We are a small full service marketing agency. Our lead designer’s spouse has an opportunity in a different state. Before I truly consider whether such a plan would work for us, I would appreciate input on pitfalls and advantages you may have experienced from such an arrangement. The designer wishes to remain a full time employee.
Jay’s Answer: The success of this depends on a number of factors:
- what the other designers think about this change
- attitudes about remote employees w/in your company
- the employee’s ability to self-manage, self-motivate, and self-direct
- how much f2f time is truly needed
If you can accommodate the employee, your own management skills will need to grow, since you’ll be communicating differently, and won’t regularly see them at the cooler.
The team’s attitudes are paramount. If the team’s all for it, and have a plan in place to keep the quality as-high, then you can try it as an experiment, and learn from the process.
Some teams/company cultures vitally depend upon tight integration face-to-face while others can learn to have team members who are seldom physically close, but who work very well together.