The Efficiencies of a Remote Team
A while ago I was interviewed by ReadWriteWeb on how we managed a split team, but now three out of the four partners are in Shanghai working out of the home office, and while we still are remote with our forth partner in California and several freelancers on-board, we have learned a lot of things by managing the business in different ways.
As a split team, we were able to save a ton of time by not having to commute to an office. When we were incubated by Babson and I was attending a nearby university, it would have cost me 30 minutes each way for a commute by car. Note that I don’t have a car of license either, and consider the fact that it would have taken me and hour to bike to the office. That would have been two hours lost each day. Although my physical health would be improved, my work efficiency would not have.
Another benefit of having a remote team was the fact that we could actually have a really amazing team. We would not have been able to hire Zee, our CTO, if were restricting ourselves to a physical location for work. Alec, our Lead Artist, would not have made that 40 minute commute to work (each way) everyday for months either. He probably would have quit, and we would not have been too excited to reimburse him for gas either since he drives an SUV. The Blank Label team would not have been what it is now had we decided never to go remote.
Going back to the thought of commuting, we saved a few hundred dollars each month (critical funds for a lean startup like ours) by telecommuting.
Also, the flexible hours were great because I had fancied working late hours of the night because I was going to school during the day so moonlighting worked out for Zee and I since Zee has a day job. Some days too, I managed our US redistribution system so I had to ship out our custom men’s dress shirts during the day, in between classes, and then did some value add work after hours.
Now that we’re not remote, I don’t exactly miss it since we live and work together, and still don’t have to commute and still don’t have to work at any set hours, but for other businesses, it’s a good alternative.