Here at Batchbook we’ve combined a number of different work location styles into a well functioning team and culture. About a third of our team works out of our Providence headquarters on a regular basis. We have a terrific, lofty, urban space in Providence’s Jewelry District where a group of us comes into a cozy office space most days of the week. Another third work half time from their home office, half time from the Batchbook office. And the rest of the team is completely virtual. They live in distant parts of the country (or other countries even) and only visit the home office once a year or so.
We’ve been asked a number of times recently to share more about our unique set-up and how we make it work. We’ve compiled some helpful articles that’ve been written about us and other virtual businesses and what we’re each doing to make remote work easy and rewarding for our teams and businesses.
- Our friends at Zapier.com wrote a nice long case study on Remote Meets Co-Located: How Batchbook Builds Culture with Blended Work Styles
- A Question and Answer session with Remote.co
- An Interview with our CEO Pam O’Hara from remote working blog site Pajamas.io
If you have team members who work remotely, or are considering moving to a virtual work environment, these sites provide some great insight into the nuts and bolts of making it work from a technical and cultural perspective.
There are lots of nuggets here on making this mixed environment work, so here is a “best of” list highlighting our top virtual working tips:
- Invest in technology. Our digital projector is the most expensive piece of equipment in our office. The microphone and sound system are a close second. Clear audio and amplified video go a long way in capturing the nuances of a group conversation, not just the minutes.
- Pay attention to the details. Make sure the right microphone is on and being used. Always have a real-time note taker a virtual team member can follow along if their audio breaks up.
- Have fun. Pull the virtual group together for more than just company meetings. We have parties, lunch gatherings and even house (and houseboat) tours when team members move to a new place.
- Get together. Bring the virtual team together with the local team as often as your budget will allow. It goes a long way towards building those relationships.
- Keep learning. Keep reading and sharing what’s working for your company so we can all learn together.
We’d love to hear more about what is working for you and your company. What tools are you using? How do you sustain a virtural culture? How do you go about trying or implementing new workflow ideas? This is new ground we’re breaking, so let’s all pitch in by sharing successes and failures to learn from together.