A piece on a bunch of my personal experiences as a remote worker in a SaaS startup company
My Holistics Story
I joined Holistics Software in mid-2018. Holistics is the first startup that offered me an opportunity to explore myself deeply. I’m thankful that my CEO agreed to wait almost 2 months before I joined, to complete the hand-over in my previous company.
I began my journey at Holistics as a Sales Representative in the Growth division. Broadly speaking, my job is to execute B2B sales. Some people had worked for Holistics in Indonesia before me. However, there were still many undertakings that had not yet been completed, and the roadmap for the Indonesian market was still not very clear.
Month to date, our hard work has begun to pay off. In the last few months, I started participating in handling Growth Operations for global inquiries, and not only from Indonesia.
Once In A Blue Moon Culture
Working in the Growth division, I got the leeway to work from Indonesia, while most of the team is in Singapore. Globally, Holistics’ growth employees are allowed to work remotely, full-time. Interesting, huh?
Additionally, we are collaborating with a startup community builder named BLOCK71. I had the chance to contribute and explore myself more closely with the rest of the community from various organizations. And because of the warm response I received, I have never felt lonely. I even feel more productive.
Challenges as a remote worker, and how do those feel in Holistics?
The following are the challenges I faced when working remotely:
Task Management and Prioritizing
Actually, if this challenge is successfully overcome, the benefits we get will be enormous. I found myself becoming an expert in self-motivation and time management.
It is not only remote workers who may have difficulty staying on schedule and managing their to-do lists. As a remote worker, I have no one else who continually ignores the work I have to deal with or to constantly report to those who will manage my time.
Entering the art of balancing work, you will find that there will always be, inevitably, things that must be solved. This is in contrast to old-school office workers, where we can more easily leave what we have to do in the office.
However here, it’s probably not only just in Holistics but also in most startup cultures where both home and office are your living quarters. So we continually have to close small tasks that are delayed past the available working hours.
Being Out of the Loop and Fear of missing out
Some people, including me, feel paranoid that our group is having a meeting and making decisions without me, despite the possibility of having ideas I want to express that could be genuine. Besides, the Fear of missing out (FOMO) makes me worried, because I might be considered to not be the most up-to-date person, who misses the office news.
In fact, I am afraid that I am seen as not contributing to the changes in the office at all. Luckily, I am a typical searing extrovert, but for an introvert, they must be able to deal with initiating further communication. At Holistics, we build an online weekly call culture for our divisions and 1-1 sections with our division head, who is also in the C-level suite. We are also implicitly required to have the ability to write on our various platforms. It became a provision such that even though it was not necessarily seen, our efforts will always be remembered and on-track.
Previously, the Growth division at Holistics was in three countries, namely Indonesia, Singapore, and San Francisco. Now our team is based only in Indonesia and Singapore. The time difference that we have to manage is fortunately only one hour. But because we have to handle global customers, dealing with time differences is just a separate pleasure of our job nature.
Holistics’ Growth culture requires us to be as flexible as possible to act independently, so as to makes us not reliant on fellow team members to answer urgent questions or solve other pressing needs. This is where we are empowered to position ourselves as best we can, whenever you can and wherever you are.
Another challenge is being able to develop the ability to adapt to a variety of new tools that we might not encounter in other companies. To support independence, we removed the difficulty of having to get involved with operational divisions such as HR, GA, and Finance. Everything is done with automation tools. Cool, isn’t it?
From the challenges that we have been learning to conquer, I really appreciate the trust given to me to explore many of the abilities that I had unknowingly possessed. I also learned how to compromise on some less essential things. And I have developed more self-respect. Though I was not in a physical office, as a member, I found I’ve learnt a lot of lessons.