It all happened very fast, but in the space of a few weeks, the company I work for, Human Made went global. I have been there 2 years now, based at an office in Matlock, Derbyshire. It’s a beautiful part of the world but not so great for finding WordPress developers. So they looked elsewhere, and have now hired 2 new developers who will work remotely. Paul is based in Brazil, and Daniel in the US. It all coincided with Theo buying a 1 way ticket to Australia. Suddenly, half the company was no longer in the office.
It was all very exciting, and really made me think about my 3 hour commute from Nottingham. So I decided to try this whole remote working thing too.
I don’t think its easy for a company to just change like this, but at first, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. We often don’t meet our clients face to face, and regularly work with people in the US. But good communication within the team is essential. Whilst we already had a lot of things in place to help with this when dealing with clients, internally it was a different story. When we have a chat over lunch, we will have to make an effort to involve people working elsewhere. But old habits are hard to break and Tom had already mentioned that he thought it might be easier if we were fully distributed. It really felt like it was the right time for me to stop coming into the office every day.
So as of this week, I will be working from the Antenna Media Center in Nottingham. I am a ‘virtual tennant’ and have access to a quiet work room as well as the cafe/bar. It seems like the perfect compromise between working in the Human Made office, and working at home in my pyjamas. Also, the internet is better here than in Matlock!
On a personal level I think it’s going to make a big difference to me. I can wander to work in 5 minutes, and don’t have to spend a fortune on train fare. I’ll be able to run before work, and cook dinner in the evening. Also, my girlfriend Kate works from home, so it will be great to meet for lunch sometimes.
I think that for a company to change, it has to happen fast. And it really feels like there is a lot of momentum right now. Daniel has a brought a lot of experience with distributed working from his previous position at Automattic, and he’s doing a great job of forcing us to work better. Its a really exciting time at Human Made, and hopefully we’ll be able to work with some of the best people from accross the world.