I joined Simon/Myers in 2015 as a graphic designer, straight out of college. Over the next three years I grew a lot, both at the company and in my personal life. After getting married, my husband and I began thinking about having a baby. We decided we’d like to be close to my family in North Carolina. However, I didn’t want to leave a position and a company that was such a great fit for me.
When I mentioned my dilemma to our Creative Director, we talked about the idea of working remotely. At the time, Simon/Myers had no remote workers, so I didn’t get my hopes up. But both of our founders, Lou and Jim, valued me and my work enough to go all in on this new adventure.
It didn’t take long for us to realize how well the new arrangement was working. A couple months later, another team member started working remotely. Once our collaboration tools were set up, the transition was fairly seamless.
Over the next year, our office in the suburbs continued to grow. But most of our staff lived in the city. So we opened a second office downtown—and offered the rest of the team the option to work from home a couple days a week. Now that our policy is a couple of years old, we can truly say it’s been beneficial, not only to our employees, but to our business as a whole.
It’s critical that our entire team is able to communicate and collaborate effectively. To achieve this, we chose specific tools to handle internal communications, external communications and file sharing.
We’ve found that offering employees the option of working remotely has created a happier, more productive work environment. It cuts down on commuting, provides scheduling flexibility, keeps everyone focused and gives us more time with our families. In my own case, it allowed me to continue working for a company I love from a place where my new baby will be closer to our extended family.
Creating a remote-friendly workplace does require some upfront effort: setting up guidelines, choosing the right tools, keeping everyone up to speed. But we’ve found that most projects are remote-compatible. And perhaps ironically, that we work better together because of it.
Hickman, A. (2020, January 24). Is Working Remotely Effective? Gallup Research Says Yes. Retrieved from www.gallup.com/workplace
Fried, Jason, and David Heinemeier Hansson. Remote: Office Not Required. Crown Business, 2013.
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