It’s been another thrilling, technology-driven, busy day at #MWC16, which brought locals, nationals and international industry experts diligent in mobile technology for talks and activities. On February 24th, 3:00 PM Barcelona Time (GMT +1), experts from the distributed world and mobile solutions from the around the globe both in-person and via the telepresence robot Kubi joined live at Mobile World Congress, the World’s Largest Mobile Technology Show, to discuss how mobile technology allows people to work from anywhere. It was hosted live at the ACER booth, at Mobile World Congress as a Hybrid Panel with some in-person attendees and some attending remotely via Kubi Robot by Revolve Robotics.
The experts from the panels are;
Hugo Messer (Moderator, joining live in Barcelona) – Remote team Expert; Co-Founder at ekipa.co
Marcus Rosenthal (joining live in Barcelona), Co-founder & CEO, Revolve Robotics, creator of the Kubi telepresence robot
Johannes Voelkner (joining us from a cruise ship around Venezuela), founder of nomad cruise and webworktravel.com
Dave Nevogt (joining from the US), is a co-founder of Hubstaff, a time tracking software for remote teams.
Toni Schneider, (joining from San Francisco), is a Partner at True Ventures and used to be CEO of Automattic, a distributed company with 400 employees working from homes and co-working spaces in over 40 countries.
The panel discussion sets forth many interesting topics;
Benefits On Working Remotely
Dave Nevogt said he works from both home and digital offices and finds remote work has more freedom to work, helps focus better and get the job done himself with no interruptions in between. When Toni Schnider was asked how he managed at Automattic to work with huge number of people remotely, he said added that several tools are developed to track the 400 employees working across the globe. Slack for real-time communication, WordPress based tool, P2 – a group plugin tool to document all the projects, make a lot of decisions and post documents; where people need to self-report on what they are working on and how their time is spent. Also, the team would report on what they worked on for a week and every week the team would have a Zoom based meeting to record the on-going work. He said we tell people to go outside, relax and to not work too much, they are very good in self-determining what to work on. There is no email system, which has increased the productivity significantly. Toni said they all are excited to meet once a year as a company and in small teams two-three times a year.
Future Of Distributed Work And How Much Friendlier It Is To Implement
According to Toni, distributed work is a low transition, many people would opt to learn more about it and when once they realise, they would want to change their process. Business take a long time to adopt this, it’s a gradual process. It is very popular among the people who have experienced it, the number one comment he gets from employees working in Automattic is that they can’t think of going back to the regular job, the flexibility, the work-life balance is incredibly better. In future, the tools will get much better, said Toni. The only one problem working distributedly which is not yet solved is the time difference. Hugo suggested that working with people closely located to your time zone, helps cross this barrier. Johannes joined back the discussion after a short while of limited connectivity at the middle of the ocean. He said he won’t advise anyone to take up digital nomad for a long time. It is a great way to experience and live in different places, but not as a full-time job. Based on his 10 years of experience, Johannes feels that it’s challenging and not that effective to travel and work.
How Do You Organise The Distributed Development Of Your Product?
Dave said that they work on Slack and have a very fun-filled working environment. He said that if you are working with a whole lot of people distributed around the world, they kind of share the docs in Google drive, screen share, work upfront, create a feature, figure out if there is any problem, collaborate on Slack and get things done just like working from the same office. Toni added that they work similarly. The key is to organise into small teams; a group of 6-10 where each team is self-sufficient and independent. Toni said they will make sure if all the teams are on the same page. Hugo and Marcus had the same views on the discussions and they said it’s easy for a startup to work remotely with a set of tools if they have already implemented the process during their early stage.
In the second half, it was great to have Hans Gaertner, managing partner of Radical Inclusion joined the panel.
Watch the full panel discussion and get to know more!
That was an interesting day at Mobile World Congress, bringing agile experts together discussing on how companies leverage on technology, allowing people to work remotely, transforming the entire business process and nature of workplace.
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