Going remote. It feels like everyone’s doing it at the moment, right? I can’t count how many medium posts I’ve ready lately with titles like “5 great resources for remote startup teams” and “How working remotely saved my life”.

Now, Weirdly is a team of contrarians. When the whole world is running in one direction, our instincts generally tell us to investigate the opposite. But in this case, the remote buzz is resonating.Weirdly is built on a mission to make work more fulfilling for everyone and that, of course, includes our own team. We work hard at building a strong culture where people feel valued and supported. A big part of that, for the Weirdly team, is the ability to be flexible about where we plant our laptops everyday. Lots of our team have young kids and two of our guys are also expecting new babies in the next few months. Making sure they can be available in a practical, hands-on way to their families is really important to us (and, you know, obviously to them too). Other members of our team just really, really love working in a quiet, empty house where they can focus without any interruptions.

Going remote is risky business

In fact, the people in our team who love a hustling, bustling office are generally speaking, the ones who aren’t actually in the office much. They’re out on sales calls or flying overseas to meet with partners and clients. For the past couple of months we’ve discussed this over shared lunches, after-work drinks and the occasional team-icecream session. Inevitably we keep coming back to one solution: Moving out of our office space and going remote. So next week we’re making the leap. We handed in notice to our awesome GridAKL community, we’re packing up our monitors and we’re launching out into the unknown.

Arguments for (and against) going remote

As a rapidly growing startup with a really tight culture, disbanding and heading off into different corners of Auckland is a bit of a scary choice.As you can imagine, there have been heaps of pros and cons conversations had over the planning of this move. We reckon other founders may have some of the same fears as us if they’re considering going remote, in the spirit of sharing, we’re laying ours out on the table here:



Getting past the cons list

For us, the pros outweigh the cons right now. I say right now because who really knows until we try? We’re approaching this as an experiment. We’ve committed to three months with monthly reviews (as well as keeping a close eye on productivity stats).

going remote - regular reviews

We’ve also come up with some ways to mitigate some of those cons:

  1. We’re leaving our permanent spot at GridAKL, but we’re keeping our foot in the door. We’ve decided to continue with a couple of casual memberships in the shared space. That basically means a couple of us can pop in and hotdesk whenever we need to – as well as attend the meetups and keep access open to the awesome network of advisors and contacts.
  2. We’ve set up a series of regular team meetings that will help us keep on top of our productivity and help keep the culture alive. Some of these are based in slack or google hangouts, founders catch-ups and one big team meeting IRL. We’re also keeping up with our regular morning standups each morning (although they’re more likely to be google hangout sit-downs now), and we’ll be using our Wellness Challenge generator to keep our #weirdlywellness tradition alive.

Testing productivity and how well this is working for all of us will be an ongoing and evolving process. We’re excited to give it a go though – even if it means joining that tidal wave of hipsters on Medium.