The Art of Working Remotely
With today’s technological advances, it is becoming easier and easier for companies to run on a remote basis. So much so that Time magazine recently wrote an article listing some of the pros and cons of this non-traditional workspace. According to the article, 43% of people who are working, are working remotely at least some of the time. The article talks about whether it is opportunity or necessity that is the why behind someone working remotely and the different effects on the person’s experience.
If a person is working remotely out of opportunity, this is the better option because it is usually a choice to do so. Out of necessity usually happens because of a life change (i.e. loss of job) and this tends to be where someone works day and night, losing balance in life.
When Jennifer Malcolm started Jennasis in 2011, she wanted to keep that balance between work, personal and family life. As the company grew, she started hiring more and more people to allow for that balance to stay in tact.
Jennasis & Associates has continued to grow over the years and allowed its team members to share in that same balanced lifestyle. After reading the Time article, we thought we could add a little more insight into what it really is like to have a virtual business. Here’s a hint: It’s not just about flexible hours, it’s about a positive environment, teamwork and tapping into people’s strengths.
For Steffani Baker, Director of Operations at Jennasis, working remotely has not only been a positive experience, but has helped her juggle her multiple roles in life, “After having my first child, I had planned to return to my full-time 9-5 office position. However, I quickly realized in my new role of "mom", I wanted more flexibility in my lifestyle. Working remotely with Jennasis & Associates has allowed me to keep balance in my life. I love that I can enjoy a library program or park adventure with my daughter in the middle of the day, but still share my talents and be involved in the professional world. I can put a load of laundry in 5 minutes before jumping on my computer and spend a day on calls with clients in my workout pants. With modern technology and a tight knit team, I still feel a sense of community by getting out to a lunch meeting with co-workers or sharing fun life announcements via google hangouts.”
The culture at Jennasis is all about relationships. Of course in our personal life with family and friends, and especially in our work environment, with our clients and with our team members. When it comes to our clients needs, through really listening and collaborating, we dig deep into what each individual client is really looking for and what we can do to make that happen in a timely fashion. Through teamwork, we get things done.
The company as well as our clients benefit from have a remote working environment. Here are four benefits from working virtually:
1. Multiple perspectives: As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and finding the most effective, creative and efficient plan of action for the client’s needs is enhanced with multiple experts to help. This collaboration helps spark creativity and gets everyone excited about each project.
2. Lower overhead costs: Without some of the expenses of a conventional office space and everyone punching in traditional hours, costs can be kept down. In the long run, this saves not only the company, but the client money.
3. Can add or hire more help as needed: Project getting bigger? Deadline moves up? No problem. A new team member can be hired on a per project basis. This keeps the project running smoothly and on time, keeping everyone happy.
4. Less wasted employee time and money: As with the lower overhead costs, working virtually creates more efficient employee production. Team members aren’t locked down to a desk with an “I’ll get to that later” attitude...twiddling their thumbs (or more likely checking their Facebook), but still getting paid.
Notice the term “team members” rather than employees. A 2015 Huffington Post article, explains, that the mindset of the worker changes, a team member tends to think of work and projects with a “we” mindset. An employee tends to have a “me” mindset. All in all, they found that the team mindset workers had a better attitude, were happier and did better work.
Here are a few reasons why:
It’s a team: There’s a shared goal and the team works together to build the best plan of action and get it done.
The collaborative spirit: Team members are excited to keep growing, and they feed off of the collaborative spirit, not only getting the job done, but getting it done exceptionally.
More accountability: No one wants to be the weak link, so team members tend to become more accountable, honest and work harder. And when a good job is done, there is more positive morale and the team member is happier.
Jennasis follows the team member model. Through positivity and encouragement, team members begin to expand on their skills and grow. Jennasis has built such a strong team by lifting people up and working together toward success for everyone involved.
Graphic and Web Designer for Jennasis, Melanie Bridgens, finds the availability of team members at “off hours” helpful, “Working remotely allows me the flexibility to spend time with my family and gives me the ability to work weekends and evenings. I have always been interested in remote work and working with the Jennasis team is a perfect fit. The rest of the team also works nights and weekends and is available pretty much any time of day to answer questions I have regarding the project I’m working on at the time. Using Slack allows us to communicate effortlessly as well as the part of communications as a group or individually regarding any one project.”
The Time article concluded that a combination of working remotely and in the office may be best. But, it seems that keeping the work and personal life balanced is the healthiest option, whether at home, in an office, or both.
Curious to see what working with a virtual company is like? Jennasis & Associates offers services such as web design, social media assistance, marketing plans, and much more. Visit us at www.jennasisassociates.com to get started on a new, modern way to run your business.
Marcia Hudgel has been writing stories and poems since she was very young, and has honed the ability to write in a variety of styles, which she has done for a number of websites over the past few years. When not writing, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, mindfulness and meditation, especially to women in addiction recovery.