Transformation is the thumb rule of nature and so is the new millennial workplace arrangement. If you are aware (or not) of the trend of the hour ‘Digital Nomad’, then we would simplify it more! The term refers to a person whose physical proximity to their workplace is not dependent on their work. They are remotely connected over telecommunications and are technology-dependants. That means, if you are a talented globe trotter, your talent can be of use across the world and not concentrate only on your location! This drove around 50% of the young U.S workforce to ditch the traditional format of working while making it the new modus operandi.
Though it originated mainly out of the freelance community, today, it is no more restricted to the start-ups or SMEs but established brands are digesting it well!
BUT, how effective is it?
Lucile Foroni, Growth Manager at Doist, a complete remote workforce organization states “Remote work’s biggest advantage is the ability to focus. You can focus when you want to do deep work, and check messages or plan a meeting when you need to communicate. No one taps on your shoulder, constantly DMs you because your online indicator is green or calls you at whichever time of the day or night. You’re in control of your attention. Moreover, it adds to the managerial flair as I do not need to micro-manage the team.” Having said so, a dispersed team globally helps you in time management. For example, when one teammate residing in the USA completes a certain work and post which can pass it on to his Canadian teammate who then completes his part of the job. This ‘round the clock and around the world’ approach sets one completely free from unnecessary professional stress.
The list doesn’t stop here! According to Forbes Financial Council, around 43% of employers are switching to employing remote workers owing to the cost omission of their office spaces. This allows even a start-up to recruit a diverse talent pool without paying bulk from their raised funds. This is an enabler to improve their productivity and ensure effective cost-cutting. This culture erases the need of renting an official space or even a co-working space allowing effective implementation of their funds in other projects or services.
‘Been there, done that’
If you thought that remote working is not your cup of tea, owing to a much larger workforce management, trust Zapier’s co-founders, Wade Foster and Mike Knoop who feels remote working culture leads to a refined and fast-paced work. “Non-remote work defaults to the highest distraction communication first, which is in-person. Remote work defaults to the lowest, which is no communication and is more on point,” they share.
However, fostering trust is one eminent task, mutual responsibility for both the employers and the employees. So, before your boss rings up a bell, you should be more self-disciplined and should be managing your and your teams’ regardless of the locations and time zones. Foster adds, “To match the deadline, one should be ahead of it because emergencies are ought to happen owing to the diverse location and time zones.” Therefore, hiring self-managers could be a winning stroke for your company.
However, a distributed team faces time differences, internet connectivity issues to conflicting cross-cultural behaviours to start a spontaneous communication, so how would you increase trust among your teammates? To overcome this barrier of productivity, David Horowitz, Chief Executive Officer, Retrium shares his experience, “Be an intentional communicator because there are no break rooms to break off the work monotony. So, take out time to strike off a genuine conversation and build a healthy bond with your digital nomads.” Zoho, created another success story in creating Zoho Connect, its remote working wing suggesting how to intentionally communicate and what if you fall short of content! First thing first, homogeneity would never let you fall short of communication so one could simply exchange information on their weather, national holidays, swap their music playlist or simply gossip about movies to keep it genuine and smooth. This way, one can find a mental connection to talk beyond work, building trust and loyalty among the multi-cultural workforce.
But, what if miscommunication strikes off an important delivery? Being video first avoids a lot of unexpected friction owing to cross-cultural blend. Therefore, sticking to video calls over voice calls would help you to analyse body language and instill a sense of connectivity. On this line, Ricardo Fernandez, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Prodigy Finance shares his hard learnt experience, “Once, I had congratulated one of my colleague on a voice note stating ‘you’re killing it out there’. To my amazement, he reverts asking what went wrong on his part! Had I relied on a video call, my intention would have been clear.”
To sum up, if you are intending to bring in diversity in your organisation in terms of talent acquisition in minimal cost, then think but to re-structure your go-to strategies in hiring and retaining remote workers across the globe.
Around the globe in 80 days, err, 80 seconds!