Remote work is taking over the digital economy, growing over 44% in just the last five years. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many more business had to go remote overnight in order to continue their operations. Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of a remote workforce and some actionable tips to work effectively as a distributed team.
Why We Maintain a Remote Culture
Remote work is better for employers and employees alike. By having a distributed team, we can:
- Hire the top talent – Maintaining a remote workforce allows us to draw on global talent. Instead of searching for people within a few miles of a physical headquarters, we can interview people across the world. Currently, we have over 100 engineers spread across three continents. By prioritizing skill, not location, we find top-quality people who can solve problems, work hard, and innovate.
- Scale faster – By forgoing a fancy Silicon Valley office, we’re able to scale quickly without having to worry about fitting personnel into a cubicle.
- Keep our people happy – Employees want flexibility. While traditional office jobs keep personnel cooped up in an office for eight or more hours, remote work arrangements let employees structure their day to maximize their productivity. One study found remote employees were 22% happier than employees in a traditional environment. Remote work is one of the best ways to keep our people healthy, happy, and motivated.
- Maximize productivity – By letting employees work when they’re at their best, you can help them be as productive as possible. Some individuals are early birds. Others are night owls. When they’re allowed to structure their work around their own natural peaks and valleys of energy, they can do their highest-quality work. At Fluxon, we measure results, not hours. By taking advantage of asynchronous work, our distributed team can work around the clock to deliver high-quality results at lightning speed.
- Stay resilient – Businesses need to be ready for anything. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the value of having an agile workforce in the face of uncertainty. By having a remote work culture, we can continue to operate and grow our business even during such uncertain times..
How to Effectively Work Remotely
Managing a distributed team doesn’t have to be difficult, but you want to be sure you’re doing everything possible to empower your team to succeed. Let’s dive into some best practices when working remotely.
Implement a Rigorous Hiring Process
A remote team is much easier to build and scale if it’s filled with intelligent, competent, and self-driven people. When you have a distributed workforce, prioritizing communication skills is essential. At Fluxon, we take the time to ensure every person who joins our team is the right fit.
Fluxon was founded by ex-Googlers, and our rigorous hiring process follows Google’s example. While in-person interviewing has its benefits, we’ve created sustainable solutions that allow us to make intelligent hiring decisions without needing to meet face to face. For example, we host video interviews and three coding or design challenges to determine whether the candidate is a master of his or her craft.
We look for people who have a variety of skills that empower them to creatively problem-solve and collaborate with peers, managers, and clients. We strive to hire “T-shaped” individuals who have a broad base of general knowledge to support their specific expertise. We focus on hiring clear communicators who love being part of a team.
We view hiring new personnel as a commitment. Our extended onboarding process provides broad-based training that promotes flexibility and problem-solving. The right people are vital to a successful remote team. We take the time to ensure our team is made of A+ talent.
Create a Transparent Environment
Without in-person interaction between managers, workers, and clients, transparency is essential. Complete transparency improves customer confidence, worker accountability, and overall organizational efficiency. When everyone knows their role, they can focus on their core competency and deliver top-quality work.
At Fluxon, we give our clients the option to look behind the curtain and see how we work. By providing transparency to our customers, we can work together to tailor a solution that best fits their needs.
Some clients are so impressed with our accountability structure that they ask us to perform code audits on their own development process. Our customers love our transparent structure, which fosters an open, collaborative work arrangement.
Provide the Right Tools
In a traditional office environment, in-person meetings and centralized databases help keep everyone on the same page. When you work as a remote team, your personnel may be halfway across the world. Taking advantage of just a few types of communication tools can significantly improve your effectiveness.
Shared Knowledge Base
If teams spread across the globe, you need to prevent bottlenecks that could form if one person is waiting for someone in another time zone to send them a crucial document. To empower everyone to work as efficiently as possible, create a centralized hub of information on a single platformDecide on standardizing naming and saving procedures to allow everyone to find what they need.
While email and online chat are great tools for communication, you might occasionally need to hop on a call. Video chat is a great way to develop rapport and take advantage of visual cues like body language. Programs like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet allow your team to get to know each other and build a sense of community.
Live communication programs also facilitate collaboration by letting members download recordings of the meeting, share their screens, and use real-time polls to gauge opinion. At Fluxon, we use Dory to make live communication as efficient as possible. With Dory, your team can submit questions before each meeting and upvote their highest priorities. Because we have gained so much value from it, we also made it free for other businesses to use.
One of our favorite parts of having a remote team is the fact that we can unlock extraordinary productivity through asynchronous work – that is, allowing our people to work at different times. Our team is currently spread across three continents. As a result, we take advantage of time zone differences to keep projects moving forward even when some of our team is asleep. For example, two employees on opposite sides of the world can trade off working on a time-sensitive project and deliver a final product in half the time of a traditional company.
However, asynchronous work demands effective documentation and communication. By utilizing solutions such as Google Drive, Slack, and Notion, we are able to document and create a fluid channel off communication, allowing our team to have full visibility any given issue.
To keep our customers up to date, we share daily updates and weekly team check-ins. Every week, our team presents a demo of our work so everyone is aware of each other's progress.
We have client-facing Slack channels where our team answers questions and responds to requests. If an issue comes up, we can address customer concerns immediately and effectively. By keeping our clients in the loop, we eliminate surprises and consistently deliver great work.
Be Mindful of Differences
When you’re working across continents, make sure to respect other members of your team. Avoid calling a colleague or client in the middle of the night – make an effort to calculate time zone differences before picking up the phone. Consider having personnel specify core business hours during which they can accept calls.
Unlock the Power of a Remote Team
At Fluxon, we understand the value of an effective and happy remote team. By prioritizing results – not hours worked – we empower everyone at our company to do their best work. If you want to learn more about how Fluxon can help you achieve your business goals, contact us today.