Giant Peach has become a remote-first business, and our team is happier and often more productive as a result. We wanted to explain how we came to this decision and, maybe, help other companies to determine whether it’s the right move for them.
Our concerns about going remote
This decision was not made lightly, and there were plenty of pros and cons to weigh up. Our concerns were that we’d lose who we are as a company; our culture which we have worked hard to get right for all of us would weaken as a result of a fractured team.
We were worried that we’d hardly see each other anymore. Most significantly, we wondered if maybe we were just clinging on to the comfort of working from home after doing it for so long during the pandemic – when really we just needed to get back to ‘normal’ and into the office.
All of these concerns were valid, and we had to entertain them in order to make the right choice. Importantly, we had to make this decision together.
Reframing our concept of remote working
Giant Peach Founder, James, came to a realisation that helped us make our final decision:
“The pandemic forced us to work from home, but more than that, it gave us an opportunity to test a new model that most companies would never have dared to. We’re now experiencing remote working post-pandemic, it’s different, it’s not just working from home it’s working remotely; work from anywhere, and we are now starting to enjoy that freedom”.
Reframing our concept of remote work was what really swayed us. There have been so many changes throughout history that seemed scary or wrong at first, but have led to fantastic results. Remote working could be one of our greatest success stories – an entire workforce generation who get to be in charge of their own schedules – imagine that!
Further to this, working ‘from home’ doesn’t have to mean spending your 9-5 in your home office and forgetting how to interact with humans in real life. It can mean working from coffee shops, working from abroad, working from your parents house who rarely saw you before (except for during tightly scheduled holiday time). The biggest pro for us was that it means seeing more of the people who matter to us.
The benefits of remote working
We’ve found that productivity has been the same, if not better in some instances. Largely because the team is encouraged to work when they feel most productive, instead of sticking to the traditional 9-5 workday. For those who want to, this means starting at 7am and finishing before 5 pm. For others, it means starting a little later and working through till 7 pm.
From a business standpoint, remote work opens up our pool of potential employees because hiring is no longer constrained by location. We can now hire people from all over the country and even beyond, as opposed to having a talent pool that is restricted to a 15-mile radius around the office.
How we’ve adapted to remote working
Team cohesion and company culture isn’t impossible remotely – but it’s definitely different. We’ve worked hard together to understand what our remote culture is, and we continue to implement new ways to keep us all collaborating and interacting just as much as we would have before. We have regular virtual catch-ups, quizzes, general chin wags, and of course we’re always firing slack messages back and forth.
We’ve also kept our fingers strongly on the pulse when it comes to team days. We recently visited the New Forest Waterpark – lots of fun! We enjoy scheduling group dinners, and also had a great time together at Ascot races. It’s exciting to plan these events, and we have a few more in the pipeline for 2023.
Going remote has been a difficult decision to make; we loved our office and we’ve had some great times in it, but remote working comes with too many benefits to ignore. All of us have a better work-life balance now. We get to see our family more, we can exercise during the work day and we have more scope to tailor our workspace set ups to our individual needs. For us, this was the right decision.