The Challenges of Remote Working: “Distributed Teams Are The Future of Work”

Part 1: “Distributed Teams Are The Future of Work”

Welcome to our 5 part series on The Challenges of Remote Working, first up is understanding why distributed teams are really the future of work.

I should really change the title of this blog post to “Why A Distributed or Remote Team Is The Most Freaking Awesome Way to Build An Epic Business!”.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had a conversation with investors who have a red flag when you say that your team is distributed. I’ve even had most say they want to  be within a two hour driving distance from the startups they work with. Within reason that is great and all, but what about missing out on some amazing companies that have the leverage to grow, especially because they are built upon a globally distributed team? I never understood this as it limits the opportunities for building an awesome portfolio.

 

 

most influential remote teams
Credit Georgi Georgiev from coupofy.com

 

A lot of us are still getting used to the globalization and transitions and new structures of how we work today. That is totally understandable. Change can be scary for some, and of course there are a couple outlier challenges with distributed teams, but with the rapid innovation in technology…things like online communication, secure video meetings and productivity tools at our disposal, as Richard Branson said…

Credit celebritystyle.tukz.com
Credit celebritystyle.tukz.com

 

“One day, offices will be a thing of the past.”

 

Some of the biggest and most successful companies are distributed across the globe, look at Microsoft. The best part of this is also the fact that startups in a global market are much more agile. Distributed work, when managed right, is much more engaging and team members are dedicated to what they do. They even end up logging more hours, but not because they have to, because they want to and are simply driven by the company’s vision. It no longer becomes work and a series of mundane execution of tasks.

distributed-teams
Credit truelancer.com

 

Some of the best talent is not within your 100 mile  radius, so why limit your talent pool to your geographic location? The best people to work with and compliment your team are more likely on the other end of the world. You broaden your reach and options for hiring the right people. This is why distributed team culture is awesome. But of course let’s also look at some of the challenges and how to overcome them in part 2 of this series on distributed teams, on hiring the right people.

 

BONUS!

Want to know more about this remote work phenomenon? Read “GREAT PLACE TO WORK: At Automattic Employees All Work From Home And Travel To Exotic Locations

 

What do you think about remote working and distributed teams? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below and share this post, and stay tuned for part 2 in this series as we dive deeper into why’s and how’s of working with or running a distributed team.

 

  • I became interested in this back in the early 1990s when I got my first computer and access to the Internet was through typed in strings – no WYSIWYG back then! I then fell across CompuServe and a teleworking forum and became a member and then administrator, A group of us worked for four years on a European Commission project aimed at using the emerging Internet technologies to help the “geographically disadvantaged” EC speak for those stuck out in the back of beyond.

    When I started the project in 1995 I went to Brussels and used a laptop to access emails etc. By the end of the project I was picking up emails on a Palm personal digital assistant, a forerunner of today’s smartphones without the phone!

    Twenty years on we have the technology to enable remote working but its adoption is being held up by the same closed mind management types who believe/believed if we worked remotely we were slacking off on the golf course!

    But it has to happen and two of today’s drivers are terrorism and climate change. If key people cannot get to work because of snow or flooding or terrorism has shut down the rail and road networks, business have to adapt to let those workers carry out their roles some else than the head office.

    Despite negative management attitudes, I believe remote working actually gets more work done as people work straight from the breakfast table to their home office and start work during what would be their commute to work.

    • tropicaltech

      Wow! Amazing that you’ve been involved in this movement since the early days @kevincumbria:disqus ! Really cool as these things have to start somewhere, and I hope we can be a great example of how awesome and much more productive it can be. Stay tuned for the rest of the posts as I dive into how and why it really works. Because distributed teams do have some challenges, but they are easy to over come. Next we’ll look at how you go from being an employee in an office with management hovering over your shoulders, to holacracy and being a self motivated, passionate and dedicated employee who get’s the job done no matter where you are in the world 😀
      We’ve learned so much through our adaptation of our global working structure – its awesome! Interested in hearing more from others and their experiences or even if they’ve never worked with a distributed team what they feel might benefit their company, if the flexible and location independent set up could easily solve.