Fully Remote Work. Why Wouldn’t We Have It Any Other Way?
Remote work is on the minds and mouths of many office workers and employers since the COVID-19 pandemic forced offices to close. While for many of the companies 100% remote work has been just a passing ‘adventure’, at inStreamly we choose to work 100% remotely from the very beginning. Not because we were forced to, but because we wanted to!
Take a sneak peek into why we have made this decision, how we are managing it on a daily basis, and what we are doing to compensate for the lack of day-to-day physical presence.
- Why have we chosen remote work?
- How did we pull it off? The foundation of effective and satisfying remote work!
- How do we compensate for not seeing each other all the time?
Why Have We Chosen Remote Work?
We have decided not to establish a traditional office for a few reasons (and no, the ever-problematic coffee machines and stealing each other’s lunches were not one of them).
- Not to be limited to a single geographical location – as a company operating in the virtual space of gaming, esports and streaming, the potential of the company would be strongly limited to a single city (or country for that matter). This would limit our search for talented experts in their respective fields, regardless of the location they live in.
- To be able to reach the maximum potential of each team member – we are all individuals with different bio-clocks and at different times we reach our energetic peaks. Some of us are night owls, some prefer to wake up with the birds. Having non-standard working hours is OK and we want to give everyone a way to work in the peak hours of their productivity.
- To be flexible for people for whom work-life balance is crucial – everyone has their own obligations, passions and routines. Why should work collide with them just for the sake of bringing everyone within a single room? Family, friends, pets, travels – these are important parts of everyone’s lives, we want our team to be able to enjoy them as much as they can!
- To maximise the effectiveness of the team – effectiveness doesn’t magically come only because you come to the office, sit in your cubicle and make yourself a cup of coffee. So instead of having people come to the office we’d rather focus on aiding optimisation and automation whenever we can find it. Implementing better tools is more important than having a free fruit delivery to work every Thursday!
How Did We Pull It Off? The Foundation of Effective and Satisfying Remote Work!
Ok, sure – we have emails. The trick is: we have virtually no email exchange in our intra-team communication. We believe that only after eliminating imprecise and cumbersome communication via email can you successfully implement effective communication and management tools. In our case it’s Clickup, which we love!
Write Things Down
“The faintest pencil is better than the sharpest memory” – that’s why we try to document everything. The feeling that all the arrangements are written down and all knowledge concerning any given issue is readily available gives everyone much needed comfort.
Have a DRI (Directly Responsible Individual)
Blurred accountability is a big threat for teams working remotely. We use a strategy developed by Apple – Directly Responsible Individual. Thanks to this approach, someone is always responsible for a given task. Even the smallest assignment must have a person responsible for it.
Asynchronous work may bring discomfort from a never-ending loop of waiting for something, someone, a missing piece. That is why it is so important for every process, no matter how trivial to have its deadline precisely defined. This allows each of us to accurately plan their agenda.
If after reading ‘Write things down’ you thought Hey, doesn’t that mean there’s a LOT of information to read every day!?, well… you’re right. Kinda. The amount of messages we process each day indeed is quite large. That’s why we believe that the shorter they are, the better! Short messages not only save time, but also bear less risk of being misunderstood.
How Do We Compensate for Not Seeing Each Other All the Time?
Working 100% remote does not mean we’re complete hermits who don’t want to see other human beings at all! Au contraire! We’re very social beasts and of course we know the value of in-person interactions! That’s why we have found ways to still be able to look each other in the eye.
Having online meetings is the most obvious solution, right? It also works! Each team has its weekly meetings, most of us also meet 1 on 1 with our managers. We also have one meeting every week where everyone from the company is invited to share their learnings, insights and successes. Though we are very weary about any excess meetings! Before organising one we always think if it’s absolutely necessary, what do we want from it and try to always discuss all the things in written form on Clickup.
Online Team-Building Activities
When was the last time you murdered your CEO at a space station (in Among Us)? Have you ever challenged your colleagues in a typewriting contest? How about running together to complete a Strava challenge? We do this quite often! Engaging, fun online activities is something we host regularly and really enjoy doing!
Quarterly Offline Meetings
Every few months we have a special event that everyone looks forward to. What is it? Believe it or not – it’s a summary of the quarter meeting! Each quarter we physically meet to work, discuss our goals and of course have some good old-fashioned offline fun!
However we hang on to these rules closely, we constantly check, revise and if there’s a need – change or adjust them. It’s only natural that as the team grows new issues may arise. And some rules may become more or less relevant. Always questioning, always reviewing and always looking for the best optimal way of getting things done is our way for the perfect marriage of flexibility of homework with effective communication and delivering top results.
Do you want to learn more about our work-life? Check inStreamly news!