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Remote-first workplace: our practice

This year companies all over the world faced the lockdown challenge: how to keep business and not to lose employees. The best option was to adopt a remote working system. And now it seems to be a nice alternative.

Due to the nature of our business, more than 80% of our 1,500 strong global team at TheSoul Publishing is working remotely. This enables us to explore and improve our creativity, attract the best talent, support people with different working needs, and build a company where people can fulfil their potential.

It’s not always easy, but when managed correctly, independent working environments really allow self-starting individuals the ability to shine creatively. This is what we’ve learned along the way.

So how do we do that?

1. Set teams up for success

Remote working alone doesn’t create success. And thus we empower our teams and give them tools to do their best work.

Our teams have the most comfortable, pleasing and productive set up, wherever they’re located. Providing the right technology, and ensuring all members have safe and comfortable spaces to carry out their roles, is imperative. Similarly our workspaces reflect their intended use. Here we support co-working and collaboration to maximise the benefit of having people together. Yes - Zoom, Confluence, WhatsApp and Skype have become a business staple allowing employees from all over the world to connect easily.

By agreeing working patterns on an individual level, we empower our employees and they invest more of themselves in their work. But for us remote working is still a full-time job. And our colleagues know that for 100%.

2. Celebrate global creativity

Driving creativity is a core component of our company’s values. We ensure that our working processes provide our team of producers, animators, script writers and editors, IT experts and supportive departments like HR, legal, finance and marketing – the ability to express themselves as they complete their tasks.

Having team members located in regions across the world organically allows us to tap into local talent and generate that extra creative spark. We have seen the benefit of our remote team members infusing projects with their local perspectives.

3. Trust, process and communication

Managing a remote team needn’t be any more time-consuming, or less productive than working together in the office. The fundamentals are the same. Performance issues, when they do arise, tend to be fairly obvious and can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. This is neither better nor worse in the remote working environment.

We at TheSoul Publishing use a task-tracking system which allows us to monitor employees’ workloads and outputs. This provides visibility, allowing managers to check-in on projects, and employees to get on with their day without being unduly interrupted.

4. Career development is a continuous process

Our main focus - no matter if our employees work in one of our offices or remotely - we focus on boosting individuals’ personal growth and development.

We provide career development opportunities remotely such as access to webinars, online courses, and training modules on topics such as managerial preparation and self-management skills.

At the same time, we never forget about communication - every single guy and girl should have access and know that these career development tools exist and are offered in languages which reflect the workforce’s geographic locations and diversity.

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