Wealth Enhancers used to have a big office. Three levels, a couple of meeting rooms and a breakout area downstairs. We had 16 people and room for more of course (because we were a growing company). That was in Melbourne. We also had a smaller office in Sydney for the few staff we had up there.
The offices came with a lot of work. In fact, at least two-thirds of our administration assistant’s job was to keep the place running. Ensuring we had a fully stocked kitchen with tea, coffee, biscuits, the usual… not to mention cleaning products for the kitchen and bathrooms. Oh, and we had cleaners too that would come in a couple of times a week.
She coordinated all of that, she also had to remember to take the trash out once a week, and recycling every second week. Pretty sure she did her fair share of dishes, cleaning up after other people too. Every once in awhile something would stop working, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, you name it. Things would break down and she would deal with the real estate agent, who would talk with the property owner, and eventually we would co-ordinate a tradesperson to come out and fix the problem.
The internet. Don’t even get started on the internet! And all the while this would be going on, she (and ultimately management) would be putting up with the team’s b*tching and moaning about the state of the place!
You probably get the point.
It was a lot to manage, and it was expensive.
So what changed?
Well, around 18 months into that lease (oh yeah, forgot to mention that we were locked into the place for 3 years), back in 2013 we started hiring some remote staff. It was getting expensive to hire locally, and we were growing with limited room left in our office. We’d heard of others having success and decided to give it a go.
With our first remote staff member (who is still with us today), a whole world opened up. She was incredibly capable and proved to us quite quickly that she didn’t need to be in the same country, let alone the same office, as us to do a great job. We hired more people.
Fast forward almost 4 years and everything has changed.
As a team we now work 100% remotely, either from home or from co-working spaces (we are currently paying for a total of 4 desks in co-working spaces) around the globe. We also got lean. We are around the same size team now as we were back then because we cut out the distractions (like managing a building!!!) and leveraged technology to automate as much work flow as possible.
Because of the flexibility we have, we also sit down to work only when we’re focused on work, and when we’re not we don’t. Rather than just turning up from 9 to 5 and being seen, our culture is 100% outcome-focused. Get the job done, and everyone is happy. Don’t get the job done and it’s obvious to everyone. Simple.
In short, moving to a remote working environment ended up cutting out around $200,000 worth of annual expenses that were not in anyway helping us to generate revenue!
Oh… and before you ask… our team are actually happier than before. We use TinyPulse to track the happiness levels of our team monthly and we consistently rank between 8.4 and 8.6 out of 10, when we used to average around 7.
Going remote with Grow My Team was the best decision we made as an organisation and has freed us up to continue to grow and focus on being the best at what we do - providing financial advice to Gen Y.
Article by Pamela Gerstmann, Wealth Enhancers