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The possibility of working remotely at Angry Ventures was born from an obligation, but the transition between face-to-face work and digital work occurred quite smoothly, thanks to the methodologies we already had in place.
So, how did Angry Ventures become 100% remote?
Good question, hard answer.
The beginning of the remote work
First, it all starts because I have a function, which is being the facilitator of the organization’s management. I also like to call it the organization’s legal representative. And it starts with the belief, and the tension and discomfort, that a year and a half ago, in 2018, or even 2019, I did not believe it would be possible for a remote organization to have the same kind of results as an organization with an office place – where all the people are in the same space.
This is what I thought.
Angry Ventures begins with a process of principle development, perhaps already in the first or second year of its existence. Firstly, we began to create a methodology that supports us in our daily lives. The procedure essentially arises for us to become more autonomous and more responsible, making each of us have a kind of ability for action or response for action regarding everything in the organization. When challenges emerge, they are not only brought to one person, but they also are usually brought to more than one.
What does come with this Covid question, and what comes with this question that we somehow need to change the way we work?
To give here some context, we were two years in Praça de Espanha, then two years in Cais do Sodré, and finally, we changed in the last two years to Rato. In the previous two years at Rato, I want to believe that was the best space we had. We had an open space and, in my opinion, a big one of 100 m2, and it took us about six months to a year to assemble it. It took a lot of work because we had to set up almost everything from scratch – from air conditioning to systems for the presentations, and also a way to make the dailies with the people who were remote since we already had some people working in that format.
An obligation or a new window after a door closed?
The question is: how does Angry Ventures get somehow 100% remote? Angry Ventures turns 100% remote because we were actually forced to be. And the tension or discomfort that I felt from the beginning was that it was not possible. And there was a fear, at least on my part, that I thought, through an insight I had, that we had a kind of common energy or frequency that would replicate easier through personal than digital means.
The truth is that we – by being forced to work remotely, thanks to this pandemic – realized that our adaptation to the moment of not working together in a room to the one we are working digitally, each in their own homes, was less problematic than we thought.
What happened was that, because some systems were already helping us in our daily lives, they somehow and without much fuss, made us what we were, and the transition was too smooth.
It’s not that people were working harder or presenting better results. The truth is that people were proud that they could be working from wherever they wanted. And people liked (and like) the model. And because it gives them more freedom, it gives them a greater sense of control, and because it gives them more, it creates a responsibility on the people’s side that makes them animate that way of being, too.
Angry Ventures stays 100% in a remote model because it starts from an obligation. We didn’t reactively prepare remote work (it was without knowing it), but we prepared a way of working that, regardless of being remote work or not, helps us through our methodology to continue to be what we want to be.
And in fact, remote work, as an obligation, also changes a set of beliefs and turns beliefs into truths. And these tensions or these discomforts that are created through fears, and through soap operas or movies that we made, or that at least I made in my head, turn into a truth that no matter what happens, or no matter what is happening. In fact, people are much more excited now. So, because we want to continue to give strength to that spirit, we are not going back to the office. And that was the main decision.
Now, the truth is that we always have a possibility that we can ever do anything. And if we want to, go back to the office. We don’t have an office anymore, but we would get one. Or we get something else. And I think that’s the beauty of the possibility: of adjusting to what the challenges bring us.
In this case, the 100% remote came to us from an obligation, which yesterday created tension, today establishes a mood, but tomorrow I don’t know what will create. But in the next day, we will be here excited to try to understand the obstacle of that moment.
Do I recommend remote work?
One of the consequences of this spirit is that we began to realize that the fixed cost that we had with an office space allows us today to give more back to people, because we use this money almost as a kind of fund, fictional and internal, to make retreats. After 4 or 5 months of working in remote work mode, we realized that we needed to make more retreats. And we already did them, which gave us great conversations at six in the morning in a jacuzzi somewhere. And it also provides us with the ability to blur to focus and contribute more financially to people. It gives us the possibility to think ahead about what we want to do in the future.
Do I recommend remote work? No, I recommend that we first learn how to work. Because remote work is a consequence of work, remote is a consequence of work. So first we need to learn how to work and only then we can do remote work.
P.S. If you are interested in remote work, you might like my latest book about it: https://www.fnac.pt/Teletrabalho-Fernando-Moreira/a8018617