Remote work became a new reality for a lot of businesses. Living rooms turned into offices and meetings are now held in virtual conference rooms. A lot of people had a rather hard time adjusting to the new working conditions. Why would we create a company that was designed to operate only remotely and how do we keep it running? Today we would like to share with you a couple of frameworks which help us in keeping things nicely organised and structured.
Work and travel all year long
It all started with a picture. A photo of lightning striking the Berlin TV tower taken in 2013 by the founder of PhotoClaim, Nico Trinkhaus, quickly went viral. It got printed in one of the biggest German weekly newspapers as a double-page feature. Soon Nico discovered it being used by various media which did not necessarily have the right to it. It was the moment when he took an active interest in copyright.
If you are a photographer and most likely stuck in one place currently, you surely miss travelling. Back then, as a travel photographer, Nico also simply could not imagine being locked in the office. This quickly brought him to a clear business model – a company designed to be operational and managed fully remotely.
Remote companies not only give you an opportunity to work from any place in the world but they also allow diversity. The team can be constituted of people with different cultural backgrounds and skills. You just need to find a way to communicate – but in most cases, English should do! It works perfectly fine in our case.
’All these meetings could have been emails‘
It is not all rosy. Remote work has its downsides as well. At this point, you have probably experienced some of them as well. We happen to miss such trivial things as… commuting to work. We surely would enjoy ordinary coffee breaks in the kitchen, little chit-chats and regular meetings.
At the same time, we appreciate the flexibility it gives us and the amount of time we save every single day since the ‘office’ is only a few steps away from the bed. Working on our own with lunchbreaks whenever we feel hungry (yes, gotta be careful with that!), not being distracted by the constantly ringing phones and endless conversations common for the open spaces, we work efficiently. Also, after a couple of weeks of remote work you realize how many meetings could have been emails.
Structure is the key: Holacracy, GTD, Scrum – what are they?
Surely it will not all work without a structure, mutual trust, useful tools, and frameworks. There has to be space for creativity and implementation of your own ideas but, at the same time, certain rules for cooperation have to apply.
Let us share with you a couple of international frameworks and tools that we use to organize our work.
In case you never heard about Holacracy
Scary at first glance but then it becomes your best friend in solving your tensions and executing changes. Holacracy – a method of decentralized management and organizational governance, in which not only decision-making but also authority is distributed among the self-organizing teams. What is more, you are not limited to your job description. You work in the roles you choose which allows you to learn new skills and test yourself in different areas. Switching from traditional management might not be super easy at the beginning. Paradoxically, you may find it more bureaucratic – but that is just the first impression. Once you understand how it functions, you will start feeling like in your element. Soon you should notice how it increases efficiency, transparency, agility and accountability in the organisation. You will be surprised how soon you will start taking initiative – even if you were usually not eager to step out of the line.
What is GTD?
This mysterious acronym stands for Getting Things Done. Isn’t it what we all do every single day, you might ask? Of course. But the question which arises is whether we do things effectively and what do we actually get done? ’Getting Things Done is a personal productivity methodology that redefines how you approach your life and work‘ – states David Allen (the founder of the method) on his website. He made us curious, so we read the book and started implementing the guidelines. Things started getting well-organised in projects which then, with the next actions, can be easily accomplished. With GTD, setting a clear focus was never easier. GTD is not just about letting things happen but rather about getting them done in the most efficient way. This is how we approach our work to provide you with the highest quality of service.
What’s this rumour about Scrum?
Yet about another framework which makes teamwork more pleasant, transparent and effective. Scrum helps us to work together. What you probably do not know is that we very often work in… sprints. Do we run? Only during breaks. 😉 A sprint is a short period of time with a defined schedule in which we agree to complete an agreed amount of work. Every Scrum Team member gets certain tasks assigned. Every day we meet for a short ’stand-up’ to keep up with the progress we make and share updates. Our certified Scrum Master keeps an eye on how the team operates within Scrum and is always there when we need help with understating certain procedures.
We are here for you
We would not be here if it was not for Slack (which allows for fast written communication and sharing updates) and Zoom (which serves as our online conference room). In times of pandemic, the amount of online communication tools is constantly growing but it takes time to learn how to use them. We hope you somehow managed to find yourself in this new virtual reality. We just wanted to ensure you that we keep on working as if nothing changed and keep on fighting with the image theft. Since a lot of activities moved to the virtual space and there is more content produced, there might be more stolen images online. Make sure you check your mailbox on a regular basis – so you do not miss the updates on your cases. Let us take care of the money you deserve from your copyrights while you take the best care of yourself.