How This All Came About
Why Work Remotely?
Companies and individuals often benefit from the process of working remotely whether it be on the go or WFH, working from home. Being out of the office is no longer a taboo subject with its many distinct advantages.
The trend of remote working has been steadily increasing since the late 90s. In fact, there are many companies that promote remote work for their entire organizations. Leading the remote workplace trend are Automattic WordPress, Axelerant, Buffer, Basecamp, Drupal Association, FlexJobs, Lullabot, Mozilla, Upworthy, and Zapier.
In 2014 alone, the 26% increase in remote-based job postings over 2013 demonstrates how the remote work trend continues upward. During the past two years, job seeker interest in remote work has grown by 85%. Moreover, 80% of hiring managers say telecommuting will be more prevalent within the next five years.
Recently, studies by Dell and Intel have found that half of their remote employees felt more productive at home. In fact, remote workers report a 9% increase in productivity.
One of the most critical factors to remote work is communication. Team members have to have Good and Timely communication skills. Companies should spend the time to evaluate the right platform for team-based discussions.
Axelerant uses Slack, and it’s one of the key ways we work and play together in an entirely remote organization.
Don’t get bogged down by picking a communication tool, though. Find something that’s close to what’s needed now and move forward with it. As you learn the limitations, make your next selection better. Also, if you can integrate notifications services with your group based communication tool, you’ll have further reduced email reliance.
Great Power, Great Responsibility
Being a remote team with a non-traditional work schedule means that everyone has to conform to a high level of personal accountability. As such, hiring for cultural fit and enabling self-direction is a necessity.
As Uncle Ben said to our beloved Spiderman, With great power comes great responsibility.
As a team lead, you’ll have to enable your distributed team members to make decisions and carry them through on their own. Your role is to support them to do what’s needed and in turn help them become accountable for their decisions. This empowerment creates competent, reliable teams.
Collaborate or Wither Away
Collaboration is about identifying how to work with each other productively, rather than working on something using the right tools. While initially hard, remote collaboration will become fun and engaging when done right. There’s a plethora of online tools that make it easier than ever to work seamlessly together.
Most importantly, everyone on the team has to contribute and collaborate through the selected tools. The hard truth is, if your super duper ninja, rockstar coder isn’t collaborating with others, then they’re holding your team back.
Everyone like to be appreciated. It’s especially important with remote teams because you are virtually interacting with each other. By being more chatty with each other, you’ll feel more valued by your peers.
In turn, openly giving kudos to each other for even the smallest of gestures becomes meaningful. Your teammates show that they care and are paying attention. Most conventional workplaces lack this significant interaction. Instead, you’re taken for granted.
Work While You Travel
By being with a remote work company, you’re free to travel. Quite a few of Axelerant’s team members work while they travel or live in other countries.
- Abhi takes his kids to school in Atlanta.
- Achin and kids hit Sydney beaches on the weekends.
- Michael travels through 10 countries a year.
- Parth feasts upon home cooked meals in the Indian countryside.
- Shani walks her kids to school, in Israel.
The freedom to work from anywhere goes beyond working from home. You can work from where you’re most comfortable and be supportive of your family and friends along the way. Even when they’re not able to work as flexibly as yourself.
Just like in-person office cultures, remote team office cultures can differ wildly. For those of you who work remotely, we would love to hear about your workplace and culture experiences by leaving us a comment below.
In case you think Axelerant is the right fit for you, check out the Axelerant job board.