The Remote Company – 5 Steps to Ease the Transition


By: Dror Futter, Legal and Business Adviser to Startups, Venture Capital Firms and Technology Companies

My firm, Rimon Law, is a "virtual" law firm with attorneys in 31 locations in 9 countries. The company has been virtual since its foundation about 10 years ago. Pretty much everybody works remotely, but we function as an integrated firm. To the credit of the firm's founders, they have adapted various practices that help avoid some of the pitfalls of remote work. 

Here is a list of 5 practices that I believe are very important and will be helpful to companies that are now forced to go virtual. To be clear, this list represents my personal view and has not been reviewed/approved by the firm.

  • Overcommunicate – Once the novelty wears off, people are going to feel isolated and left out of the loop. Even if there is not much to say, communicate so that people continue to feel part of the team. Create an archive of communications so people can see what they missed, record webcasts.
     
  • Create Virtual Water Coolers – Our firm has a firm wide video call every two weeks and we use Yammer and, recently Microsoft Teams, to promote interaction. Ideally combine more “scripted” and spontaneous opportunities.
     
  • Bulk Up IT Support - Even the employees of tech companies have a wide range of tech savviness. As people adopt to using new tools in a virtual environment, some will be challenged. Make sure that support is a call or email away during extended work hours, preferably through the use of tools that allow the support personnel to remotely view the user desktop.
     
  • Cross-Support – This crisis and remote work generally may challenge people’s availability. Identify cross coverage plans and create email addresses that reach multiple people in the same group. (example – account@xyzcorp.com so that if one person in accounting is not available, others can see it).
     
  • Don’t Forget the Personal Touch – This is very challenging in a remote environment and can be overlooked in the crush to attend to pressing concerns. However, it is critical to maintaining the human fabric of your company. Find ways to continue to recognize contributions and mark personal events. Our firm’s biweekly conference calls include time to publicly thank people for going the extra mile. Birthdays and work anniversaries are recognized on the firm’s chat groups and small gifts are sent on birthdays.

Dror Futter is a partner in the Rimon, PC law firm. Dror’s practice focuses on representing startup companies in their financing and merger and acquisition transactions and their intellectual property, IT and internet agreements. He also advises companies with respect to Initial Coin Offerings and other blockchain legal issues. Dror was the co-founding chair of the PLI VC Law program and hosted their first blockchain legal program. He is a frequent speaker and writer on blockchain legal topics. He is a member of the model forms drafting group of the National Venture Capital Association, the legal advisory board of the Angel Capital Association and the legal working groups of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and the Digital Chamber of Commerce. Dror can be reached at dror.futter@rimonlaw.com

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