By Sterling Anderson, Director of Customer Support & Insights
More and more companies are starting to embrace the WFA (work from anywhere) culture. While working from home presents its own set of challenges, WFA has been celebrated to have many benefits, and countless studies have been conducted to prove that productivity increases when companies allow their employees to work remotely. A Harvard Business Review study showed that productivity increased as much as 4.4% after a group of participants made the transition to WFA, representing up to $1.3 billion of annual value added to the U.S. economy.
I’d like to share how my team at SEDNA has adopted the WFA ethos, and how we’ve been successful in doing so.
Working from anywhere is rooted in one key concept: the 3 C’s.
Communication, communication, communication
For a remote team to be successful, you need to over-communicate. Our team relies on real-time communication to help each other when we have overlap. Slack, iMessage, Whatsapp, Hangouts or Zoom, are some of the tools that we use throughout the day.
Asynchronously we use SEDNA to communicate our day through our handover process. To provide our world-class customer support 24/7, we effectively have three overlapping periods with EMEA, the Americas, and APAC. At the end of each shift, we leave detailed notes for the incoming team.
These notes are constructed in SEDNA and often consist of any major issues/themes, feature releases, vacation requests, and any other information that can provide more context to the team and set them up for success. By using notes in SEDNA, we not only allow our team to share information with each other but also give visibility across the business. This allows our Sales, Client Services, Development, and any other teams, to keep a pulse on any issues and tickets that we are currently working on.
No matter where we are working, we are there for our customers.
In 2019, our team primarily worked out of SEDNA’s three main locations – Vancouver, London, and Singapore, but also spent 35% of our time working fully remote, away from any physical SEDNA office, from countries, such as Poland, Turkey, Philippines, Australia, and Japan to name a few. Despite being decentralized, we concluded 2019 with a 99% customer satisfaction (CSAT) rating and a median First Reply Time of 17 minutes, well above Zendesk’s technology industry benchmark of 2 hours.
I encourage our team to take advantage of SEDNA’s WFA policy, although I understand working remotely isn’t for everyone. Some people have restrictions in their home (I have two small children that always want to play with Dad) and others thrive in a more social setting. Even if you are working from the office, it’s still an incredible opportunity to be able to connect with team members around the world.
To recap, what should managers consider while transitioning their teams to WFA?
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Over-communicate and set up real-time syncs to help each other when you have overlap.
Consider your technology stack. Use systems like SEDNA to get your team on the same page asynchronously and better facilitate hand-offs.
Trust your team. By enabling your team with trust, communication, and the tools to do their job successfully, you can get a highly productive team working from anywhere in the world.
Happy working from anywhere!