Our Remote Versus Their Remote

What would you say if a business owner told you they were purposely selling lower quality items that only lasted a little while and were meant to be replaced? You’d probably think they were crazy and that strategy is the exact opposite of what successful businesses should be doing.


Zara is a clothing company that specializes in “fast fashion.” The quality of the clothes they sell is lower than a lot of their competitors, at a lower price point. In fact, their clothes are only supposed to last for a little while, because Zara wants their customers to come back over and over again to buy the latest fashion—which changes quickly. For someone who wants to keep up with the latest trends, it would get expensive to purchase high-quality designer items each time styles changed.

Zara’s strategy is a brilliant way to take on the establishment. They’re meeting their customer's needs in a way that makes sense—even though it’s different from what’s expected.

**So what does this have to do with a remote workplace? **

When companies want to start implementing a remote environment, we believe they have to think differently—to go against the establishment—to go all in.

As more and more companies move to remote options for their employees, it’s becoming crystal clear that not all remote is created equal. And just like carefully following a recipe, if they don’t include all of the most important ingredients, it might fall apart.

In spite of its growing popularity, many remote workspaces still struggle to create an environment that fosters a successful, inclusive remote workspace. Basically, they’re not getting the recipe quite right. 

For many companies, their business is still based primarily in a physical office, with most employees reporting and working there together. Then, they add a person or a handful of people who are allowed to work remotely, maybe full time or a couple days a week. 

Offering remote options might seem like a good deal for the people who want to work remotely and the company feels good about offering a more progressive benefit, but in the end it doesn’t work. 

Imagine being the person working remotely. You’re loving not having a commute, working in comfortable clothes all day, and getting to pet your dog whenever you want. But slowly, you start to realize you’re missing out... 

7 to fail
  1. You’re still expected to call in for meetings, but you realize they’re talking about things you know nothing about. Then they have to fill you in on what they talked about that morning while making their coffee. 

  2. No one invested in a remote communication solution, so you call in instead of using full video. After all the people in the office are not comfortable with video. Who needs it anyway? And your remote experience feels very…. distant.

  3. You might find out about long lunches at the restaurant down the street from the office or after-work drinks you can’t participate in, so you’re missing out on building important relationships with your co-workers with no alternatives.

  4. Maybe you have a decent video based communication software, but the in-office people are sitting around a conference room table and you miss out on what they’re drawing on the board or a facial expression the boss made - they look so small and far away. 

  5. You are all alone, with your breakfast coffee, coding away, and then get stuck. And there is no good way to communicate until your next scheduled call, tomorrow! Your day becomes a wreck.

  6. You miss all the quick meetings after the meeting, in the hallway or by the coffee pot, where the critical decision is made and you’re never informed

If a company wants to offer remote options for their employees, they have to build a system that is set up for remote success. A system that’s set up for only partial remote is inherently more complicated because there are two systems trying to run together. When it’s set up for remote success, by definition it will be less complex, more straightforward, and make it easier for everyone to be successful That’s what we’ve done at Clevertech. 

We are a 100% remote workspace. Everyone on our team is 100% remote. We’ve set our business up to support a totally remote workforce and it shows in the way our operations run and the effectiveness of our employees. Here are some of the ways we make it work. 

🖥 We invest in tech.

We have the most up to date technology available to make remote work for us. We listen to our employees about what’s working and what’s not and make sure we have communication, project management, and other tools in place so they can do their jobs. 

🤝 Find ways to connect.

You don’t have to be best friends with your co-workers, but fostering relationships with the people you spend so much time with is important to workplace happiness. It can be difficult when working remotely, as you can’t just swing by someone’s desk to ask about their daughter’s soccer game or grab coffee together when that 2pm exhaustion hits. 

Spending time with the team to talk about non-work items is part of the expected traditions at Clevertech. Creating space to allow the cultivation of non-work interactions is critical to create a thicker relationship. 

💡 Innovation

We are continuing to innovate all the time in this space. We never know where the next hot piece of technology that’s going to make working remote even easier is going to come from, but we’re listening. It might be a new conference feature or a virtual reality headset. Whatever it is, we’re willing to experiment with it and we’re set up to do that.

👔 We’re not hampered by traditional expectations

Many companies think that their business is too “serious” to have a remote workforce or that it can’t function without working face-to-face or that remote only works for “non-essential” employees. At Clevertech we are in a “serious” business. But we work remotely while maintaining our professionalism. We still appreciate face-to-face interactions and have kickoffs and presentations, where we get together to meet with clients and spend a day or two where we solidify the human connections. But we continue those connections in a remote fashion. 

A recipe that includes everyone

As technology evolves and more and more employees look for remote options, it’s vital that companies learn how to create and follow a recipe designed specifically with remote success as the intended outcome—a recipe that includes everyone, helps all employees work efficiently and effectively, and works great for the clients. 

If you’d like to learn more about how we do remote here at Clevertech and the career openings we currently have available, check out our YouTube channel and visit clevertech.careers. 


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    Want to peek into our daily work? Our coaches recount real world situations shared as learning opportunities to build soft skills. We share frameworks, podcasts and thinking tools for sr software developers.