How to Keep Your Culture While Working Remote – with Alexander Embiricos
In today’s age of fast-paced progress, adaptability and flexibility are a must for your business to thrive. Remote work grants this opportunity as you can work with anyone from anywhere and even anytime. However, you might be wondering how you keep the office culture alive when interactions are scant among your employees.
This is where B2B SaaS Sales Coach and host Matt Wolach and Remotion’s Co-Founder and CEO, Alexander Embiricos, will have your back as they discuss the necessity of preserving work culture by forging trust among employees even in remote work.
Embiricos also discusses why and how one should go about helping employees organically build friendly relationships beyond tasks and due dates. The goal, after all, for everyone is to live the dream. Embiricos’ mission succinctly states, “enable teams to live and work on their own terms.” Read more to find out how you can keep the culture alive within your remote team.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 224, “How to Keep Your Culture While Working Remote – with Alexander Embiricos”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Alexander Embiricos, Co-Founder, and CEO at Remotion
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Use a Virtual Office
Besides saving the cost of leasing a commercial building, a virtual office will provide more opportunities with its flexibility. A virtual office allows the hiring of talents worldwide, leading to an amazing team of diverse and talented employees. It will also allow space for co-workers to mingle with each other and build deeper relationships leading to more meaningful work. After all, a virtual office doesn’t have to mean a monotonous group chat where tasks are merely assigned and progress updates are posted.
Note that simply having a virtual office isn’t enough. The manager must configure the space to suit the company culture. What this entails is guiding the members so that they are able to start talking to each other. An example would be how a manager can curate rooms in Remotion for different purposes such as a lounge for casual conversations, a brainstorming corner for when you need help on an idea, and an onboarding room for new hires. One can even set the music to fit the mood which will also help in breaking the ice or making the silence less defeaning.
Develop the Product Towards the Market
While your idea can be something really great, perhaps “ahead of the market,” customer feedback is still vital. This means that you have to listen to the feedback of your early users. Remember, every successful business is all about providing value to the customer by solving their actual problem and not what you think the problem is.
As Matt and Alexander said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you build what the customer tells you to build. They may not know exactly how to solve their problem. But you recognize the problem for what it is as well as the shortcomings of your current design and you build from that. When you listen to what the customer says, more value is also created as you may even end up building relationships with customers and a community.
Create a Waiting List
Initially, Embiricos said that they just allowed anyone to sign up and use their products. Then all of a sudden, they created a waiting list, which made a lot of people wonder what is going on and what has slowed growth. Despite this, Embiricos said it actually helped Remotion a lot.
Apart from not getting enough users for their software, they were getting feedback of how customers think they shouldn’t even be building Remotion. After all, who wants their manager breathing down on their necks 24/7, right? Embiricos and his team started feeling like what they were doing isn’t worth much so they ended up in a slump. A waitlist provided them the room to figure out their next steps as well as make adjustments to the app depending on the client’s feedback.
Balance is Key
Be it as an employee or entrepreneur, work-life balance is critical. Joining in the bandwagon of hustle culture doesn’t always guarantee success. Sometimes, it results toburnout – it is not for everyone. Burnout will in turn guarantee slowed productivity and increased rates of missing deadlines.
Embiricos stated they were spending extremely long hours during the early days of remotion. They realized they had to pull back a bit or else they will burn out. While it may seem counterintuitive to not go all out during the early days of your company, Matt added that it’s necessary to guard against crushing yourself. After all, you don’t want to end up hating what you do.
Employee Rapport is Essential To Business Success
Organic non-work relationships among co-workers aid in developing trust in each other, which solidifies team dynamics and company culture. Failure to build rapport usually results to inefficient collaboration among co-workers. This may lead to lower motivation and a drop in productivity or vice versa. There will also be higher attrition as employees don’t feel a sense of belongingness due to the weak culture.
In an actual office setting, non-work relationships are naturally built when work colleagues hang out with each other and casually converse. This becomes tricky in remote companies since work channels aren’t designed for this purpose. An example would be how awkward Zoom happy hours can be when the manager makes everyone suddenly act like friends for 30 minutes. This is where virtual offices like Remotion will come in handy.
[22:56] “I think the major downside that we’re wrestling with now is that it led us to invest in the early user experience because every early user spoke to us. They heard me like passionately talk about, you know, like our view of team building. And they also got bespoke recommendations for how to use the product. And so today, we have self-serve up again.”
[24:34] “So the market will catch up to me, but I need that’s why I’m here. And my take is, you know, don’t necessarily build with customers tell you they want you to build, but certainly, you know, be talking to customers and figure out their problems and make sure it passes the Mom Test and you know, build something that solves a problem they have.”
[2:42] “You’ve got to make sure that in the early days, you don’t crush yourself and you don’t make it so you hate what you’re doing. You hate your job, you hate your company, you hate your mark. That’s not a good thing. So getting that balance, I think is super critical.”
[23:53] “I think that the best advice possible is, talk with your market, learn from them, figure out what’s needed [and] what’s necessary, what’s not necessary, and develop your product towards it. [Then] develop your marketing messages towards that, and make sure you’re servicing the customer.”
To learn more about Alexander Embiricos and Remotion, visit: https://www.remotion.com/
You can also find Alexander Embiricos on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/embirico/
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.