We prefer working remote. However, working remote is not easy (and not for everybody). We haven't perfected our 'remote strategy' yet, but this afternoon we gave a talk to fellow entrepreneurs on what we have learned, and are happy to share a few insights here.
Why remote working?
1. Because commuting sucks
2. The flexibility (to exercise, to be there for our kids, to have flexible working hours, etc.)
The main challenge with remote is connecting with your colleagues. So we have defined a 'remote strategy', of which the 3 key elements are:
1. Force interaction
When working remote you miss the 'watercooler discussions'. You don't meet random colleagues to talk about their weekend. So we have Donut helping us in several ways. For instance Donut connects us weekly with another random colleague to chat for 30 minutes on non-work-related topics. Like you would at the watercooler.
And we also get every other day a watercooler-question on Slack from DailyBot that creates a conversation which is fun or gives insight in how your colleagues are.
2. Make sure there is little 'tacit knowledge'
At many companies the strategy and way of working is not clearly defined; newcomers just learn by listening at the watercooler. When working remote you need to write all those things down.
Oh, that sounds like bureaucratic work... But wait, isn't it always valuable to have written down what your strategy is? And how things are being done? To make sure everyone is singing from the same song sheet? ... Oh right, so remote working forces you to do things which are really valuable anyhow? ... Exactly.
We use the Notion platform to capture all knowledge and plans, as our 'single source of truth'. I see it as a wiki where you write pages on all possible topics, and can easily create databases or work planning. Very easy, and I hear more and more companies embracing this tool.
3. Organize amazing in-person get-togethers every month
Going to meet colleagues is for most people your regular daily routine, so not so special. We meet once a month, and then it's special. Even more because our 'Codean days' are amazingly fun. The program is always a surprise, but escape rooms or cooking workshops ensure great fun. And we also have valuable discussion on work when people present their achievements or go pair programming.
Also: 3 times a year we organize a 'Codean 2-days'; so we have the evening for board games and craft beers. Or we will visit a foreign cybersecurity conference together. We're curious what the future will bring us!