I work for an organisation with staff that stretch the globe. My boss has a strong appreciation for great staff and when told that some are going overseas he often asked them to continue working for the company. Most of our work is done out of three core offices and staff obviously at times are required to do work that might overlap from one office to another.
In 2017 the breadth of technology available for staff integration is staggering and it creates an environment that makes the world seem a lot smaller. Half of the staff I work with I have never seen in person however I would recognise their face if they walked past or know their voice in a crowd.
Distance is no longer the barrier it once was. Instead of being a hindrance to productivity I have found that different offices has enhanced it. Like meeting up with a friend who you haven’t seen in a long time, having a staff member come from a different office may in the short term affect productivity (lunches might go a bit longer than normal!) however it also comes with a long list of benefits.
24/7 Development Process
We can now have essentially a full time development cycle. We have designers and developers in different time zones which can be frustrating at times however also leads to fixes and designs being done at all hours. Need a Logo done? Get it designed over night? Got an urgent bug fix at 6pm? Speak to the developers in the middle of their workday.
In depth Discussions about work
The standard water cooler talk is replaced with questions surrounding why the person is in town. By working in different offices I have found that it actually increases knowledge sharing as you are discussing the latest technologies regularly. Perhaps working in different offices reduces some of that personal friendships between staff however that is replaced with engaging conversation that is more work natured.
A simple kick in enthusiasm
The buzz in the office when someone visits immediately changes. Its a little shot of adrenaline for the team because it is a break from the ordinary. Work takes up so much of our time finding regular ways to increase staff motivation can be hard but necessary. There is a noticeable pep in the staff for the days following a visit.
I think we can all agree that there are times where a separated organisation can be a large negative however it is no longer the blocker to productivity that it once was. Starting offices all over the globe for the reasons mentioned above might not be the best idea however ensuring that your offices work together can introduce a fresh dynamic to the standard 9 to 5.