Roughly three years ago, a well known figure in the world of digital nomads, predicted that the size of this “pack—light, travel—often” population would swell to 1 billion by 2035.
While many might dispute this prediction, few could deny that this movement is gaining a lot of attention, as recent features by the BBC, Tech Crunch and Reuters have shown.
It’s a movement that, along with the related dynamic of remote working, we’ve embraced for some time at Maido. Right now, we have remote team members in Spain, Portugal, Argentina and across the UK, and those of us based out of our Shoreditch office can often be found working from home one day a week.
With increased productivity and decreased stress, Maido, along with many creative agencies are benefiting from a remote working model. Our approach allows us to bypass geographical constraints to retain talent, whilst maintaining a core Maido ‘home’ at the heart of Shoreditch.
This approach gives us the flexibility to provide face—to—face workshops with our clients and facilitate customer research that is so fundamental to our work as a design agency. We equally welcome clients to work remotely from our office, which we’ve found builds a closer relationship and helps us to work collaboratively towards their goals.
This hasn’t come about by accident though and many of the online tools we use are specifically chosen for the benefits they bring to remote or distributed teams.
Slack is the centrepiece of our communications. Hangouts and Zoom are both great options for video conferencing that allow us to make sure our clients can see us even if they can’t be with us. Then, when it comes to sharing work, InVision allows us to share designs and prototypes quickly, while Zeplin can be used by our designers to successfully transition their work into the hands of developers.
Fostering remote relationships can difficult, but following an agile approach, and utilising daily SCRUMs for all projects we keep connected with our remote team members, maintaining face—to—face conversation, collaboration and innovation in real time, and regularly have non—work related get togethers.
When you have the right tools, you need to add in the right talent. In this respect, we’re always looking for individuals with the right attitude, which means being organised and helping ensure that a project flows as smoothly as possible.
Working together in this way doesn’t just allow us to work well as a distributed group, it also benefits of clients. That’s because, when our team members are already used to working productivity from anywhere with a good internet connection, they can easily visit our clients abroad without letting other projects slip. In fact, we’re so confident in our tools and processes that we encourage our London—based employees to work remotely for two weeks every year.
The right tools, the right people and a collective attitude to doing a great job for our clients is our simple but effective approach. If you’re a business from outside the UK (or inside) with a brief that might benefit from this, we’d love to hear from you.