Trust your people! The art of remote work according to Wim Postma

Wim Postma is the man behind 21 Nomads, a job site for remote work. How does he work and why is remote working important to him? 9 questions, 9 anwers.

What’s the main reason you are a remote worker?

“Higher productivity, time saving on home traffic, it's better to combine with private things.”

What does remote working mean in your case? Who do you work for? Are there more remote workers there?

“I work most from home, sometimes at a different location and sometimes with a customer. I work with a software company as a product owner. Customers are both national and international (governments, corporates, etc.). In addition, I have several side projects (often in the field of web development or something that touches).”

What does an average week look like? Do you have fixed meetings?

“The only fixed consultation is a 10 minute daily standup call with the development team. The rest of the layout of a day or week depends on the project I'm currently working on. Throughout the day, there is regular contact with colleagues and customers to tailor things or develop them together.”

What are the indispensable tools you work with?

“To keep an overview, I use Trello as a project management tool. In addition, I focus on Whatsapp (sometimes Skype, but that's not my favorite) to match things with colleagues and you need something like Dropbox, Google Drive or a remote desktop to be able to work together with the same things. For me, it's also important that I have a laptop that I can easily take (so small!) so I can work anywhere plus a kit (laptop stand, keyboard, mouse) to keep things somewhat ergonomic."

Are there things a company has to take into account when they choose for remote working?

“They must trust people to do their work and judge them on output and not on attendance. Many traditional companies still focus, unconsciously, on presence (input) and not on the result."

How do you makes decisions when not everyone is in the same place? Do you ever feel left out?

"You do not have to sit together to make decisions. If we have to decide something together, we will make a call. And no, I never feel left out."

The big pros of remote working?

"It gives me space for organising things the way I want, higher productivity, no traffic jams, no unnecessary meetings, better work-private balance (because of the skipping of travelling time)."

The cons?

“Some people will miss the social aspect, but that also means higher productivity and that you can be done earlier."

What’s your most important advice for companies who want to start with remote working?

“Trust people to do their jobs. Focus on output and not input. This also means that less management is required. Not everyone can work in this way, but maybe they weren’t the right people for the job to begin with.”

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Leonieke Daalder

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