Working Remotely: how and why to live without an office

The remote format can easily knock you down and distract.  .

But if you are able to handle it like an adult, that is, to work on your self-discipline, time management skills and self-organization, then you will find a world of opportunities. You could fly to Mexico, or do gardening in the Carpathians. And it is entirely possible to study, to play the guitar, raise children children or meditate.

The remote format can easily knock you down and distract.  .

But if you are able to handle it like an adult, that is, to work on your self-discipline, time management skills and self-organization, then you will find a world of opportunities. You could fly to Mexico, or do gardening in the Carpathians. And it is entirely possible to study, to play the guitar, raise children children or meditate.

The remote format is especially relevant when there is a shortage of specialists, or when there are too many orders, and there is not enough time for hiring. Or, for example, when the company does not have the right profile and hiring a person for one project is too expensive.

However, it also fits when the philosophy of the company is primarily about freedom and awareness. In this case, you have the opportunity to work with the best professionals from all over the world.

Indigo team tried to work at the office 3 times. And that is why we have something to share with you.

What is good for business about the remote format?

  • Saving. The monthly expenses for renting office space can be transformed into investments in team building and team development.
  • Efficiency.  No commute times. No office meetings irrelevant to the task at hand — all this makes it easier to focus on getting things done.
  • The best talents. The geographical borders of our people have considerably expanded. Instead of a city where we have one building,  the whole world is our office.

Pros for the team:

  • An environment conducive to travel and free movement. You can travel both during the working day, and go for an extended vacation to other cities and countries. 
  • you can go to the gym, get a massage, check the kids’ homework during the day.
  • New places and impressions. A permanent office and workplace, no matter how good they are, will bore you eventually. But in our case, you create a workplace that you like. It could be in the kitchen, in your favorite coffee house or somewhere on a trip.
  • minimum bureaucracy and maximum common sense.

Minuses for the business:

The main fear of any business is that if you have the team working remotely, the guys could possibly mess around and still get the company’s money. This is the main misconception about remote work. It’s all about people and culture. If the team understands the goals and consists of mature, conscious people, who know what they are doing and why, they won’t need micromanagement.

  • The main disadvantage: with the expansion of the geographical borders of talents, many specialists want but are unable to work remotely. Especially if this is your first work experience. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to assess a candidate’s ability to be productive in a remote setting and, even more importantly, to build an effective onboarding process.
  • The office for us was not just an office, but also a place for meetings of the HR-community and organization of business events. Now it’s always necessary to book a venue for these meetings.

Minuses for the team:

  • Lack of in-person communication. It is important to see the eyes of another person, to be able to hug or to joke around.
  • Remote work is not for everyone, but don’t knock it until you try it. You start to appreciate the remote format only after you’ve experienced the ups and downs of office life.
  • Conflict situations can not be resolved as quickly, as they can in person. That said, conflicts come up less often in remote format.

Got any great lifehacks for remote work?

Katya Osadchuk,

CEO of Indigo Tech Recruiters:

  1. It is crucial and vital that the whole team understands where and why the company is moving. Clear goals, payment systems where you pay for the result. We at Indigo, for example, have bonus files, where these goals and a transparent system of payment are described. Plus, understandable roles, responsibilities, and tasks.
  2. It’s great when the team participates in strategy and plan formation, designing case studies together, etc. When you are involved in the process and have created something that you work together on, it’s easier. Wherever you are, you do not need a shepherd who comes and pushes you.
  3. People. Self-organized and mature. Who can adequately manage their resource status. Who can make good decisions about when it’s worth slowing down to not get annoyed or changing location to refresh the routine.
  4. Quick feedback. Trello boards, CRM, Excel,  regular calls, 1-2-1 dialogues (talk heart to heart + define priorities for the week), calls to keep the whole team in the loop will help to organize the processes.
  5. Meetings of the entire team at least once every 6 months and periodic gatherings in coworking spaces if several people work in the same city.
  6. At least once a month, inform the team about team results, events in the company and upcoming plans.

Anna Stetsenko,

Founder Indigo Tech Recruiters

The most useful tip, in my opinion, preferably from another time zone. This will give you major insights into your team’s organization.

  1. To build remote teams, the driver of this process themself (owner, director or HR) must be an avid remote worker. We started our remote office not from the processes, but from our minds and in our head. 
  2. Create your own team rituals and traditions. And be sure to communicate regularly with each other and always with video.
  3. Having transparent communication rules is also important. Replying within 24 hours; list available to the entire team of spare and preferred channels of communication, where the person will respond first, if they are not on the Slack;
  4. Offline gestures that say that we are together, we are a gang, we remember and appreciate you.  Postal address is publicly available. That’s why you can send gifts and signs of attention both from the company and on your initiative.
  5. Always be looking for new offline experiences (swim with dolphins, arrange drum loops, climb a mountain, go to a spa or group massage session, hike in the forest and barbeque in the middle of winter.

And we also asked the team what they gained while working remotely, and what did they lost.

For example, Katya got a dog, and now regularly walks in a park near her house in the intervals between work. Anya has recently flown to Mexico to work for a couple of months while laying on the beach. Toma has a dense schedule. However, she does manage to cook borsсh.

Zhenya went to live in another city. Ksyusha has time to dance. Tanya is a true master of cross-fit and has time to train hard (by the way, we are sure the team still haven’t mentioned many of the fine but smaller things in working time. Something like taking a bath in the middle of a workday, riding scooters with the kids, or going to on morning dates).

The downsides:

  • “Unregulated schedule. It will be difficult to stop and pay attention to the family. Plus people often think that you are unemployed if you sit at home” (c). — Toma, a researcher at Indigo
  • “I lost the opportunity to easily pick up the working recruiter’s enthusiasm from colleagues and work hard in specially assigned hours” (c).  — Anya, Talent Acquisition Manager at Indigo
  • “Stopped using my high heels. I used to wear them every day before. At home, however, on the parquet floor, you can not run much in your high heels” (c). — Veronika, Talent Acquisition Manager at Indigo
  • “Chit chat with colleagues in the office, while drinking a cup of coffee, networking through personal acquaintance. But also, certain annoying colleagues who don’t let you concentrate on work — thank God”  (c). Katya, a researcher at Indigo
  • “I have already forgotten how to just have aimless conversations, how to talk about nothing, there is no need to update a wardrobe each season, the ability  to make friends at work (it is a separate plus when you work at the office) ” (c). — Anna, Founder Indigo

And in conclusion, here’s a great Trello blog with a bunch of cool tips about the remote work. Check it out. By the way, do you have something to share about the remote format? 🙂