Interview with Tomedes recently caught up with Ofer Tirosh, CEO of Tomedes, a Language Service Provider. Tomedes has employed remote workers for the past decade as part of its mission to provide professional translation and interpretation services to a global customer base. The company also provides desktop publishing, copywriting, proofreading and editing services. 

Under Ofer’s leadership, Tomedes has expanded its team of remote workers significantly, growing to serve business translation and interpretation clients around the world over the past ten years. 

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1. What does Tomedes do, how many are you, from where do you work?

Tomedes is a translation and interpretation agency that serves business customers around the world. Additional services include copy writing, desktop publishing, proofreading and editing. 

There company has a 50-strong team, based in Europe, North America, the Philippines and Israel. We also work with translators from across the globe.

2. How, when and why did you become a remote team?  

Tomedes has employed a remote team from the time the company was established, back in 2007. We use the ‘follow the sun’ model of customer care, so that our clients always have someone available to speak to them, regardless of which time zone they are in. Employing remote workers also means we can offer a huge range of translation and localization expertise to our clients, including specialists in many local dialects and cultures.

3. What have been the advantages to be a remote company?

The remote working structure that we’ve developed has some great advantages for our team members, including them being able to optimize their work-life balance and cutting out any need for travel time. 

The model also works well for Tomedes. We can choose the best person for each position regardless of their location or proximity to one of our offices. We also don’t have to pay for huge amounts of office space, or else find our teams are limited by the size of our physical premises. The costs savings that we make can be passed on to our clients.

4. Have there been any disadvantages or obstacles? 

There are always obstacles and challenges with every approach to running a business. With remote working, we have found that building and maintaining the company’s culture is harder with such a geographically diverse team. We’ve also had to think about ways that we can monitor the work of remote employees. Clear, transparent communication is also key – remote working needs to be well structured, with everyone clear as to expectations. We’ve found that open communication and a commitment to a culture of improvement has served to overcome most of the challenges that we’ve faced.

5. How do you do to operate effectively as a remote or distributed team? 

We’ve striven to ensure that our processes are as clear and simple as possible. This has helped to cut down on the on boarding time for remote workers and has helped them to settle in quickly. 

In terms of tools, all of the software and storage that we use is cloud-based. And in organizational terms we have fostered a culture of approachable managers and transparent communication, to ensure that remote workers feel comfortable in asking questions, receiving support and contributing to the overall success of the organization. 

6. How do you do to hire remotely? 

We have refined our remote hiring process over the past decade and more. These days, we carry out interviews by at least three managers before making a decision and ask our remote working applicants to complete multiple tests in order that we can fully assess their skills, capabilities and suitability for the Tomedes team.

7. What would you say to companies that don’t believe to hire employees who work remotely?

Companies that dismiss remote working out of hand are missing out on a huge pool of skilled workers. Not every role is suited to remote working, but many can be adapted to suit it with a progressive outlook. Done right, remote working can result in happier employees, a more efficient organization and reduced costs. Organizations that don’t consider it as an option are missing out.

8. Which are the tools that you use or help you to work remotely?

We use a wide variety of tools to support our remote workers.  Communication tools are key, so we use a variety of messaging platforms. These vary from country to country, to ensure that we can work with a wide range of remote workers while also complying with all relevant data protection and other IT legislation.

9. What advice would you give to companies that are starting to work remotely or establishing a distributed team?

  1. Focus on the company culture from the outset and ensure that all remote workers can easily buy into it. 
  2. Be stringent in your assessment of potential workers, just as you would if they were office-based. 
  3. Find the right combination of tools for the roles in question. Technology is evolving all the time, so keep up to date in order to remain effective. 
  4. Remember that remote workers still need to feel cherished in order to be motivated – be a company that they can feel part of and where they feel appreciated in order to get the best out of them. 

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