Making Remote Working Work For Your Business

By Tony Restell

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Sharon Koifman InterviewI recently had the opportunity to interview Sharon Koifman of DistantJob. If we're trying to look for positives from the pandemic, then the increased acceptance of Remote Working as a viable business option has to be one, right?

In this latest in my series of interviews with business founders, Sharon shared insights on:

  • The right mindset to have when engaging remote workers
  • Keeping your team motivated and productive in a remote work environment
  • Some of the problems we encounter with a physical office that are eliminated when employing a remote team

Hope this helps anyone who's contemplating what the long-term make-up of their team should be.

Watch the full interview

Here's the full video, a transcript of which follows underneath


Interview Transcript - Making Remote Working Work For Your Business

Delighted to be joined today by Sharon Koifman, who's President of DistantJob and has a real passion for everything to do with remote working, remote hiring.

So Sharon thanks ever so much for joining us today.

Do you want to just tell us a little bit about your business to get started?


Sure. Well, DistantJob is a recruitment agency that specializes in remote employees.

We go all over the world, to find the best people out there.

We entice them with a remote job.

That's how we are able to solicit some exceptional talent.

And they work remotely but directly for our clients.

That means they're full-time, permanent, focused, career-driven individuals that want to be part of the great thing that our clients have made and be part of their company.


Excellent. I was really excited to be able to talk with you because obviously remote hiring and remote working is such a huge topic at the moment, and I know you've got lots of insights to share on that.

In terms of remote managers, you know, what's the perfect mental state of a remote manager would you say?


The perfect mental state of a remote manager is the mental state that you have no apology to offer.

Right? You're getting into this not believing that you're doing it because the pandemic forced you or you were required to do it. You're doing this because you believe that you can create and work with more independent, happier and more productive individuals.

This is a big change in mental state because too many people think remote is just, okay, maybe I can get some cheap people, maybe because now the idea is evolved, the people understand it.

When you go to the world, you have access to a much bigger pool of talent.

But people are not convinced that remote individuals can actually produce more.

They can actually be more productive.

They can be more of a participant in contributing to the company.

But the science shows that remote people are not only happier, not only more independent, but they're more productive.

There are many reasons for that.

First of all, you work in your optimal environment.

You don't have distractions that you usually get in an office.

There are no meetings, no people nudging you on the back.

You don't stop projects in the middle because you have to go home for your children or have to go out with the boys or the girls for lunch.

It's simply, you're there creating work, successful work.

When you sit on your butt at home and working.

So changing that mental state is a huge differentiator already for your management.

I've been running a remote, well, remote businesses for 20 years and all of that rings so, so true.

So thank you for that. In terms of making sure your team stays motivated and productive in a remote environment.

What would be some of the tips and insights you would give on that?


Well, first of all, you need to get personal.

You need to get to a level where I hope if you manage people in a physical environment, you have done it.

But if not, here - you need to get personal.

That means when people come from the weekend, you don't just ask them.

What is their goal for the week?

You ask them and you really care.

What have they done this entire week?

You get to know the name of their pets. You get to know their kids.

You get to know their hobbies.

You get to know everything that you need on a personal level, that you become intimate with the people that work for you.

And this gives you the advantage of actually knowing who are you working with?

When are they getting burned out?

When are they not feeling motivated?

The only way that you can understand your people at a psychological level is when you get personal with them.


That's great advice. I keep trying to get better and better at that.

As you say if you don't think about it, you can slip back into just talking about the week ahead and not talking about things outside the business, so valid points.

Absolutely.

And if we think about the kinds of mistakes that people would make in a physical office, that can be easily eliminated if you're working in a remote environment, What kinds of things do you see there?

What kind of benefits is that bringing if you've got a remote set up?


So I kind of dived a little into this on the last question, an office environment could be incredibly distracting.

There are the usual meetings that you don't necessarily have to go to that interrupts you in the middle.

There are your friends that nudging you every once in a while and I don't want to promote a non-social environment.

But I do have to mention that every time that you get distracted, it takes you about 25 minutes to come back to work.

People in an office environment produce about 2 hours and 53 minutes in an 8 hour day.

And this is something that you want to eliminate in your remote environment.

A lot of companies now, especially when the ones that have been transitioning to remote are trying to replicate everything and there are certain things that you should be replicating.

You created a beautiful process. You created some kind of culture.

You created things that, as the boss of a company, or manager of a company you have created or implemented strategies that made you and your company, who you are.

But you don't want to bring the bad habits.

So a lot of people, when they pop up on Slack, which is one of the more popular tools to communicate, they started nudging people.

Hey, did you hear about this movie?

Just like there would be in a cubicle because they want that cubicle experience, and that is a bad habit that should be eliminated and you should create social time and you should create culture and there are alternative ways of doing it.

But you should be paying attention to the distraction from others in the office.

Now, another titbit that I actually wrote in my book that people are not noticing in a physical office.

They're kind of ignoring the introverts.

This is something very interesting because in an office environment, when you are outspoken, when you're pumped, when you're doing great on your interviews, usually, that's going to reflect on your success.

What you're missing is sometimes those people who do not have those skills, but do have incredible skills to produce.

At the end of the day, they've been doing some tests on extroverts and introverts and in many, many tasks, introverts are more productive.

If you give them the environment to grow, to become themselves, now the remote world is that world.

Finally, there's a world there that introverts who don't want to necessary socialize or don't want necessarily to be distracted.

You can give them that opportunity, and it is a massive opportunity to find some serious superstars where you have not had before because they were not outspoken, they didn't do good in the interview.

You barely saw them because they were sitting in the corner being shy and they're kind of being discouraged and demotivated.

This is an incredible differentiator in the remote world that you can gain by doing this.


Yeah, great advice.

Sharon thanks ever so much for your time today.

It's been really interesting.

If anyone wants to find out more, is there any contact details, or a website address or anything you'd like to share?

So DistantJob.com

You can personally email me, that's [email protected]

But come to our website, if you're looking for a job, if you're looking to hire, I think we will provide you with quite an exceptional solution.


Fantastic.

Thanks ever so much for your time.

Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Thank you.


Thank you, Tony.

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