As the host of Talk Commerce, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sharon Koifman, the Chairman of Think Remote. In our enlightening conversation, we delved into the world of remote work, its benefits, and how to keep employees motivated in a remote work environment.
Meet Sharon Koifman, The Remote Work Advocate
Sharon Koifman is not just the Chairman of Think Remote, the largest online publication for remote work and remote management, but also a bestselling author of “Surviving Remote Work,” available on Audible. Think Remote, funded by Distant Job, the world’s first remote recruitment agency, is a testament to Sharon’s passion for remote work. Distant Job specializes in finding talented individuals globally for remote jobs, taking care of the HR component to ensure employee satisfaction and well-being.
The Journey to Remote Work
Sharon’s journey into the world of remote work began with her experience running an outsourcing company. She quickly realized the drawbacks of outsourcing to save money and decided to focus on a company that prioritizes people and remote work.
The Benefits of Remote Work
According to Sharon, remote work offers numerous benefits, including increased productivity and equal opportunities for individuals with special needs or introverts. It also promotes a better work-life balance, environmental sustainability, and stronger family connections. I couldn’t agree more, especially since studies have shown that remote workers are indeed more productive.
Building Connections in a Remote Work Environment
One of the key aspects Sharon and I discussed was the importance of getting to know employees and creating connections in a remote work environment. Sharon shared her experience conducting 15-minute calls with every employee in her previous role every quarter. She emphasized the significance of understanding personal details about employees, such as their children and pets, as it helps build a stronger connection and shows empathy.
Sharon also highlighted the importance of recognizing individual interests and experiences. She shared a touching story about an employee who didn’t have children but had a strong attachment to her pets. When one of her cats passed away, the entire team treated it like her child had died, creating a deep connection and support system.
The Shift in Mindset for Remote Work
Sharon believes that a great remote manager is a great manager in general. However, in an office environment, managers can get away with certain things without anyone noticing. In remote work, managers must create connections and better teamwork between employees and the company. Sharon defines company culture as being defined by connection and loyalty.
The Right Attitude Towards Remote Work
Sharon emphasizes the importance of having the right attitude regarding remote work. She advises against approaching remote work with a sense of obligation or resentment, especially if it was forced upon someone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharon cites research from MIT Sloan that shows people are happier, more independent, and more productive when working remotely. However, she acknowledges that remote work may not be suitable for everyone and suggests that those who are not committed or focused should consider returning to the office.
Hiring for Remote Positions
Sharon believes in finding committed and invested individuals when hiring for remote positions. She encourages employers to focus on hiring people who are dedicated and invested in their work rather than simply looking for freelancers or contractors.
As our podcast came to a close, Sharon took the opportunity to promote Distant Job, a company that helps businesses find the best remote talent from around the world. She highlighted their ability to deliver talented individuals quickly and at a great value, with impressive customer service.
Our conversation with Sharon Koifman was a deep dive into the world of remote work, its benefits, and the strategies to keep employees engaged. It was a testament to the fact that remote work can be a game-changer for businesses and employees with the right mindset and approach.