Paul Berkovic, CMO of Sydney-based ScribblePost, speaks to us about the advantages of having a remotely-based workforce, and also tells us about how ScribblePost’s product can improve the productivity of distributed teams.
How many employees and contractors do you have?
What’s the importance of location independence at your company?
Our product is all about working productively with anyone, anywhere! As a workforce we should no longer be limited by factors like location, business, or even the tools we use. We leverage this concept to work with great people all over the world: Australia, US, UK, Europe, India etc. It’s liberating to be able to find the best people anywhere, because looking only in your own neighbourhood is very limiting.
Did you start with the intention of having a distributed or nomadic team? If not, when did you decide to support people working remotely?
It came about naturally. We are a small team, but have a huge vision. To achieve our goals we need to leverage the expertise of people, and we can’t be limited to only the people in our own geography. It is also a great way of finding the right skill set at a reasonable price.
Are there important non-office workspaces in the history of building your company—a favorite coffee shop, bar or similar space?
Yes, the early versions of our product were built at the local library! It’s close, quiet, comfortable, has wi-fi… what else do you need? We eventually graduated to a co-working space, which also served the purpose really well and let us meet lots of great people.
What % of your company regularly works remotely?
Any advice or best practices for supporting the work styles of your teammates from a distance?
Yes, you need a product (www.scribblepost.com) that gives you the ability to communicate freely, while also tracking work that needs to get done. Clarity of communication is key. Ambiguity will ruin remote working relationships and make them very unproductive.
What types of places do your teammates choose to work from when remote?
Home, coffee shops, libraries, co-working spaces, even on the train / bus!
What qualities do you look for when hiring for a distributed team?
Cultural fit is key. We need people that are passionate about our vision. They need to be motivated to achieve the goals we have set in place. Working remotely can be a blessing, or a curse. If you are easily distracted, or not self disciplined it can be hard. However, if you are self-motivated, and understand the importance of reaching daily / weekly / monthly goals, then it can be very productive!
You’ve built a great product that helps the distributed workforce at large. Why did you choose to do that?
The business world currently relies on email to communicate and collaborate because no other tool transcends the limitations of geography, culture, business, and even technology. However, email is a terrible tool for tracking and managing work! We need a better way! We built ScribblePost as a new way to work that doesn’t rely on other people using ScribblePost… it syncs with your email and lets you track and manage all your important tasks so you can work productively with anyone, anywhere… that’s why we call it a Productivity Network!
What are your thoughts on Workfrom’s role in the way work is getting done—now and in the future?
We believe in empowering people to make their world the most productive world it can be. Each person is at the center of their own productivity network. Gone are the days of regimented, artificial, hierarchical structures. The future of work will be much more distributed and fluid. Workfrom is enabling people to grow their network in a physical way so they can be productive from anywhere… that is the way of the future!