The startup story #4: working from your couch
The startup story #4: working from your couch

The startup story #4: working from your couch

Friday, 02 September 2016

Welcome to 2016, where remote working is just as normal as getting up in the morning to go to a real office. The magic of remote working is spreading fast over the IT business and we, as well, have taken part in this phenomenon. We’ve found that for a startup like ours, remote working is the way to go.

‘The startup story’ is a series of blog posts about the ins and outs of our startup journey.

Let’s kick this blog off with a little story about my experience with remote working. I LOVE remote working. That’s my answer to anyone with concerns about the productivity, efficiency and integrity of remote working. Working in an environment in which you are completely at home and in your comfort zone is in my opinion the big booster for remote working.

Comfort zone

Since I started working at Transceptor Technology, a startup that only works remotely, I have been introduced to this concept. I knew remote working existed, but my first thought was that remote jobs were only reserved for the big bosses and people with their own companies who can basically decide everything themselves. I must say, I was completely wrong. Remote working is the way to go, like many people over the years have said.

Having just graduated university I was used to doing all my schoolwork from my couch (or my desk or on the balcony ;-)). During my final thesis, which I wrote at home for the biggest part, I started realizing that working in your comfort zone is more effective. While (some of) my classmates were struggling to get words on the paper sitting at a desk in the company they were writing their thesis for. I was sitting in my room writing my thesis at hours I felt most productive (I wrote my thesis for a remote working company). I felt quite lucky in university to be able to finish up university like this, however never in a billion years I would’ve thought this was going to be the base of my job now.

Working hours

Scheduling your hours for the time when you’re most productive is a way of making the company more efficient. At Transceptor Technology, we work our hours at home when we plan them. We have a few software engineers who tend to be very productive at night time, so that’s when they’ll work (anyone recognize this?). I’ve read several articles about remote working, and one of the struggles is time difference. Maybe remote working is working so well for us because we don't have to deal with this struggle. Even though we don't see each other everyday we still live in the same time zone, which means we can contact anyone in the team at regular times (preferably not at night for me like some of my colleagues).

My colleagues and I have noticed that especially in the IT/software sector remote working is a thing now. Let’s be real, if your company is focused on software development you need a computer. That’s all. You do need to collaborate with your colleagues but you have a great thing called the internet for this. There are several tools to support remote companies, here’s the three tools we use most.

Slack

This tools lets you communicate with your colleagues through text, voice and video. Being online at Slack means you’re at work. We use slack as a replacement for email as well, direct responses improves the response time compared to email.

Google for Work

We wanted a digital workspace that works from any device, Google for Work provides this for us allowing us to access our email, calendar and documents from anywhere. Other than that, Google for work also allows us to work together on documents as if we were sitting at the same desk.

Github

Apart from being the “home of our code”, we have a special place in our heart for Github Issues, it is our lifesaver. By using this tool we know who is working on what and when and what is next on our schedule.

Remote working is such a big part of our startup, but it doesn’t include everything. At Transceptor Technology we do believe that good relationships with your colleagues is important, it is one of our motivators. A few times a year we come together as a team at a random location in the South of The Netherlands to talk about our plans for the future, the projects we’re working on and what we think could be improved. These sessions bring new life into our company and are of great value.

So, even though we love remote working and think it is the perfect fit for our startup we do meet up a few times a year to have some good face-to-face conversations and some team building fun.