Remote work has come to stay, and we’re on that train. Since our merger with Pragmatic in 2020, we have been a remote-first company, which has come with many challenges. We value a healthy work environment and want to bring our team closer to each other despite the fact that we are spread all over the world. Now that things are starting to return to ‘normal’, many companies are deciding whether to return to office work, continue with remote, or perhaps run a hybrid solution. As a company that has transitioned to remote-first, we have learnt many tips and tricks along the way, to make remote work long-term for the business and the employees.
Companies that offer remote work benefit from being able to recruit globally and attract the best people for the team wherever they are based. The thought of relocation might be a big factor in candidates’ choosing their next role, so offering work-from-home wherever home is, is likely to be more attractive. And with high satisfaction and the ability to work more flexibly, it is no surprise that remote workers are more likely to stay at their company long term.
Does our remote program sound like something that would suit you and your lifestyle? Well, you’re in luck, because we are currently looking for several new talents!
Communication is the key
Communication is the key to good remote ways of working and should be the top priority for those managing the remote-first rollout. When you have a distributed team, it is important to keep them engaged in the company’s vision and direction. Keeping remote employees informed, and providing meaningful opportunities to connect with those setting company strategy, reminds them that they are part of the larger organization and also that the organization values them. A study from the Harvard Business Review showed that employees in the modern workplace spend about 80 percent of their time on activities that require collaboration with other workers. In today’s business world, digital communication and the tools used are the keys to maximizing these interactions.
While it is important to keep remote workers aligned with the direction of the business, it is also crucial to encourage team spirit and maintain cohesion. A good way to do this is through a communication platform. Angry Creative has employees all over the world and the majority work remotely, which means that a functioning communication platform is one of the most important tools in our daily work. From face-to-face meetings, group discussions, file sharing and video conferencing, there are plenty of productivity tools out there that make teamwork easier than ever. We at Angry Creative use Slack, where we can easily create internal and also external channels, which facilitates our work together with our customers. Slack also comes with a bunch of good integrations that make our everyday communication both easier and more fun.
Like in a face-to-face setting, it’s important to maintain communication and behavioural standards in your virtual office spaces. For example, we’ve implemented a code of conduct on Slack and set our clear etiquette guidelines.
Keep up the spirit and acknowledge fantastic work
We work continuously to encourage and recognize fantastic work, our integration between our HR tool HiBob and Slack makes it possible for us to easily send kudos and shoutouts to our colleagues. Make recognition highly visible so that the rest of the organization is aware of the valuable contribution that team members make. Mark big “wins” or just good work and give the rest of your team the opportunity to do the same.
Swag packages and remote-office-friendly care packages are also simple ways to make your employees feel appreciated. Make packages meaningful and useful: a small thoughtful gift that someone uses every day is will have a much greater impact than a generic big thing that doesn’t speak to the individual.
Remembering that we are individuals, and not just a The Remote Team, means company’s should survey the team regularly, to ask what people need. When a survey has been completed, it’s vital that those surveyed see action and can follow up with the items they raised. Actions can be as simple as updated hardware, additional development or new routines that contribute to improved performance.
Have regularly scheduled online meetings
When you are not together in person, the most important parts of good communication, common goals and having fun can easily be lost. It is important to have regular meetings that create opportunities for the team members to talk about things that might not otherwise appear if you are working solo. A remote team needs to constantly work on processes to build team bonds, and relationships and maintain them. As we live in a digital world, technology is developing rapidly and we have made use of it to our advantage. There are many plugins, websites and apps that allow you to connect with your team remotely. E.g by integrating gather.town in Slack, our employees receive a ping once a day where they easily can jump in and hang out with their colleagues, in a more human way.
Detta är också ett av ämnena de tog upp på WordFest Live 2022. Angry Creative var där och lyssnade bland annat på Tammie Listers tal om att designa på distans. Vi fick mycket inspiration och tips om hur man bygger en hälsosam miljö på distans för de mer kreativa i teamet. Vill du veta mer om Tammie Listers tankar kring att designa på remote kan du se hela sessionen HÄR.
One of the biggest challenges when working remotely is the daily distractions that can occur. housework, doctor visits and taking the children to school, which can be an obstacle when people are given the opportunity to work remotely. At Angry Creative, we have flexible working hours, which makes it easier for both those who work in the office and of course for those who work remotely. It is important to us that our colleagues find a healthy balance between work and private life. In general, we see that those who work remotely find it easier to work a little too much because it becomes easily accessible to do so but to overcome this we have developed tools, tips and training that can help us manage time, which benefits both the organization and the employees.
Last but not least have fun
As Angry Creative was previously an in-office company, we were used to fun and social activities spilling over from the working day into a local bar. We have developed ways to connect socially online, and have made it important that social activities are not just in the evening after work. Monthly Socials are something we have implemented where we have different activities, it can be anything from a regular hangout to running a virtual escape room. It gives us the opportunity to get to know each other better and build stronger collaborations between the different professional roles.
Here are some examples of activities for a distance team:
- Create a virtual break room
- Hold virtual events
- Send “daily snapshots”
- Join team members who do not usually work together
- Host remote workshops and courses
- Play online games together
- Try live remote coworking
Working remotely may not be for everyone, it all depends on how you are as a person. But we really want to emphasize that just because you work remotely does not mean you have to be alone. There are many challenges but it is also very beneficial for both employers and employees. Distributed working is the new reality in the modern business landscape. You can either focus on building an efficient and strong remote program or risk missing out on top talent that now sees it as a requirement. Hopefully, we have given you some good ideas and a head start when it comes to building or improving your remote program!