Why working remote is more productive for me than heading to an office every day

Our opinion on why we decided to ditch our office

Back in the day…

when we moved into our first office, everyone was super excited to finally have an `official´ office. A place where everybody would come together and work on our vision. We moved into our office because we thought it would increase our productivity, because the entire team would finally get to know each other better and because the common sense for us was that you just need an office to be able to work.

At that time this was absolutely the right move. Being a first-time founder and having a lot more questions than answers I don’t think we would have survived without a place where we could work together and build our very first product without major distractions.

About one and a half years later the situation is a vastly different. 
This summer we got rid of our office based on the believe that working remote is the best way to increase our productivity.

During our retreat in Turkey

What led us to this belief?

Although offices do have certain advantages, we came to the belief, that in order to improve our working culture and achieve our goals (you can read how we defined our culture and core values here), we would be better off working remote.
In our opinion there are a few, but important factors that increase productivity when not having an office.

1.Distractions
When you are with other people there will always be distractions. Especially if your co-workers have similar interests, you just start to talk about the football game last Sunday, your vacation plans, etc.
Right now, we still talk about these things, but at certain times, not randomly while someone was just working on a project.

2. Commuting
We got a pretty cool office a little out of Vienna for amazing conditions. Our entire team was in favor of taking it, although it also meant commuting about 45–50 minutes to our office. 
45 min x twice a day = 1.5hours per day
1.5hours x 5 days a week = 7.5hours per week

Even if the office would have been directly in Vienna, as soon as your team grows bigger it will be almost impossible to only recruit employees within a certain distance to your office. 
By ending commuting, our employees not only saved time but also gained flexibility, because they are no longer a 50-minute drive away from their homes.

3. Design your ideal office & surroundings
After finding our routine in our office after moving in, we discovered that everyone of has a slightly different style of how to approach work. Some need music, others go for comfortable couches and some love being in their `zone´ until they finished their project.

The opportunity to design your very own workspace is one major boost. You do not need to worry whether talking on the phone for a while might bother the programmers next to you or not. I personally found this very helpful since I discovered that my surrounding very much influences my productivity and motivation.

4.Optimizing processes
When working without an office, every single process has to be planned through. Starting with communication all the way to accounting. Everything needs to be done online, and by shifting all processes online, we had to rethink every single one.
We now use various tools to set our roadmap, communicate with each other, keep all of our documents available and design tasks, etc..

My remote office this summer

Does working remotely automatically increase productivity?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

When hiring we look very closely at certain attributes of our candidates. Working remotely makes it a lot easier to fake work since no one is around you, as well as procrastinating.

There are a few personal attributes that one must already posses to be able to successfully work on a remote basis.
Self-discipline, self-organization skills, goal orientation and motivation are just a few.

Others can be learned, and need to be learned if not already existing.
One of the things I had to learn, and in a way still am learning, is clear communication.
Since you don’t get to talk to your co-workers in person, it is necessary to be able to express yourself clearly to prevent misunderstandings. 
I used to keep business chats as short as possible to save time. But ever since chatting became our #1 form of communication, I had to switch to a different approach. Using Emojis and Gifs also makes it a bit easier to let other people know what you want.

You have something to say about remote working or want to add some points to this post? I am looking forward to hearing about your opinions for remote working. Just email me andreas@nextsalesroom.com

Hiking at our retreat in Salzburg