It’s no secret that employees want to work remotely. They like the freedom to work anywhere, and the flexibility to make work fit into their lives – not the other way around. In fact, 75 percent of people think flexible working is the ‘new normal’, according to a recent survey from IWG. And it certainly gives employers a competitive advantage.
When faced with two similar job offers, 83 percent of those surveyed said flexibility would give one company an edge over the other. That’s a reason more employers are offering it as a perk. But in the cryptocurrency industry, remote working is more than a perk; it’s a necessity.
“Good luck putting a team together all in one place,” says Patrick Flood, co-founder of BlockBR, an asset tokenization firm based in São Paulo, Brazil. “Although the crypto community is growing, it is still a rather dispersed community. In my opinion, you will be able to build a stronger team if you open at least some remote positions.”
We asked Flood, who is a Chartered Financial Analyst, what advice he gives to crypto companies about working remotely. Here are his tips.
Flood is surprised by the number of companies that still don’t offer flexible working. “There is a huge gap between the amount of workers who want to work from home and the amount of companies who hire remote workers,” he says.
When you combine the internet of information with the internet of value, you get a complete digital economy. As the digital economy grows, so will opportunities to hire and work remotely.
He can’t see why companies wouldn’t offer remote working. Especially as cryptocurrency itself is creating more remote working opportunities for other industries. “As the world becomes more globalized and cross-border payments via cryptocurrencies become simpler, it will become easier and easier for workers to work from anywhere, for a company located anywhere,” Flood says.
Be flexible, or be left behind.
Be sensitive to cultural norms
In Brazil, employees work Monday through Friday, 9 am – 6 pm. Since remote working has been slow to catch on in Brazil, Flood says employees you hire may expect to work only those same hours. “On the other hand,” he says, “some developing countries like Thailand have embraced remote work. They have grown an industry based around digital nomads.”
Employees in countries like Jordan usually work Sunday through Thursday. Understand your employees’ preferred working patterns up front, and do your best to schedule any meetings around them.
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Get the right tech
There are all kinds of tools you could use to keep team members collaborating. Popular options include Slack, Basecamp, Trello, and Google Drive. You may need to try out a few different options with your team before you decide what works. Or you may decide you don’t actually need anything fancy.
Flood keeps it simple for his teams: Microsoft Word for work, WhatsApp for updates, Paypal and a cryptocurrency wallet for payments. You should also remember that some apps are banned in certain countries. No sense in using Facebook to reach team members in China. Employees may also need new equipment to do their jobs well. Have open conversations from the start about what tools they require.
Learn from the best
The good news about building a remote team is there are a number of handy tools and resources available to help you work out who would be a good fit and who might not. When it comes to interviewing, career coach and renowned author Nick Morgan says live video interviews are a great way of reading how someone deals with pressure, and to establish if they have a genuine enthusiasm for the job. Other useful tools include:
- Psychology Today has a great 102 question test on its website to help test a potential employee's self-motivation.
- Eskill has a number of off-the-shelf employment tests you can use to help establish a potential employee's skill set.
Encourage people to make the company culture their own
Because you're not in an office, doesn't mean that company culture isn't important. While there is the right tech to do the job, there are the right tools to keep people feeling part of a team. Buffer's head of people, Courtney Seiter recommends creating channels for people to hang out and have the digital equivalent of a watercooler moment. Some of the tools she recommends include:
- Facebook groups for sharing books and other material
- Self-improvement hackathons
There is a huge gap between the amount of workers who want to work from home and the amount of companies who hire remote workers.
Above all else, you have to trust your employees. U.S. Market research company Gallup surveyed 10,000 people last year about good qualities in a boss.
The number one quality is trust. Remote workers (or any workers really) will struggle under micromanagement. Plus, you’ll drive yourself nuts trying to constantly monitor people across time zones. Commit now to judge them on what they produce – not when and how.
You need to work with your employees to set deadlines and expectations, then allow them to do their jobs.
Be an ambassador
Flood says remote working allows the industry to become stronger ambassadors for cryptocurrency itself. The world already has the internet of information. Cryptocurrencies offer the internet of value. “We now have a means of transferring a scarce digital good (money) without the need for third-party intermediaries,” he says.
“When you combine the internet of information with the internet of value, you get a complete digital economy. As the digital economy grows, so will opportunities to hire and work remotely.”
It’s not easy to manage a remote team, especially if you’re used to working with a team under one roof.
But you will access better talent and become a better advocate for the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency.