As part of my interview with Jon Bownds, eCommerce consultant and Magento architect, we talked about remote work. Here’s what we discussed:
Me: Remote work is something I talk about all the time. It’s a big component of what Commerce Hero is about. You built an agency on working remotely. I’m a huge believer in remote work in general. Of course, there’s something really awesome about face-to-face interactions. That’s why we’re doing this interview live. If there’s a way we can ever get to the point where we truly feel like we’re in the same room, that would be amazing.
Jon: Remote work is difficult to do. But it pays remarkable dividends and gives you exponential returns. The companies that are the most successful are the ones that are able to solve the difficult puzzle of balancing remote work. I do think there needs to be in-person interaction, but it can be intermittent. There are absolutely systems where you can still maintain relationships and connectedness within a remote work culture. It’s important to have relationships and understand the lives of the people you work with. In my agency, we made an effort to spend time together when we could. It’s important to connect outside of just work related problems. A successful remote culture is not just throwing work to the other side of the wall and waiting for it to come back. That makes it too easy to fall into an “us” and “them” feeling, where blame can be put on the other party when work doesn’t get done.
Me: Absolutely. I think it’s also important to really believe in it. If you go into remote work thinking it isn’t going to work, you’ll find reasons that it didn’t work. It is a fundamentally difficult thing to embrace. As human beings we’ve spent hundreds of years working side by side. That takes time to overcome. If you don’t fundamentally believe in it, you’ll find ways to not make it work.