How to get remotely in a company that does not take remote employees?

    Working in home office is the dream of most copywriters. Embodying it, many of my colleagues went into freelancing, and some work on themselves officially. I am a full-time but remote employee of a Moscow company, and I think that I was very lucky.

    In the eight months since being employed at Mobile Dimension, I came to the office only four times: to meet and get training, for corporate events, for a large content-planning-rally with the team, and last weekend together with the guys I participated in the IT marathon RUNIT :) . In the rest of the time, we often communicate with the direct management and the project colleagues, but in a messenger or by telephone.

    The company's office is located about 400 km from my house, but the distance did not affect the effectiveness of the work, although at first Haychar, who considered me for a job in the state, had big doubts. Fortunately, I managed to quickly dispel them, and from this article you will learn how it all magically happened.

    Up to Mobile Dimension

    After seeing the vacancy of a copywriter from the Mobile Dimension, I “caught fire”, although at that time I worked by profession in two places at once. The company offered what it wanted to do for a long time, especially as the listed types of activities coincided with my capabilities, and the reviews about MD - with the idea of ​​the dream job. There was only one "but" - the employer wanted the employee to the office, which he immediately informed.

    It seems to be the end of the story. But I didn’t want to accept reality, and here the thought was born: maybe, they would take me as a freelancer to help a full-time specialist? I knew my strengths for sure - in what way I could help, and since the vacancy involved many different types of activities, this option, hypothetically, could suit everyone.

    I offered him in the cover letter to the response to the vacancy. The logic was simple: dozens of letters come to recruiters every day, which are deleted immediately after reading. And if my idea of ​​eychara doesn’t inspire, they will receive only one such email more. But now I could tell myself that I had used all the chances.

    All in

    Soon I was called back and sent a test task. In a conversation with an assistant to Eichar, I once again said that I was not ready to move to Moscow, but I wanted to work remotely. In response, she did not receive any specifics, but she completed the task just in case. A week later, the call from MD again - in principle, the company is ready to consider the possibility of remote collaboration. Only not on a partial, as I suggested, but on full-time employment, and, if anything, they will contact me.

    Two weeks later we were invited for an interview on Skype. There were two of them, both very fast, and both times they asked me: “If anything, can you come to study in Moscow?” “Yes!” I answered confidently.

    Almost immediately after the second interview, they sent an offer and an invitation to come to the office. After receiving the letter, many thoughts immediately arose: how to quickly resolve issues with current employment in several places, how to plan payments on a mortgage, and what, after all, to tell the family? I dismissed these questions - on the way to the goal they lost their urgency. Warmly saying goodbye, she quit everywhere, packed a suitcase and called a Moscow girlfriend: “Hello! Did you miss? Wait!


    For two weeks in Moscow I had to get acquainted with the team, the products of the company and go through adaptation. I read everything that was freely available about Mobile Dimension and its projects - I wanted to prepare a little before going to a new job. This information was very helpful when meeting with managers and colleagues. The new material is ideally “laid down” on the already learned from open sources, and I delved faster, although the scope of mobile development was unfamiliar.

    Two weeks later I returned home, with a list of urgent work and a plan for the future. Before we left, we talked with the immediate supervisor, who would write on those or other questions, what to do if there was no prompt response, what format and deadlines for the reports, etc. The instruction on remote interaction was formed in the process of dialogue - there was no template, as for me and the mentor such a format of teamwork was new. But it turned out a good improvisation, and in 10 minutes we discussed in detail all the key points.

    Home Office

    What changed in the apartment after I started working from home? Nothing. From the new - only habits. For example, in a timely manner to pay for the Internet or keep a diary - if some cases are transferred, write it down so that you do not forget. Everyone has their own work, no one will be reminded, but then they will ask ... Start the day with a cup of coffee. Smell it slowly, looking through e-mails - what users of the “Pregnancy Calendar” application write to. If asked, I answer, because in addition to copywriting, I also deal with them.

    Having consulted the future mothers, I proceed to the tasks of the projects. I have two internal business customers, and each has its own direction. Sometimes they assign urgent tasks at the same time - then I ask my colleagues to agree on what is more important between them. If there are a lot of obligatory and urgent tasks, I make a weekly plan with an indication of the approximate deadline for each. In the event that something objectively “does not fit”, we transfer it to a later period.

    The weekly plan is not the only Google-table, useful in remote work. I have got such electronic documents for each internal process:

    • creating company product descriptions - for questioning project managers;
    • processing of existing texts - to account for information materials;
    • support of the work of translators - to control the deadlines for payment and payment of articles;

    The most primitive spreadsheets were very helpful: it was convenient for me and the management could immediately see the result of work in all areas. In addition, on Fridays, everyone in our department draws up a download plan for projects in Jira for the week ahead and indicates that it was implemented from the previously planned.

    How did you pass the trial period?

    Someone remote work is relaxing. However, this did not happen to me, and this is why:

    1. I have the same work day as the Mobile Dimension office staff. Yes, nobody controls me, but I am my own strictest judge. We have quite clear arrangements for the time “coming to work” to coincide as much as possible with our colleagues from Moscow, with whom I work in direct conjunction.
    2. Term, anyway, is for each task. It’s ugly to fail, and even then I’ll get frustrated, and when it comes to content planning for social networks or other team work, then the work of the rest of the department depends on the timing of my tasks. But what a good mood when everything is done, especially as the result is visible!
    3. I am not on my own. If you need help, I appeal to my colleagues and promptly receive feedback. When I ask myself, I also try to answer right away. All this keeps us in good shape and helps not to feel that they are “somewhere out there”, and I am here and alone.
    4. I want to do more than they expect from me. It is necessary to justify the trust that is so easy to lose!

    And a little more about trust

    The idea is that now nothing bothers me to sit somewhere on the beach, sip a cocktail and create an illusion of activity - no one from MD keeps his finger on the pulse. But, even if you do not take the moral and ethical side of the question, how long will it last and what will happen next? For me, the answer is obvious, I have to work at work.

    However, I do not exclude the possibility of staying in the resort area outside the holidays. But it will be a comfortable room with high-speed Internet - so that the change of location does not affect the quality and duration of the workflow. And most importantly, such a trip is possible only if the office does not mind.

    I inform my colleagues on all organizational issues. You need to step aside even for 20 minutes - I warn you, although I remain in touch by phone and in messengers, and, in fact, no one would notice a short absence. But this is the answer to trust. As well as working out the time spent "on myself" on the same day.

    HR comment

    Anya Matafonova, HR Manager

    Working with remote employees is always a greater risk. And, as Katya rightly says, the basis of this interaction is trust: the company is going to meet a person, and the person is a company. In this particular case, we found each other, but this is not always the case. More often, office work is more effective side by side.

    According to a Hays study , employers see a whole range of disadvantages in hiring remote employees:

    We also had doubts about the possibility of such a format of interaction, but, having weighed all the pros and cons, we decided to take the risk. This is a great opportunity to build competence in dealing with remote workers and hone planning and time management skills. And most importantly, in all other parameters, Katya perfectly suited us and really wanted to work with us, and this is important.

    This is not to say that we argued for a long time. The distance between “oh, oh no” and “let's do an offer” was quickly reduced after the first interview and disappeared after the second.

    We chose faithful assistants:

    1. Jira for scheduling tasks on time and priority.
    2. Skype and Telegram for weekly team trips with discussion of work results, current and future tasks.

    Katya worked in the office for the first two weeks to make it easier for us to get used to the new format. It is for her to join the tasks, make friends with the team, find out how everything works and how communication will be built in the future, for us to have extra time to make sure that we were not mistaken in choosing a candidate. Now her presence in the office is rarely needed. The team collects questions that require personal presence in Confluence, and during a business trip every couple of months, the guys close them. As practice has shown, there is almost nothing that can not be discussed by telephone, remotely.

    What does MD gain from the experience of interacting with remote employees:

    • Project managers and internal customers sharpen the skill of a clear and understandable statement of thoughts and setting tasks (as it is more difficult to describe a task by writing or calling than to put it and explain it personally)
    • Detailed and scrupulous work planning
    • Train self-control and responsibility for your team.

    However, for Mobile Dimension, remote employees are still the exception rather than the rule.

    Author: Katya Kuznetsova, copywriter and content manager

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