We live in an increasingly flexible and connected world. It’s easier than ever to stay in touch and contribute from any location. Commute less and get more done is the new mantra.
At Reltio, we are distributed globally with employees all over the US, Russia, India, and more joining every day. We don’t mind where our present and future employees live, we just care that you like what you do, and want to contribute.
In many ways cloud services have made it easier to enable teleworking/tele-commuting for employees. There were always software tools for the at-home worker to stay productive, but cloud makes collaboration in real-time significantly more efficient. Shared editing of a document is a simple example of how teams can productively work together. Not too long ago, people would email back edits and versions of a word document in a serial manner, or leave it to the author to consolidate comments and revisions.
There are a myriad of cloud services available, which ones you use is up to company standard, or personal preference. Google has some of the most widely used tools such as fully integrated Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, and Drive. They also have Google Hangouts with video and voice conferencing and full screen sharing. Those who don’t use Google Drive, gravitate towards Box and Dropbox for file sharing. Microsoft is also finally fighting back with OneDrive, coupled with Microsoft Office 365 now available for iPad and other devices.
Skype is also a preferred medium for many for video and chat. Many forget that Microsoft bought Skype from eBay back in 2011 for $8.5B. At Reltio, we favor Google’s productivity tools, for new employees who are unfamiliar with this new way of collaborating, it may take them a little while to adjust, but once they get it they love it. A fully agile enterprise needs to go beyond standard office productivity tools. Adding and taking advantage of a new breed of data-driven applications that are easy to use and mobile. For teams in the field, telework is an every day activity and they need similar business focused apps to provide information at their fingertips.
Obviously enterprises need to set standards for what services and applications to use, so communication is clear and consistent. It can get frustrating for employees to have multiple modes of communication for meetings and collaboration. Not to mention the challenge to ensure information is kept secure, changes are audited, and data is backed up. But beyond technology, a company’s leadership needs to embrace and adopt the concept culturally, by accepting people who work best in their mode of choice.
Some employees may prefer not to telework, enjoying the camaraderie and collaboration of an office. Others may choose not to come into the office unless absolutely necessary. However, everyone must be encouraged to get together when face-to-face meetings are effective, and on occasion simply just to interact with their colleagues in person. At Reltio, we have a “lunch of the month” day where everyone is encouraged to come into HQ to meet up. As we continue our rapid growth, with 300% increase in employees in the last 12 months, beyond the family picnics and other get togethers, it’s important for us to look each other in the eye, not just the webcam.
For many startups like Reltio, it’s a 24/7 operation, we make ourselves available to our customers and partners whenever they need us. That doesn’t mean we don’t take time off to be with our families. Flexible working hours and mobile access means we can contribute anytime and anywhere. Disney really has it down to a science for kids and family. Thanks to Reltio’s telework philosophy and cloud technology, I am able embrace the magic by writing this blog post on my iPhone 6+. And use our own Reltio key account management applications, while waiting in line for rides at Disneyland.