Remote Work Movement
Network, network, network!
I remember exclaiming to my team after getting off my first introductory call with Gonçalo Hall that I met an “absolutely crazy guy.”
Crazy ambitious, he planned a huge remote work event, Remote Shift, in a matter of months with 2 others remotely. He has his own podcast, Remote Work Movement. He helps companies transition to remote work. He does workshops, talks… he does it all.
Founder of Remote Work Movement and a remote work consultant himself, he actually knew Remoter way before I even joined the team. When Torre’s CGO Andrés Cajiao was prototyping this idea, he attended Running Remote in Bali, creating content and networking under Remoter. Gonçalo remembered Andrés, his interactions with the team back then, and the Remoter t-shirt he was given, so I understand why he would be fond of our initiative. I also knew exactly which t-shirt he was speaking of- I’ve seen Andrés wear it. Even I don’t have a Remoter t-shirt.
“And here’s a good place to relax - it’s nice when it’s sunny. Come back when it’s sunny,” he points out. It’s a spot with slopped park benches beside the main train station Cais do Sodre in Lisbon, Portugal. Even though it was grey and kind of rainy, the benches were still full.
As we continued taking video b-roll, Gonçalo tells me the view from the ferry rides would also be great if it was sunnier. He doesn’t like the grey days. This conversation feels vivid, like it happened yesterday.
Gonçalo made the shift to remote not long ago after re-evaluating what he wanted to pursue in the long run. Since then, he’s found his mission, which is to help more people and companies work remotely.
The belief in your home country
“For me, all the stories in Portugal are amazing because this country is like, 10 years behind everything else in terms of remote work. Don’t get me wrong. It’s true.”
Gonçalo is passionate about helping companies transition to remote work because he believes this helps impact a larger group of people. “It’s very fun to work with people and help people get remote jobs. For every company you move to remote, you’re impacting at least 300, 1,000 people right? So you can change things faster.”
Power of networking
Gonçalo truly felt the benefits of networking when he attended Running Remote. But what did that really teach him?
Lessons learned: event planning
Of course, a big portion of our conversation had to do with his advice planning live events remotely. I think all of these points are good to keep in mind for any type of event planning, though. Summing it up here:
- Set expectations even before you organize ANYTHING.
“Even before you start, it’s super important to make sure that the whole team wants to do the same thing with the same audience in the same way.”
- When you build a team, make sure you have people who CAN and WANT TO fill the necessary positions.
“It’s awesome to have ideas. If you don’t have an executor in the team, you are in a bad place to start.”
- Divide the responsibilities clearly.
“Things can get messy and people will start to get nervous and complain. It’s normal.”Set
- Securing a venue
“The venue was a huge headache because Portugal is closed in July and August. Everybody’s on vacation. So nobody answers emails. It took us two months to get the venue.”
The power of networking returns. Digging into his network, he was able to find the right people to come join his conference. “I called Steven (Ebbers) from Uprise Academy. I met him in Kuala Lumpur. And they came, their company sponsored the trip."
Gonçalo’s main emphasis? Don’t plan an event for the money. “It can be money, but in the first years, you get no money from it. The benefit is never the money.”
This is summarized. Full podcast interview details can be found here.
These resources and stories also exist for better days. Right now, we support social distancing and alternative networking efforts or virtual hangouts. And of course, we’ve got ideas for that, too! If you are new to working remotely with your team, or you’re looking for tools that better cater to more day to day bonding, here are some other ideas for virtual team bonding.
At the end of the day, I walked away thinking, “Network, network, network. If Gonçalo could pull all this off, so can I.” It’s impressive, his drive to do it in the first place and keep those connections. Finding value in those in-person opportunities, in a space where everyone is there for a reason. You can be handed the right circumstances on a silver platter and still not use it to its full advantage. Then what? So don’t be afraid to start a conversation, ask someone to go for virtual coffee. The world is not that big, there’s always someone a click away that would be more than happy to do so.