In order to hire top talent, you’re going to have to offer the possibility of working from home.

Ricardo Fernandez

About Ricardo

Ricardo is currently Managing Director in Spain for Limehome, a company leading the digital revolution in the hospitality industry to define new standards in convenience, comfort, and design. Ricardo has worked more than 9 years in technology startups. Previously he had several roles including Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Prodigy Finance, Chief Operating Officer at Bitcarrier and founder of Profitail. Ricardo has invested in several startups and has more than 20 years of experience in consulting, corporates and startups.

Ricardo has an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau and Singapore where he received a Scholarship from Fundación Rafael del Pino, and a double B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from the University of California in Berkeley.

Key insights and tips for building and scaling a business remotely

Ricardo Fenandez knows a thing or two about remote work. He’s spent over 10 years working remotely, and has worked for more than 6 years managing and scaling remote teams in 8 countries and 10 locations. Currently he’s the managing director at leading digital hospitality brand Limehome and he joins Maddie on The State Of Work to share his insights and years of experience. 

Building and scaling a remote team requires a new way of thinking about recruitment, onboarding, leadership and operations, whether you were already leading or part of a remote team pre-COVID, or have had a rapid transition into this new style of working.

It sounds simple on paper – work with the best talent from all over the world, and employees can work from anywhere and anytime. However, this presents a new set of challenges for businesses from the complexities of compliance to the operational challenges of setting up local offices, doing business in multiple time zones and keeping remote workers motivated and engaged. But with careful planning, the many benefits of remote work benefit both the worker and the business.

Listen to Maddie and Ricardo as they discuss the challenges of business development, the value of virtual team building, the future of coworking and hybrid offices, as well as building and scaling remote teams during a global pandemic.

 

Shownotes

  • Limehome
  • OKR – Objectives and Key Results

 

View the entire transcript

 

Key insights and tips for building and scaling a business remotely

with Ricardo Fenandez, Managing Director, Limehome
 

Maddie Duke  00:06

You’re listening to The State Of Work, the podcast by Lano. The State Of Work is about finding your place in the changing world of work as an individual or an organization. In each episode, we dive into some of the benefits and limitations we’ve faced when it comes to remote and flexible work. We’ll discuss how we work, how we hire and manage people, and how we live in this increasingly global workplace. I’m your host, Maddie Duke. And in this episode we hear from Ricardo Fernandez, General Manager in Spain at Limehome, a business that’s leading the digital revolution in the hospitality industry to find new standards in convenience, comfort and design. Ricardo is someone with over 10 years of experience working remotely and distributed teams. In a previous position, Ricardo led a global expansion into the US and India while working remotely from Spain. In his current position at Limehome, Ricardo is tasked with building and scaling a new business with the added challenge of a global pandemic. Ricardo shared with me some helpful advice for building a team and scaling a business when you yourself are remote. The State Of Work is brought to you by Lano, an important tool for building and scaling remote teams. Lano makes it easy to hire the best talent on the planet, wherever they may be. Lano makes it easy to hire and pay the best talent on the planet. I’m speaking now with Ricardo Fernandez currently based in Madrid. Ricardo has a long career in remote work, having lived in about seven different countries, and managing teams of people across many countries and time zones. Ricardo, thanks for joining me on The State Of Work.

Ricardo Fernandez  02:00

Pleasure. Thank you for having me, Maddie.

Maddie Duke  02:02

Thank you. So Ricardo, you were hired as the general manager in Spain at Limehome, right when the pandemic was really taking hold of the world in 2020, and tasked with scaling the team there. Can you tell me what that was like?

Ricardo Fernandez  02:18

So I started with Limhome, the first of April of last year, we had agreed, end of January/start of February, to start off in April. And obviously, when I had agreed we

Maddie Duke02:34

…weren’t planning on a pandemic?

Ricardo Fernandez  02:34

..the pandemic hadn’t really started. No, no, I mean, you started hearing a few things that were happening. But the idea was, you know, to set up an office set up teams scale really fast. And obviously, the first question I had on the first of April was no, do we even begin? And how does it actually begin… like it does.. what does it look like? So yeah, so it definitely changed a lot at the start. We know so we we basically kind of took a step back and said: okay, well, there’s 100 different scenarios of how this could play out, you know, from the most aggressive, horrible one of like doomsday scenario to like, hey, this will recover in, you know, in one month. So the first decision that we made is like, let’s play this out, you know, month by month, review how things are going to scale and grow. So both myself and the head of business development, we kicked it off in Spain. We realized what the current situation is. So we didn’t actually start full-time. We started, you know, working three, four days a week, to kind of manage a little bit of the growth, but we started doing our job, you know, we started doing our job remotely. Funnily enough, you know, we were both based in Madrid, the head of business development myself, but the head of business billing got stuck in Malaga, in the south of Spain, because he’s originally from there, and a year and one month afterwards, he’s still living there. So things that weren’t being planned, actually happen. And you know, it’s going extremely well… excellent. And we organized it very well too, you know, to work remotely and traveled to Madrid, etc. But we had to plan on a day to day, you know, how things were evolving and making the right decisions.

Maddie Duke  04:17

Yeah. And I mean, talking about that, like, how do you like what, what kind of steps do you take when you’re working remotely and trying to scale a new business in a new location.

Ricardo Fernandez  04:29

So luckily, this isn’t my first working from home experience. I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. So this is actually my fourth company that I’ve been, I’ve been scaling remotely. The first one was a company based in Barcelona, which is kind of easy, but you know, back in the day in 2012, then I worked with an Italian company and then for six years, I was scaling a company called Prodigy Finance. Where I was based in Madrid, I was employee number 25. And we could grow to 300 people, well being based in Madrid with teams in, in New York, which I’ve scaled in Cape Town, in London, in India and around Europe, so that. So, I mean, it was definitely something not new. For me what was new is that everyone was doing it. And that was what was really interesting. So, before, I always used to have to combine, you know, a 24 hour trip to go see someone, especially when you’re growing and scaling, you’re doing a lot of business development, talking to partners, talking to clients, learning what to do. The challenge that we had here is that everyone was stuck at home. So, it would have been very complicated. The mentality of the last 10 years was still happening. But the reality is that everyone was getting on Zoom, everyone was talking virtually, obviously, you know, people with different technological savviness. But, you know, we were able to, to start doing our business development, which is basically talking to two property owners funds, real estate developers about renting, which is the part of business development that Limehome does, which basically, it rents out properties from 10 to 100, apartments from large owners for for 10 to 20 years, and then rent them out and short term and midterm stays. So we were able to do that from our house. So in the middle of the crazy pandemic that hit Madrid, which was April, May, and even June, you know, I was at home and doing five, six, Google and Zoom/Hangout meetings, which would have never ever, ever happened before, because of the way that the real estate industry gets played out that you, you shake hands, you have a lunch, you talk about business, you talk about the world. And this was all happening on Zoom. And actually, we got to close our first deals, our first properties, all while doing these things remotely, which have never ever happened. So I think there was a change in mindset that allowed this remoteness to work, which is going to continue in the future for sure. 

Maddie Duke  07:09

Yeah. And have you had to hire people remotely as well? Like, what’s it like, kind of growing internally when everyone’s remote?

Ricardo Fernandez  07:18

Yeah, so we made the conscious decision at the start in April. So let’s hire when we need people, you know, we obviously need to manage the cash flow, it’s, you know, we don’t know if this is going to be a 12 month scenario, or, you know, 24 months scenario, two months scenario. So as the head of business development and myself, you know, so we started scaling, and we actually hired our first employee, a junior person to help us grow in May. And we made the conscious decision, which is a complicated one, was to actually base this person in Germany, because we are actually a German company. For two very important reasons. And this was, you know, big learnings, big learnings for me, I think, having worked remotely the last few years, you know, helped me to quickly to quickly make decisions, but it made no sense to have an office in Spain. At that time, you know, we were working, you know, from our house, who couldn’t even leave the house, in many instances, to getting a coworking where we wouldn’t be able to interact, and it wasn’t great. And actually, in Germany, the COVID situation was, you know, was much easier, you know, people were going to the office a lot more often, you know, the first wave that hit Spain, you know, was actually quite light in Germany. So there was still that culture work environment happening in our German headquarters, with about 100 people working there. And the second one is that it was a junior person. So, you know, one of my learnings working remotely is like, is that hiring and training junior people is quite tough. When you’re not spending physical time with them. So not just about teaching them, you know, what about the company, you know, interacting with clients, but it’s about how do you work? How do you send an email? How do you manage a meeting? You know, how do you talk to clients? How do you interact in the office? Yeah, I mean, yeah, you got to think a lot of people that are, you know, just out of university, you know, they’ve, they’ve sent emails that were, you know, from the university, but they never sent the word email, they never talked, they’re, you know, in a work scenario, they’re never been in a meeting. So, we would not be able to provide that comfort and that learning experience that most junior people need in the first couple of months without being in an office environment, or at least a hybrid office environment or a couple of days a week. So we’ve made the addition of basing this person in Germany. 

Maddie Duke  09:33

Right, so that person could have access to other team members and learn those things 

Ricardo Fernandez  09:38

Exactly. 

Maddie Duke  09:39

Funny like to think back on for sure. I know personally, the foundations of my way I approach professional communications and emailing definitely stems from my first sort of career job out of studying, you know. 

Ricardo Fernandez  09:54

Yeah, being able to interact with your colleagues, you know, being able to see what the boss is doing. 

Maddie Duke  10:00

Yeah, just enter the next person and say, does this look, you know, does this look right to you? Or, you know, should I email this person or go to them? Or call them or lots of questions that juniors would probably have?  

Ricardo Fernandez  10:12

Yeah. And if you’re in a vacuum, it’s hard to know what is right or wrong in many, many customers times, and the worst thing is doing something, you know, for five or six days, that is not the best way to do it. So having that, you know, those other people around really gives that support system, which is one of the challenges of upscaling remote teams with junior people. 

Maddie Duke  10:32

Yep. Do you think that there’s a place for local get togethers or remote kind of coworking or sorry, not remote, but like for remote employees who do live in similar areas to kind of get together and co work together? Or even to create a local office? Like, what do you think that the role of a physical office has in remote teams, even if it’s not the head office?

Ricardo Fernandez  10:59

Yeah, so so after the first, you know, five, six, tough months of COVID, I’ll share my you know, my personal experience, and then I’ll and then I’ll share kind of two big points, which I think are relevant here for, you know, for remote working and, and kind of organizing events. So after five or six months, we actually got a coworking and it made sense, that was always the plan. And we’ve had it, you know, we sometimes there’s two people, sometimes zero, sometimes it’s eight of us in the office, but a place where people can mix, people can interact, we can define our culture, we can transfer that company culture for from Germany, I think there’s a huge, huge value of these local offices. And I think they’re fundamental for scaling successful startups and scaling successful companies being in a coworking that’s, that’s up to, you know, the size of the company, you know, what their needs are, I think, being in a company, when you’re a small group, and with the current situation of the hybrid bottle makes even more sense. Just because you also impact the energy of other people in the coworking, you know, sometimes. Imagine you’re a team of 10 people, you go to a co working you by yourself that the only two people in the coworking even if you have your own office, you get that, you know, that energy, that vibes that that interaction with other people at the coworking. So I think there’s a huge value even in you know, the future model of remote working to have that coworking and even if by yourself, like, you know, the next country was set up, I think there would be a lot of value to have a co working place. And this is where the whole hybrid model, which I’m a fan of, I think comes into play, I think they’ll definitely be hybrid work situations going forward. And that’s what you know, employees will demand. So definitely remote offices and the coworking and then they actually meet another big need, which will be organizing events and get togethers. So you might not need any more a huge headquarter office that can have all of the people locally coming in the in the home office and spending time together, you could actually, there could be this concept of event places where you go for two, three days, you know, maybe two times a year to develop those strong working relationships, that culture, that trust that getting to know each other with a little bit of like social mixing, etc. And that doesn’t need to happen in headquarters anymore. It could be in another place. But it’s about that physical interaction that will make companies be more successful. So I think this is a really interesting concept that hasn’t really played out much in the past because it hasn’t been in need. It’s always in the headquarters, which I think will get some attention, right in the coming years.

Maddie Duke  13:44

Yeah. Have you ever engaged in virtual team building exercises, if you got some good examples of what companies can do, like, especially right now, where a lot of team members might not still be able to travel, depending on the COVID situation where they are. 

Ricardo Fernandez  14:00

So I’ll share three different scenarios. successes, failures, and, and something in between. So I think companies need to try it. So I’ll start off with the failure. So in Germany, things have become quite tough with with restrictions, so a lot less people in the office and for a young team, like Limehome, we needed that interaction. So we tried to use a software where we try to recreate this situation of being in an office where you actually were logged in all day, you would move yourself from like a virtual table to another virtual table. You couldn’t drag and see where people are, you know, we pushed it out to the organization of about 100 people – complete failure. No interaction, no need it was to force there wasn’t a natural evolution of it especially because we have other tools like email, like Slack, like Google, etc, where we get enough of that interaction. So a pure software solution was a complete failure, in my opinion. And you know, after I think three days or five days of trying it out, it was good that we tried it. But we realized that didn’t work out, then. So an event that actually was quite successful was we had a Christmas party, purely virtual three hours, where there were close to the 100 of us in it. And two things that made it very successful, we had a great host. So it was someone on the people team, and she did that excellent job. You know, adding jokes makes it. Yeah, the emcee, but a virtual emcee. 

Maddie Duke  15:46

Someone has to really lead those things. 

Ricardo Fernandez  15:49

Yeah, she was funny, she did it really well, like it was really good. And so she organized games, so everything that she did, I mean, we were three hours, all on the internet. Like with all these, we use Zoom, like all their, like interactive. So that was very successful. And the other thing that made it very successful is that, you know, we the team actually sent everyone, you know, a wine bottle and some goodies and some things. So there was also a physical interaction while doing it. So night and day of the software and, and then the actual, you know, emceeing event. And actually, I think it created quite, quite a nice vibe and mood, 

Maddie Duke  16:25

…and the intentionality and planning that goes behind it. I think that’s something that a lot of people are learning. And we’ve sort of touched on in a previous episode where things like this, sometimes it feels like they’re just happening naturally. And it’s working. But often, there’s someone that’s put a lot of intention and a lot of time into planning and making sure that something like that is facilitated really well, especially if the team aren’t feeling too motivated to kind of do it intrinsically. So that’s really great. But that’s a great story. I’m really happy that that worked so well. 

Ricardo Fernandez  16:57

Yeah, so the halfway one was actually a very recent one, I think it’s closer to the to the higher than, than the lower. Okay, so we had an OKR session. So OKRs is what is the performance tool that we use Limehome, quite new for us as an organization. First time, we actually use OKRs, to basically set goals and targets. And we did it all while being virtual. So we organized during two weeks, a kind of OKR session fair, where we reviewed all the other OKRs from other areas, shared them, we had Q and As and questions. And while doing everything remotely, it was actually quite effective with all the different sessions. So we organized like an initial session that we had a coffee chat, and then we had beers where we actually had different Q and As about different OKRs. And we were able to replicate a lot of the interaction that would happen while being physically of something that you know, is quite important, you know, after reviewing like six months of work, but then we did like a tiny bit of the physical interaction to make it really, really top. But definitely it’s closer to the Christmas party than a pure virtual virtual setting. So that’s great. Yeah, no, we’re learning for sure. But people take for granted how much preparation needs to happen. Absolutely. And this fundamental and especially young companies, like they take it for granted, 

Maddie Duke  18:16

Often a thankless task as well being that person that has to kind of like, be really resilient and kind of push people to engage. Especially, I mean, I’m not saying your team was unmotivated. But I know like there are situations where a team is kind of lacking in connection with one another, and motivation to socialize, and they just kind of want to do the job and leave. And this can be in an offline culture as well. Of course, being someone who’s trying to re-engage and animate those people can be such a difficult task, and I really admire people that do that successfully.

Ricardo Fernandez  18:56

Yeah, no, I agree.

Maddie Duke  19:00

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Do you have some tips on how to get the most out of your team when you’re distributed and in different places? I know you’ve had a lot of experience managing people across many countries and time zones, you know, particularly when you’ve got people in different time zones. It just must be quite a task and I’d love to hear your advice to people who might be struggling with that.

Ricardo Fernandez  20:00

Yeah, so I think there’s three things that I’ve focused on my career to, to, to kind of help manage remote teams, you know, from a manager’s perspective. And also from a company perspective, the first one, which I touched upon before, was using a good tool for measuring performance. And specifically, we use OKRs. And I’ve used it now in three different companies where it’s something very tangible, something that you can measure, and then something that can be shared very easily amongst the organization. So when an organization is remote based or spread out in different ways, you need to be able to share in an effective way, you know, how do you know what other people are doing. So I think OKRs fulfill both the giving purpose to an individual from a performance and being able to measure them objectively, as well as that sharing, which, which I’m a big fan of. So I think using OKRs is a really powerful tool. The second one, which, which I think it’s not only for remote working, but I think it’s even more more important for remote working is, you really need to understand what is what is an individual want to get out of their job of what are their career aspirations, what are the objectives, and I think it’s, it’s a quality of good managers always to do that. But when you’re remote, you need to actually spend more time on that you need to not just have like a 30 minute catch up on performance tasks, you know, what you’re doing, but actually, you know, how are you feeling, it’s replacing that, you know, water cooler conversation that, you know, happens in the office, you know, by by doing it remotely, so, need to understanding and then making a specific plan for each of those individuals to make sure that they’re happy. And they get the most out of so, you know, and if you develop that relationship, they’ll tell you, look, look, I’m missing the interaction with people I’m missing, you know, doing my job, that’s fine, I’m missing more client interaction, you know, but I think it’s fundamental having that open honesty between employee and manager even more. So when, when you’re working remotely. And then the last one, which has been a growing pain for me, you know, my the 20 years that I’ve been working now, is regarding meetings, when you are working remotely, you end up potentially doing more meetings than you should. And I think, actually, that’s been one of the learnings of the last 12 months for many people that they’re like, oh my god, we’re meeting all day. And especially when you’re on video, it’s even more tiring than when you’re physically meeting. But you need to make meetings much more effective when you’re online. So we measure a lot more the impact of the meetings, we organize them a lot more, you always have a calendar of, you know, what the purpose is, what the objectives are and who the people are going to join. And if they don’t fulfill that you don’t have the meeting, or you cancel the meeting, or you get rid of the meeting and you modify it. When you’re doing things virtually, it’s like it brings everything out in the light a lot more a lot more than when you do things physically, where you’re just dragging 10 people and you have a meeting. So kind of one of my big learnings is that I’ve actually reduced a lot of the hours that I spend on meetings, I used to, you know, in my past jobs, maybe it’s been 40 or 40% of all my work time on meetings. Now, I would say it’s about, you know, 10% 15%, and then I have sporadic ones, you know, to solve problems, so you can jump on meetings, or calls much easier. But I think that one is something that, you know, people need to learn and how to be more effective. And then when you’re not, you know, in a growth technology based startup, you know, it’s a different culture from a corporate one, you know, politics, how it works out, etc. Which, you know, luckily, it makes it a lot more lean and smooth. But I’m a big fan of reducing the number of hours of meetings and actually being effective.

Maddie Duke  23:47

Yeah, I mean, that’s also something a lot of people often say like this, you know, there’s the meme this, this email could have been no, this meeting could have been in email. It’s funny, because just to add a personal anecdote I much earlier on in my career, I was in a team that very rarely had meetings. And actually, we probably could have done with more to really align. My view is sometimes like this email chain, or like this Slack channel could have been an amazing balance, right, of like, finding out what needs a meeting and what needs just an update. Yeah, like, it’s so crucial. Yeah, I think that’s a really good tip. What about when you’ve got, you know, several different time zones? How do you manage to schedule meetings? Do you end up doing a meeting with the team that’s in the Northern Hemisphere, and then a meeting with the team that’s on the other side of the world? Or like, how have you managed that in the past? 

Ricardo Fernandez  24:45

That was a tricky one. And I and I had that issue for about four years. In my previous job, where we had a team, you know, based in the US, luckily they were Eastern Standard Time. Then we had India then we had the hub in Europe. We felt it was very important to have a global meeting where everyone got to interact. Initially, I made the mistake where it was too often we did it, we did it weekly. And it was just too much of a work effort, because it would be really early in the morning for the US. And then late at night in India. So we reduced it to once a month. And we were able to create that, you know, interaction, you know, to create that bond between people. But then from an effectiveness perspective, it needs to be small numbers of groups, like we had this one meeting that ended up being about 20-25 people at the end, it was in effect that it was more of an update meeting. Yeah, I think I took too long. And I should have changed that into an email or potentially a Slack update. But I was using it as kind of a way for people to interact and to get to know each other a little bit better, but not successfully. So it wasn’t the right way to do it. But yeah, I don’t think it can be forced if you need to be a small number of people. And the timezones need to be respected. Because if not like we end up working at one o’clock in the morning at 6am. And it’s an and we’re not effective in our day to day. 

Maddie Duke  26:06

And it’s so hard to establish healthy boundaries with work when you’ve got that time shift of regularly working really late into the night.

Ricardo Fernandez  26:15

Yeah, no, no, I agree. Luckily, in Europe, I think we were spoiled that we’re kind of like in the center of the time zone. So we always, unless it’s like a heavily Asia-focused company, or heavily US-focused company, but the time zones in Europe are normally not too bad. In general, it’s the LA coast one and the sometimes the Asia ones get all completely out of whack.

Maddie Duke  26:37

Yeah. But it’s good for you know, for any listeners who are kind of teetering on the edge of like, maybe looking to hire in a completely different time zone that it is possible, you know, it’s possible to get 

Ricardo Fernandez  26:49

…yeah, for sure. 

Maddie Duke  26:50

And it’s just about sometimes trying and doing a bit of trial and error. And then yeah, listening to people like you who’ve kind of been doing it for 10 years and kind of know what works usually. So, yeah, it’s really great. So earlier, you mentioned hybrid teams, and that, that your view is that’s probably the way most companies are going to be heading. Can you elaborate a little bit about that? 

Ricardo Fernandez  27:16

Yeah. So I think at the start of COVID, people were thinking, Oh, you know, this is just something that’s gonna last, you know, a couple of months. And then when things were getting advanced people like, or where they went to the other extreme, like, oh, everyone’s going to go remote. And then companies were starting to tell people to go back into the office. And then you know, some of the companies telling you, you never need to go back to the office, I think there’s kind of a built up consensus, there’s going to be some sort of hybrid work model. And, by hybrid work model, I mean, that there always be some sort of office, they’re probably going to be smaller, there’s going to be probably more impact of coworking spaces for even smaller companies. But it’s a place where people will be able to go and interact, and work and then spend time together. But the fact that you know you’ll be able to work 1,2,3, 4 days from home, I don’t think is going to disappear. And I think it makes it even more important to take into account that to hire top talent, you’re going to have to offer these things because we saw that for one year, we saw that some people were more effective. And you were able to lower your costs. So why takeaway something that works? Well, people enjoy it, it just doesn’t make sense. So this hybrid work model, which is kind of what we’re we’re pushing Limehome, as we grow with different countries, and definitely you know, with how we’re testing it in Spain, as then we’re always going to have a fixed spot where everyone can go, now I’m planning on going, you know, a couple of days of the week, whenever anyone needs me to join, you’ll have more of a social interaction in a lot of these a lot of these places. But in order to hire top talent, you’re going to have to offer that possibility of working from home. And even if you offer the possibility of let’s say, You’re not even in the city. So for example, you know, our head of business development is based in Malaga, you know, he comes to Madrid once every two, you know, two times a month or one time a month, you know, for meetings to interact with the team. From a cost perspective, it makes complete sense, you know, you’re able to attract that talent, you’re able to retain that talent. So I think companies will not, well there’ll be an eight shift in the way they do things in order to adapt to employees’ needs in a way that they never really thought about before. So I think it’ll be very interesting how this hybrid model plays out how different structures will come into play to allow for the social interaction that maybe doesn’t happen as much in an office. And then what will be eliminated as a lot of these short trips that were just for a business trip for like one day or like even for like a two hour meeting. And we’ll increase a lot more of that social interaction. Going back to headquarters, spending time with headquarters to interact, to spend time with a culture, you know, to absorb, which I think makes a lot of sense for credit, solid and powerful companies.

Maddie Duke  30:08

Do you see any risks involved in terms of like, if you’ve got a hybrid team and some people are required to be in the office? And some odd, I don’t know, do you see any risks there or like, 

Ricardo Fernandez  30:22

So it’s a very valid point, I think we’re all still learning. So I think the main thing is, you need to be able to, as long as you can measure performance, and as long as you’re, you’re doing what you need to do, because there are some roles that you need to go more into the office, you know, it just, it’s just the way that it is just some roles that need to travel more, you know, more in client interaction. So I think people need to, like self reflect, there needs to be transparency in the organization, the rules need to be set for everyone the same, but then everyone needs to take into account what their role means and what that impacts for, for day to day. And I’m sure there’s gonna be issues that will be, you know, that will be raised. I am sure a little you know, there’ll be a lot of like, small gossip conversations, especially larger, like larger companies that, you know, that could create problems in the future. And this is where, you know, maturity, you know, over communicating culture, transparency all come into play to make it successful. But the main thing is, like, if you really look at these last 12 months we’ve been able to perform well, while working remotely before we thought that people would be slackers, you know, it was only a few random people like myself that work remotely. And we had to actually overcompensate, sometimes for communication overcompensate for traveling. And now that’s not needed as much because everyone else is doing it, and people are responding. So it’s a big, it’s a big change. But I think there are some companies that will suffer, which don’t have a strong culture. We know we don’t set good guidelines, which don’t, you know, communicate well, but I think most will be really successful. I think people will just be happier, which is, which is something great for society in general. 

Maddie Duke  32:07

Yeah, exactly. And, I mean, there’s so many resources out there for people who want to learn how to manage teams that are remote or partly remote. So I think it’s just all about learning and being open to learning. Yeah, do you have any last tips for anyone who’s maybe in a similar position to where you were a year ago, where they’re trying to scale and, you know, a pretty new business, when they themselves are remote, and, and separate from the rest of their team. 

Ricardo Fernandez  32:40

I mean, the key is to give it a shot, you’ll be scared, there always be, you know, 10 things you can think of that could go wrong. But it can be done, you know, I’m not the only person who has done this, you know, there’ve been 1000s of companies that have been created remotely during this crisis, and there’s probably like 10s of 1000s more that will be created. So, you know, my, you know, my advice would be, you know, take a risk. Don’t be scared, if you only find the negatives, you’ll, you’ll never move forward. You know, there are always more negatives at the start than positives. But there’s a lot of things that can be added by, you know, by working remotely, you know, from making use of time just being efficient, and just the quality of life that one can, you know, that one can have I mean, I’ve the last 10 years, I’ve reduced about an hour of commute every single every single day, five times a week. I mean, that’s, I don’t know, 1000s and 1000s of hours that I’ve saved in my life that I get to dedicate to other things, reading, learning more, spending time with friends, then time with family, my kids, so, you know, don’t be scared.

Maddie Duke  33:51

I think that’s a really wonderful reminder as well. If you’re working remotely or you’re working from home, make the most of it and enjoy it. Because yeah, you’ve got an opportunity to change your lifestyle a little bit and live where you want to live and be doing, yeah, spending the time on the other things that make you happy. 

Ricardo Fernandez  34:13

So thank you a lot for this chance to share my thoughts and reflections of yours in the last year. 

Maddie Duke  34:19

So thank you. It’s been really, really great to have you on the podcast. The State Of Work is available wherever you listen to podcasts. Find us on Instagram or Twitter by searching for “the state of work”. We’d love to hear from you. For more information on anything we talked about in this episode, and links to further reading, check out our shownotes at podcast.lano.io Thanks for listening and see you next time on The State Of Work.