How to Create a Seamless Remote Work Culture? Alex Bouaziz, Chris Herd, and Job van der Voort Speak at Turing Boundaryless: #BuildFromAnywhere Event
An all-CEO panel joined Turing.com co-founder and CEO Jonathan Siddharth on 18 Feb 2021 for the third session of the Turing Boundaryless: #BuildFromAnywhere conference to talk about the unique challenges and opportunities that a remote workforce brings for organizations.
Chris Herd, CEO, Firstbase; Job van der Voort, CEO, Remote.com and Alex Bouaziz, CEO, Deel, were at their absolute best as they shared their ideas on how to create seamless remote work culture.
Chris kick-started the conversation by sharing his view on how remote work can benefit a company’s culture and its employees. “What many companies are doing right now is replicating the office environment remotely, and that’s causing them to miss many of the benefits,” Chris said.
He urged organizations to look at remote work as a ‘new thing’ and take advantage of the things that are different about distributed teams.
Describing how he sees remote work, Job said: “Remote work allows you to live your life, and work is just a facet of that. I can live wherever I want. I can earn money wherever I want.”
Talking about how remote-first companies could help their employees forge strong interpersonal relationships, both Alex and Job agreed that organizations should try to understand people’s hobbies and express themselves via virtual games, hangouts, etc.
Responding to Jonathan’s question on what CEOs building boundaryless companies can achieve with a remote workforce, Chris said: “Rather than hiring the best person in a 30-mile radius of an office, you can hire the best person anywhere that you can afford for every single role. So there’s this massive talent arbitrage that companies can now fish in a global talent pool, which is incredibly important.”
“The second part is efficiency,” Chris added. “Not only are our employees more productive and efficient as they’re not distracted in the same way that they are in an open plan environment, but we’re also far more cost-efficient because we’re not spending $15,000 to $50,000 per worker per year on office space,” he added.
Answering the same question, Alex said: “Many companies don’t understand that being distributed means establishing trust. It means that you will not be able to check if all your teammates have their greenlight on Slack every day. That’s just not going to work.”
“From a trust angle, as long as you understand the mechanism that is right for your team, then you’re setting up the right culture,” Alex added.
Along with the above issues, the panelists also shed light on a host of other problems like hybrid work, disadvantages of being globally distributed, setting up a good home office, time zone management, communication tools, processes, workflows, etc.
There was one more thing apart from the quality of the discussion that grabbed the public’s attention during the session — Job’s webcam and workspace set-up.
And to the delight of the live audience, Job shared the list of equipment he uses, including his Sony webcam. He also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of ergonomic chairs and desks and how companies should consider providing a budget to employees for it. He also advocated for having a monitor and not just the laptop while working.
“These are simple things that don’t have to be expensive. They make a huge difference in long-term health,” Job said.
The session gave the audience an excellent opportunity to listen to three of the best remote work experts and understand how they handle highly-productive distributed teams.
Apart from these three, a long list of Silicon Valley engineering leaders shared their ideas at the Turing Boundaryless: #BuildFromAnywhere event. The speaker list included some of the best thought leaders like Darren Murph, Head of Remote, GitLab; Pravin Desale, SVP of SDS and Appliances, Veritas; Suneela Joshi, Sr Director of Engineering, Abbott Laboratories; Anna Chukaeva, Co-Founder / COO, Carta Healthcare; Henrik Hussfelt, Director of Engineering, Proxy; Andy O’Dower, Veteran Product Engineering Leader, Former Head of Product, Carlease.com, among others.
You can watch all the Turing Boundaryless sessions: #BuildFromAnywhere conference on our YouTube channel here and let us know in the comment section which speaker gave you the best insight about remote work.