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The benefits of being a distributed team

We’ve had two offices since 2006. They were beautiful, spacious, and creative environments. But over time, the novelty wore off and we had a hard time justifying the overhead.

We realized that we didn’t need a traditional office space to be a productive and inspired group. In fact, we learned that having the freedom to work where and how we wanted brought out the best in us—and we think it could help you too. Here are a few things we’ve learned since ditching our offices.

You’ll get the most out of people

With a distributed team, it’s almost impossible to adhere to a “normal” work schedule. However, we have learned that people tend to do their best work when they’re able to naturally ease in to a comfortable mental and physical zone. For example, if someone isn’t a morning person, it’s unrealistic to expect maximum productivity from them if they’re a zombie until 11am. If someone prefers spending time with their family in the morning and working on client deliverables in the evening, that’s fine by us as long as the work gets done and client expectations are met. Which leads me to my next (and very important) point…

With great power, comes great responsibility

Being a distributed team with a non-traditional work schedule means that everyone has to conform to a high-level of personal accountability. In other words, missing a deadline is a big no-no ’round these parts. Luckily, if you can find the right people, you’ll have a team that becomes personally invested in the success of each project. If everyone has a stake in the work that’s going out, each team member feels that communal sense of pride.

Collaborating can be fun

Working as a distributed team has become a lot easier over the past few years. There are a slew of online tools that make it easier than ever to work together seamlessly. One such application has quickly become our favorite. You guessed it, it’s Slack. In less than six months, Slack has become the heartbeat of our company. Whether on our computers, laptops, tablets, or phones, we are able to keep up with discussions, deadlines, file transfers, and more in real-time. Our team enjoys using it and it has become an indispensable part of our in-house communication.

Strongbox West

We are also members of Strongbox West, a co-working space in Atlanta. If we all need to meet face-to-face to discuss a project, having the option to gather at a more traditional office space is a fantastic way to collaborate without the expensive monthly office overhead.

You can look for talent all over the world

Although the majority of our team is based in the U.S., we do have team members that work outside of the country. In fact, we’ve had the good fortune to work with folks internationally in Canada, Belgium, Norway, and Wales. By widening our net, we are able to find and attract all types of people from all walks of life. Our company culture is enriched greatly with so many different life experiences, and for me, this is by far the most beneficial part of being a distributed team.

Are you part of a distributed team? Have you been curious about being part of a distributed team, but have your doubts? Let us know in the comments below.

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