Office to Officeless

When espousing the benefits of Distributed Teams, as I often do, I’m often told “but Luke, remote work wouldn’t succeed in my business”. And do you know what? You’re right.

Is it possible to transition from office to officeless? Not with that attitude.

There’s only one thing you need in order to successfully launch a Distributed Team:

Distributed Teams require a core value level commitment.

What do I mean by that? Most businesses have a foundational set of core guiding principles. Jason Cohen, Founder and CTO of WP Engine, taught me that these are fundamental to any successful enterprise. In order for remote work to be successful, your business needs to have a deeply held cultural prioritisation of remote work.

Let me be plain: if remote work doesn’t become a core value of your business, it will fail. If remote work isn’t culturally significant, teams won’t be empowered to make distributed decisions.

But all is not lost. Workplace culture is hard to change overnight. Here’s a simple strategy that will help you transition.

Team-Based Values. Working with one team at a time, introduce the idea that a team can define their own core values, complimentary to the overarching values of your company. Remote work can be one of them.

Before long, team by team, you will transition toward a company-wide cultural commitment to remote work.

Don’t make the mistake of transitioning one person at a time, or everyone at once. This isolates people, and doesn’t give you any chance to learn as you go. Keep people working together in teams, and let them take ownership over your conversion to a fully distributed workplace.

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