say they are more productive at home than in a loud and distracting office environment. Frankly, it’s much easier to turn off Skype than it is to mute Rich and Sarah!