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.

Football is to low-class what technology is to middle-class: a chance for climbing the social ladder

Successful remote work and the technology boom require an essential change in the way entrepreneurs manage their own companies. Talent-oriented rather than geolocation-oriented recruitment, flexibility towards change or fast market expansion are some of the strengths of remote work and Latin-American startups are taking advantage of them.

According to Forbes magazine, Mateo Bovio, current partner and Chief Sales Officer in The Flock, is a serial entrepreneur, has a fulfilling career path and looks older than 28. Mateo, who is an Argentinian industrial engineer living in Italy, defines himself as a “digital entrepreneur”, if he comes up with an idea, he does the impossible for achieving it. He speaks five languages, got two master’s degrees but what really defines his profile is his passion for what he does.

Commercial profiles have a key role in this new asynchronous, remote and technological context where the world becomes small and accessible. Since June, he has been in charge of looking for new clients and new business opportunities.

 

– What is your experience like working remotely for a startup such as The Flock, living in Italy but looking for clients all over the world?

– The experience is amazing. The new digitalization model allows us to go beyond the reality structure and change that model and I love that. The commercial part is crucial for any enterprise, everything can improve but if there are no sales, there is no business and for those who work in the sales area, we know how to deal with that pressure better than others. On the other hand, working remotely is something I am used to and I find it easier when it comes to commercial management and results. I attend certain face-to-face meetings or events when it is really worth it as I know they will be useful. I also use current digital tools a lot. The pandemic also contributed to it and the clients got used to a video call or attending an online event. Besides, if you are good at selling, making the most of marketing and media and if you support your business with a comprehensive commercial strategy, you can then choose good referrals and, on top of that, you get surrounded by great partners. In that case, you are a whiz.

– Which one do you consider as the most disruptive model of this new technological context where speed and flexibility are key concepts of this tech era?

– The most disruptive model is the social one. Nowadays I am writing a book about that which will be released in Latam in December 2022. Football is to low-class what technology is to middle-class that intends to be skilled, it is a chance for climbing the social ladder. Today there are plenty of young people who set up their own technology business after school or university and that deeply moves me. They are the main characters because they know how to use technology with impact in every aspect. We must know how to use technology, it is an evolving and emerging tool and there are more and more new things coming up and we must be constantly reading about the new trends. Talking about the most disruptive technical model, I would mention blockchain, it is a technology that, due to its transparent and transactional features, can change and is actually changing the society organization.

– The queens of the entrepreneur ecosystem seem to be the startups and scaleups, both of them attract the best talent since these kinds of companies have flexible policies and fully remote jobs. Which makes the difference in The Flock from the other platforms?

– For sure, the startups are the queens of the entrepreneur ecosystem and we young people imposed a paradigm change with flexible policies and fully remote jobs where the premise is working to live rather than living to work. It is part of a generational and cultural shift. In accordance with this, there is The Flock, which is the top Latin-American freelance talent platform. Within this company, there coexist product, development, design, business and data profiles that are validated in advance and in a technical way on the platform. They are also asked about their preferences related to coding to be able to assign them certain projects or enterprises. I have never seen in Latam an IT talent platform where there is such a huge freelancer’s community and where freelancers are treated the same way as in-house employees. We keep on working on this line to provide usefulness and certainty to the flockers. We in the Flock are clear that 50% of IT talent will be freelance in the next five years. So we must help organizations not to be left aside from that talent recruitment but we always take care of our talents by taking our catchphrase into account: “free refers to freedom and not to the lack of charge.”

– Startups are a new way of doing businesses and technology is the foundation of this type of company. Which is the biggest challenge that you face?

– Startups face a big challenge and that is to become profitable in a short term and I agree with the fact of having that challenge. I cannot understand startups that are not profitable and raise funding rounds. I prefer bootstrapped startups that do not do this and sell until they reach a balance without the help of investments or the ones that do it but only for making their profitable business grow, like we do in The Flock.

– You are a prime example of the possibility of working fully remote. How do you manage your schedule with so many different time zones?

– Any common person in my shoes would be in shock. However, luckily I do not consider myself as a common person. I put a lot of passion and energy into my job and that makes me work happily, although it is essential to manage my google calendar properly in order to work out, sleep well, spend time with family and friends, travel and work in an efficient and productive way. It is not easy to have a commercial profile but I take advantage of an innate talent and I work on it. I have just finished a master’s degree on neuroscience which helps me to sell more and better but, at the same time and on the personal aspect, to deal with stress and anxiety and use them as a daily propulsion. Time zones are a complex topic but if you are organized, constant and have a good attitude, you can make it.

– Do you think that entrepreneurship and innovation must go together? Or is it more important the way you set your own business rather than the product or service itself?

– For me, the important thing is to find a need and focus on it to solve it. Also, at the same time, to see if someone is willing to pay me for that solution and if so, I ask myself how difficult it is to reach it. That is entrepreneurship, innovation is another thing.

– What do you think about the metaverse? Do you think it will have an important impact on the daily life of entrepreneurs?

– I see the metaverse as really marketing-oriented. If we split up the word, the second part is “verse” which in Argentinian slang (verso) stands for something that people speak a lot about but it is not true. It is an old concept but, more recently, it has been introduced strongly into the market by Facebook, that now is called Meta. I consider it is very similar to virtual or augmented reality we were used to in Pokemon GO or some innovations in the tourism area.

– Which do you think is a daily catchphrase that an emerging technological startup must follow?

– Always forward.

– If it is very hard for Mateo Bovio to give up an idea that has come to his mind, which would be some advice for someone who has a project in mind and does not know where to start from?

– First of all, they must consider if it is sellable. Then, if they have attitude and perseverance, they will find the proper team to put it into practice.  My advice is to set up your own business as a lifestyle.

An unknown but increasingly requested position: what CTOs do

Juan-Cruz-Montes

Technology represents the talent economy basis. When people are able to learn, share and work from any part of the world, all traditional assumptions about work are open for revision. The growth of computer speed, the infinite capacity of data storage, and the power of internet connections make global collaboration possible in real-time and in almost all disciplines.

According to research conducted by Harvard University, companies are considering the recruitment of freelance talent as a key aspect of their business strategy. This “new” trend has taken center stage with key figures.

One of these new roles that appear on this on-demand talent stage is the CTO. The responsibilities and tasks of a Chief Technology Officer are well defined and this job position is increasingly in demand. So, what are these department managers in charge of?

Juan Cruz Montes, Director of Technology in The Flock, explains some of his duties and tells about his daily routine in the leadership of the technical team of one of the Latin-American platforms with more validated talents. According to him, when making up a technology team, the key is to make a balance between challenges and practice, to find harmony among technologies in order to fulfill delivery, stability, and trust in the whole area. “Finding talents is also difficult but luckily in The Flock we are specialized in that.”

The CTO has a main role within a company’s organizational chart and fluctuates from the commercial to the technical area, as they develop innovative products and take responsibility for the technology that allows the company to operate. “We define the technological direction. I started programming when I was 15, later on at 19 I began to work as a developer and I went from big companies to smaller ones until I ended up being a freelancer for many years. I traveled the whole world as a freelancer and I worked with clients from almost all continents. Then I came back to Argentina and I joined The Flock project.”

There are many on-demand talent platforms that match profiles with projects and he claims that The Flock’s distinctive feature is the fact of putting the focus on the community and making the freelancer’s life as easy as possible. It is clear that the talent seeks freedom and flexibility, which is not offered by traditional work. The world is completely different from our parents, working in the same enterprise for decades is no longer attractive. In The Flock, we offer solutions for all the freelancers’ pains, as well as many perks.

 

 

There is an increasing demand for technological profiles. The CTO of The Flock considers that the pair react + node has been the most requested for the last years, at first it was a stack only for start-ups but since the adoption of Typescript is getting into the corporate world in a slow way.

The tech industry moves forward by leaps and bounds and many of its new developments have a huge impact on society. Juan Cruz considers that technology is disruptive when it changes the way in which we do something or breaks established habits. For example, Uber has changed the way the world moves, Netflix has modified the way we watch TV, Rappi has affected the way we order food and there are apps that modify, for instance, our way of paying. We in The Flock have changed the way we work.

He thinks Latin America is one of the regions with more tech talents who are very well qualified. “In countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia there is a vibrating and healthy start-up ecosystem that produces many world-class developers. The regional challenges lead to innovation and it’s there where the Latin-American talent shines.”

He considers that a person who wants to become a CTO does not have to know about all the technologies but he is convinced that they must like being up-to-date in order not to be left apart quickly. “I would recommend that person to get involved in their favorite technologies community and focus on learning everything about its basis. Opportunities are endless, we only need to be passionate about what we do.”

Being a CTO implies knowing how to attract, manage and promote loyalty within the IT professionals team of the company. His daily slogan in order to perform successfully at work is: “first make it work, then make it better.” Constant improvement, daily and incessant construction. Sprint by sprint, quarter by quarter.

The Future of Work is here, and it’s here to stay

There are no current limits for searching talent: remote work, the freelance world and diversity are some of the key concepts to create an ideal working team.

 

There are some work dynamics that have changed since the pandemic: processes automation, new technology incorporation and, mainly, the revaluation of professional profiles for making up hybrid teams. What do the new work models look like?

 

Before the pandemic, there was some evidence about how the future of work would be like. For instance, more and more companies offered some benefits related to flexible schedule and remote work. Another trend showed that workers started to choose independent work while big and small companies decided to hire freelancers specialized in areas such as IT, AI engineering or web design, in order to fulfill projects without having to hire new employees.

 

In 2019 the Upwork platform carried out a study which showed that 63% of American companies employed at least one part of their workers remotely and 35% of the American labor force was represented by independent workers. The same happened in Latin America, where the number of remote workers, freelancers or workers of a company, reached 23 million according to estimations of the International Labor Organization.

 

 

The events that took place during 2020 allowed the implementation of some already considered processes to go faster than before. It also forced the application of other unexpected processes, like compulsory remote work, digitalization of tasks that were previously done in-house and the unpredicted mix of personal and working life. But nobody imagined that these changes would be definite after the pandemic.

 

These are some changes that will remain:

• Automatisation and simplification of structures: within the chaos of digital transformation, some tedious tasks which used to be in-house became digital and automatic. There were some tasks that unnecessarily required time of the employees but now that time has been maximized and it is used for working on other projects.

• Remote and collaborative work: the need to be in contact with other members of the team even remotely led to digital platforms of communication. In most cases, these ones enabled a work model which is more conscious about others and teams themselves.

• Confidence-based: the control of the teams during in-house work changed with the remote work, in which confidence is essential as it makes possible that teams work more freely and in a more productive way without a boss having to control.

• Work flexibility: some time before, it was a must for employees to arrive at a certain time to the office and work at their desks for 9 hours non-stop. After the pandemic, it was understood that this model did not mean more productivity and that management by objectives together with certain time flexibility lead to better results.

• Revaluation of talent: companies have understood the importance of having diverse, specialized and efficient talent. Instead of hiring more full-time employees to do the same and fixed tasks, the freelance and remote world started to gain relevance in different projects, which also activates the internal talent in order to improve productivity and so obtain better results.