Lessons We’ve Learned from Working Remotely

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With the coronavirus threat forcing millions of people to work from home, many for the first time, people are discovering the pros and cons of working remotely. The current crisis is bringing many of those “cons” to the forefront: a sense of isolation from colleagues, needy kids, and all the at-home distractions even veteran remote workers are struggling with. 

But there are plenty of good things about working remotely, too. In fact, at 33Floors we’ve built our team by embracing remote work as a key component of our business model. We thought you might like to hear why we like it so much, and how we make it work.

We’ve embraced the advantages of remote work.

33Floors draws unquestionable advantages from having a dispersed workforce. With today’s networking technologies, many businesses that might not think of themselves as well-suited to the remote model might benefit from a second look. Here are some of the key advantages we take from embracing the remote mindset:

  • A global talent pool. The clients we serve are global. So are the people with the skills we need to deliver service at the level our clients require. By embracing remote work as our default mode, we’re able to tap into talent no matter where it is. Skill, not location, defines our hiring practices.
  • We’re already where our clients are. Although we can do a lot for our clients without stepping foot in their offices, there’s still no substitute for in-person meetings for developing a complete understanding of what the client needs. Our clients are everywhere, and so are we.
  • Leveraging the power of technology. We’re an IT consulting firm, so naturally we gravitate to high tech solutions for our way of work. Our global consulting business has relied upon web- and cloud-based applications for many years. Collaboration tools like Zoom, Teamwork, and Workplace can shrink the sense of distance between people.
  • More time for family. Our employees appreciate the flexibility remote work provides. Just eliminating the commute grind can return hours per day to a professional’s home life. Remote work makes space for the demands of real life, like illnesses, appointments, and the kids’ school schedules. Today’s talent appreciates the substantial boost to their quality of life.

How do we make it work?

Successfully operating a remote work model requires a shift in mindset from the conventional way of doing business. An effective remote workforce relies on certain habits every team member needs to cultivate. Everyone in the organization, whether they’re in a formal office or working from home, needs to be intentional about building relationships with their co-workers. Turning on video during calls, jumping on email replies, and accommodating time zone differences are all crucial for maintaining team cohesion. 

As an organization, a remote-first business needs to develop consistent practices for ensuring smooth operation. At 33Floors we hold weekly video conferences to keep everyone on the same page. Video not only helps everyone feel more personally connected, it also gives essential space for nonverbal communication, which can be ninety percent of the message. We’ve also adopted internal communication standards, including consistent calendaring, that keep information flowing across time zones, from Los Angeles to London to Sydney. 

We’ll get through it!

Coronavirus is testing us all. If your business is struggling to transition to the new reality of mandatory remote work, be encouraged that the model can work well. 33Floors is staying open during the crisis and is here to answer client questions and provide support for everyone who needs to keep Yardi running from unfamiliar places. Let us know how we can be of service.   

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