Strategies, culture, and processes are what define the work. But it takes a space to get it done.
Remote work has unique challenges in terms of tools and spaces because it is up to the individual to define them. The advantage is that everyone has the flexibility to work whenever and wherever. But do they have everything they need? Can it be improved with more thought and investment?
Workspaces are often neglected in remote team management, but they are critical. Where we work at Torre has a huge impact on every aspect of our daily flow, and we have learned to pay attention to the critical details.
Workspaces and schedules need to be defined as explicitly as possible. We’ve found ways to effectively support individual choices and balance them for the team as a whole. Here's the framework for setting up every team member for success in their physical space.
Coworking spaces are popular with remote workers because they're separate from home base, allowing for better focus. Coworking spaces have internet connectivity, chairs, coffee/tea and other resources that are critical for a constructive office environment. They also provide networking opportunities with other remote workers - that can help relieve feelings of isolation and loneliness.
They solve many problems that might arise from working from home. They can define office hours away from distraction and can offer space to those who just don’t have an apartment big enough for their own defined workspace.
Once a team member picks a space at WeWork, Regus, etc., we cover the cost for them. It’s almost always less than the cost of an office, so there are still substantial savings in place.
People who work remotely often work from home. But it has its challenges. These are three factors to consider when working from home.
Away from Distractions
The last point is the most difficult. It’s often overlooked, but successful remote team management must include teaching workers what they'll need for an ergonomically correct space.
A top-performing team needs tools to succeed. We usually subsidize or help buy the equipment they need because there is no point in trying to save on equipment for a home office. It will cost you more in the end.
A checklist during the onboarding process sets this up right from the start.
This often means that remote workers have to find where they can buy what they need or have it shipped to them.
Digital nomadism is by far the style of working remotely which gets the most buzz. It sounds so romantic and fun, traveling around the world and getting things done wherever and whenever you want.
However, that is simply not a feasible reality.
At Torre, we greatly discourage digital nomadism or working on the go for many reasons. Finding good internet connectivity can be a chore in itself, takes up a lot of time and headspace that is ultimately unproductive. Once everything becomes about travel, it’s hard to find the energy to put into day to day work.
Having said that, I’ve worked on the go for many years. I don’t move from one place to the next every day, but stay focused for months at a time. I arrange my workspace and connection in advance and stay put. It does take a lot of effort, but it can be worth it when there's work to be done in a specific location, such as video production.
No matter what the setting, some basic equipment is required for every remote team. After decades of working remotely, Alex has his own primo setup which works very well. This includes:
You can see right away why a home office is popular and why we find it is the best set-up possible. It is all in a dedicated space where one can stand, sit, or pace as they need in order to be productive and not disturbed.
This is what you need to provide for your team members in order for them to perform well, too.