Chapter 29: It's all remote to me


Demos Demetriou

Chapter 29: It's all remote to me

Earlier this year we made a decision which was difficult at the time. We went from all working in an office to working remotely. There were two main drivers for such a decision, one was the renewal of our lease which was a further 5-year commitment in a location that was not suited to us, the other was the ongoing cost. Given Steph and Nargis are so used to working in an office environment, it was a tough pill to swallow.

At the time Nargis and Steph were not convinced it was the right thing for us because they were worried about whether we would remain productive. How many teams would have a concern like that! Yet again it shows the support and commitment they have for Marlin.

After 8 months of working remotely it’s actually hard to believe we even worked in an office. We often laugh and question how much work we were doing while working from our office because we are so productive now. It really feels like in the last 8 months we have done at least 12 months’ work.

Weekly Meetings

We meet once a week at a coffee shop close to all of our homes and if required for meetings we will travel to London. The coffee shop is not like the plush office that we once had but that doesn’t mean anything at all, it’s just always nice to see each other face to face and thrash out new ideas. With Slack and Zoom we are contactable all through the rest of the week. Modern technology has made this possible and it’s amazing how many other businesses are adopting the same practice. For us it will be a while before we commit to another office given how well we are working remotely even as our team expands. It’s an unnecessary cost at this stage and one we are keen to avoid for as long as possible.

That said, in order for remote working to really work you have to trust your team and they have to trust you. I’ve never questioned the amount of hours Steph and Nargis work or what time they sign on in the mornings and leave at night. They are more than capable of managing their own time and they know how much work needs to be done. As you already know they go over and above what is required every day and I’m very grateful for that.

With access to an address and some meeting space when we need it in The Shard, we have it all covered. Just the travelling time alone to/from our old office has saved me 8 hours a week so I can lay in bed for longer… NOT! 8 hours a week is like gaining half a working day in the week, no wonder we are so productive. Not to mention the benefits to the environment (Steph has really rubbed off on me!!).

Less expenses and more productivity. Sounds perfect right? Well not quite… The only negative point I can find is that it’s easy to get involved in things and not get out too much to see people. Granted in recent months it has been all hands-on deck getting the new versions of the app released so naturally we have all been in front of our machines more than ever. Now the major updates are done it gives us more time to get out and speak to more employers, investors and other service providers which is equally as important.

Getting Out

For the first time in a long time I attended a tech show last week, Tech Day London. If you’ve been you will know how good it is. It was buzzing with tech startups with a number of them pitching on stage which was great to see. I had some great conversations with other founders and it was a reminder to me just how important it is to still get out there and see other founders, keep track of new technology and the journey others are on. It was a great inspiration to see others in action. It’s also a great opportunity to tell others about our own journey and I made the most of it. It’s so easy to forget how important getting out there is while you are drowning under a never-ending list of things to do but it’s something I’m really trying to do more of in the coming months.

On the note of getting out we exhibited at HOST 2019 last week. It was a great conference and it was our first one. We spoke to lots of visitors who had a great interest in how we are making recruitment easier. We also spoke to lots of other startups who are working on some really interesting businesses. Their founders were an inspiration as were the talks that we listened too. These ranged from marketing and SEO tips to new technology in the rentalpreneur space.

There will be many more events we will be attending until the end of this year so hopefully our growing list of job seekers and employers will see us on our travels and meet us personally.

Until next time…