Breaking my blogging hiatus to bring an update about what I have been doing for the past two months of not blogging.
As a digital team, we have been working with technology tools to communicate, coordinate, and deliver our work as a social media agency in Cebu. But as we are growing and serving more customers, we found it is necessary to have a physical office to do our work and graduate from the usual coffee shop meetings and online hangouts.
It was my dream since 2012 to have an office. They say it is quite unnecessary in this era of digital workspaces and work from home. I have been advised multiple times by our dear US clients to keep costs low and just keep being a digital team. And yet local clients see this as an accessory to building authority in working local. They believe that a presence in the city you are serving would account for more trust into getting in contracts with you. I agree with both ideas and yet the final decision is to have the space.
1. Improve communications.
For me, I pursued the opportunity to have an office due to these reasons. One was to improve communications. It was getting stressful juggling multiple projects with a team who is not onsite. The challenges for this is that whenever we have some tasks, we usually just put the note on our project management system. This takes around 24 hours to get answered even as a digital team. We needed a faster way to get tasks coordinated with team mates. 24 hours is OK but if you want the communication loop to be better, I believe an onsite setup is good.
2. Do better retention and training.
Reason #2 was to improve retention and training. It was getting stressful working with freelancers. The turnover working with them is around 3 – 6 months. After that, they seem to be loaded with several issues and reasons why they cannot work on a project. So there goes your hours of training to do tasks. We wanted to get team mates who could be with us for maybe longer periods than 3-6 months and train them onsite for the work that we do.
3. Improve Efficiency
Reason #3 was to improve our efficiency as a team. Right now, at the office, our work is more coordinated. We still use our project management system. We still communicate via email. Heck, we still even chat online. But we are now more efficiency, we synchronise our project better. We are better than we were.
4. Create Culture
Reason #4 is very important for me. I wanted to create culture for Third Team Media. Back when it was me, Kareen, and Mark and of course, our team mates – Lovette, Dorina, etc., we only have internal agreements and understanding that only us could understand about how it is to be a social media team. We want to set things good with this and set a directions for the team and see the mission ahead of helping our customers with brand communications through technology. And of course, we want to retain the love for agility, startup mentality, and lean methods.
But what about flexibility?
We are keeping things flexible as a startup team. We do this by having only 4 days on site work and the rest of teammate hours can be done from where they are. This gives us more time to rest up but also more chance to discuss projects onsite. Team mates can also request leaves and options to work from home as long as they complete their hours.
So since April, while I was on blogging hiatus, these are the things done:
Office setup: Check.
Team mates on site: Check.
As for how tough it is to setup an office, I will leave that for another post. 🙂 Hope you learned a thing or two on the benefits of having an office!
Third Team Media mugshots photo above by Jeane Mainit.