As you may already know, all of the awesome people employed by The Phuse work remotely.
Our team is separated by oceans, mountain ranges, country borders, and time zones. And despite the generally accepted misgivings about working remotely, we’ve managed to build a company on it.
We would even say that a team working remotely can be just as effective—or more so—than a team that works out of the same studio.
Apart from our flexible schedules and thirty hour work weeks, we’ve come up with a few more reasons why working remotely is beneficial to our team.
1. Work at your own pace, set your own hours
Our work is task and goal oriented. With people located all over the world, that’s the best way we’ve found to keep projects on task. Our team members can work whenever they want to. The only caveat we have is that they have to meet their deadlines.
Of course, this process only works if tasks are completed on time and to spec, so before you give people the kind of freedom that a task-oriented work process allows, make sure you can rely on them, or be prepared to pick up the slack.
2. Negativity is contagious
The biggest benefit to working in a studio is that you are surrounded by like-minded creative people all day long. You can feed off their energy. However, you can also be hindered by their negativity.
If you are an empath, there are ways to get around it. But none better than working where you want, when you want (see #1). It’s easy to close Skype and focus when you work from home.
On the flip side, sometimes working alone gets lonely. That’s why we communicate frequently with our teammates, have weekly motivational meetings, send loads of emails, advocate coffee breaks on Skype, and condone off-topic conversations when deadlines aren’t looming.
3. Shrewd scheduling, and following the sun
It didn’t happen on purpose, at first. But as it turns out our lead designers for the past few months have been located in UK while our coders are in the US and Canada. That gives the design team a head start of at least six hours. Our day is extended and we can actually get more work done in a day than any team that works out of the same studio.
The Harvard Business Review blogged about how Virtual Teams Can Outperform Traditional Teams recently, and when we read that article we were pleasantly surprised to find that were were already following most of their advice.
4. We handpick our team
This method wasn’t allowed in gym class when choosing kickball teams, but in the real world cherry picking the best talent from the crowd is not only allowed but encouraged.
A bigger company may be able to find talent in different parts of the world and relocate them, but with limited resources we are very grateful that the internet allows us to collaborate with people in vastly different locations without forcing anyone to leave their favorite internet hotspot.
We have chosen the best applicants from all over the world because they’re good at what they do, and not because they live near us.
We aren’t limited by location. We surpass it.