The Lock-In Podcast is back with the first episode of 2021. Blacknight’s pandemic podcast is about how we live now and today we’re putting remote work under the microscope and talking to someone whose company committed themselves to it long before lockdowns were heard of.
Sean Brady from CloudAssist helps businesses to work remotely using Microsoft software and other tools. But he insists there’s more to it than technology. Successful remote working is about teamwork, trust, and a willingness to learn.
Click on the player below to play the podcast audio (download: 27:52; 19MB; MP3), or scroll down to watch the video.
I first met Sean at Congregation in 2018. In fact, we recorded a podcast in which he explained how his company had committed to abandoning business travel after taking part in the EU Climate Launchpad in 2016. Their research showed that each tonne of CO2 saved was equivalent to 3 days of productivity. In response they implented a no-visit rule and soon found themselves without the need for an office at all.
Looking back, it seems prescient from the viewpoint of these locked-down days. Some studies suggest as much as 40% of the European workforce began working from home last year.
“It’s all about teamwork and getting people to connect and work together and collaborate. And that’s the difference. We don’t want people to be on meetings and meetings and meetings from morning till night. We want them to be actually productive, but also to recognise the value of changing, not just the office, but also the way we work. Like, 9-5 does not exist for us. It’s a very important distinction. Obviously we do tend to maintain certain patterns … but we’re not trying to micromanage our people. In fact the whole idea is trust. You must trust your people … “
Sean recommends the book ‘Remote’, by Jason Fried.
Recently CloudAssist were involved in an RTE programme called My Uni Life. A young man named Sean Fogarty was one of a number of students featured in the series. Sean suffers from paraplegia following an accident and, for his Co-Op work experience at UL, he was taken on by CloudAssist. The company’s remote working model proved to be a perfect fit for Sean’s requirements. One of Sean’s assignments was to learn to drive a remote telepresence robot, using only eye tracking software. As a result, he can move a remote avatar autonomously, despite the fact that he does not have the ability to control his own wheelchair.
On the subject of working from home, Blacknight is delighted to announce that we’ve compiled a free PDF of the articles written by our work-from-home expert, Jonathan Thomas, over the past year. The Blacknight Guide to Working from Home covers everything from collaboration software to videocall strategies, working from home with kids and how to approach working from home for the first time.
[Shout out to my fishies! They’re from Aquariums.ie.]