Today, remote work is not nearly as rare as it once was. In fact, in an Upwork Future Workforce Report, many of the 1,000 hiring managers surveyed said that they expect up to 38% of their full-time staff to be working remotely in the next decade.
Through the aid of efficient digital communication channels, as well as a vast range of project management systems available, an ever-increasing number of entrepreneurs are launching their own remote companies… and for good reason. Believe it or not, you could have a more successful team because of it.
I want to share with you JivoChat’s experience running a remote company as well as some tips to start your own.
To begin, I’m going to address a few general questions.
What is a remote company and how does a remote worker function?
A remote company is one in which a team employs part-time and/or full-time workers to collaborate productively in the same way they would at a typical company, but without a physical office to work from. In some cases, employees work from home for the entirety of the week, while in other cases, they may be required to attend weekly meetings at the company’s office. More often than not, these work organizations have flexible schedules but also require workers to be in certain time zones or communicate regularly through video calls.
To manage a decentralized/remote startup, you’ll need to be able to delegate work and trust your employees to have the diligence to get the job done without the need to be monitored at the company’s headquarters every day.
Why on Earth would I want to start a remote company?
If you think about it.. you will save money on rent… amongst other costs
Companies of all sizes report significant decreases in operational costs, remote work stats show. For a large-scale example, consider American Express. This team reported annual savings of $10 million to $15 million thanks to its remote work options.
Consider, also, all the costs that go into team lunches, parties, technology, office space, the list goes on and on. Instead of paying all those fees for those matters, you can plan a fun annual team-building retreat to pull your whole company together instead.
You can get better team engagement
Alright, so… you may be skipping the “water cooler” talk, but remote workers can feel more connected with video conferencing tools.
According to Remote Year, remote work benefits people by allowing a more flexible lifestyle, which also results in better health, as well as a renewed passion for their jobs. After all, as long as you meet your deadlines and meet the company quality standards, you’re free to arrange your own schedule.
What’s more is that there’s no commute, no wasted time sitting in cars or public transport. Who wants to spend their lives in traffic anyway?? A win-win for all who are involved.
It’s the future of work.
Just a few short years ago, working from home may have seemed out of reach across some industries. Today, not so much. In 2015, 23% of employees reported doing some of their work remotely, up from 19% in 2003, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows. A New York Times report also noted that telecommuting is fast on the rise.
JivoChat is a semi-remote company offering SaaS business messenger tools that have conquered Russia, CIS, Brazil, Latin America, USA, Europe, India, and Nigeria.
We have a mixed company in the sense that most of our team is remote. Sometimes building our cross-team community and strengthening our teamwork can be challenging because of this. To deter from having too many setbacks, we organize annual trips to bring our team together. In order to build a community at our headquarters, we have our own collaboration times at the Moscow office.
Since our beginnings in 2012, we make sure everyone’s ideas are heard and somehow incorporated into our project architecture. Our teams constantly exchange experiences and brainstorming sessions through conferences, internal reports, and meetings.
How to manage a remote startup
Before anything, it is essential to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands what the company’s plans and goals are.
To achieve this, consider holding weekly meetings with the entire crew, as well as smaller meetings with teams from each department. This creates better cohesion and teamwork. Also, be sure to regularly reiterate the reasoning behind each of the company’s goals and why it is essential that everyone gives their best.
However, truly the way we are able to work successfully as a remote company is mostly based off of the organization and communication tools we use.
Here are a few of the tools we consistently use to be successful:
Communication is one of the main pillars that support remote startups, and that’s precisely the reason Slack joins our list of most popular tools. Slack offers a wide array of functions for you to organize your team, get in touch with other employees, share files and even make voice or video calls.
To make remote work possible, you must be able to assign people to their tasks and keep track of who is doing what, as well as when they are doing it. Trello is one of the best project management tools available in the market. It offers an easy to navigate dashboard that provides all the information you need to keep things running at a single glance.
3. Google Drive
Google Drive is one of the best ways to store and share files on the Cloud, making it easy to understand the reason for it to be on our list. Besides, it also offers solutions such as Google Docs, Sheets and Forms for you and your team to create documents and make sure other workers have access to it.
Especially (though not exclusively) useful for IT and software development companies, Git is an open-source version control solution and one of the best ways to share your project with team members. It supports many different kinds of development workflows and can be useful for both small and large projects.
Zoom allows you to easily create video calls with multiple people while also being able to share your computer’s screen, which can come in handy for video conferencing, for example. Besides, it’s a free tool that can be accessed both through the browser or by downloading its software.
What are your thoughts?
Starting or converting your company to a remote one isn’t for everyone. For us, it’s the best way in which to organize our scattered team. For others, it might be too challenging.
At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to follow our example and look into ways you can allow your team to have more independence with remote work. You could see productivity rise, create more devoted employees, and see a positive ROI. After all, there’s nothing better than working with satisfied, like-minded people that work to achieve the same mission… and, truthfully, you don’t need an office to do that.