Smart Working does not mean Remote Working. It’s more like an upgrade really. More importantly, it implies a huge change for businesses, people, cities, and urban spaces. We all need to be aware if we want to get the best out of it.
Smart Working means being able to work not only from home but also in other environments such as co-working spaces, cafeterias, airports, and waiting rooms. This means a positive impact on urban mobility and pollution. Although there’s no exact science to putting smart work into practice, each company is exploring the formula in its own way.
Remote Working is the old-fashioned remote work, expensive and, above all, regulated. It involves working in a defined and stable place, normally your home, with the right desk, optimal Wi-Fi, and a defined schedule. In other words, it might be convenient for an old-school company with a standard rhythm and no interest in enhancing productivity and exploring new opportunities.
Reality is, nowadays, there are thousands of game-changing tools offering solutions to all kinds of needs available for any type of company.
This is why “Remote Working” is seeing a need to transform into “Smart Working”
When we talk about Smart Working, we are talking about a radically different concept of understanding work.
Smart Working is a practice that is spreading more and more in startups and large companies such as Google or Twitter. It’s a new management philosophy based on giving people flexibility and autonomy in choosing spaces, times, and tools, which also means greater responsibility when talking about results. If the company is able to offer its employees more freedom to manage their workdays, employees must take responsibility for the choices that impact their job performance.
It’s all about being masters of our time and being able to choose work tools based on the context. This creates efficiency and freedom for each employee to work and perform their tasks in the ways they consider to be optimal for the best results.
How to enable Smart Working for your team
The ultimate toolbox:
Here are some incredibly useful and efficient tools chosen by teams at Itnig:
- Notion as a brain organizer
- Zoom (Pro) with fixed room ID to communicate
- Factorial for people management
- Slack for team or project conversations, announcements and general communication within the company.
- GDocs for every documentation
- Superhuman for email
- Airtable for structured data (roadmaps)
- Hubspot for ALL customer/prospect relevant info
- Hireflix for video-ATS
- Typeform for surveys
- Linkedin / Twitter / Youtube to keep learning from others
- Spotify for background music, an enjoyable atmosphere
Embrace flexibility! Here are some tips to make remote work easier, enjoyable and productive:
– Arrange custom/flexible schedules
– Find time to think. About anything.
– Build yourself a comfortable work space (take care of your back).
– Make time for yourself and your own stuff.
– Enjoy richer time with your loved ones!
No communication, no company
Communication should always be your number one organizational concern. No matter how hard you work on it, it won’t be enough. You have to always work on communication.
All companies want to be as productive as possible (if yours doesn’t, explore new jobs). When working remotely, you don’t require everybody to answer right away. So you have to find tools that embrace and accept asynchronous communication.
For example, Loom allows you to record your own screen and record yourself saying things and it automatically uploads it to the cloud, and you can share the link. That helps everyone to focus on their own thing without having to interrupt anyone.
It’s true, however, that teams need immediate interaction and meetings. The closest thing to real-life interaction is probably a video call. With tools like Zoom, you can create an environment as if the teams were working together in an office (almost). Every meeting should have a purpose. Otherwise, we’re wasting everybody’s time. So be aware of how you manage time in meetings, without being robotic.
At Itnig, for example, we organize informal afterworks on Zoom where we talk and we even play games. It’s a space for non-related work things to make people feel connected, which is one of the biggest challenges when working remotely.
Allowing people to work according to the previously mentioned methodologies also means the company has the responsibility to provide its employees with the right spaces. Even traditional spaces should be designed to promote flexibility and communication between people, creating an enjoyable work environment.
For example, ice terraces or big windows provide natural lighting, which has a huge impact on our health and concentration. Also, sofas can really make a difference, and plants can make the office feel more alive!
Many, many companies collapsed when the lockdown came into our lives. Let’s talk about building a digital office, which is fundamental to survive this digital era. There are companies focused on helping others succeeding at their teams and processes’ digitalization. Factorial, for example, offers a solution for each of these issues:
- Office management (employee portal)
- Time off and Time and attendance (who is working)
- Accessible company and employee documentation
- Hiring and onboarding new employees
- Performance management and surveys
- Employee data and reporting
- Sales, marketing and support
- Product and technology
- Finance and administration
Coworking spaces can be seen as an economy-driven model, hosting a diverse mix of user- and institution-led projects. Therefore, they can be conceived as a third option to work, between the conventional office and working from home. The main characteristics of a coworking space are collaboration, community, sustainability, accessibility and flexibility. Coworking spaces are more than just a physical space, they’re a collection of different forms of social interaction and collaboration, which facilitates innovation and community building within the space.
In addition, coworking facilities offer great opportunities to attend networking events, workshops or support programs.
Coworking spaces aim to guarantee the maximum possible security for their members and staff. Contrary to people’s uncertainty about going back to a traditional office, Itnig’s coworking space works hard to provide safe workspaces for those who are ready to return to work. Although social distancing is needed, collaboration and human interaction is more needed than ever, and having a safe place to carry it out is ideal for those who yearn to socialize. and be productive.
Not for everyone
Infrastructure problems aside, companies must be aware of the changes they are facing. Having or working in a company that wants to adopt Smart Working is not for everyone. The new digital era implies a lot of challenges and ability to adapt ourselves, our companies and teams to a new working culture.
Changes are here to stay
Even though we’re living uncertain times, it’s an opportunity to rethink, reset, reinvent at business, and individual levels. Remote work is our new reality and, if done well, companies will be more productive, competitive, and conscious. Remote work also opens the door to a talent pool available worldwide, you can hire a kick-ass developer who lives in Dubai and have your company based in Madrid. You can look for talent literally anywhere in the world.
With new working cultures, new business opportunities will appear. E-commerce, health care, and health tech, games, and entertainment, coaching, training and remote education, online support, food as a service, flexible coworking, home decoration, home gadgets, online fitness… You name it! Those able to find opportunities rather than excuses will thrive and survive extreme situations like the one we’re experiencing now.
Itnig is a startup ecosystem, we’re a home for startups and entrepreneurs based in Poblenou, Barcelona. We designed our coworking space to enhance productivity and provide the teams and coworkers with everything they might need from good coffee to quiet rooms, phone booths, and a ping pong table to have fun when the hard work is done!
If you’re ready to embrace smart working, join our coworking space! And if you’re working on something really cool, apply to our fund for early-stage projects!
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This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)