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Leading a Remote Company with Brad Williams

Podcast published: May 22, 2020

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.



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

Intro: Hey, everybody. And welcome to another episode of Start Local, a podcast focused on helping small businesses in Chester County, PA and the greater Philly area as we navigate through this new Covid-19 economy. 

Joe Casabona: My name is Joe Casabona. And I’m here with my co-host Liam Dempsey. Liam, how are you? Joe?

Liam Dempsey: Joe, Fantastic. Thank you. 

Joe Casabona: Awesome. I know. I feel like co-hosts. We’re the same. We’re both co-hosts, I guess. I never know how to word that. Anyway, we are here with…

Liam Dempsey: I’m comfortable with however you’re saying it. 

Joe Casabona: Awesome. Awesome. We are here with our good friend and fellow tech company owner, Brad Williams.

Brad is the CEO and co founder of WebDevStudios, a fully remote WordPress agency. Brad, how are you? 

Brad Williams: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me on guys. 

Joe Casabona: Hey, thanks for coming on. We really appreciate it. We’re excited to talk to you today because we’re going to talk about something that’s near and dear to all of our hearts, but you do it on a different scale than both Liam and I, and that’s remote working. But first, why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Brad Williams: Sure. Yeah. So as you said, I’m Brad Williams. I founded a company called WebDevStudios. We are a 100% Remote based company. I’m actually located in Montgomery County, just outside of Philadelphia. So I am, technically our company is based in the Philly area. However, we’re remote. We’re distributed, right? So we don’t have an, you know, “Centralized office”, I guess that would be my house,  you know. We specialize in WordPress design and development. So building really amazing websites and the online experiences for some pretty big brands like Microsoft and the MBA and, you know, others. So, we’ve been remote for over 10 years now. So this is not, you know, given the situation, I think that’s going on. 

And some of the things we’re going to dig into, this is not, a new setup for us. This is what we’ve been doing for a long time, you know. And, you know, we’ve gotten very good at it over the years. So I’m excited to kind of dig in and talk about it a little bit. 

Joe Casabona: Awesome. Now, I know Liam’s gonna tee you up with your first question. But, just to set the stage, how big is your company?

Brad Williams: So we have 40 full time employees at WebDev.

Liam Dempsey: Brad, you shared that you’ve been remote. The company’s been remote for 10 years, and that you’re at 40 now. And you’ve been over 20 for 20 employees for a good long time. Right? And, over 30,  for at least a few years anyway. And what I want to want to ask you about is, as other professional services firms find themselves in a forced remote environment, and it’s gone on long enough that they’ve probably discovered that remote actually isn’t a terrible way to do business. There’s a lot of upsides to it. There’s a lot of advantages to it.

I have two questions for you. One is, what would be some recommendations that you would share with firm owners or firm leaders, professional services firm leaders to think about how they might want to either structure their business, structure their technology setup. You know, if you’re gonna have a remote company, think about these things. 

And the other question, and if you don’t remember it in a few minutes, i’ll certainly ask it again is what what are some of the key advantages that you’ve found after 10 years of working remotely and leading a company remotely?

Brad Williams: Yeah. So, all great questions. And you know, obviously with everything that’s going on, there’s been a big focus on work remote because we’ve, all many companies have been forced into that situation, you know, to be safe. For the safety of their employees and their families, and friends. So, when I talk about this, the topic of working remote, I always keep it in the context that we’ve been doing this for 10 years and we’ve built a company to be remote, but there’s many companies out there that are remote right now and it won’t potentially, they may have some kind of remote contingent ongoing forever. But many companies are just doing this, you know to get by right to continue moving the needle and growing their business. But with no intention of kind of staying there, right once everything gets back, you know, hopefully in a safe environment, people will be going back to the offices, right? 

So, I think we do need to think of it in that context because everything that we do at my company, it’s not always going to fit into a necessarily into someone’s process that is doing this as a temporary solution. I think some of the advice does fit well, and that’s i’m sure what we’ll be talking about today. But I like to kind of put that in context. I think it’s important that people think about that just because i’ve been doing it for 10 years, my company’s been doing it for 10 years, it doesn’t mean everything that we do is going to work and more of a temporary situation. 

I know what some of the advice I would give, whether you’re doing this temporarily or looking to transition to this or have some kind of hybrid approach, is really, you know, make it very clear to your employees what your expectations are as in a remote employee. You know, if I’m an employee or company, what are your expectations for me? And what I mean by that is everyone’s using a lot of the similar tools, right? We’re on Zoom right now. Zoom is really extremely popular. A lot of people are using it. A lot of people are using it for the first time just in the past couple months. I mean, I got my dad on Zoom, which is amazing that he was able to do it. But once you get in there, it’s actually pretty easy. 

Slack is another one that many of us are familiar with and many companies are starting to utilize if they weren’t already. But, set, you know, clear expectations just like we do with our clients. We want very clear expectations. Things like, you know, do you expect me to say hi in the morning? You know, when I log in for work, you know, we like our employees just say hi, say hello, say good morning. You know, it just says, Hey, they have logged in and they are there and they’re saying hi to the company. Hi to the team. And in that way, if you know, if someone, you know, it might catch the attention of a team member or somebody, if someone doesn’t log in and say hi, like, “Oh, where’s that person?” Are they okay? Are they, do we need to check in on them? Maybe they overslept. Maybe there’s an emergency. Maybe they just forgot to say hi, right? But, you know, we make that clear expectation, like, when you log in the morning, and when you’re done for the end of the day, you know, drop it in the journal chat, just say, “All set for the day, I’ll see you guys tomorrow, have a good night). You know, what is the expectation of responsiveness? If I send you a message, you know, am I expecting a response immediately? Am I expecting a response the same day? Within the same week, you know, ( I, you know, there could be a lot of stressors on, you know, somebody pings me in Slack or whatever tool you might be using). Maybe Microsoft teams is another very popular one. Do I need to drop everything and respond to them or not? 

Again, set clear guidance there. My position on that is you should, there shouldn’t be an expectation to respond right away, unless it’s a, you know, one of the old pagers, you’d page somebody and put like 911 exclamation mark, you know, whatever at the end. Okay, then maybe you should respond right away because there’s an emergency, But, you know, the expectation should be, here’s a message, respond when you have time. I’m throwing it out there for you. This is something I need you to answer at some point, you know,  but maybe it’s not a drop everything type of situation, right?

So I think just setting some clear expectations, clear guidance for your team so that they’re not just kind of swimming around lost and wondering, like, should I be talking, checking in? Should I be talking to somebody? Thank you. Like I’m going to go take my dog for a walk. Do I need to tell somebody? Cause I won’t be at my computer for 30 minutes or I need to go to the bathroom. Do I need to tell somebody like we generally tell our team, look, if you’re going to step away for more than, you know, 10-15 minutes, just let somebody know you don’t have to blast it out to the whole company. Maybe it’s just your direct manager. Maybe it’s your project team.  I don’t need to know every time you go to the bathroom, you know. But if you’re going to step away for 15-20 minutes, let somebody know. That way if someone’s trying to get ahold of you and it’s emergency, somebody knows where you’re at. 

You know, one of the worst things that can really happen is if you just, you know, in a remote situations, if the person you’re, anyone’s trying to get ahold of, there’s a true emergency, but you can’t get ahold of somebody. You don’t know why. That’s a really bad situation. So I think that’s definitely one I would urge people is just sit down as a leadership team, as a management team, as an owner of a company,  and just define some of those things. They may seem very simple, but that can be stressful for employees in a new situation, like it’s a new environment when they don’t really know what they should be doing. Using Slack or using Zoom or using, you know Teams or whatever that might look like.

Liam Dempsey: Yeah. That’s good advice. And I think it’s particularly true because we don’t get confirmation notices. So i’ve sent you an email. I’ve sent you a Slack message. It looks like it got through on my side, but you know, certainly we’ve had text messages that arrive at three in the morning and we wake up who the heck is he? And then we respond to it the next morning and oh, yeah, I sent that to you five in the afternoon. I have no idea why I made it through to you at three in the morning. So, knowing who’s available and when it is really kind of augmenting the limitations of technology, isn’t it? 

Brad Williams: It is. One thing we do within our Slack profile. So we have employees primarily all over the U.S. Again, we’ve been remote for a while. So, you know, East Northwest all over, we have a few Canadians and then we have a few employees over in overseas Asia. And so we’ve had to kind of really want to understand when employees working hours are right? 

So we primarily work East Coast time, but not always. We have you know, we have a support division that supports people 24/7. So within our Slack profiles, we actually set our working hours so that way if I ever forget, I can just click on someone’s profile and say “Oh, yeah. Brad works. He’s 9-5 Eastern, you know, or so and so’s working, you know, West Coast hours. So, I know. Oh, they’re not going to be until, you know, 11 or 12 Eastern time, you know, so I can hold off and ping them then, you know, set up those notifications like users within Slack or any tool you’re using. You can set up those notification rules of saying, “Hey, if it, you know, let me know if I get pinged within these certain hours, right. But if somebody pings me after 10:00 at night, just like on our phones, right. They go into do not disturb. If someone pings me after 10:00, I don’t need to know about it till the next day. You know, you don’t need to pop up on my phone and say, you know, so and so dropped you a message, I’ll see you in the morning. You know, so set those, you know, set, put those settings in place.  

Now, unless you’re in a position where you need to be notified 24/7, then make sure it works that way. But those has helped, you know, to make sure I really do my best because I, you know, as an owner of a company, I’m sure you and your listeners can appreciate like we’re always around, right? I’m always peeking into Slack, you know, at 10:00 at night or on a weekend randomly, just because it’s what I do, you know. I’m a business owner so I’m always going to be kind of keeping tabs on things. And I’ll get random ideas that my team, (I’m notorious for this) it’s a company in my team knows, but I’ll get random thoughts and ideas and things I don’t want to forget. And I’ll just set. I love Slack reminders, I’ll set Slack reminder, you know, remind, you know, remind Joe, talk to Brad about this tomorrow morning. And at 9am the next morning, Joe will get the message automatically from Slack. Sometimes I even forget I do this and then someone will hit me up like, Oh yeah, I’m supposed to talk to you about this. I’m like, “Oh yeah. That’s why I set the reminder because I totally forgot.” Those are helpful because that way I’m not sending the message. The message isn’t being sent. It’s kind of like that idea of scheduling emails you guys ever do that where you can like you write an email at 2 am, and you’re like if I send this right now, my client’s gonna think I’m insane. Let me schedule this to send that like 8 the morning, you know, it’s the same concept, right?

It just shoots those messages out the next day at appropriate time. But that way you don’t forget and that’s why I love reminders. And if someone pings me and I’m like right in the middle of something, and I know I need to get back to that, I’ll just snooze it for 20 minutes. So yeah. Remind me in 20 minutes, you know. And then you can keep snoozing it until you finally get around to it. But that way it doesn’t, you don’t forget, you know, so I really, I really love the idea of slack reminders.They’re very helpful for me.

Joe Casabona: Yeah. I love that. I love that you said like, say hi in the morning and then the same thing with saying goodbye. I think just like telling people, Hey, I’m banging out for the day. Let’s them say, “Okay. Joe’s not going to be around for the, until tomorrow now) like I’m only going to message him or set a reminder if I need to. But, you know, the way you’re talking about it, it does sound like, you know, you’re treating Slack all not quite like email, like, but like some middle ground between like email and just walking into somebody’s office. Right. Because if we’ve worked an office job, you’ll know that people will just drop in and be like, Hey. Are you busy? Oh, I’m not anymore. So I like that, like stating the office hours,  or the working hours and stating, you know, when you’re going to be here. And then saying goodbye in the evening.

Do you have any advice? Cause I’ve got this feeling too, even though I’ve worked remote pretty much my whole life, you know, when I went to work at a new company, I felt like I needed to be there and on call and be available to be a good employee, but especially for people who are doing this for the first time, do you have any advice for those people who might like have the urge to respond if they see the message at 10 o’clock at night? or three in the morning, you know, I’ve seen, like, I’ve worked with people who have done that. They felt like they needed to respond. What would you say to employees who have that impulse? How can they fight it or how can they try to relax that a little bit? 

Brad Williams: Yeah. I mean, you kind of gotta, you know, hold yourself accountable a little bit. You know, and honestly, like you kind of also have to, yeah, make it one, make it clear, like when the working hours are that we talk about, but to also kind of set those boundaries of when you’re working versus not working. Right? And when you’re in a remote situation, sometimes that can be mentally like that can be difficult because if you’re again, if you’re new to this, you probably don’t have, you know, maybe you don’t, but most people probably don’t have a home office set up, right? They’re probably sitting at their kitchen table or you know in their couch or whatever that you know might be. So, you’re not, there’s not this clear definition of when I’m necessarily in work, you know, “work mode” versus, you know, home mode. 

it’s something I recommend for people that are doing this full time working remote. I recommend a home office, right? Somewhere like I have a home office and it’s a legit office, right? It’s not big, it’s small. And my wife works at the company with me. That’s a whole another podcast topic of how that works. But in our office, it’s like we have two workstations set up, filing cabinets, you know, files, paperwork, printers, you know, you walk in and it feels like you’re in an office cause that’s what it is. So when I’m in there, my mindset is immediately work mode, you know. Now, I’m also not the norm again being  a company owner because I generally, you know, I work on my couch on my recliner a lot. I might be sitting outside on a nice day working, you know, so, but having that definition can help. But I understand a lot of people are not in that position, right?

So, it’s having clear boundaries and making sure that your team is clear on that making sure your management understands that the leadership team, the executives, whoever that might be that, you know, these are my working hours. These are the hours I will be reachable. Obviously if there’s an emergency, you can always call my phone. Like if I’m ever going to be away from my computer, especially during a work day for whatever reason, I’ll just tell the team, If you really need me, call me, you know, I got my phone on me. If you call me, I’ll answer) but set those clear boundaries and do your best to hold yourself accountable.

Sometimes it’s hard like I also have my laptop. You know, just doing whatever in the evening, and almost by habit, next thing I know I’m in my email, and I’m like, how did that even happen? I’m like, looking at my email right now at 10: 30 at night, like, why? There’s nothing in here I need to do right now. There’s no reason for me to be in my email right now. It’s just a habit.  So, set those clear boundaries and try to do your best to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes it can be hard. But I think as long as your team understands your boundaries, that will be helpful. Then it’s just really on you kind of controlling yourself at that point. 

Joe Casabona: Yeah, I think that’s great advice. Aand just for a little bit of context, like I have a home office, we bought a house, and I love it,  but like since daycare has been closed, that’s been even a little bit relaxed for me, where sometimes I’ll work in the dining room now while my daughter has like her iPad time. So, but having that clear boundary can be hard, especially if you’re not set up for it. But it’s also, I think it’s really important to have that context.

Brad Williams: Yeah. and just to, you know that’s actually a good point you mentioned because obviously i’m used to working from home. But i’m not used to as my four year old being here because he’s in generally in preschool. So that is, you know, as far as everything has been affected, that’s pretty minor considering what other people are going through in terms of working from home for the first time. But, you know, having my son here, you know, you have to account, you have to expect the unexpected with young kids. But you know what, like embrace it. I mean, when all of this, you know, went down, you know, we started, Lisa, my partner and I started having conversations about what can we do to help alleviate some of the stressors at home. And one of them was like, you know:

1. Don’t worry about whether your camera’s on or not right now. You know, like, yes, it’s nice to have your camera on and see your team. And we generally really like to do that because we’re remote. We don’t get it. We don’t, we’re not in an office. We don’t get to see our team a lot. So when we are talking, we like to be on camera. But you know what? Right now, if you have a, if you want your camera off because your kids running around behind you, or maybe they’re sitting on your lap, like, fine. No problem, you know, if that little thing of turn your camera off can make your life a little bit less stressful, don’t turn your camera on. There’s, you know, there’s distractions. There’s noises in the background. Almost every call I’m on, there’s noise in the background either, And it’s not, it’s either our side or the client’s side or both sides like there’s stuff. And that, you know what? It’s okay. It’s fine. We’re all going through it right now, right? There’s gotta be noise. There’s gotta be distractions. My son might walk in at any minute right now and say hi to both of you. You know, there’s nothing stopping him really from doing that and it’s a real possibility, you know. And that’s just the situation we’re in right now and that’s okay, you know, so  you know, we’re all going through this kind of weird time, but these little things like just you know thinking about you know from your employees perspective their new situation and try and juggle having their kids at home and maybe they’re having to go through like e learning stuff and they’re also trying to do phone calls like, you know, just having my son in the house while I’m working puts a little bit more stress on me when I’m having phone calls especially when I’m having them with very important clients.

But I think it’s best just to tackle that stuff head on and say, yep, it’s got to happen and it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Who cares if my son bursts in here right now and wants to say hi to you guys. You know what? It’ll be great. So, you know, that’s kind of how we’re looking at it. What little things can we do to help? So…

Liam Dempsey: Yeah. What you’re sharing is very similar to what we heard from Lisa Van Ess from Magic Hat Consulting on a previous episode. She’s a VP of HR and people in culture and very much communicate expectations, be very flexible, be understanding, be human, be vulnerable, Brad.

I want to get back to the second of the two questions that I asked you advantages, tell us about some of the strategic advantages that have helped your business, you know, aside from, well, I won’t put answers in your mouth. What are some of the real strategic advantages that WebDevStudios have captured because of its remote aspect?

Brad Williams: That’s a great question. And initially, honestly, the reason we went remote, we started the company in 2008, and we are in the Jersey shore area. So, you know, it’s a very much a, you know, area where yes, there are locals, but you know primarily like the you know, the population of those beach towns and stuff triples over the summer and then turns into a ghost town in the winter. So not a lot of, you know, real talent in the area in terms of designers and developers, and in any like really good talent, you know. They’re going to colleges in the area usually end up in New York or Philly, you know, so we were having trouble finding, you know people to hire early on so we said, you know, let’s just find some people. I think we initially started out kind of a New York and Philly area. So they’re somewhat close. But then we realized, you know one of the biggest advantages of working remote is we can really find the the right talent that we’re looking for. The right people that fit our company in our culture regardless of the location like we can just, they’re all over the place and we were meeting a lot of these people at going to WordCamps and all over the country early on. So, many talented people out there we’re like, we need to be tapping into this pool of amazing, you know, people that could work at our company because this could really help us level up. And that’s exactly what we did. 

So from that point forward, and that was probably 2009 or 10, you know, we didn’t really care about location. You know, we just wanted to make sure we got the right individual. So that’s, I think in my opinion, that’s a massive advantage because I know people, I have a lot of friends that run agencies, somewhat ours, but they’re brick and mortar. They have an office and they struggle, you know, they struggle finding good talent because they’re trying to find people local and so much so that they’re starting to, you know, roll into more of a hybrid approach. Hey, there’s my son coming to say hi. Bring him on. Let’s say hello. I called it, right? You know, so they’re kind of going into this more hybrid approach where yes, they still have their office, but they’re starting to expand their hiring and start to do, you know, remote hiring and building remote teams for that very reason. So, that’s a huge one. 

And then also I think the obvious one just around like overhead and costs. You know, I don’t have to spend 10-20-30$ a month, which I would on an office space that that’s money. I can focus on benefits. You know, I can focus on salaries, on bonuses, on, you know, hardware and equipment, all sorts of stuff that is way more valuable to my team than an office that they have to commute to you know, so that’s kind of the obvious one. The huge one is the financial benefits of it. A lot of that overhead those costs just aren’t there, which is great. 

Liam Dempsey: Let me ask you this. With a team that’s based let’s say across the U.S, certainly you’ve said East Coast to West Coast, are you seeing, have you gotten much benefit from, for example having an employee in a certain town in California such that when you’re starting to engage with a prospect in not far from that area in California, you know, you might fly out there if it gets close enough to kind of seal a bigger deal or sweeten the deal. But then you’ve got a local person that says, you know, we’re everywhere. But also Mary’s 10 minutes up the road from you. Have you seen that in any way either anecdotally or on a wider basis? 

Brad Williams: Yeah, it does happen from time to time. I mean we have, you know, i’m in Philly. Jody, you guys both know her. She’s our director of business development is also in Philly. Her and I travel a lot, you know, especially in this region, Philly, New York area, but you know, really all over the country. We go to Seattle a lot. We do a lot of work at Microsoft. So yeah. If there’s local, you know, local talent on our team, to a client, then we absolutely play that card. right? Like, and when we go meet them, we make sure they’re going to be on the team and that they’re sitting there across the table to say hi and say, yeah, this, they’re local. 

And even better if it’s a project manager, because that’s like, that’s perfect. Right? Hey, your PM’s local. They come instead of the table for these meetings for you if need be. So yeah, absolutely. I mean, we do travel, we like to travel, we like to beat our clients. Just, so just to clarify that point, like, yes, we’re distributed remote, but it doesn’t mean we don’t like to meet our clients. it’s extremely energizing to sit across the table with, you know, a client and talk about the project, talk about, you know, especially after it, and talk about the successes and how happy they are and things like that. But, it really can motivate you and really energize you.

So, we look, we do love to meet with our clients. We travel quite a bit, obviously not right now, but generally speaking, we travel quite a bit because it is, you’re never going to replace that face to face interaction and just reaching across the table and shaking someone’s hand or whatever we do after this is over, bumping elbows, you know. So, you’re never going to be able to replace that. 

And at the end of the day, if you could look someone in the eyes and shake their hand and say, you know, we’re here to do whatever we can to make this successful. It builds a certain amount of trust that that is hard to do remote especially with clients and new clients, you know. So, we definitely, you know, we definitely like to do that. 

Joe Casabona: Awesome. Well, we are coming up on time here. I think that’s fantastic advice. And an interesting thing to think about we had a client when I was at Crowd Favorite who was very local to me and that was definitely something that we talked about and we’re like, it was a very relatable. I was able to relate to them and talk about some of the area places that you might not need to, you might not be able to talk about.

But, kind of as we come up on time here, I’m really interested in some of the processes, maybe not necessarily the tools like Zoom and Slack, but the processes that you’re using to help move projects forward when you can’t like get in a meeting room altogether.  So, maybe just real quick, can you name like a couple of things that have really helped you manage projects from a remote perspective.

Brad Williams: Sure. Yeah. It’s another area that’s a disadvantage, right? Like you can’t, we don’t have like a war room where we’re all huddled around a whiteboard, like hashing through some complex problem. Right. You know, the nice thing is tools like Zoom and you know, Skype and others are very interactive. There are ways to do things like that. So, you know, we take advantage of those tools like Zoom and Slack. I mean, we, you know, it’s getting a group on a Zoom call, getting cameras on when it’s appropriate and really working through problems face to face, and talking even in a remote environment is actually very beneficial. And you can help, you work through those items more so than Slack or email.

You know, I always, and even it’s not directly related to your question, but also a bit of advice, especially being a remote environment is, you know, anytime there’s a bit of conflict or confusion or anything like that, whether internal with your team or with your client, like get on a phone call, get on a Zoom, like I think sometimes, and this happens at our company too. Sometimes we get in this rut of keeping things to text like email or Slack. And things can spiral out of control quickly if there is a, if you’re out of sync with your client or the expectation is out of whack or, you know, what you thought you were delivering is not what they thought they were receiving. You know, going back and forth on email is just going to escalate that and make it worse. Right. And especially the fact that you can’t really pull emotion from text. You might think, you know, and I actually had this problem in the past where I would be very short with my responses with the team that asked me a question. I’d say, yes or no. I’d answer the question and then they’d think I was mad at them because, wow! Brad’s being really short today. Like is he, did I do something? It’s like, no. i’m on a phone call and i’m responding to an email, and i’m answering your question all at the same time. I answered your question, but I never really put thought into the fact that my short yes, no response, they were perceiving that as me being mad at them. Or like they offended me, you know what I mean? 

So like, so you have to be very careful with text and emotion. So if at any point you think something’s kind of getting out of whack, just hop on a phone call and a bit of a sidetrack based on your question. But, I did want to put that advice out there. 

So, yeah. I mean, you know, you got to figure out what works best for you. We get our, we’re teams on Zooms. We interact, we collab together. We get our clients on Zoom, you know, or Skype or Teams or whatever. And we interact as best we can being remote and, you know, by and large, we get the job done. It’s just a little bit different than sitting in a room and kind of hashing things out on a whiteboard. 

Joe Casabona: Gotcha. Thank you for that. I think that’s really great advice.  So,  we want to thank you for joining us. We really appreciate you taking the time. if people want to learn more, where can they find you sure?

Brad Williams: Yeah, so our company’s [webdevstudios.com]. Check us out. And if you check out our blog, [webdevstudios.com/blog], we write a lot of really good content. And over the years, we’ve written a lot of really good content on working remotely and working with clients remotely. So, you go to our blog and we have a remote work category that you can filter by a lot of really good articles out there.

And I’m on Twitter, @williamsBA. So you can always hit me up there if you have any questions or anything like that. But, yeah. I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me on guys. This is fun. 

Liam Dempsey: Brad, thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate your time and energy supporting the local business community in and around Philadelphia. Thank you. 

Joe Casabona: Thanks again to Brad for joining us this week. I love talking to Brad every time I get the chance. We are all, we kind of all met in the greater Philadelphia area, WordPress community. And like he said, he’s been managing a remote company of 40 people for a decade. So, or they’ve grown to 40 people over the course of a decade. So his advice is really great. I love talking about remote work too. 

if you want to get all of the resources and links that we talked about, if you want to learn more about Brad,  you could head over to [startlocal.co]. All of the show notes and all of the episode notes, this will be there. If you are liking this podcast, it would be a great favor to both Liam and me if you could give us a rating and a review. It will really help people discover the show. 

So thanks so much for listening. And until next week. Stay safe out there.

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