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Overcome Remote Working

Remote working has been in existence for a long time, but it wasn’t as prominent then as it is now. Then, You just had to show up to the office, even if all that needed to be done at the office was as simple as signing a document or as tasking as having a team meeting, you just had to be physically present at the office. This was the reality for many people until the epidemic came and suddenly, so many people had a different orientation about ‘Working from home’ and that going to the office wasn’t necessary to work together and collaborate.

Tomer Barnea
Tomer BarneaJuly 13, 2022

In this post, I will be talking about the nitty-gritty of remote working, what it entails, things you should know before you decide to make your company go remote, and a lot of other things.

To start with, a lot of people think a remote company basically means that all the employees are working remotely. They are not totally wrong. But it goes way beyond just that.

Working next to my bed

Our first company was an office space company which started from my bedroom. We eventually progressed from my bedroom to my living room and then to an actual office space. When we started, just like every other company, we didn’t think about remote working right away. We had to learn as we grew and then discovered what was best for us as a company.

The second company was also an office space company. We had team members from Israel and the United States. In that company, we had serious communication issues because of the time difference. Israel is about 7 hours ahead of New York. Usually, work starts by 9 am which is the local Israeli time, and around 2-3 pm the New York office would be up and then we would keep on working till about 10 pm. Trust me when I say it was so stressful. Since then, we started looking actively into remote working.

Recruiting remotely

Moving from an office space company to a fully remote or hybrid company requires a lot. It is quite challenging. If you own a company, then you probably know what I mean. The recruitment process is not always easy, from hiring to eventually onboarding employees. Especially the onboarding process! Onboarding a new hire is a comprehensive process that involves integrating that employee with a company and its culture. It involves providing the new team member with the tools, resources, and necessary information for them to be a productive member of the team. When an employee is onboarded, you want to make sure that they become exposed to, and help them get a clear understanding of your company’s culture, policies, missions, and values.  This is one crucial reason for employee onboarding. The moment an intended employee walks into your company, say for an interview, they start to get a sense of your company culture. It’s difficult to integrate an employee with your missions and goals as a company when your company is remote.

On the other hand, it has a lot of benefits. To mention a few, you’ll have access to different people from all over the world as you’re not restricted to your local geography. You also have the opportunity of working with amazing individuals that have hands-on experience that your company might need. In summary, you have the chance of working with people that you may not be privileged to work with if they had to converge at a physical office due to distance.

It’s a lot easier today than before

Today it’s becoming easier to be a remote company. There are technological innovations that allow for transition to a remote company to be made easy. Deel is an example of a platform that helps remote companies to hire remote contractors and employees from around the world. They help with the number of day-offs to be given, holidays, and so on. SwagUp is another platform that helps companies to ship whatever they want to wherever they want. As a remote or hybrid company, it’s important that you make sure your remote workers get their work equipment wherever they might be.

Challenges of remote working

  • You might face the inability of employees to create a meaningful connection with the other team members, some people can work for years without meeting. That’s one of the reasons we have created “all-hands” VR meetings, to allow employees to get more personal.
  • Since people are working in different time zones, it can sometimes feel like you are working for a whole day because you need to wait for other meetings.
  • Working from home can be quite depressing as it gets lonely, make sure that people are not getting depressed working remotely, and make sure you make active investments for the team to stay together and talk to each other. For example, organize VR meetings, invest in some game time, and other entertaining activities. You should also emphasize physical connections (like meeting retreats) and remember to balance their work and personal life. It’s easy to get buried with work. There should be some sort of balance.

Office vs. Hybrid vs. Remote Working

If you love office culture, meaning that you like having your workers in the same space, then you’re better off doing that. If you don’t believe in remote working, it’ll be difficult to put in a good amount of effort.  Building a remote company, knowing fully well that you’re not fully invested in the idea, may not be such a good idea.

In my opinion, it’s even better to become a remote company than a hybrid one. A hybrid company has some of its employees working at the office and the rest working remotely. If the employees at the physical office decide to hang out or do some sort of activity, remote workers would feel left out, thinking they’re being neglected. This would eventually bring about bad or toxic company culture.

These are some of the things we considered at Novu before going fully remote.

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Tomer Barnea
Tomer BarneaJuly 13, 2022