How to work with remote teams? That’s a question many job-seekers ask themselves and others when contemplating the idea of working with distributed teams.
Effective remote working is a fine art. This type of work organization doesn’t come easily or intuitively, especially for startups. To start working at a remote company you need to have the right tools, organization, discipline, and coworkers. Most importantly, the whole team needs to be on board.
Today we’re going to discuss a few of my colleagues’ experiences working for JivoChat, a majorly distributed team working across multiple time zones with team members in Russia, USA, Brazil, Honduras, the Netherlands, Turkey, and more. We’ll talk about some experiences in the work-from-home environment and we’ll also discuss some of the negatives that come along with this work structure.
“It’s easier to find a quiet spot to work”
Emerson Gudiel from Honduras finds it advantageous to work remotely because remote workers have the option to be in charge of their own time and independence: “You don’t waste time in transportation and you have a better life-balance in general”.
If you choose to work from your home or home office, it may also promote more productivity: “It’s your own place so it’s easier to find a quiet spot to work.” Working from home means you’re in charge of your environment. And it’s true that with remote communication tools such as video conference technology, Google Drive, Asana, and Slack, remote work life is a lot more possible than it was in previous years.
“Working with remote teams gives me freedom”
Jessica de Groot from the Netherlands loves the doors that remote work opens for her: “By working remotely I have so much freedom. I can literally go wherever I would love to, and still be able to work. I have no commute and I’ve been able to live abroad and stay at the same company.” Some companies such as Illuminate Education have flexible work hours that may be even more conducive to remote workers looking for that added advantage of not being tied down to any particular place or timezone.
If your company is international like JivoChat’s, you have the added bonus of learning about different cultures: “It’s such a great experience to work with people from different countries. It’s amazing what you can learn from your colleagues job-wise or about their background.”
However, there are some cons
Emerson warns that “You have less control over external things like an internet or energy outage.” Dependent on where you work in the world, the quality of video calls can effect remote communication and work life in general.
“To work remotely you need some discipline. If you’re not getting yourself motivated to start your day and get up, you won’t get out of bed to start working,” shares Jessica.
“It requires discipline and you need to be able to communicate solely through video meetings. We only really meet the whole team once a year. It’s not for everyone.”
“Working with a remote team motivates me as the company gives me a lot of freedom and puts their trust in me. By receiving their trust, I definitely want to show the best of me to them. It goes two ways: they give me something and I want to give something in return. I’m receiving the opportunity to grow with them and learn from them- that’s something I’ll be forever grateful for. - Jessica
Emerson and Jessica meet for the first time at our last retreat in Moscow, Russia- Summer 2019
Want to learn how to work with remote teams yourself? Check out our team page and inquire if there may be any opportunities for you :)
Short snapshot into our most recent retreat