As businesses forced to work from home due to the coronavirus begin to wake up the possibilities of working remotely, we spoke to a local business owner who leads a completely remote company, with 40 full-time employees. CEO and Co-Founder, Brad Williams has lead WebDevStudios for a decade. Brad shared his experience and advice for professional services firms considering a permanent transition to remote working.
- WebDevStudios website
- Blog posts from WebDevStudios about remote working
- Brad Williams on Twitter
- Leadership in Human Resources with Lisa Van Ess
What are some recommendations for structuring remote work?
- Make it very clear to your employees what your expectations are.
- Employees may wonder “Do you expect me to say hi in the morning?” Simple signals and notifications make it easier for team members to know who is around.
- Set expectation of responsiveness: When do emails or Slack members require a reply? Immediately? Same day?
- There shouldn’t be an expectation to respond right away unless it’s an emergency
- It’s also about managing the expectations of colleagues – If you’re going to step away for more than 15 minutes, consider letting your colleagues know.
- Slack allows for folks to share their working hours.
- Set boundaries for when you’re working or not working.
- WFH – working from home – means there’s not a clear definition of when you are or are not working.
- Many of remote team are using Zoom, Slack, etc.
What are some key advantages of working remotely?
- Remote companies can hire folks from anywhere, which can allow them to hire the right people for the company’s needs.
- Remote working reduces costs – employers don’t need to spend a ton of renting an office or physical location. That money can be redirect into salaries, employee benefits, computer equipment, training, and more .
Is there a benefit to having a person local to a client?
- Definitely! Having a team local to the client is a great card to play. The human connection is of real value.
What processes should businesses consider when trying to manage clients and projects remotely?
- Getting a group on a Zoom call / video conference on can be very beneficial.
- Any time there’s conflict or confusion, get on a phone call or a Zoom call – reduce the risk of misunderstanding by talking
- Things can spiral downward if your team is out of sync, or if you’re out of sync with clients
- Go with what works best for your business and people