How Parseur made remote working a success!
Due to the pandemic, there has been a huge shift in the job market with remote working being the new normal. By 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month — Forbes. An annual survey in 2018 from FlexJobs indicates that 75% of remote workers are more productive because of fewer distractions and interruptions from their colleagues. Remote working is becoming more common and mainstream.
In February 2020, I transitioned from my corporate job to become a full time consultant and freelancer in digital and content marketing. And, last month marked a year since I have been working with the Parseur team as a consultant in growth and marketing.
As someone who has been working remotely for a whole year now, I wanted to share my experience of this new working lifestyle.
What is remote working?
Gartner defines remote working as a flexible working arrangement where the employee can work outside his or her office. But, for freelancers, entrepreneurs and consultants, remote working is more like a new way of lifestyle that is adaptable and flexible.
How did Parseur reach out to me for remote work?
Sylvestre, the co-founder of Parseur reached out to me on Twitter for a freelance role in content marketing. My website portfolio caught his attention and he wanted to know more about my marketing skills. Within less than a week, a zoom meeting was scheduled and in a month, I found myself working with a SaaS company.
To be honest, Parseur was a completely different and new experience for me. For starters, I have never worked with a SAAS company before and it was in the B2B sector. Parseur is a powerful email parser that facilitates the data extraction process from emails, PDFs and MS Excel. The parsed data can then be downloaded or exported in real time to any application of your choice. This awesome no code tool is integrated with thousands of applications such as Zapier, Integromat and Power Automate. The two founders, Sylvestre and Sylvain bootstrapped the company and both had a nomadic way of life.
Sylvestre is currently living on the tropical island, Mauritius just like me while Sylvain is in France and this did not impact their business communications at all. The traditional way of working has always taught us that we need to be present in an office. Parseur is the perfect example that you do not need to be in an office or have one to run a successful business.
How did Parseur make remote working successful?
As simple as that, we used the right tools for communication and task management. We are an async-first company! Finding the best tools for your team is the first step to remote working. The tools have to be easy to use and help to facilitate collaboration between everyone.
Notion for collaboration and task management
Since last year, Notion has become our favorite productivity tool! Task management will not be a challenge if you are using the right tool that incorporates a dedicated space to plan, manage deliverables and share progress updates and ideas. This provides the team visibility on what I am working on and whether we are all on the same page.
Zoom for scheduling meetings
Meetings are a huge part of any organization to stay in touch for regular updates. We use Zoom to schedule all our meetings and video calls and it works perfectly for us. It’s easy to arrange recurring meetings and adhoc ones as well. Further to that, with Zoom native integration, we can easily hop into any meetings right from our calendars.
Once per week, we set aside an hour to discuss the marketing progress of the company. I update the team on the whole marketing aspect of Parseur where we discuss and decide on new strategies that would benefit the business. This entails SEO articles, social media calendar, backlinks strategy, Google ads campaigns, PR or partnership requests and so much more!
Google Drive for cloud storage
We make sure to store our documents securely online in Google drive folders that are accessible to everyone on the team. In case I am on holidays or on sick leave, the Parseur team can find the documents and files that they need in my absence.
Did you know that you can save emails to Google Drive automatically with Parseur?
Telegram for daily interactions (if needed)
I cannot stress enough how communication is important and what’s better than to interact via a cloud-based instant messaging software? Telegram messages are highly encrypted and secure; making it the best instant chat tool for Parseur.
We have chosen tools that are not complicated and which complement one another. Find tools that will optimize your remote working life, boost your productivity and reduce inefficiencies.
Who said that working with a SaaS company is boring?
With Sylvestre currently living in the same country as me for the moment, we made sure to co-work and lunch together every 2 or 3 months. Those out-of-work interactions help us to have informal conversations and get to know each other as a person.
And, with Sylvain being in France, we regularly have beer or coffee talks in the evenings to share our hobbies or interests and really bond as a team. This gives us the opportunity to catch up on non-work related stuff such as anime and video games.
Based on my experience going from an office environment to remote working, here are some quick tips to make your remote working fulfilling where you can actually enjoy it. Without further ado, let’s dive in !
Five top tips to make remote working a success
1. Prep your workstation at home
Many believe that working from home is way too distracting, especially if you have kids or a cat who is always screaming for food.
Find a specific place at home where it’s quiet and away from any distractions. It will be where you will put all your energy in working on your projects and with clients. Make sure all the right equipment is in that room as well. You can put a “do not disturb” sign on the door whenever you are on important calls.
A designated workspace is essential and makes it pleasant to look at; plants, bright light, comfortable seating. Working on the bed or couch is always tempting but will not help in the long run as they make you slouch and are the perfect excuse for your cats to sleep on your laptop.
2. Planning & organizing your week/days
When you are working for yourself, it’s important to stay organized and prioritise your tasks for the week and days. Not having a plan for the week can mess up with your deliverables. This is where time management comes in as well. Set a to-do list with achievable goals!
I would also recommend doing most of your work during your productive hours. Remote working is all about flexibility also. In an office, you have no other choice than to work between 9am to 5pm. Our brains work differently at different hours of the day.
If you feel that working at night is more productive for you, then capitalize on it. As long as you have a clear work schedule with your client or boss, that shouldn’t affect your work.
At the end of the day, all that matters is that you delivered your tasks/projects to the best of your abilities and as per the expectations.
3. Co-working spaces & coffee shops when you want to change the work environment
For those who have always been working in an office environment, I understand that the shift to remote can be hard. For example, there will be no birthday celebrations, lunches with your peers or awkward faces that you make with your colleagues during a boring meeting.
For a change of scenery, I recommend working in co-working spaces and coffee shops around the island. The benefits to that is that:
- You change your working environment each time which help with your creativity
- You meet and network with other professionals and make friends
- You discover new cozy coffee shops
4. Maintaining regular communications with your team
There is a common myth of remote working which is often referred to as the “lone wolf” territory. But, I can say that this 1 year of remote working has been fairly collaborative and productive with the team.
This is why we use Telegram where we can reach out to one another in case we have any questions pertaining to a specific task or just to share a funny meme about cats!
People often assume that it’s hard to keep in touch with your teammates if they are not in an office. On the contrary, I think that there are more than enough tools out there so as not to lose any communication.
5. Take breaks and leave your workstation at least 2–3 times per day
Sometimes we get so focused on what we are working on that we forget to stretch our legs for a little bit. Taking breaks from your laptop is healthy and productive. You can set up reminders for every 2 hours where you need to get away from the screen for 15 minutes.
During that time, you can play with your pets, listen to your favourite playlist or simply relax and do nothing. But, make sure to stretch those legs!
I’m curious to know how your experience has been with remote working lately. Tweet me your experiences!