The remote employee… it’s a strange gig. You’re the ghost of the office. Everyone knows you’re around, but you’re not chatting over morning coffee, sharing laughs throughout the day or going out for drinks after work.
While these “extras” are important aspects of team building and entrenching an employee within a company, are they necessary for a team to thrive? Should geography hinder a company from recruiting strong and valuable team members?
At Forward Level, marketing is with us from the moment we wakeup through to the day’s end. It’s not contained within the walls of an office … it’s wherever we are. The “office” is merely a venue in which to do the job. Actually, technology has made any place an office, especially for our team. A laptop, an Internet connection, a few cloud apps and just like that, we’re all connected, bringing together marketing concepts from across the country. On any given day, we can have employees at a coffee shop in Calgary, at the park in Kelowna, and at a beach in Toronto, and still be a unified, efficient team.
For me, working remotely has been productive and enjoyable. Being the designer I am, space is critical to my creativity. Now, I can alter my surroundings at anytime to help foster creative ideas. It also affords me the personal space to allow ideas to roam without judgment from the infamous “person over your shoulder.” Working remotely also demands a high level of self-discipline, honesty, and a commitment to the cause. These commitments include daily updates on project status in workflow and accounting software, routine contact through phone and email, and using FaceTime and Google Hangouts for meetings, or even just to say hi. These tools connect us and make our team even more productive, and perhaps more efficient, than traditional office environments.
So what exactly is the key to this successful and rewarding remote working relationship? For me, it’s a forward thinking company, with a team of like-minded individuals, creating a success story… together.