How we made remote work... work

How we made remote work… work

“I actually like it now because I feel part of a team.”

This was the feedback I got this week that made me breathe a sigh of relief. We’d converted one of our team to actually enjoy remote work! 

See, it’s all well and good for us to dial out advice on how to run an eCommerce team in 2022. But last year, we had our own dilemma that we learnt alot from. 

Em and I set up eSuite to be able to work anywhere. We thrive on the remote and flexible life. We’d work side by side occasionally but ultimately love the flexibility to be at home and with our families when needed. That was easy when it was just us two. 

And then we were lucky enough to welcome three more awesome humans into our team. 

But we quickly found out that not all of them liked working remotely like we did. All for different reasons. Some had bad experiences with remote work previously. Some weren’t set up right at home. Some missed the social side. 

Oh no. 

We realised we had to put some practises in place to make this remote culture work with a growing team. Here’s what worked, and what didn’t work so well. 

  • Online Chat. We started with Slack because we were trying to be cool. But realised it was overkill for us. So we settled on Google Chat. It’s basic but is integrated with everything and even has some cool Zapier connections now. #humblebrag is a channel that gets a lot of love. The simplicity of it actually creates more conversation. 
  • Weekly WIP. We have our whole team video WIP at 9:30am every Tuesday. No matter how busy you are, we all commit to being there. It’s a great way to celebrate wins, throw ideas around and get a real marker on how people are feeling. 
  • Regular training. Whether this was learning a new CRM system, demonstrating how to shoot video or regular one on one’s – being remote means that the training doesn’t stop. In fact, the ability to share screens and do it in comfort makes it heaps better!
  • The Mailman. Don’t underestimate the power of a parcel. Whether it’s mushroom tea with a note or a new monitor turning up, don’t underestimate the power of thoughtful parcels arriving. It shows that there’s a real connection! 
  • Social events. We actually failed this one for a long time. We tried the Friday afternoon drinks with online trivia route. It felt forced and unnatural. And really, at the end of a week on Zoom, do we want to have more Zoom? NO. Instead, we’ve planned out and invested in quality social time together that we actually enjoy when we get together. 

None of this is ground breaking but has been so important to making sure that we stay connected and flexible as a team. 

We’d love to hear your remote working tips! 

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Author avatar
Nathan Bush
Nathan is a director at eSuite. He is an eCommerce strategist who has operated in the retail trenches as well as being a consultant and agency partner. Nathan has been named Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row and hosts the Add To Cart podcast.
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