1. Could you please introduce you? What’s the name of your company, what do you do, how many are you, from where do you work?
Bellop is a Swiss registered company that provides web and mobile solutions for companies. We are three people working from Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata and Zürich.
2. How, when and why did you become a remote team or distributed company with employees working remotely?
We became a remote team after I left Argentina in 2014 for coming back to Switzerland and living closer to my family. First we started few web projects with Mati, then Nico came to add his passion for design.
3. Which have been the advantages to become a remote company or having a distributed team?
It provides us with the flexibility we want as professionals and human beings. Then, it is challenging to create a strong work culture and develop mind blowing solutions, like the next Facebook.
4. Have there been any disadvantages and obstacles? How have you overcome these challenges?
We believe in the power of organization, talent and autonomy. We are now focusing on improving our interpersonal communication by being all the time optimistic and hands-on people. We use mantras to remember our purpose every time we make decisions.
At bellop, we ease the life of the many people with technology and digital solutions. The way we do it is through actions with impact, every day.
5. How do you do to operate effectively as a remote or distributed team? Have you modified the processes, tools, organization and internal activities?
Even if we had done a few projects together, I would say that we started from day one to work remotely, it is the way we work. What we do is that we share all information together with google drive, asana. We were using Git and Source Tree for writing the code. We are going to use in the future c9.io
6. How do you do to hiring remotely? What’s the process that you follow?
For the moment, I had not to take hiring decisions. Who I will look for will have strong skills into his/her speciality, the ability to grow and fantastic communication skills.
7. What would you say to companies that don’t believe to hire employees who work remotely?
First, I wouldn’t give any recommendation to other businesses. They know best their needs. However, they must find a balance between organization and innovation.
8. Which are the tools that you use or help you to work remotely?
I already answered in question 5. I will also add a good WI-FI connection, the book Rework of 37signals.com and lots of passion for what we do and who it helps.
9. How do you manage the business, salaries and things like taxes as a remote company?
We are registered in Switzerland. We pay taxes in Switzerland. Salary will be a negotiation between employee and company according to the respective productivity. What we would like to offer is the option of providing social security benefits and insurance (even, when working with freelancers).
I am personally concerned about the topic since my master thesis is actually about how social security taxes can create more quality employment. Everyone need to be fairly protected against bad events of life like sickness, divorce, death etc. I would go even further, companies need to invest in the health of their employees with yoga courses, prevention, the promotion of healthy habits. We do not yet have the possibility to do so but we hope we might achieve that. This is a goal.
10. What advice would you give to companies that are starting to work remotely or establishing a distributed team?
I would do two recommendations for companies and employees. First to employees… If you want to start working remotely, make a realistic proposal and think win win, make sure your job is going to be better. Companies now, if your employees come to you and ask for it, listen and try it out, measure the results and implement if successful. That’s business.