For the very first time, millions of us will be working remotely which is going to have a big impact on our day to day lives. From managing time effectively and finding the best spot to work, to trying to avoid making trips to the fridge every 5 minutes, making the switch from office to home presents its own unique set of challenges.
In what is going to be the first extended period of time working from home, it’s important that we adapt to this change of environment. So to help you with this we wanted to share with you how we’ve been doing this at Eventtia.
From the company’s inception, we have always worked online and that’s down to the CEO being based in Paris and the CTO being based in Medellin. Today, Eventtia has employees and contractors based in 6 countries.
Being international is part of Eventtia’s DNA. To give you an idea of this, web development is done in Madagascar, content is produced in Greece, and the development of the platform is done from our office in Colombia.
This all goes to show that working from remote can be done, but like with everything, there are some challenges. In fact, you might even be experiencing them now as you read this from the comfort of your own home. Here are 3 of the big ones that we’ve encountered:
Different time zones: Having our two main offices on either side of the Atlantic restricts the total amount of shared office hours, with the total overlap being 5 hours. This often means that you might be waiting around a bit longer for anything that you need. For example, in the case of something happening to the platform (which does sometimes happen) having our development team 5 or 6 hours behind Europe means that there can be delays.
Building a strong culture: Eventtia has 2 offices (Paris and Medellin) where employees can choose if they want to work remotely or at the office. Providing this flexibility to employees makes it a lot tougher to build a strong working culture as more time is required to communicate and deploy the corporate values of the company.
Lack of alignment: Without a good communication system or dynamic, the chances are that there will be less alignment between and within teams. Even with collaborative tools such as Slack, messages can often be misinterpreted affecting the outcome of work.
So as you can see, there are always going to be a few challenges when it comes to working remotely. Yet, it’s worth noting that all of the above can still happen in an office environment. To get the most out of this, you've got to identify the problems and find workable solutions. As a company that has embraced remote working, here is how we’ve overcome these challenges:
Tip 1. We schedule weekly meetings with all the remote teams or contractors
To ensure that teams stay aligned and that everyone is on the page, at a minimum each team will have a weekly meeting whilst the developers will have daily stand-ups. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and that they know their responsibilities.
Tip 2. We’re using Slack to ensure better communication
When working remotely a good collaboration tool like Slack or Microsoft Teams is what binds everything together. Each team has their own channel along with channels for the latest news, and general conversations to break the ice.
Tip 3. We’re celebrating all of our wins online via Slack, WhatsApp or email
With so much going on, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s going on in each team. That’s why it’s important to celebrate all of our wins online via Slack, WhatsApp, or Email. This keeps everyone in the loop and it also is a great way to motivate everyone as we can see what we’re achieving as a team.
Tip 4. We’re introducing all of our new team members via an email
Without face-to-face interaction introducing a team member can be a lot tougher when breaking the ice. That’s why we always make sure to introduce any new team members with a quick email. This is an easy way to make the new team member quickly settle in and it also goes a long way in building trust and rapport.
Tip 5. We’re communicating new product updates via email on a monthly basis
Regardless of our roles at Eventtia, they’re all related to the product. That’s why we send out monthly memos communicating new features and updates on the product along with future plans. This is particularly important for keeping everyone well informed on the product and how we can position it on the market.
Tip 6. We have well-established OKRs and we keeping track of them weekly
OKRs are a great way of tracking what everyone in the company is working. We hold a weekly meeting with the head of each department and discuss each OKR and how we’re going to achieve it. This is important because it gives everyone a much bigger understanding of what’s going on across the company.
Tip 7. We’re very respectful regarding the work hours and weekends
The fact that someone works from home or remotely doesn’t mean they should be always connected to Slack or email. We’re firm believers that work should be flexible and that you can work your hours how you want to. Everyone has different schedules and it’s important to appreciate this when working remotely.
- To overcome the challenges of working remotely it's vital to find the right technology that can streamline processes and make information more accessible to teams and team members.
- Remote work makes it a lot harder to communicate (at least from what we're used to). To fill this gap, it's important to have plenty of meetings and provide regular updates.
- Finally and most importantly, have patience with your colleagues. Messages can get lost in translation or they get misinterpreted. Try to be as clear as possible with everyone and make sure that everyone is on the same page. In the long run, this will save you a lot of time.