Work Your Way is our new blog series in which individuals give their honest answers about how they like to work when working remotely. From how to create and maintain a work culture when working remotely, to how they best like to work remotely, they share their insights and top tips.
Vincent Jong, CEO at FunnelFox shares with us his thoughts on how remote working is essential in increasing the choice of talent and the importance of their annual retreats. FunnelFox is an account-based sales platform that helps people in sales and customer success speak with the right people at the right time.
What is the biggest advantage to the company of working remotely?
The reason why we started to go remote was the choice of talent. When I found my CTO, he was moving to Amsterdam and I was in Vienna. When recruiting new people after this we always opened up for local as well as remote options, but the people who were the best fit always turned out to be in another city or country. That's when we decided to go full remote.
Another big advantage is that people can work very focused and don't distract each other. We're a tech-heavy business so it's important that team members have their focus time to figure out complex problems and we encourage them to switch off all their notifications when working on something.
Remote-Friendly or Remote-First?
Remote-Only. By now, even if we would hire two people in the same city, we would still treat them both as remote. Else it will create a disbalance in the team and collaboration. We do try to make sure our remote team members have a good place to work. This can be in a co-working space which we can provide, or at their home. It's up to the employee to decide where they work, as long as the location they choose enables them to perform well.
How do you keep remote work visible?
We manage most of our communication through Slack and video calls. We have extensive Slack policies to make sure everyone on the team knows what's going on, but at the same time people are not overwhelmed with notifications. For example, anything that's not supposed to be private should be in a public channel. We discourage direct 1:1 conversations because it's hard for others to join in that conversation.
In addition, we encourage team members to share their results in the appropriate Slack channel for others to see. Responses are always in the thread only, so the number of notifications people get remains manageable. We ask people to check Slack about three times per day, which is enough to be responsive but not be interrupted continuously.
Next to Slack we have weekly meetings with the entire team where we discuss the status of projects and the focus for that week.
How do you maintain and create a company culture when working remotely?
Day-to-day an important part is complete transparency. By that I mean that the team members know at all times what the status of the company is, what we are working towards, and why. And even what it means if we don't achieve these goals. This helps team members to prioritize and triggers the right ideas to move the company forward.
Apart from that, annual retreats of the entire team in one location are also instrumental. Naturally that was not possible in 2020 due to Covid-19, but in the years before this was always one of the highlights of the year when we asked the team. It's great for morale, team spirit, and generation of new ideas. Our format has always been a one week retreat in which we work on a standalone project.
Where is your favourite place to work from when working remotely?
I love working from home. I have my own space to work and when I take a break I am in my favorite environment, with the food and drinks that I like, and I get to see my partner who is also working from home.
A big thank you to Vincent for his honest answers and interesting thoughts on 'remote-only'. Make sure you check out FunnelFox.