LightSpeed is a remote company. The location of our employees is irrelevant to whether they can work with us. Which means the only criteria is qualifications and compatibility (the latter being most important for a software and web development company). But most importantly one less deciding factor is necessary during the hiring process.
LightSpeed has the pleasure of working with a team that is predominantly spread out over the Western Cape, but with employees at one time or another in Brazil, Venezuela and Chile.
As a team we are remote converts, and enjoy the freedom to create working spaces that are conducive to producing our best work, and at times the flexibility to continue working whilst traveling.
Here are some thoughts from Team LightSpeed on working remotely, and pictures of our working spaces.
Ashley – Woodstock, South Africa
Life in South Africa:
Ashley considers Cape Town, South Africa as his first home and after travelling all over the world, his favourite place to live, work and play.
Barbara (LightSpeed business partner) and Ashley are married, they own two joined houses in Woodstock, where they live in one house and work from the other house, which has been setup as LightSpeed HQ.
The team have been almost exclusively working remotely since 2014 and only come in for team office days every 2-4 weeks. Because the office is connected to the house it is really good for Ash and Barbs to have a remote team. We only really share the office space with the team once a month. Usually the team will have a BBQ and catch up after work to make the most of the facetime together.
We have a home / office gym onsite, where Ash & Barbs practice yoga, meditation and do various workouts.
Ashley is an avid cyclist and runner; because of the remote structure he is able to plan his cycling around work and fair weather.
Ashley’s office is the most comfortable office, sporting a 28″ screen, laptop stand, lots of toys and art. His office opens onto a courtyard with Ashley’s collection of succulents and cacti. The courtyard has a water feature which creates zen background sounds. This is a space that is really conducive to productivity.
Life on the road:
Ashley is a passionate traveller who loves to explore the world while working remotely. Since 2014 he has spent early June to early September in the northern hemisphere remote working in USA and Europe. He has attended the WordCamp Europe (WCEU) event every year since 2015. Before and after WCEU he works remotely in a variety of countries. He especially loves working with his Swiss WordPress friends from Zurich.
Ashley also likes to do cycle tours overseas where he works remotely while travelling through a country. In January / February he completed over 1600 km cycling from Bangkok up to Chiang Rai, over to Chiang Mai and then deep into the Northern Thailand mountains to see Pai and Mae Hong Son.
Barbara – Woodstock, South Africa
Having my home right next door to LightSpeed HQ is both a blessing and a curse. I don’t ever have deal with peak hour traffic jams, but on the other hand, my work deadlines are only ever a few steps away at any given time, so switching off at the end of the day is often a challenge. Over the years we’ve adopted a number of cats who are now a very important part of our daily lives at the office, offering some much-needed therapy and cuddles on stressful days, and lots of laughs and light relief in between.
Chris – Mossel Bay, South Africa
My name is Chris and I work from home.
I could be writing this in my garden, where I often hang out to admire some new flowers after rolling out of bed at 8:00am (or was it 9:00am) or I could totally still be in bed.
But the truth is I’m writing this on my indoor bike dripping with sweat all over. I’ve worked in my garden or in bed before a couple of times, but this right here is what it is like working from home.
Warwick – Strand, South Africa
I enjoy working remotely for several reasons. The main ones are:
- The freedom to work comfortably, I’m not the kind of person who does well working in a “uniform”. You can wear what you want according to the weather etc. Being comfortable increases production.
- The freedom to work where you want, e.g. working in Bali or Thailand, or at a coffee shop down the road from home.
- Saving on commuting, not just time, but money as well. Instead of taking an hour to get to the office and back, you can work from home and spend those 2 hours on house work. Giving you more time for yourself at the end of the day.
- The main challenge to overcome is distractions, it’s very easy to have the TV on while you are working, and get lost in a news program or something showing.
- Human contact; it does get a bit lonely working from a remote place, it is rewarding to have social interactions with team mates in person.
Joe – Silvermine, South Africa
Having my own place has ironically brought me back to my roots. I’m enjoying writing and playing guitar again and spend more time in the ocean.
It’s also the greatest feeling having a workspace I had the chance to create on my own.
My office has a warm, homely feel with a lot of open space. It’s not just where I spend my time working, but has become a place I can be alone with my thoughts and be creative.
Deon – Fish Hoek, South Africa
Being able to work from anywhere, flexible hours, no traffic and the comforts of home are some of the major advantages to working from home.
As the only dad of an actual 6 year old human child, working remotely certainly is a huge plus! I’m able to play a more active role in my sons daily life and being flexible means I can handle the school runs, meetings with teachers and making sure he doesn’t fall out of tree’s(too often). We get to hang out during my breaks and he often sits in my office with me playing Lego while I’m working. So all of that is pretty awesome!
Garth – Observatory, South Africa
Being able to work remote is an invaluable skill. More and more it’s becoming the way companies and people prefer to work. Having absolute control over your work environment is a huge plus, your own idiosyncrasies can’t disturb coworkers. You can sleep later and there is no traffic. In the beginning, focus and motivation could be a struggle, but developing those skills on your own is more valuable than having it drilled into you by a supervisor. Communication is more often written, you have to learn how to do that effectively and clearly without the non-verbal cues you would otherwise rely on in person. Travelling abroad while working becomes an option, which is really great.
Virginia – Santiago, Chile
In my experience, working far from the rest of the team is challenging because it helps me improve my communication skills and my timing, being in another time zone and speaking the language as a second language, but this is a positive challenge, because it keeps me improving everyday.
In a way I don’t feel that far away because I think I have a few things in common with the rest of the team and it helps making our communications fluid, we make jokes and I feel part of the team. Looking forward to meet them all very soon.
Jacques – Somerset West, South Africa
The fact that I can do just that, work from other places. With our line of work you can virtually work from any place in the world as long as you have an internet connection. This opens up a lot more doors in cases like if your own net is down at home or the power is off etc. You can easily just pack up head to the nearest wifi coffee shop, setup and continue working without any hassles. You get more done at the end of the day as you are in your own comfort zone focusing on the work without interruptions. The key is just to discipline yourself to not procrastinate or get lazy.
Communication is one of the main pillars behind working remotely and should always be taken into consideration when doing work away from the team.