Virtual work in the global office
In 2008, I set out to build a scalable lifestyle company. I wanted to create a virtual workplace that could honor people’s needs to spend time with family and find a manageable work/life balance. I wanted to offer flexibility of scheduling and a new kind of accountability system.
Putting remote work first helped us build a committed team in the US. But it has also led to wonderful friendships around the globe. Along with our Senior Leadership Team, I recently took a trip to visit our dear friends who complete the Corevist team in Eastern Europe. This trip was incredibly meaningful for me. It gave me a chance to reflect on the amazing journey which I’ve had the privilege to take with Corevist. I wanted to share some of those thoughts with you.
A global company = people like you and me
We’ve heard it so much, it’s almost a cliché at this point—but it’s really true. The more virtual work breaks down barriers of nationality, language, and culture, the more it hammers home for me the fact that we all have so much in common. We all have hopes, dreams, fears, and desires. We all love our families and want meaningful work. The fact that Corevist enables time with family and meaningful work for our people means the world to me. We get to change people’s lives for the better.
Virtual is fantastic, but it isn’t enough
The longer I run a virtual company, the more deeply I feel the need for face-to-face interaction. Remote work enables us to employ the most ideal candidates without disrupting their living situation. But it also enables us to accept video chat and Slack as our only forms of communication.
These amazing tools bring us together, and they sustain daily communication; but they aren’t enough to forge the kind of deep relationships that keep this company running. That’s why we get the team together in person, whether it’s our yearly company meeting, or smaller groups throughout the year.
My recent trip drove this home for me. I want to see my team in person more—especially our team members who aren’t based in the US.
Why global? Why not local?
This is a great question. From a business standpoint, global makes the most sense. Had we found the development skills we needed, at the right price, with the right commitment, we might have sourced this talent locally. But the development market in the US is tough. There’s a lot of young talent, and that talent is easily poached away with higher salaries.
In our world, that won’t do. It’s not about proving loyalty—rather, we need continuity because our clients need it. Our market and our Magento-SAP integration are complex. It takes a long time to learn the ropes. If an employee walks away, we lose a huge investment that has most likely taken years to mature.
Our friends in Eastern Europe have the talent and the commitment that our clients need. They are absolutely crucial to our operation. They’re helping us to offer the best SAP B2B eCommerce solution in the world.
The challenge of managing a global company
A global company presents unique management challenges. Language is generally not an issue, given today’s global English. Time zone differences are not as difficult as they might seem—they actually help us to structure our workdays. But the feeling of remoteness is a challenge. It confronts us daily and pushes us to reach out and make human connections.
In that sense, a global company holds us to a high standard. It forces us to be Proactive (which, by the way, is one of our 5 Core Values). But as long as we see virtual work this way, as its own kind of accountability, we work harder to maintain connections and ensure the quality of our work.
Once you’ve committed to remote work as a core component of your company’s structure, the whole globe (literally) is open to you. What will you do with that power? Will you use it to forge relationships and deliver the best product you possibly can? That’s my goal at Corevist. I hope you’ll join me.