Cultivating a Remote Work Culture
By Mike Sherwood, Base36.com
One consistent challenge of running a business in Northern New England is acquiring top talent. A solution that my company has found to be extremely productive is the creation of a culture to support remote workers.
Once this culture is in place, you can cast a wide net and lure the best of the best into your company.
Who Is the Remote Worker?
In our searches for remote talent, we find two criteria to be key:
- Past experience: An individual may find a remote home office to be heavenly or it can feel like solitary confinement. It is difficult for people to imagine the lifestyle without living it - we vastly prefer experienced workers.
- Top talent preferred: Your A-players are better suited than your entry level positions to succeed remotely. Top talent requires less hand-handholding, less communication, and less monitoring.
Defining the Remote Culture
Take control of your remote culture, and ensure that workers can succeed within it. It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing. Many of our engagements begin with a six-week stint onsite before remote work begins. Additionally, our consultants often return one week a month to check-in with colleagues and help foster a team-based atmosphere.
We've also found that adding more remote workers helps all remote workers succeed. This is particularly true for established colocated teams.
In a remote culture, processes, documentation, and communication should be accessible by everyone. With multiple remote resources in place, the drive towards establishing appropriate tools and communication is far more natural for everyone involved.
Measuring success of all workers is important, but with less face time, it's paramount for remote workers. If your company has objective measurements built-in to your processes, it becomes trivially simple to ensure that you're getting an appropriate bang for your remote buck.
Additionally, it can be helpful to keep tabs on remote workers with a simple, short weekly status report. Ask each remote worker to write two to six bullets on:
- Accomplishments for the week
- Upcoming tasks for next week
- Upcoming calendar (time off, time onsite, etc.)
Finding the right remote workers, defining your remote culture, and continually monitoring productivity will allow your business to thrive by utilizing top talent from around the world right here in +siRegion+.
Mike Sherwood is the Managing Director and Founder of Base36. As a Bowdoin College computer science alum, Mike has led Base36 to be the leading technical consulting company in the state of Maine. Their internal office staff is deeply technical and highly trusted, with many clients hiring wholly based upon their screening feedback. For top technical talent, they can be reached at 207-221-0276.