In the wake of the Coronavirus, most in-office workers are rapidly transitioning to working from home offices. While the transition may be one that your firm never expected to undertake, it isn’t impossible to make it successfully. At Iridium Technology, our team members have all been working from home for the last 10 years. Our CEO, Tom Jones, took a few minutes to share his top tips and processes for working from home to hopefully make your transition easier.
Why and How Is Iridium Remote?
When Iridium Technology was founded, Tom had set up as a one-man shop. There was only one person he wanted to bring on as a business partner: his long-time colleague and friend Martin Vizner, who is Iridium’s CTO. Martin was located in New Zealand and Tom was located in Reno, Nevada – leaving them no option but to create Iridium Technology as a virtual company. As the years have progressed, the decision to make Iridium virtual has turned out to be the right decision, and has been a major contributor to Iridium’s growth and success.
Part of what makes Iridium successful as a remote organization is leveraging technologies that make both synchronous and asynchronous digital work as easy as possible. All of Iridium’s software is hosted online, making access for multiple team members in a variety of countries possible. Additionally, all of Iridium’s data is hosted in the cloud, making it accessible to all team members who need it.
Another part of the success that Iridium has experienced as a virtual company is actually owed to the fact that we’re a virtual company. We have the flexibility to hire the best candidates for the job, regardless of where they’re located around the world. We aren’t limited to the local pool of applicants when looking for new team members. And our employees – and by extension our clients – gain all the benefits of remote working
Benefits of Remote working
When his boys (now 17 and 19) were young, Tom moved his hours around so that he could spend time with them. Every day, he’d have breakfast with them and walk them to the bus stop. Similarly, he was there to pick them up from the bus stop, and discuss their days at school when they returned home. “I’d get up early and start working, and I worked late into the night to make up for the hours that I spent with my boys. We got a lot of bonding time out of my flexible schedule. The great relationship that I now have with my sons can be traced directly back to the quality time that I had with them due to my flexible hours.”
The ability to adjust your schedule to fit your lifestyle is just one of the many benefits of being a remote worker. With no commute times, you have more time to pursue activities with your family or to pursue hobbies that you enjoy. The best part? You can work in whatever clothes make sense for you. “I prefer comfort — I’m always in sweats and t-shirts,” Tom says. “I’m working long days and I want to be comfortable, but I do raise my game for client-facing calls, especially now that so many are on video.”
Tom’s Top Tips for Remote Working
It’s important to note that what works for Tom, or any other person for that matter, won’t work for everyone. Find how you can effectively work remotely, and pursue those processes and patterns. Tom reiterates, “I’m a 70-hour a week guy. I wake up every day at 5:00 AM and I work until the early evenings – even on weekends. Because of this, I don’t feel guilty about going out for a round of golf on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, and I have flexibility in my schedule. What works for me won’t specifically work for you.” Take the tips that work and leave the rest!
- Take regular breaks and do so without guilt.
- “Making a cup of coffee and reading on my front porch is my favorite way to take a break. I can do that guilt-free because I know I’m working hard. You should also step away from your computer for ten minutes of exercise a few times a day.”
- Keep your workspace clean.
- “My workspace is as minimalistic as possible. It helps me to concentrate when I’m in my office.”
- When you’re done working, shut down as completely as possible.
- “Every night, I put my cell phone on silent. If an emergency were to happen, I would be completely unreachable, but the odds of that are so small that I’m comfortable with the risk. I do not allow my life to be consumed with work 24/7/365 – if you don’t reach me by 8:30 PM, it’ll have to wait until the next morning. If silencing your phone isn’t an option, you can set your phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ and favorite the contacts that you want to be able to take calls from in case of emergency.”
- Spend quality time with your children.
- “If you have kids, this is your big opportunity to take those two hours per day that you have saved by not commuting and use those hours for quality time with your kids. You will look back on this as one of your proudest accomplishments.”
- Invest in a high-quality cappuccino or coffee machine
- “You will never regret it. Mine has paid for itself many times over, and I always have high-quality coffee to drink in the mornings.”
While the transition to a remote workforce may be daunting, it has the potential to be a really effective and productive move for your law firm. If you have questions about how to effectively manage the processes of your firm in a remote environment, we’re happy to provide guidance and offer our knowledge. Reach out to us, we’re here to support you.