10 keys for creating remote business culture

The business culture is related to the values, objectives, missions, and view of a certain company and the employers are the ones who transmit them to the employees, who share it with each other in every project. This culture represents the structural foundation, whose purpose is to create a sense of belonging and promote not only the mutual support and the cooperation among the members of the enterprise but also the compliance of the schemes and working rules.

Regarding the internal level, it is expressed throughout the adopted modality and guidelines that regulate the working dynamics but it also controls the relationships among the employees. Those who work for a certain organization feel identified with its proposal, so they adapt their behavior and their way of perceiving what they perform there. But at the external level, it can be present in the exchange and collaborations that the company has with other enterprises.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies had to start to consider other options completely different from the traditional working model. On this point, we should focus on the factors that allow current companies to keep on track and go for virtuality.

The challenge of creating this culture within the remote model requires new strategies which, among other things, aim at maintaining communication, emotional intelligence and empathy. Besides these strategies promote leadership and make the learning of necessary tools easier in a continuous, efficient and coordinated way.

In accordance with the latter, it is essential to point out that, as they do not share a physical space in this new model, employees’ expressions, gestures and behavior during their virtual meetings are crucial in terms of dialogue and exchange with others.

As part of these new marketing strategies, it is also important to highlight which are the market needs that the company can fulfill in the present, which are the skills and techniques in order to do so and which will be the objectives. This enables the enterprise to pay attention to their clients’ needs and desires and design a plan to satisfy them.

Moreover, it is vital that the organization takes actions in order to accompany and strengthen every employee’s and team’s development by promoting the fulfillment of tasks, the meeting of deadlines throughout common agreements and criteria.

In this article, we will review over some aspects to take into account when creating business culture:

  1.   Defining the company’s personality and values: this means not only clarifying the features by which the members will be able to interact between each other and with their clients but also outlining which are the values that they will defend in those interactions.
  2.   Being clear about the mission and view of the brand for developing tasks: employees must be aware of what the organization is like nowadays and where it is going ahead. So the entire purpose of the company, the needs and demands they want to comply with and the strategies must be clarified.
  3.   Encouraging employees to accomplish the organization’s goals: it is essential to let them know about the benefits they can get when meeting the deadlines in search of complying with those goals.
  4.   Motivating employees to learn new skills: the market is constantly changing its conditions, so the workers must be up-to-date by learning the necessary skills in order to remain in it. This will allow them to be more versatile and move forward in their career.
  5.   Providing tools for the leadership development within the team: the enterprise must accompany and allow their members to make decisions and solve conflicts in a proactive way, keeping the connection of the team in search of guaranteeing everyone’s well-being.
  6.   Acknowledging every worker’s performance: receiving recognition makes workers feel appreciated by the company. Being aware that you are doing well and that contributes to the normal whole operation is gratifying to continue improving.
  7.   Promoting mutual support and collaboration within the work team: actions must be taken in order to boost the team spirit and encourage collaborative work, so they can help each other.
  8.   Generating gathering spaces, no matter how far they are: it is essential that there exist spaces outside the working environment, where employees can meet with each other virtually, share common interests, express genuinely and build bonds with their colleagues.
  9.   Boost communication between employers and employees in a flexible way: by adopting more independence and autonomy, remote work involves holding other kind of strategies for communicating. In order to do so, the most adequate channels to share relevant information must be defined. When and how that will happen should also be established.
  10. Improving body language in the digital world: in this type of meetings, the body has a different role from the one it used to have in in-person meetings. So, it is recommended to pay attention to the non-verbal expressions and observe and listen carefully to others, apart from the verbal communication.

 

It is evident that this working model implies making changes and reconsiderations within companies. Creating business culture represents a huge responsibility, which, despite everything, will improve the confidence of workers inside organizations, looking for common development in order to achieve success and prosperity.

Discover the working trends in the #tech world⁣

Remote work has been increasing more and more. Performing daily tasks from your living room, managing flexible time, and being in contact with people and projects from all over the world was a utopia some years ago. However, the post-pandemic world has shown us that not only is this modality completely possible but also it is a current reality for many.

 

At The Flock, we are keen on getting to know which are the working trends mainly in the tech world. That’s why, in October this year, we carried out a survey of technological profiles around the world in order to look into their preferences when developing themselves as professionals.

 

The survey respondents were men and women of all ages. The main age range was between 25 and 35, followed by the one between 36 and 45. We received responses from different nationalities, such as Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Costa Rica.

 

 

Most of the ones polled belong to the Development area, followed by Business and Product, and finally, Design. The first answer that called our attention was that 90% of them are currently working remotely. Most of them have chosen this modality during the last years, exactly between 2 and 4 years ago, which coincides with the pandemic appearance that has made us redevelop our working methodologies.

 

Regarding the interests that bring about this choice, most agreed on the fact that the home office enables them to balance their personal life and work in a more effective way. In the second place, almost a quarter of the respondents highlighted the chance of working in any part of the world, which solves commuting issues. Finally, other aspects such as optimization, income level, and improvements in productivity were mentioned.

 

 

Besides, we also wanted to determine if the choice of one modality or another is related to the fact of choosing projects in places away from their cities of residence. But the answers were divided almost in halves into those who work on projects in their own country, those who have international clients, and those who do both. This can indicate the flexibility provided by the new technologies combined with remote work modalities, enabling us to be part of worldwide projects.

 

Moreover, we would like to point out that 60 % of the ones polled stated that they have once received a proposal for working remotely during the last 6 months. And among the most decisive aspects in order to evaluate this kind of offer are time optimization, salaries, challenges involved in every project or position, and finally, the company culture.

 

 

In accordance with labor relations in this type of job, most said that they were full-time independent contractors closely followed by those who work in an employer-employee relationship. To a lesser extent, some respondents are freelancers who look for clients on their own (11%) or use platforms for that purpose (6%). Regarding working conditions, almost half of them affirmed that they were established unilaterally by the company or employer, meanwhile, the minority said they reached an agreement about it together with their employers. Just a small percentage stated that they themselves set the conditions.

 

We also wonder how many of these people that are nowadays working remotely would like to come back to an in-person modality if there is a chance. Taking into account all the benefits that remote work brings about, we were not surprised when we discovered that most of them claimed they would not work face-to-face again.

 

 

However, there was a smaller percentage of respondents that would dismiss the chance of working remotely or would come back to an on-site modality. And there is only one reason: daily contact with the work team. This tells us that there is still a challenge to take up in this new scenario: how to create communities and promote work teams even thousands of kilometers away.

How to cope with Qatar World Cup and not die trying: suggestions for companies

Global phenomena take place regularly and they alter the normal course of daily situations and the fulfillment of responsibilities. They are large-scale events that catch the attention of the worldwide population every certain period of time and modify the routine temporally. This also has an impact on work development, such as working time management and execution within the enterprise. Working spaces must take into account some essential aspects in order to cope with these events in the best way possible and encourage their employees to continue working on their projects.

No matter if it is a remote or in-person modality, companies must deal with the challenge of an internal reorganization so they can provide alternatives to comply with the ongoing projects in a flexible way during these spectacles. Both remote and in-person teams have to suggest different ideas which allow to create or strengthen the business culture in order also to avoid a decrease in the productivity of their talents during this period.

The 2022 World Cup is coming and it is interesting to focus on it because of its geographical, economic, and political importance, as well as on what it provokes in every person, considering its values, motivations, and interests.

An encounter among various national football teams which are made up of members who belong to different nationalities; the presence of a huge audience and fans coming from all over the world who invest their energy and resources for getting there; football chants that every team feels represented by; flags waving everywhere, among others features of this championship, are relevant when thinking also about the companies.

 

Male graphic designer cheering while watching football match in office

 

How is it possible to integrate talents and promote the values work team without putting aside leisure?

How can we set up a virtual space for employees to share recreational activities that allow them to know each other going beyond geographical limits?

Which are the most adequate measures to increase the freelancers’ performance and the deadlines and tasks compliance taking into account the worldwide distraction caused by this sport celebration?

Aiming at collaborating with businesses given the need of revising the working schemes, this article offers answers to the questions above.

It is certain that the World Cup turns on passion, emotions, and enthusiasm in people and there is a great interest in being part, either attending the matches or watching them on the screens. Avoiding the lack of focus and the efficiency decrease of remote talents requires coming up with some measures that make possible their temporary adaptation during this celebration.

Let’s share some useful strategic actions that we will roll out in The Flock when negotiating the working guidelines while finding a balance:

  1. Revise and modify the project stages. Extend deadlines: both coordination and cooperation among freelancers are crucial even during these distracting events.
  2. More flexibility, so they can have more available time to attend a certain match or watch it when the national team they support is playing.
  3. Promote virtual gathering spaces for those who prefer to watch the matches together with other fans and share a leisure moment. 
  4. Make marketing advertising campaigns via e-mail where useful information about talents’ personal and working development is provided. The World Cup and other cultural and sports phenomena are important as they show worldwide points of view, objectives, and choices that allow each team and its members to build their own path. It is beneficial that employees have the chance to chat and learn together with professionals who provide tools to boost these aspects of their lives in a constructive and optimistic way.
  5. Set up teams to create interactive games (gambling) for employees to participate in and with real games for winners: providing relaxing and leisure environments that lead to empathy and solidarity but also to self-care and self-defense.
  6. Suggest integration activities among those who make up the work team, promoting working productivity: the idea is to create a solid bond based on mutual support among employees. Empathy, listening, and collaboration are key to fulfilling the planned tasks.
  7. Reflect on inclusion, diversity, and acceptance of differences within the organization, considering the regulations and prohibitions that the host country imposes in relation to religion and sexual orientation or gender identity.

It is essential that freelancers have the chance to relate and integrate their personal life with the working dynamics (without mixing them), as they can come up with innovative solutions without quitting their leisure activities. This takes to an increase together with development among talents and their projects.

Although all the enterprises should consider this event on their agenda, those who work remotely are the ones who make a greater joint effort, due to time independence, asynchronous work, and places from where talents are involved but, at the same time, they obtain more significant benefits. 

The Flock: the digital platform of validated talent where everyone wins

Ramiro González Forcada and Nicolás Castro are 29 years old and founders of The Flock, a freelance validated talent platform that matches technological projects with Latin American freelancers.

 

Its beginnings and the pandemic as an opportunity

It was in the midst of the pandemic and socially isolated, as almost everyone, when they started to brainstorm about their current enterprise, which is present in more than 10 countries and manages more than 20 projects at the same time with 50 #flockers working on that. The confinement played in their favor to have greater availability and thus be able to work, almost exclusively, in the project they trusted so much.

They make up a seamless team and they complement each other. They foster remote, independent and asynchronous work. Nico states that Rami has a good mix of strategic vision, leadership and critical analysis. On the other hand, Ramiro declares that they have both the same desire, objectives and values but from different perspectives. “I encourage the team and always challenge us to go one step further. Nico does short-term oriented management and has a good trade-off between moving on and experiencing the current moment, he knows how to enjoy every step.”

They met when they were children, as they used to live in the same neighborhood and their schools were near. They had many people in common and they met again at university. “We started to get to know each other little by little, at first in study groups, then in social meetings and later on we set up different projects. In that moment we realized that we enjoyed working together, we had similar ideas and dreams and we wanted to create something big. We made some things before that did not result as expected but we never gave up. We had the feeling that we had to work together and we finally got to this project which joined many objectives: global outreach, technology and impact,” say both of them.

The pandemic was a breaking point for the start of The Flock.That context helped us a lot when trying to demonstrate that it is completely possible to work with people from many parts of the world and focused on meeting objectives instead of schedules,” states Nicolás. The arrival of the pandemic showed people’s potential to the world and that they could be able to develop their tasks from anywhere. Ramiro also claims that “it was a reality before the pandemic but with this phenomenon, everyone was forced to do it, and even some companies that would have never taken the leap are now experiencing positive results.”

 

The challenging world of startups

They are versatile, skilled and passionate about technology and they argue that the start-up world evolves really fast and flexibility is needed in order not to be left out soon. The most challenging is to find the product-market fit. That is to say, to find the moment in which you know exactly the added value that is provided to the client and they perceive it in the same way. That moment, when you understand how to speak to them, what to say and how to sell, which is really important, represents the starting point where more growth can be obtained.

They work with elastic teams which is a win-win scheme where both parties win.

Although there are many similar platforms, the added value of The Flock is that every #Flocker who joins the platform can work in a comfortable way, as they forget about dealing with clients, they have an income in dollars and on time, they have predictability regarding potential projects and it is fully remote. Every talent can decide when and where to work, which gives a real balance between their jobs and personal life. Moreover, they state that it has great benefits for companies, as they have motivated teams, they invest in the necessary skills for every product stage when they need it and they improve their return of investment in the labor force, among others.

The founders highlight communication as an essential aspect in order to be able to work with elastic and remote teams both for the clients and the Flockers. That’s why in The Flock we put a lot of emphasis on following the project implementation methodology.

 

The importance of reliability and curiosity

According to their experience, talent must have reliability in people in order to develop themselves professionally within remote teams. The idea is to know that when they say they will do something they will actually do it. This is very appreciated in The Flock and it adds a lot of value to the profiles. Regarding this, Ramiro mentions a key concept: curiosity.

“Working in remote teams makes you relate to different cultures and languages; you must be curious in order to be constantly learning from others.”

“We are very strict when validating a talent, we permanently look for the perfect manner to make up an IT team.” Therefore, in The Flock they create a rigorous process, by means of which they quickly detect the level of every applicant. Their objective is to become the biggest validated talent platform in Latin America that searches for the perfect match between talent and project.

They affirm that Latin America is a high-quality pole of talent attraction, they are really motivated to grow in a professional way. Besides, they underline the good level of English, which is the universal language in the digital product development world. Nowadays, this region possesses a lot of skilled people, not only in the technical field but also in languages and social skills.

Finally, how do you see TF 5 years from now? We expect The Flock to be the leading digital talent platform worldwide. They see themselves working with more and more quantity and variety of people and enterprises, with increasingly ambitious projects and improving the work-life balance of many people. That’s where we’re headed.

 

#TheFlockTip

What would you advise someone who wants to quit their permanent job in a company and start working as a freelancer? “We consider that nowadays talented people, especially from the digital product development world, have more opportunities than ever. Indeed, enterprises are the ones that are concerned about getting good talent and not the other way round. They argue that it is the right time to take the leap towards the independent and freelance world. “Companies like ours help in that transition and accompany the freelancer’s life.”

The founders made a short, random and a bit nerd quiz so as to know more about their vision and the way they are when working in The Flock.

 

 

Bonus track!

 Does contact beat CV or does experience beat studies?

  • N: This has changed a lot. There are CTOs from huge companies who did not go to university or do not have any degree. I think experience obtained by working and the desire to learn beats any contact or degree.
  • R: Experience without a doubt beats studies. But studies plus experience is a boom.

 

Which is your favorite Google extension?

  • N: https://glossarytech.com/. It is really useful for those who do not know too much about technology and would like to understand and learn a bit more.
  • R: Google Docs Offline → To have access to everything when the internet goes down.

 

Which was the last app you downloaded?

  • N: A customer’s one. I can not tell you too much because of privacy policies 😉
  • R: Bird.

 

Your favorite emoji?

  • N: I really like the rock hand emoji 🤘🏼.
  • R: The upside down face 🙃 .

 

Your last search in Google?

  • N: Rock hand emoji haha
  • R: Upside down face.

 

Working day or night?

  • N: I love mornings. I wake up early to work or work out.
  • R: Free! No fixed schedule preferences.

 

Physical books or eBooks?

  • N: I am old school regarding books, I prefer the printed ones and their smell.
  • R: Both, it depends. When studying I prefer the physical one so as to take notes on it.

 

Which is your mantra on a busy day of work?

  • N: I try to prioritize and deal with one issue at a time.
  • R: Order and prioritization.

Asynchronous: The Key to Remote Work

The last years pace has been set by the new challenges that arise in the companies.

 

Beyond the development of virtual strategies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new work conditions and new necessities for business people and collaborators are considered, as well as new possibilities of satisfying them in order to obtain greater working comfort.

One of the most innovative decisions that enterprises have been making is moving from a 100% face-to-face or synchronic modality to a virtual or asynchronous one, although it is in a partial and graduated way.

The home-office modality does not require doing tasks in real-time nor attending face-to-face meetings (or not fully). This allows the distribution of responsibilities among the members of the company. Therefore, projects move forward together with more independence and autonomy from the people involved in them.

Asynchronous work brings greater efficiency and better team performance, with the help of optimized communication, fewer distractions, and more transparency in the decisions and choices that are made.

Through labor dynamics, there are more and more businesses that aim at decentralizing employees’ working times and spaces.

In order to attract qualified talent, it is essential to understand that, thanks to the asynchronous participation, productivity can rise, objectives can be met in the shortest time possible and the autonomy level of performance in an organization can increase. This enables enterprises to take a leap toward projects that require more intensity and depth in their realization. And this means including larger amounts of people involved in them, as well as being articulated with other worldwide ones.

The advantage of applying greater flexible working strategies is the elasticity of the relationships of the companies, both internal and external. Moreover, it brings creative, new, and customized contributions and proposals, which enables a much more efficient way of working.

As this is a new modality that will stay, the benefits of the asynchronous work for the IT talent will be mentioned below.

  1. Independence related to datesschedules, and location: in worldwide projects, every person is in a different place, so the time zone also varies, which has an impact on their time availability. Working in an asynchronous way allows using time and location properly in search of the implementation of a plan, without depending on others.
  2. An in-depth look at tasks within the project: it is possible to deal with every project with a deeper approach, paying attention to its distinctive features and details. The greater productivity moment of every talent can be chosen to achieve that task.
  3. Focus on objectives and deadlines: by implementing the asynchronous work, the main aspect is meeting the objectives. Thus, it is more possible to ensure the compliance of the project within the scheduled time.
  4. Autonomy: every member of the team works when they decide to. Under this modality, it is understood that each person has different necessities, which permits true flexibility and freedom.
  5. Performance within the team of the enterprise: by learning to work in this way, the members increase their individual and team performance, as time is more efficient.

 

It is known that this kind of labor organization is a way of working and, contrary to predictions, it is a format that promises to stay definitely.
The fact of not executing it could be risky for companies by calling into question the possibility of hiring new talents who work in this way without exception.

 

 

Let’s mention some requirements to take into account for its greater use:

 

  • Train the employees in the digital tools that are needed to put the asynchronous mode into effect. There are more and more specific digital tools and platforms for every area of the labor market. They can be used according to the special features of each project. Knowing and using them is essential if you want to implement this way of working.
  • Choose the most adequate means of communication, either to make consultations, give notices, or to reach an agreement with the team. In the asynchronous work, communication decreases but, at the same time, it is optimized, as what is communicated represents what is truly important and the project cannot go forward without it.
  • Establish a joint work plan, in which the steps, roles, and tasks of every employee are specified. Before starting with a certain project, it is convenient to plan what it will be about and how it will be developed.
  • Define objectives to meet, deadlines and considerations to take into account for its normal development: it is not possible to work without setting deadlines and objectives to meet. This must be the starting point for all the projects.
  • Create a meeting agenda for the asynchronous meetings, which makes it possible to share, revise and assess the execution of projects and the asynchronous experiences of the members of the team.

 

This new work scheme needs new requirements, so all the members of the company must keep themselves up to date.

How to better manage freelance teams

The search for talent has become global and without geographical boundaries, making teams increasingly competitive and creating an ideal team a great challenge for companies. More and more companies are hiring their workforce on a freelance basis, which has many advantages. However, it is also a great challenge. Some of the tools to achieve this are training and effective communication.

 

The boom of remote work goes hand in hand with the gig-economy. The latter refers to a market system in which temporary projects are common and companies tend to hire freelance workers instead of full-time employees. This trend has been growing more than ever for the last two years. The last survey of human resources consultancy ADP shows that more than half of the global labor force says to be more interested in freelance work since the arrival of the pandemic.

 

The gig economy is the economy of small tasks.

 

On the other hand, many studies by the World Economic Forum show that there is a great economic impact. A research has said that the gig economy will have an annual growth of 17,4%, which represents US$455 billion in global activity up to the end of 2023.

 

It is certain that more and more enterprises prefer to include independent and remote workers in their projects but, as it is an innovating and growing trend, the question about which is the best way of managing a freelance team successfully arises.

 

  • Provide training and tools

As it happens with the joining of a fixed employee, the independent workers who are incorporated to a company must know about its culture, values, mission and points of view. That’s why it is essential to send them documents or style guides, which are necessary to start working.

 

The fact of having a digital admission plan will make it faster and will teach the new employee about the organization and how it works as a whole. As it is possible that a freelancer who works 10 hours per week does not need the same quantity of information as an employee who works 40 hours, it is important to hand in only what is necessary in order to maximize efficiency and not to waste time.

 

  • Document and measure progress

Documentation of processes is relevant in order to understand what are the teams working on, so they can be in tune with each other. Therefore, they can ask for changes according to what they can observe. It is also vital to measure progress through collaborative platforms or tools where expectations, deadlines, orders and comments can be communicated. Thus, freelancers are able to understand how to manage their work within those due dates.

Communication is essential in every team. It must be transparent, pleasant and efficient. By virtue of new technologies, it is easier than ever to connect with remote workers through different platforms. But we must know how to use them, both in a technical and a personal way. It is significant to establish a friendly and transparent communication among teams in order to create a responsible and enjoyable work environment.

Building long-lasting relationships with freelancers will be the key for success to work with them in the future. To be able to trust them in various projects is invaluable as it implies hiring good-quality talent with minimized hiring costs and general expenditures. So it is ideal that they feel well-received and part of the team.

 

  • Understanding their way of working

It is a challenge for companies to understand that an independent worker, no matter how many projects they are working on, keeps on having a freelance work modality. It means that they do not work during common hours or they are not even in the same time zone as the company.

 

Freelancers work on their own and are used to manage their own time and work. But it does not mean that they are not able to fulfill a high-quality task or that they will not be available when required. On the contrary, they achieve aims in a different way but being efficient and productive as a fixed employee. It is relevant to know how to adapt to each other’s requirements and take into account deadlines, orders and common goals of the projects.