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Remote Work

By: Gilles Bertaux- co-founder and CEO of Livestorm

by uma
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure

Livestorm is an international company as we have employees all over the world. We realized that there was fierce competition to hire in the French capital. In order to be able to recruit the best talent, regardless of where the candidates live, we became one of the first remote-friendly companies. This has also contributed to the international DNA we have today. We also have an office in Boston to help us focus on our US presence. All positions are offered in full remote, sometimes with a preference for the CET time zone. 70% of our workforce is remote.

A year and a half ago, we were only 30 people at Live storm, we’re now 130 and we’re still hiring. But we didn’t change offices, just opened one in the US in Boston, to be able to expand in the US.
For the company, it’s great to be able to focus on hiring on a much larger playground instead of having to worry about the capacity of your office. But the negative point is the fact that we have to be well organized, as we cannot welcome all our employees at the same time, should they wish to.

I would say that the costs depend very much on the strategy that the company wishes to adopt, and especially on the means, it wishes to allocate to the well-being of its employees.
If it is only a question of remote work without paying any expenses, it may indeed be a financial gain, but it will have negative impacts on many other aspects.
Offering flexibility to employees only works if they are given all the keys to having a working environment as complete as the office one, beyond the positive aspects of remote work itself in terms of personal organization.
This implies covering certain costs, such as those related to the internet connection or equipment, but also offering them the possibility of benefiting from a co working space if they wish to have a working environment separate from their home.
It is also necessary to think of an organization in which teams have the possibility of meeting physically on a regular basis, by having accessible premises, or by offering a travel budget.

And beyond these costs, it is also necessary to rethink the way work is done and offer new tools to facilitate communication and collaboration.
Without these elements, the company may make financial savings, but this will have direct repercussions on its organization and its teams. Not offering employees the best working conditions, whether in the office or remotely, will not allow them to fully develop professionally and move forward together and with the company.

These are all elements that Live storm has taken into account from the beginning, even when only part of the employees were working remotely. All these choices have been affirmed in a remote-first policy, which today translates into different elements:
– The possibility of coming to our offices in Paris or Boston, with a tool allowing registration and team meetings.
– The possibility of working from home, with internet costs covered, but also the necessary equipment, in addition to the basic package (Mac, computer, mouse, keyboard, screen support).
– The possibility to work from a coworking space on a one-off or daily basis with a monthly budget.
– The possibility to meet thanks to a budget per quarter and per person, which allows everyone to organize themselves as well as possible.

Communication and collaboration tools have been present since the beginning of Livestorm because remote is in the company’s DNA, but special attention has been paid to exchanges between teams with the creation of a team Employee Experience and the implementation of new tools such as Donut.
To go further, the company has also chosen to set up a specific partnership dedicated to the issue of mental health, which has become even more crucial in recent months.
Having a hybrid policy costs what the company wants it to cost, but putting in place a hybrid policy that works best for the employees, their missions, their teams and the company itself does not cost less than physical offices. On the other hand, it brings another asset to the company: that of having a variety of profiles that bring a true multiculturality, both professional and personal.

How to improve efficiency:
A good day usually starts with a good routine, whether you work from home or from an office. Set up a cadence « as if » you were working in the office: get up at the same time, have your breakfast, get ready and then turn on your laptop. Enjoy coffee breaks, take some time to recharge.
Also, working remotely opens up a whole new world of opportunities to be distracted. A simple notification can be all the more tempting with no one around, and lead you down rabbit holes that are hard to come out of. So I think it’s important to reduce all distractions that you can, beginning with your notifications.
Part of finding your focus also involves classic advice, like picking a quiet place that is dedicated to the purpose of remote working. That means avoiding working from your bed, as experts suggest that it can increase your stress levels during non-working hours, making it hard to sleep at night.

Hard-working employees in the office are hard-working employees remotely. The same goes for lazy employees. You can’t force people to perform if they are not willing to. Some people prefer to work remotely to save on commute time and are happier, less stressed.



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