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An IRL Fireside Chat w/ Daphnée Laforest

An IRL fireside chat all about remote work & the future of work. The importance of IRLs, async is the future, team building & more


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Here's the recap....This was the 1st podcast about remote work done IRL. I recently visited Berlin to meet a bunch of folks I've built relationships with remotely over the past few years. I was super excited to meet my new remote BFF, Daphnee, to record a joint podcast. We dove into multiple topics critical to the future of work. Like the importance of face-to-face time for remote teams, async by default is the future of work, team building, and so much more.


Daphnée on Linkedin

Daphnée on Twitter

Daphnée's Consulting business

Daphnée's awesome remote podcast


 


 

Daphnée - [01:09 - 01:13]

Hey, Scott.


Scott - [01:13 - 01:15]

Hey, Daphne. How are you?


Daphnée - [01:15 - 01:18]

Good, good. I'm really happy that you are here in Berlin.


Scott - [01:18 - 01:34]

I'm excited to be here. It's been a couple of years in the making. I was supposed to come before the pandemic to do some mentoring of startups and it kind of fell through at the last moment. And I needed a vacation and I've been meeting a lot of people in Berlin over the last few years and I said, Hey, let me, let me go over there and check it out.


Daphnée - [01:34 - 01:53]

It's definitely a good place to go on a holiday to meet people. Definitely a good place to network and it's so nice to have you here and to bring you to this really cool studio that we have here that is in the factory building. I had a recording, um, a few weeks back with another Start Founder. Then we were just like, this is so cool.


Scott - [01:53 - 02:14]

I really like doing in person, so please come I'm super excited and I've been doing on my podcast, we're in season three, so I've been doing it for almost two years now of remote. Absolutely. About remote. And this is going to be my first in real-life episode, so I'm like super excited. Like, wow, this is so different from real, from Zoom. It's like a real person. It's not a box.


Daphnée - [02:14 - 02:32]

Yeah. It's funny because even for broadcasting, like the remote recording was like a weird thing in the beginning. It's like, how do you do this remotely? Yeah. And now it's actually defaulting to that. Absolutely. And coming back to like in real life, it's actually really nice to meet in person also. Doesn't have to be always remote. That always digital.


Scott - [02:32 - 03:02]

Absolutely. I mean, if you speak with any of us, right? Remote OGs have been doing this long enough. Right. We all tell you it's an absolute necessity to get people together in real life, you know? And the relationships that you build virtually versus in person are absolutely totally different and much stronger in real life. So getting us together, that's why I'm super stoked now, just to be able to, now we've been talking for a year plus. other people I've met here I've been speaking with for almost two years. Just to be able to sit with them for a b or sit with them for lunch and just see them and interact with them in person. It's been so exciting.


Daphnée - [03:02 - 03:36]

It does, you know, foster much more strong connections and it's, it's important to still meet in real life. People are like, how do you build a strong culture remotely? Like what kind of like, happy hours on Zoom should I do and everything? It's like, I mean, of course during the pandemic you were stuck. There were no options to meet in person. But a mostly remote company that's been there for a year will always tell you that. Well, we always had, you know, a meetup there or like a conference to go to, to meet up with people or go to a coworking with people. Like was never just remote. Just digital.


Scott - [03:36 - 04:43]

Correct. I mean, there's unfortunately, cuz of Covid and what had happened, there was always this big perception of, you know, all remote. We're this, like that image of a hacker, right? You're in your dark bedroom with like the sweatshirt, uh, know over your head and like dark isolated from the world. Again, you talk to any of us that have been doing this long enough or like, no, you need to get your team together and people together as often as you possibly can. And it's extremely important and the relationships that you have in real life are much stronger. And like I felt that being, you know, doing this remote thing for 10 and a half years, working for Envision for many years. Finally got to do an il I think in 2000 February, 2019. And me, I'm a huge extrovert. I love meeting people. I would talk to my team every day virtually. And the relationships that we had before the irl, the four days in the US, and the four and the time after were totally different. Like the bonds that we just sitting by the bonfire, having a coffee together, eating lunch together, whatever it was, brought us together at a deeper level than we ever were able to do. Again, I, I check in every day. I was doing a five minute FaceTime Zoom calls with my team almost every day. But just that opportunity to sit next to him is completely game changing.


Daphnée - [04:43 - 04:48]

But do you need that every day to be able to bond in a Team?


Scott - [04:48 - 05:05]

No, def definitely not. Just for me, again, just my personality. Like I, I love meeting people and I love talking to people. So I would, what I used to do would envision was I'd open Slack and see who's online. I'd close my eyes, scroll down, flick, pick on somebody random and be like, Hey Daphne, I'm Scott, I'm in Israel. You wanna jump on a Zoom call for five minutes?


Daphnée - [05:05 - 05:08]

you Annoying person on Slack would just want to talk All the time.


Scott - [05:08 - 06:16]

But people loved it. I mean people like people loved that opportunity because again, but with Slack for so long it was just text in the box. Yeah. even for us remote companies, we used video incorrectly for all these years. Like we used it for meetings where the real opportunity is on, on building, on building relationships. Cuz that's as close as you were going to get. And I spoke through somebody yesterday about this like video is, I can see your face, I can see your body language, I can hear your voice. And having that all in one place is extremely important. That's as close as you're going to get to replicate that in real life experience. So why video is so important, but nobody used it for just, how's it going? How was the game? How was your weekend? Did your kid do this? Did you kid do that? And for me, that was my purpose. I would just reach out and after the first or second time doing it with one, they would, people start reaching out to me like, Hey, what are we doing our next five minute FaceTime? Like, they just loved that opportunity to get outside texts out of a box, have a kinda a random conversation, see a person's face, hear their voice. And it was just so exciting and so different that people again weren't doing. Um, so again, you could definitely build relationships virtually of course, but having lived with opportunities to get individual team people together, getting the whole team together and the whole company together is crucially important.


Daphnée - [06:16 - 07:05]

Yeah. I feel like the fact that it's really is happening just once in a while, like right now we, we meet while not meet again for a year or two in person, you know, um, it really strengthens the relationships, but it's like everything you've built before and you work back and forth, you kind of like, you don't get tired and like people because you know, you work with them day to day and you focus on your work and you collaborate and everything. But then once you are meeting, then you really focusing on, on creating this connection of having fun, of like, you know, having a good time and you don't really think about all the work that needs to happen and everything. You just focus on the relationship that you're building. And then it's super strong after and you continue later and then it's kind of, you, you, you refill the battery of like energy, social energy and then you can continue for another year.


Scott - [07:05 - 08:07]

Yeah, absolutely. No, how important IRLs are, again, company team now, we'll maybe get into it a little bit later, right? You don't get to see each other more than once, twice, three times a year, however much it is. So it's extremely important and crucially important that you have, we'll call that virtual engagement. So team fun and team building and individual conversations in between that to kind of get you between those relationships. Okay, you met in person, and you and I connected today, great conversations, we're gonna have a great day together. Then some amount of time either I'll come back to Berlin, you'll come to Israel, we'll meet somewhere in the middle. But if that's like the only conversations that we have, okay, but if we continue to collaborate and talk and chat, whatever different channels in between, that relationship will from coming from this where we were before here today and then going on again, you need that opportunity to keep building on what you've built in person and then kind of give you that wind in the sales to get you to the next time in your person. Which then again gives you a lot more energy then keep on recycling that idea. But again, it's true having both pieces of the virtual and the IL or the only way to build a real culture within, uh, within a remote company.


Daphnée - [08:07 - 09:40]

Yeah, well definitely, and I think it's still like really on the mind of companies, you know, that I see at modern leaders is companies are just kind of trying to see like how can I, you know, create more connection with my team. Of course there is the IRL and they will, they will try to organize meetups and upsize and people are trying to do that as well. But they are wanting to say, well if we are staying remote first and we want to do that and we wanna do it, well how can our people be, you know, feeling close to each other? And it seems to always be like, how can we organize events that are the kind of things we were doing before? Yeah. But now in a virtual environment. And I feel like it's maybe not the right approach to, I dunno what you think about that. Like, I feel like when you are trying to make everything like copying from, okay, we knew that this was working well, we had like these meetups and these, these meet these drinks time and then we're gonna try to do a virtual drink or virtual yoga class. And like, have you been on like your computer all day and you been on, like, it's not really what you wanna do. But if you once, if you reduce everything, if like in general teams are starting to eliminate the amount of meetings that they have, so then when they do have gatherings, Praise The lower right. No. Cause the thing is they start to have like, they have so many meetings, like I say like, okay, I have four meetings a day, and then they don't wanna get in another meeting to do like a hangout because they're exhausted. Daphnée - [09:40 - 10:32]

They just wanna get away from their computer in the end. Like what they want is tell them away that they can eliminate the amount of meetings that they don't need and then focus on those times to really create foster connection and create like fun. I, I called meetings now workshops. Yeah. And I'm like, your meeting should be a workshop. It's like, is this, is this a workshop that Yeah. You know, they will come together, collaborate, change ideas, and then get out key action items. And that was actually a key moment of the day where they felt like things moved forward. Or it's just kind of like I show up and I say like, Hey, I worked on that last week and then this week I'm working on this. And like, that's it for me. And then there's like 20 people back to back doing that, doing their standups. And it's just like, why did we waste that hour? And think about the cost of that meeting as well. Like if you think about all the salaries of everybody, like is this a $2,000 meeting? Is that worth it to have the standup of this? You know?


Scott - [10:32 - 11:27]

Yeah, Absolutely not. And the way I've been running my teams, especially the lead this past year has been all pretty much all work is ay by default, right? Mm-hmm. if you're doing the daily standups, the way I run my team meetings or my one on ones, the work portion, it's all right? If, if most of that's informational, so like why do we need to get the people together for, Hey Scott, okay, what did you work on yesterday? What are you working on today? What are your roadblocks? Mm-hmm. let me just push that in Slack and then everyone can read it their own time and like done. And if there's any challenges, hey, I hadn't mentioned, hey, I need dne, I need your help with X. Okay. You get that at mention, it means you have a task item and you clear that we need to be on a call where I say, Hey Daphnee, can you gimme whatever? Absolutely not one on ones team meetings. Historically what it's been, right? I, I created PowerPoint presentation or Google slide and then for 30 or 16 minutes I read word by word by word. And you'd sit there like, God, why? Why couldn't you just send me the freaking document? I would've, I would've read it.


Daphnée - [11:27 - 11:30]

Or A loom, you know, if you really wanna explain, explain it to People.


Scott - [11:30 - 13:01]

Exactly. So that's what I've been doing. I've been creating slides, creating a video, walking through it, giving the extra context. I send it on Mondays saying, Hey, you have two days to look through it, ask questions, collaborate, so on so forth. Then we have synchronous time on Wednesdays, either one on ones or team meetings where it's relationship building. So team, team meetings, it's all we do is play games or get to know you things like, there's nothing to do about work, it's just relationship building. And the one on ones are also very similar. It's like, Hey Daph, how are you? How was your weekend? How was your, how's your kid? How was this, how was the trip? Like where, and again, also helping focus on professional development. Like what have you been working on? What have you been developing? How can I be helpful? It has nothing to do with work, right? Mm-hmm. Because all that stuff in essence can be and should be done. Um, virtually, to go back to your point about those kind of virtual yoga classes, I definitely think there's a place for them and I think there's value for them. I've had a couple of those companies that are building those platforms, uh, on my podcast. I think the biggest miss for those and the biggest thing that's missing, it's the interaction between people that you can't get mm-hmm. So for example, if in the office you happen to do a cooking class, right? You get the team together, you're making some kind of something, right? We have that opportunity for interaction, right? We could do a food fight, I could take, uh, no flower and throw it at you and you could, you can't do that virtually. And if it's somebody, again, similarly teaching you how to play chess or teaching you how, to taste wine or teaching you how to make whatever it is, each person is their own space, cooking it, doing it, tasting it by themselves.


Scott - [13:01 - 13:46]

And there isn't that interaction. So those virtual events really need to be focused on how do you actually create those interactions between people. So how do you do those things as a team? So it could be like an escape room or a team, something, but again, it has to be something that we interact with each other versus we all just kind of sit and learn something, which again, are totally useless. Um, but then I think it's creating a lot of different things. You know, we do, like in the team fund, we do kind of a co-working half an hour, hour. So we just open up a butter meeting and say, Hey people you wanna join? Great. You don't wanna join, that's great too. You wanna drop in, you wanna drop out, talk about work, talk about life, whatever you wanna do, book clubs, whatever it is. Just come up different creative ideas just to try again, focus on the relationship building.


Daphnée - [13:46 - 14:31]

I like what you mentioned, you said the coworking time. And I think I really need that too. Like having, again, pro asynchronous communication for like productivity to be able to be effective in different time zones and not having to rely on people. But I like to cowork and just be like, you put your camera on and we're just kind of like both working. We have this like each other's company, you know, one company like I would even pay for that and never use like, uh, focus Mate, which is like a nap that allows you to be with someone else working and you each other have like a, a goal to to do. So. Example, you have like 30 minutes session and then you tell your goal at the beginning and then at the end of the session you would say like, what you've got done and it just feels like someone is also working. So you're gonna be productive during that time. But it's also nice with your colleague as well.


Scott - [14:31 - 14:35]

Yeah, it's interesting there's an app called Groove. I, I spoke with the founder.


Daphnée - [14:35 - 14:36]

I think it's similar to that idea.


Scott - [14:36 - 15:18]

Yeah. Similar to idea. I wonder if it's like personality for me. I'm like, okay, we we're all sitting there in silence like, okay, I'm in some document, right? I'm in notion I'm in whatever tool. So I don't really see you unless, okay, you have some kind of presence, whatever tool you're using, it's on top of the actual screen and like the corner. But there's no interaction, there's nothing like, at least for me, is there any value of that time versus again, more of a cowork session of me asking questions or collaborating or Yeah. Maybe Is a founder like, hey I'm, I'm running to this issue. I mean that's what always surprised me about co-working spaces. Like the first time we worked and walked into a WeWork space, I'm like, holy crap, this is just a brilliant idea. And but then I kind of found as more co-working spaces.


Daphnée - [15:18 - 15:19]

Like You're, it's a library.


Scott - [15:19 - 15:44]

You're, yeah, you're in fishbowls, right? You're all your class box with like the door closed. And for me, the idea of coworking was, hey, I'm the founder. I'm running into some kind of issue about something and I'm in like the public space and there's a bunch of people on the couches kind of hanging out and I say, Hey everybody, love your feedback. I'm running to this issue. I throw it up on the whiteboard. You have 10 people there. Like, gimme your ideas, gimme your feedback. Like help me. They Won't like you I mean essence like that.


Daphnée - [15:44 - 16:32]

It doesn't work actually. I know that's the purpose of, I think these even factory where we are. And it's like, that's the idea. You're creating a space, people can connect and everything, but the reality is like people go to cuing space, they go to be productive and to be in their bubble in a professional environment without having to, to talk to other people. And like SOAs for me, for example, I, I don't like the office because there's this pressure of having to socialize, having to be, cuz it's actually part of your professional self. You're supposed to be talking to other people and be like, Hey, how are you doing? And then you're like, always have to be interrupted. And when you come working space, you don't have to do that. You can just continue working on your stuff. And then if you wanna be social, there might be some events you can join a lunch. And it's kind of the you the compartmentalize Wait.


Scott - [16:32 - 16:33]

Yeah, Yeah. Compartmentalize.


Daphnée - [16:33 - 17:11]

Yeah. Sorry, my words is filming. Sometimes it's coming this morning, but it's just not the, you don't have the pressure. And I think that's, if you do that now, like the coing space maybe that I've been in Asia or in other countries where it was very focused on solopreneurs and joining and really trying to build a community. There's a bit more of that. But when you go and like bigger coworking space like that, it's really just made to like have a place to work like a library. Like I, and I also, I wouldn't like it if I was to go to the record space and have someone like you and I just like, Shut up Scott. Can I just, I just come here like my children are not here. I can just focus right now and just have a time for me to not talk to me.


Scott - [17:11 - 17:13]

your startup sucks. Just go Away.


Daphnée - [17:13 - 17:45]

No, I mean I would love to have lunch with you, but like, please let me work. You know, this is how I think I would, I would feel bad think it's like, yeah, it's the weird thing about coworking spaces is like, it's a bit of an in between. I think it's a productive, uh, tool, but it is why people like would rather work in a co space than go to the office and have to do all the small talk. They don't want a small talk. But I do wanna know everything about your startups and, and feel like you know how it can help you. But you know, in its own times, you know. I hear you. Am I like a, am I a kill toy for you?


Scott - [17:45 - 17:49]

Sounds like maybe you're more introverted to the extroverted.


Daphnée - [17:49 - 18:49]

I'm very extroverted. Like, I mean, I guess most people know me as an extrovert person in general, but I do need, you know, my, my battery to be, uh, I hear you feel back and I, and I love talking to, to you and I love, you know, I'm very welcoming. I think you see like, I really like, you know, join us and everything and I love people, but I think that's why like in the remote, remote first mindset and then people now say, I don't wanna come back to the office and I wanna be like independent of my own. They don't necessarily want to have the pressure of, of collaborating. Uh, I know I'm kind of like going multiple places there. It just makes me think that connection is important and, but at the same time, like it's good to have a place for them to happen when we know like that it's like you can just put your work aside and just really just have a good time and not always mixed both together at the same time. It's not always like the most productive thing, which I think that's why people hide in their home to work instead of wanting to go to the office. I hear that's my 2 cent.


Scott - [18:49 - 18:54]

I just try to avoid the 60 minute commute and like that just, nobody wants that.


Daphnée - [18:54 - 19:18]

I just did that to come here to that co-working space because I love this place. No, cause this place where it's just sometime you just need also to get out of your day to day working from home can be very daunting as well. Like the reason why people, like I would, if I was to go to an office, if I worked for a company, I would go to be able to change scenery to just have see people to socialize. I wouldn't go there to get to Work done.


Scott - [19:18 - 20:28]

Absolutely. I mean the, the office is no long into place for work and companies need to intentionally now redesign their office for a purpose. And you see companies like Salesforce and Atlassian are redesigning the office to give you in theory a reason to come when you wanna come. So like today here, you've, you've came 60 minutes for the factor for the, the podcast studio for the other amenities that they have here. Mm-hmm. right? You're coming once in a while. It's, it's not every day. Okay. You have, you have a nice podcast studio and you have a nice kitchen, you have nice whatever, but you don't wanna commute 60 minutes. I don't care what they offer you. You're not coming 60 minutes every day. But when you decide, hey, you know what, it'd be nice or I wanna record something or I wanna have walk by the canals. Okay? When you choose, you wanna do it and then you do it. And that's again, what companies need to understand. Eight essential headquarters needs to go. Cuz again, 60 minute commute is a 60 minute commute. But if you keep it, you need to redesign the space to have a specific purpose for, again, for team building, relationship building, not for work. And give a reason for people to want to come there again, having some amenities or whatever to when I, when I want a massage or when I, I wanna know a custom gourmet, uh, no chef, uh, meal. Okay, I'm gonna come, I'm gonna come for that.


Daphnée - [20:28 - 21:33]

There are highly collaborative rooms, you know, like that you can already recreate at home or digitally. It's nice. You have like all the virtual tools, a virtual online board. It's, you can do a lot on this, but sometimes if you wanna really have this kind of energy of back and forth and you wanna like draw and you wanna put like, you know, you want just to feel the energy of the excitement for an idea in the morning and just build momentum. Like it does really help to have in person time for that. And I always say that you can find replacements online, but it is something very special to connect with people in person. Absolutely. So I would never like deny that, you know? Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, I wanna go back to, you mentioned like asy earlier where you were trying to build something asy first. Yep. So like, like most people know that I'm like a super pro async and I'm basically like that's what I focus my whole, you know, work at the moment where I just like train teams to transition to ay to like optimize the how they work Yep. To work while, uh, asynchronously. And I'm a big kind of gu for this. What's your 2 cent? Like what's your take on, on asynchronous?


Scott - [21:33 - 23:08]

Like Yeah, absolutely. So remote is no longer a benefit. It's no longer a tool. It's where we work. Mm-hmm. and many companies obviously pivoted to that for one reason or another during the pandemic. Um, most of those companies are not doing it right. We'll get to that in a, in a couple minutes. So the next step is how we work. And that's going to be asynchronous by default. Yeah. But we're Aim, We're a good 18 to 24 months away from getting to that point where most of remote companies today, and this is a conversation I've had especially a lot around the idea of a head of remote role or some kind of remote experience type role. Most companies do not need this role cuz they're not, they're not doing the remote that we envision and that is the right way to do remote. Right. They're still hiring us only or central Europe only. They're doing synchronous meetings all day long. Like they're not implementing the best practices of remote and you're not going to be successful in a remote environment when you're kind of holding onto those old ways of doing things instead of moving obviously to, to the future. So, you know, many of these companies again, I I've worked with, I've consulted, I've helped. Again, they're still stuck in these old ways of doing, oh, we need, we need meetings and we need to get people together. Like, no, you don't. And then that's why I know the company that I'm with cloud app, I know the team was moving towards like a four day work week earlier in the year. The only way for a four day work week to work is the company has to be a by default. So immediately after the first week I was there, my teams completely moved to, to async, uh, by default model, you know, team meetings and one-on ones were all done asynchronously.


Scott - [23:08 - 23:20]

The relationship building stuff was done synchronously. Which again, my opinions, that's the way to do it, but the rest of the company wasn't there. The rest of the company is still slowly moving that direction And yeah, it's hard to move.


Daphnée - [23:20 - 23:56]

The thing is, it is a bit of a top down thing that should happen. You can work slowly per team, but the main barrier that I see is they're like, yeah, we wanna do that. Our team wants to do that. It will have like, it will work with one specific department and it will become all a synchronous, but then when the company have 1000 employees, they're like, yeah, but I work cross-functionally with all these people. Like how can I make them change stores that like the leadership and the C-suite, they really need to be like vouching for that idea to, to work. I feel like teams need to actually pitch it to the leadership team and really like show the benefits of like why it's important to do it.


Scott - [23:56 - 24:21]

Absolutely. I mean it really has to be kind of pull the bandaid. I mean you can go asynchronous over a number of weeks in different ways, but in essence you have to force the entire organization to, to do it. Um, you know, my customer experience teams were facing by default, but the sales teams were very much like, oh, the sales teams, you need to be synchronous, right? You need to have virtual high fives. You need to know feed off these under generations. Right. I had Ryan Burke.


Daphnée - [24:21 - 24:24]

Yeah, I was about to say you had that right, right on your podcast Too.


Scott - [24:24 - 24:37]

So that was like a specific thing. Hey, you've been building sales teams know starting when we work together and envision in other places, like, do you really need? And he's like, no. Right. Your synchronous time should be with customers. Which to me is absolutely right. Yeah.


Daphnée - [24:37 - 24:56]

Which is weird cause sales to me is the first thing that you could think it's easy to do because sales is already even in the work from anywhere mindset. Yeah. Sales have already, were always the people who were traveling to meet clients working on the road. Like it's the, it's the first nomads of, of corporations, you Know?


Scott - [24:56 - 26:20]

And it makes sense for sales to be, because in essence what, when you have that mind shift towards asynchronous, you have to move from the idea of present productivity based on presence to to output. Right? It doesn't matter how many hours I see you, I don't see you. It's based on what your output is. So sales is probably the best example. How many sales did you close? How many, how much revenue did you bring in? It's pretty much black and white to say either were productive or you weren't. I mean there's obviously reasons that you may not do them, but it's very clear that sales team doesn't need to be synchronous engineering most teams. And like a lot of conversations I've had and even trouble, it's like those operations teams like that don't have very clear deliverables. Right. That you make a policy change. Right? You've gone as, as a remote person or head of remote or HR person, whatever your roles removing async by default. How do you really measure that? You know, yes you can get feedback, pulse service before, how much are you frustrated with meetings? How many meetings you in as you're moving towards async you can get feedback and after, can you see the change of, okay, 90% of people were frustrated with the times how much meetings they were in during as you're moving it went down to 50 afterwards only 10% and engagement was higher and happiness was higher. But when there's no tangible output dollars, new features, blog posts, it's much more difficult to understand exactly what the output was there. Mm. Um, and it's I think the challenge that ops people have been having for a while. Um, yeah.


Daphnée - [26:20 - 27:26]

I just take a break. So I wanna come back to what you said about, um, you know, that it's not tangible enough when teams are trying to go async. There's this kind of like tangibility that they're trying to, to do. And I feel like it's because companies that are trying ay at a moment or are thinking about it, they kind of not necessarily first they don't necessarily understand why mm-hmm. going async. They kind of like hear it like everybody's talking about ay async is uh, what remote work is all about now. I don't think they actually understand what it means. Yeah. Like what is real ay and I don't think they know why is it actually useful for me to go away sync? It's actually just feels very overwhelming because now I have to write a lot. Um, I cannot talk to people. It feels slow. Like I feel like this is a, the kind of thing that we hear a lot at the moment or like that i I see from companies where I teach them how to work asy the main blockers they have is that well it feels slow, it feels overwhelming cause they don't actually understand the why behind it.


Scott - [27:26 - 28:53]

Yeah. Where, where to start here. Um, I think again, it starts with the most important word when it comes to remote intentionality, right? Yeah. When you're in an async, everything has to be intentional. And when you're remote, everything has to be intentional. Especially when, when it comes to asy. And I think people have been so caught up in that again, presence, the time presence, the physical presence. They don't understand I guess that people actually get work done without them having to check in. Which is a baffling kind of concept. We, we spoke about before in sales teams. Like, hey, you closed the sale, you pushed this new feature, you pushed whatever. Like, hey, you were, you were, you were productive today. And then operations, like how, how you kind of see tangible things without clear output. But I think the real, I think it's on two sides to asy number one, it's what we got out of the pandemic was it's not about remote work, it's about quality of life. People able to live their life doing the things they wanna do to things that makes them most happy with the people that must make them happy and work just kind of harmoniously sinks in, right? That's the future. Why there's been this whole quiet quitting and re great resignations and all these other things. People want to live their life and finally go from, hey, we live to work to we work to live the way it should be. So I think on a culture piece, it's inevitable and companies are going to have to embrace that because that's what the workers are, are demanding. Especially maybe Gen Z who've grown up in this world who have never come from an office based presence who are nine to five based, uh, nothing.


Scott - [28:53 - 29:39]

They're a, we're remote. I can just, you know, free land so I can do those things. So on one side it's very much that on the other side it's very much again, giving people the opportunity in the space for that output, right? The core tour, ay, it's switching from presence whether it's time or visibility again to the output that, that we mentioned before. So moving to that sense that if you're in meetings all day long or if you're doing check-ins or you're doing something that's not work based throughout your day, it's going to be quite difficult to actually get the output that you're expecting at a certain time. Right? As we kind of, I had mentioned before, the whole concept of a four day work week is only possible if you're asynchronous by default. If two of those days you're sitting in meetings kind of back to back, how you the hell are you gonna get your job done? It was like two days that I left not Gonna Yeah.


Daphnée - [29:39 - 29:45]

They're like, well in my Friday I'm happy to have a Friday with no meetings and then do my work all in that day. And I'm like, well no.


Scott - [29:45 - 31:13]

Exactly. So even the four day work week is a nice start, but eventually we're all gonna be kind of a freelance model where again, it's all based on I need this specific task by Wednesday at three o'clock central European time and what you do between now and then I could care less or it's up to you and, and enjoy it. Um, and to really understanding, okay, let me just look at the output. Let me just look at those features that you build. Let me just look at those. Whatever it is that output that sales that you've close and just being focused on that and that you as a manager and I, especially when I, when I moved to Israel and I was meeting with founders there and they were all fascinated by the idea of envision back when we were maybe at a hundred hundred 50 people and they're like, oh, I need to see my people, you know, doing this all day long. Mm-hmm. just imagine doing like a hand typing type motion. Just imagine that animated gif with a cat, you know, typing on the, uh, the keyboard, which I always use. Um, I said in a nice way, like, you're just an idiot, right? If you are a developer, at the end of the day you push code to GitHub. If you're a designer, you push like design to division, whatever model. So if I really wanted to see that you did work today, I'd just go into said cloud based system and see is your output there? end of story, but still we're still stuck. Yeah. I think it's really getting to that point where, okay, I just, I needed this and I would argue with them. I said, in essence, when you come in on a Monday morning or Sunday in Israel at the end of the week, if you break down all the way to the root, really what you care about as a founder, as a leader on Thursday in Israel Friday, where else did you get that new feature out? Did you get whatever it is done? Yes. Great. No, something that needs to be, yeah.


Daphnée - [31:18 - 32:53]

So what you did leave the rest of the week not, not as important, But I wanna go back to you said, you know, 18 to 24 months from now, people will actually be ay by default, which is like how you say this earlier you were like, praise lord, Lord Like it's just like I feel like it, it, this is my, my main mission right now is to help companies to transfer to and this kind of async by default method and understand like what does async means and why you need async. And actually just look at companies that were fully remote for a really long time. Mm-hmm. and how they've been working. A lot of them have been working in the open source mindset. Yep. Like search for this kind of terminology. And when you understand the why, like it's actually functions better if you are a global distributed organization to work in the fact, in the way that you do not need people to work at the same time. It's not, forget the word ay and sync and this technicality. It's like, think about what is work if you take time away from it and you just kind of focus on the actual back to back work that needs to happen as a roadmap of like everything that needs to happen. Like, do you actually need people to be in the same place? No, no, absolutely not. And what will happen if I, I like to think about it as like, you know, in two years it's gonna be async by default. It's more like before we talked about agile. Agile yeah. It was like it's agile. We are working agile, come join us, we're agile and now it's gonna be like we're async, we work like a timeless manner. Daphnée - [32:53 - 33:22]

You're flexible and everything. Yeah. It's actually, yeah, relearning how, how you work and how you move the blocks of the things that get need to get done in order for your project to move forward and everything. It's just a new methodology that that's all like, it's not like some just guru like, you know, like praise async as the mastery religion of of remote work, you know, and I mean there's so much science and physiology based on this.


Scott - [33:22 - 34:38]

I was listening to a, a podcast, uh, the Huberman Lab podcast, big fan of that. And uh, they did one a few weeks ago bringing research where the average human being has two to 360 to 90 minute creative sessions that are physically, you know, biologically possible, right? So in a whole day you have literally two or three blocks of 60 to 90 minutes where you have like that creative flow and like the, the juices in your brain are really working. So, and it also obviously depends when you wake up. I said if you wake up at let's say seven o'clock, know that first and all kind of times based on like 90 minute schedule. So roughly that time block starts about let's say nine 30. And if you wanted to kind of move it back, let's say you start working at five o'clock. So now just imagine Scott wakes up seven o'clock do wake up, wakes up at five. So my creative flow Yeah, of course with kids, yeah, I'm in the same boat, but my creative flow time starts, let's say goes from nine 30 to 11 while yours goes from seven 30 to nine. So when we have different schedules, creative flow schedules, if we're now have the opportunity to do the work when we wanna do it, we're able to be productive at a time. So now when we think about asynchronous versus synchronous, right? When do most synchronous meetings happen?


Scott - [34:39 - 35:07]

Soon as you get in the morning, I hate it. Morning stand up and you gotta do this. So at the, let's go with my example, right? For the nine 30 to, so we'll stay work starts at nine o'clock. So at nine o'clock I have my first meeting, so nine to 10. So as my meetings are happen, like that's the maximum capacity, then my brain has possible to be as creative and, and yes, goal changing, life changing business, changing ideas. I'm sitting in a meeting listening to someone talk word for word for word, giving me some information.


Daphnée - [35:07 - 36:04]

I'm like, You losing my time and you, that's you're losing my time and you like, you're losing your best energy of the day. Like, and this is, yeah, part of the why of acing is like you want to like nurture the way your team work and as an individual, like all individual have different ways of work and you want them to be at their best, give them that flexibility to choose when is their best. And, and then tell you, I was told this recently, I had the recording for a podcast and that person said to me, I don't record or have meeting at that time and we're in different time zones. So I'm actually changing for a much later call because I want to make sure I respect the fact that, you know, you have that time but you're really focused and you do not want to have meetings. Even if time zone overlap, we're gonna find a time at some point they will work for both of us just so that uh, I can respect the time that is better for your productivity. And I think that's mainly big part of the why you would want to like change the, the setup to be aing first an organization.


Scott - [36:04 - 37:21]

Yeah. And, and look, right, you have a nine go with a nine to five schedule from the research that that's there in the best countries, four and a half out of those eight hours or nine hours, whatever you wanna call it actually work gets done. The other are wasted. So now take a four and a half hour block and now let's say the average person has two meetings, two hour long, two hours of meetings. So now you have two and a half hours of actual opportunity to do work. Again, if now we go into like the psychology flow and biology, if those two and a half hours don't sync up with those 90 minute blocks that I've created. So you're just kind of doing medium work at best. So every day you're giving people, hey, do kind of average work. That's only time you an opportunity you're gonna get. Versus again, moving more to the asynchronous deep work, work on your schedule, you know, like you're a mom, you're up at early in the morning. As soon as you get those kids out to school at seven o'clock in the morning, hey go start there and go in in your flow. You're a night owl, you wanna work at night again. Just get the job done when it needs to get ju when it needs to be done and everything else is, let me get outta your way. Right. Let me, let me give you uh, no roadblocks or make anything more difficult for you. Let me give you the best opportunities and the tools and things to be successful in the role in the job for the company that it can be. And that's certainly ay by default and being focused much more on like the deep work idea.


Daphnée - [37:21 - 38:09]

Yeah. And really love our conversation today. Like we just covered so much. I feel like it's a good wrap up of the year. You know, it's like a last, for me it's the last episode of the year and you know, to wrap up, you know, we talk about fostering connection and be like close to each other like that, you know, to be, it's nice to be in real life. Like right now we are in real life recording. Um, that, you know, although the theory of ay what else that we cover. I feel like we talked about so many different things. you know, the startups, everything. Yep. I think it's been a very good episode. And on a last note, you know, I want each, maybe we could say something about what do we feel like the year was like in 2022? Like in one sentence of like what was the main focus in your opinion and like what do you think is gonna be the main focus in the 2023?


Scott - [38:09 - 39:35]

I think that's, that's a great question. I think 2022 was very much affected by the economy. Mm-hmm. I think, I think quite negatively of lots of companies laying off people. And again, my, I'll spare my rant about, uh, no VC uh, money mm-hmm. things like that. Um, two 20 for, for 20 thing 23. I think it's really going to be around optimizing yes. Operations. Because again, the money's probably not going to be there. It's going to take time for the economy to recovery and then like money to be flowing again. So companies aren't going to be hiring tons of people. It's really kind of taking like what are you doing now? How do we improve it? How do we make things more effective? Um, so for me I think that's probably the, the big concept. Um, on the remote side, I think it's shifting more. I think the four day work week will become a bigger thing that we talk about because in the UK they've been trialing it everywhere. They've been trying like magically seems to work, right? People are actually get able to get worked on and they're happier. Like surprise, surprise. Well I could have told you this before this all thing started So I think the four day work week is going to be like, the new thing we talk about again is I think leading up like interrelated to Async. Um, I would love to see more about companies stop hiring locally. I don't know if that's going to happen this year. I mean it needs to stop cause It's already happening.


Daphnée - [39:35 - 39:37]

It depends which company you Guess it's happening.


Scott - [39:37 - 40:10]

But again, I think most companies are not doing remote the right way. But no, there's, there's no reason to hire locally anymore. Like 10 and a half years ago when we started Envision Envision it was either legal compliance cuz you didn't have the time, money, or effort to create a subsidiary in whatever country. And now companies like Deal and No Stern remote and and all them solve that issue for you. Yeah. Or was the idea of synchronous time and now we have asynchronous work so we don't all need to be synchronous at the same time. So there is no reason for hiring in the same country anymore. Mm-hmm. Um, so I would love to see that shift away, but That's awesome.


Daphnée - [40:10 - 41:43]

I like that everything you're talking about is like all in my agenda of like what I'm working on for 2023. So it's like really nice to hear that. Like I think in 2022 it was like discovering what hybrid means because they were like, yeah, yeah, we gonna be hybrid. You gonna always, you know, have both. And they tried to mix both, but the first year they could actually do it cause things were opening. Yep. Then realizing like, okay, like what, like what are we now? Like how are we they creating this equitable experience for both remote and in person and they see it as like a place to go to. And then, but then they didn't think about, okay, but what is the foundation of how we work? And this is like how they're like, okay, well actually we do need to think async and remote first because we need to have an equitable experience for everyone. Absolutely. So this year I think that it was a discovery about like, okay, we do need to recreate the foundation of the, our companies. Um, of course there was also the, the recession and everything and all the layoff definitely makes a big, a big deal. Like, okay, like now we have less people, we have to still get work done with less people and less uh, resources. So I love that you use the words optimize for 2023. Cuz this is like my mantra right now. So it's like companies need now to optimize for the new ways of work and really think about, okay, how we gonna like really think about a foundation of our organization, how we work, how we communicate, how is our onboarding, how is like everything the best optimization possible? And it fits perfectly with like what I'm, I'm aiming for for my clients.


Daphnée - [41:43 - 42:29]

Um, so I think, I think that the year's gonna be really like yeah, making work better. Yep. And, and just be like more effective structured. Yeah. Um, and the work from Anywhere program also is like another thing that that we do is like, you know, completely setting up like work from an Europe program. So you can't enable people to work from another location. Now people will start kind of requesting that more because the world open to them. Maybe the price will drop a little bit for the flies cause it's very expensive right now. But there is that need that is arising hiring compliantly still there to like hire from anywhere. So I think that, yeah, we're from anywhere You said more flexibility for culture, four days, work week optimization. Any last word?


Scott - [42:29 - 44:02]

Yeah, I think for, for the hybrid, I think it's a great point. Oh yeah, I like that you brought it up. Yeah. Cool. A point that I believe and have said as soon as the idea of hybrid came along, like the only hybrid model that will work and number one you get rid of the central headquarters. Again, I forget if we were on mic off Mike, we're speaking about this. I don't care what the hell you offer me in that office. 60 minute commute is a 60 minute commute. At the end of the day, I have zero desire to go 60 minutes to an office that's going to be replaced with Microspace. No a space. It's much closer to you. It's much more convenient. It's like a 10 minute walk or a 10 minute bike ride instead of like a 60 minute commute that's going to be then paired with how do you, again, you have to be remote first and how do you build that culture and everything has to be remote first. So I think 2023 hybrid will be focused on how do we move away from the central headquarters more towards like the microspace that are more convenient. Yeah. For 20. For 2024. Oh yeah. I think you already got, we're Going, we're going even farther beyond that. And of course as I said that in my mind just went blank of what I was gonna say. Um, ah, comes who owns engagement is something I'm very fascinated about. Right. For, for many years we talked about culture and engagement, a company's responsibility to build relationships, community engagement within the company. As we start moving to our microspace, there's no central headquarters. We're all working from different spaces. Does the company still own responsibility to build that engagement or does it kind of get put onto the local community where, hey, instead of trying to build a relationship here virtually and digitally all the time, we want you to get out to your own community.


Scott - [44:02 - 44:52]

Know things like GitLab and supporting. Okay, every once Friday a month you go, uh, volunteer in the community, wear your company t-shirt. Do we start involving more of that where then the community engagement piece falls more on the space itself? Where I think especially I'm a big believer that the real opportunity is taking spaces like bars and restaurants and hotels and libraries and community centers that aren't used during the day repurposing them for co-working. So now we have hundreds of options instead of tens. Uh, and now hey, I have to build a community and all these spaces are gonna have community managers for you to come work from our space instead of going for the hundreds of other spaces and building events and communities and mentorship and all those different things. And so who owns that relationship? Like who owns that engagement and that community piece, the community itself or the company itself.


Daphnée - [44:52 - 45:15]

So this is something I'm quite fascinated about and work a while away, but, uh, Well, we'll follow, uh, we'll follow along your journey on, on researching on that topic. Um, it's been really cool to have you here. Yeah. It's been on in B Berlin. It's nice to hang out. Yeah, for sure. Anybody who is coming to Berlin and likes podcasting and remote work, please reach out to me. I love to record in person. Awesome. So, uh, thank you so much for coming.


Scott - [45:15 - 45:17]

Yeah, thank you so much for having me and hosting me here.


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