The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruption to companies and startups, resulting in a change of location for this and future events in comparison to previous occasions.
The advancement of technology has enabled professionals across all industries, from senior management to those studying at technical colleges, to reach their professional goals without leaving the comfort of their own homes.
Established businesses and new ventures are evaluating the pros and cons of remote working. Experiences of entrepreneurs over the last year suggest that for new and expanding companies, startups, remote working may be a key factor for achieving substantial growth.
Making a Company Stronger
Assembling a workforce from a variety of cultural backgrounds and geographic locations is becoming increasingly less of an obstacle due to the advent of remote working. This allows businesses to select the best organizations for their requirements, no matter their physical location.
In today’s climate, a focus on remote working has become increasingly prominent. Entrepreneurs are now comfortable with forming teams beyond geographic boundaries, believing it can be beneficial to their business in the long term. Likewise, professionals are no longer restricted to a particular company or location, and many prefer to work remotely from any given location.
Remote employment has demonstrated to be a highly cost-effective business strategy. The transition to a remote working model has been beneficial to both businesses and employees, reducing the time and expense associated with daily commutes. As time progresses, companies can expect to save a considerable amount of money by not having to purchase or lease offices, acquire new furniture, invest in costly infrastructure, compensate for employee transport and utilities, etc. Working from home may be a game-changer for the organization, as each saved dollar can make a notable impact on profitability.
Startup founders must be encouraged to priorities the implementation of modern regulations for the current environment and associated costs if they are to successfully revamp traditional geographical processes and practices. Companies should adopt a digital transformation strategy which includes automating the recruitment process, employee onboarding and management systems, as well as upskilling their team leaders. By taking a data-driven, technological approach to time management, businesses can attract and retain workers who require the least amount of skills to complete their objectives. Furthermore, it will reduce the burden on organizations for carrying out mundane international tasks.
A New Kind of Geographical Point Model Is Emerging
The flexibility associated with remote working is an advantage that should not be overlooked. It is therefore important to ensure that firms find the right balance between tasks and responsibilities which can be completed remotely, and those which require an on-site working environment. By embracing technology to facilitate collaboration between departments, businesses can benefit from a hybrid approach that can create synergy between on-site and remote operations.
The success of remote working relies on encouraging employers to embrace a different approach. Some businesses are committed to the traditional office model as the most effective way of achieving their goals. However, research suggests that productivity levels have significantly increased for employees when working remotely. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, several companies have already implemented successful remote working systems, leading to a 100% uplift in growth.
Businesses that are not currently set up to provide remote working should start considering how they can be successful in a future where remote working is commonplace. In the post-pandemic world, it is crucial for entrepreneurs to make use of digital technologies to take advantage of the volatile market. This is only applicable to newer companies that are agile enough to adjust to the changing times, allowing them to capitalize on reduced growth rates.
Problems with a Decentralized and Remote Operating System
Relationships with Others
The key learning point from this experience of working remotely was the value of team members getting to know each other. Remote working with a distributed team is not just about cost savings but about building a strong team dynamic.
All Hands on Deck
It is essential to occasionally marshal the team and drive forward towards a shared goal. While these scenarios should not occur frequently, they are beneficial to all involved.
When considering geographically distributed teams, it is evident that communication is a frequent issue. Working in an office often leads to disruptions, while working remotely can lead to distractions such as idle chit-chat. Although Slack is the most widely used platform, this concept extends to any form of electronic communication. The importance of internal startup communication is paramount, as is the manner in which it is conducted.
Gravity of Experience
Despite the advantage of being able to recruit the most suitable personnel from any location, it is possible to observe that certain areas may become hubs for remote, dispersed labor.
It is vital to have the correct personnel in place at the start of a venture-funded business that has the potential for high growth, particularly when there is strong competition. The initial team is fundamental, and even more so when the organization expands and enters the field of affiliate marketing.
So, why do financial hubs have so much influence?
Highly skilled engineers, salespeople, product managers and other professionals can be found in many locations around the globe. However, the highest concentrations of these individuals are likely to be found in the major cities of the industrialised world. Similarly, the technology hubs featured in the graphs are designed to cater to individuals with the acumen to build successful businesses.
Industry cities – wherever you begin a corporation matters. Outside of these important turning points, and for businesses operating on a special growth model, this matters less.
Tricks & Treats for Distributed Teams
Recap of the Past Week
Originally intended for everyone in the organization to provide updates on their achievements from the previous week, these standups have since developed into more of a social gathering.
Meetings are an unavoidable part of any multi-person project. However, they are not an effective way to provide status updates. Written, asynchronous updates are preferable as they are more efficient and cost-effective. Conversation and debate can take place during conference calls, but when team members are geographically dispersed, it may be beneficial to have a virtual meeting to enable everyone to “see” one another.
This was the only mandatory meeting of the week and the only meeting in general. We must act on this option unless we are away on leave. Occasionally, in order to reach our objectives, we may opt out of attending conferences for a few months and instead rely on written reports. We always request to resume the conferences as soon as possible so that we can gather again.
Random Check-Ins with the Team
If you wish to build relationships with your colleagues, it is advisable to set aside time to do so outside of working hours. While this may be more difficult to achieve with a remote and dispersed workforce, it is important to maintain a distinction between work and leisure.
Each week, each employee was assigned a random colleague for a thirty-minute conversation. There was no specific agenda and employees were free to discuss whatever topics arose. Even with small teams, this helped to bring together colleagues who may not otherwise have interacted. This approach can also be applied to larger organizations, as increased team size can lead to compartmentalized work.
A Few Closing Remarks
There is no single, infallible approach to managing a business that can guarantee optimal performance. Having the right mindset is essential, regardless of whether the company is run entirely in-house, remotely, or a combination of both.
As businesses expand, there may be difficulty in coordinating the procedures used by different teams. Tokenizing administrative costs can be attractive for smaller businesses, as it allows them to remain agile and quickly restructure. However, larger organizations should have more efficient systems in place for managing operations. It is not only the approach that needs to be considered when making judgement decisions. Remote operations require a more methodical approach in order to be successful. There are fewer businesses using dispersed methods of operation, but the potential for data sharing is changing.
Businesses who do not adopt remote working and consider how to integrate it into their future operations will be at a disadvantage and unable to attract the talented personnel vital for success. It is crucial to avoid an overly rigid approach, as what works will depend on the specific situation. It is easy to identify when something is not working, but there are ways to rectify the issue.