Technology today empowers teams anywhere, at any time to work remotely and productively in ways that weren’t possible in days past. This new way of working has spawned the digital nomad culture in which a lot of people have great success.
A while back, I was working for a few years remotely in Wellington. All my friends had moved down and I thought “Why not make the move?”. Mogul wanted to keep me on board and we were able to make it work. We had morning Skype team meeting catch ups; sometimes I was in my pyjamas but it was freeing and allowed a new feeling of empowerment over my working environment.
“In the right roles and with the right people, flex does offer tremendous productivity improvement. It gives people time to process properly, and it gets them out of the office in terms of being bogged down in day-to-day admin. So there is more thought leadership that comes to the table, and that’s where your creativity and innovation come in.”
Osman Khan, Cofounder and CEO of Paddle 8
Working remotely can sometimes be a wonderful thing, but sometimes it can be a lonely endeavour if you’re not around others. Office life has its perks, solving a problem in person and having a post-success cringey high five, office banter and Friday beersies.
Digital camaraderie is great but you don’t get that social interaction which most people need at least some aspect of. I remember being happy when my friends and flatmates would come home after their work, “Yeah! I’m not alone anymore!” But I did enjoy it.
It’s about finding that balance that works for you. A lot of people tend to work from libraries, coffee shops or co-working spaces which gets you out of your house and around other people – which we all need sometimes.
Today, I work in the Mogul office for most of the day but then pick up my boy from school in the afternoon and put in a few extra hours when I get home. I also work closely with one of our clients, Property Matrix, who are based in LA. I help them with UI design and front end development mostly working on updates and new features. There’s a lot of collaborating and listening (thanks Vanilla) and rewarded trust that comes with working remotely.
The right tools for the right job
A lot of product companies have sprung up as a result of these new ways of working. Some of the tools I use are:
- Slack – Team conversations in open or private channels.
- Messenger – Instantly reach the people in your life—for free.
- Discord – Modern voice & text chat app.
- Skype – Video + Chat
- Google Hangouts – Message contacts, start free video or voice calls
- Teamviewer – Remote desktop access & voice calls
Design, Whiteboards and feedback
- Figma – Turn ideas into products faster, design, prototype, and gather feedback all in one place.
- Invision – InVision allows you to quickly create interactive clickable prototypes and gather instant feedback.
- Realtimeboard – Simple whiteboarding platform for cross-functional team collaboration.
- Trello – Trello keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details.
- Boardly – Kanban boards, timelines and more.
Working digitally together, relying on others for their skill and expertise, delivering ideas and solving problems. It can be as easy and rewarding as being there in person.