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Our Top 4 Takeaways From the World’s Largest Remote Work Conference

September 17, 2019

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It's been over a year since the Trainual team packed our bags, hopped our flights, and landed in Bali for the world’s largest remote work conference, Running Remote. It was an incredible experience we’ll never forget. And we learned some super valuable lessons along the way.

beach fun
Trainual’s Sara, Jonathan, and Amber enjoying the Bali sun

Running Remote was uniquely relevant to me as I have spent much of the last decade as a digital nomad. Creating and working without geographical boundaries as I pursued the intersection of mountains and marketing.

Although my experiences have taught me a lot about how to work remotely and contribute individually, the growth of Trainual has meant new territory for me. Trainual is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. But my base camp remains a farmhouse on Boston’s South Shore.

And now, I'm leading a fast-growing marketing team (we've tripled our headcount in the last 6 months!) and scaling a software company from a distance. I’ve had to learn first-hand the importance of what we preach at Trainual. Namely, that process makes perfect.

Remote Stage
Jonathan on stage on Day 2 of Running Remote

At Running Remote, I had the opportunity to share my story in a closing day keynote. And I taught some of the top remote leaders about the importance of documenting your business as you scale. Especially when your team is remote.

Now thinking back over a year later, a few insights from the remote work conference still stand out.

Reflecting on lessons learned at Running Remote—

1. Freedom makes people happy.

I mean, this one is obvious, isn’t it? But, when it comes to business, worth reiterating. When your employees feel like they have a sense of freedom and autonomy with the way they get their work done, they’ll be happier employees. And that’s good news for your business, too.

Of course, with freedom, you must also have a framework. But when employees are satisfied and engaged with room to craft the way they work, odds are you’ll have lower turnover.

Quick take: Turnover is lower in companies that embrace remote work culture (by 13%).

2. Remote work will just be called work within 5 years.

As technology advances and new tools are built to help bridge the gap between remote work and in-office work, it’s inevitable that these boundaries, worldwide, will blur.

Within 5 years, a younger digitally-native workforce will start stepping into leadership roles. And they'll be a lot more focused on work-life balance. Meaning, keeping your whole team under one roof will stop being the norm.

In fact, your business will likely become more agile and better adapted for the future of scaling if you lean into remote work.

Quick take: Hire leaders for their experience and skills - not their geographic location.

3. Team retreats make remote work, work.

One of the best ways to build a strong, lasting company culture and keep your team aligned is to plan face-to-face retreats at least once a year (if not once per quarter) for all of your employees.

I travel west to meet with the teams in-office about once a month. 

And we also try to get everybody together on a monthly or quarterly basis to just have fun together outside the office—for example, racing go-karts! It’s these times spent together that help us work more efficiently apart.

Quick take: Get together often to work better apart.

4. Live and die by process.

If you haven’t taken the time to write down and clearly communicate expectations, you can’t expect them to be met. Remote teams, maybe more than anyone else, need consistent processes documented.

Process documentation was on the lips of just about every attendee and speaker at Running Remote as one of the most pressing issues at play for effectively scaling remote teams. Which was cool because it just so happens, that’s what Trainual does best. (It made for some really fun conversations!)

Quick take: Document everything you expect delivered.

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Article

Our Top 4 Takeaways From the World’s Largest Remote Work Conference

September 17, 2019

Jump to a section
Share it!
Sign up for our newsletter
You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

It's been over a year since the Trainual team packed our bags, hopped our flights, and landed in Bali for the world’s largest remote work conference, Running Remote. It was an incredible experience we’ll never forget. And we learned some super valuable lessons along the way.

beach fun
Trainual’s Sara, Jonathan, and Amber enjoying the Bali sun

Running Remote was uniquely relevant to me as I have spent much of the last decade as a digital nomad. Creating and working without geographical boundaries as I pursued the intersection of mountains and marketing.

Although my experiences have taught me a lot about how to work remotely and contribute individually, the growth of Trainual has meant new territory for me. Trainual is headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. But my base camp remains a farmhouse on Boston’s South Shore.

And now, I'm leading a fast-growing marketing team (we've tripled our headcount in the last 6 months!) and scaling a software company from a distance. I’ve had to learn first-hand the importance of what we preach at Trainual. Namely, that process makes perfect.

Remote Stage
Jonathan on stage on Day 2 of Running Remote

At Running Remote, I had the opportunity to share my story in a closing day keynote. And I taught some of the top remote leaders about the importance of documenting your business as you scale. Especially when your team is remote.

Now thinking back over a year later, a few insights from the remote work conference still stand out.

Reflecting on lessons learned at Running Remote—

1. Freedom makes people happy.

I mean, this one is obvious, isn’t it? But, when it comes to business, worth reiterating. When your employees feel like they have a sense of freedom and autonomy with the way they get their work done, they’ll be happier employees. And that’s good news for your business, too.

Of course, with freedom, you must also have a framework. But when employees are satisfied and engaged with room to craft the way they work, odds are you’ll have lower turnover.

Quick take: Turnover is lower in companies that embrace remote work culture (by 13%).

2. Remote work will just be called work within 5 years.

As technology advances and new tools are built to help bridge the gap between remote work and in-office work, it’s inevitable that these boundaries, worldwide, will blur.

Within 5 years, a younger digitally-native workforce will start stepping into leadership roles. And they'll be a lot more focused on work-life balance. Meaning, keeping your whole team under one roof will stop being the norm.

In fact, your business will likely become more agile and better adapted for the future of scaling if you lean into remote work.

Quick take: Hire leaders for their experience and skills - not their geographic location.

3. Team retreats make remote work, work.

One of the best ways to build a strong, lasting company culture and keep your team aligned is to plan face-to-face retreats at least once a year (if not once per quarter) for all of your employees.

I travel west to meet with the teams in-office about once a month. 

And we also try to get everybody together on a monthly or quarterly basis to just have fun together outside the office—for example, racing go-karts! It’s these times spent together that help us work more efficiently apart.

Quick take: Get together often to work better apart.

4. Live and die by process.

If you haven’t taken the time to write down and clearly communicate expectations, you can’t expect them to be met. Remote teams, maybe more than anyone else, need consistent processes documented.

Process documentation was on the lips of just about every attendee and speaker at Running Remote as one of the most pressing issues at play for effectively scaling remote teams. Which was cool because it just so happens, that’s what Trainual does best. (It made for some really fun conversations!)

Quick take: Document everything you expect delivered.

Article

Our Top 4 Takeaways From the World’s Largest Remote Work Conference

September 17, 2019

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