Audrius has had a big career and he’s putting it to use. A former defense executive with experience working in the fields of open banking, security, and VR/AR, Audruis previously led Nato STO boards.
There, he created STANAG standards for VR/AR use across all NATO nations, worked with open banking innovation at Deloitte Digital and advised numerous Fortune 500 companies as a technology consultant. In his free time, Audrius often works with personal hardware projects such as building arrays of Moun scanners and writes about AI or VR technologies.
I suppose we know someone loves their work when their hobbies are an extension of their career.
M.R. Rangaswami: How have you ensured your team has the resources they need in order to be successful even though you are not in the same physical space or in the same time zone?
Audrius Zujus: Asynchronous work is key when working remotely and leading a worldwide distributed workforce. Meaning, we don’t have defined work hours nor is there a standard time zone dictating when we’re logged in. The reason employees enjoy the remote work environment is because of the flexibility it offers. At Argyle, we allow our team to create their own schedule and work when it’s best for them, with the expectation that they remain productive. Having this flexibility with our work hours hasn’t hindered the quality of work we produce, and most importantly, no one has to miss out on what matters most to them: being there for their families, spending time with friends, or pursuing hobbies.
We’ve made sure to clearly define our workflows and processes so there’s no confusion on what our expectations are. Each employee works from the same blueprint so they have clear guidance. Collecting feedback from the team is also important to our success. There’s a technique we use called “request for comment.” Across all departments, if someone has an idea, they can share it with the entire company and anyone, no matter their physical location or role in the company, can provide input. This allows our employees to collectively create a strong foundation for a new product or project.
M.R.: What advice can you give your fellow leaders who want to promote healthy company culture with effective communication while working remotely?
Audrius: In order to create a healthy company culture and communicate effectively while working remotely, we must create a comfortable environment where our employees know they can freely express themselves, including their needs and concerns. Remote workers are working from their homes, after all, so we want them to feel at home. Creating this comfortable environment and encouraging employee camaraderie while not in the same physical space can set your team up for efficient communication as well as keep morale high.
Another tip I suggest for promoting healthy company culture is to quantify employee sentiment. We’ve implemented software that allows employees to report how they are feeling week by week and measures their happiness and well-being inside and outside of work. This helps us as leaders to know what we’re doing well and where we can improve while also encouraging our team to have a voice and make suggestions about how we operate.
As far as communicating effectively, we need to ensure our team has the appropriate tools and resources to not only communicate with one another but to properly complete their work and achieve business objectives. For example, a tool we use to accomplish this is Notion. We use this tool for communicating, managing current and future projects, and keeping each employee up-to-date with the latest announcements. Another way we ensure effective communication is by recording all team meetings. This way, if someone is not able to attend a meeting live, they’ll never miss a beat when they login to work.
M.R.: In your opinion, what are the arguments for companies to remain remote post-pandemic?
Audrius: Our company and team have reaped some tremendous benefits from the remote work model. Here’s why a distributed workforce has actually helped our company and can be a successful post-pandemic model for other businesses:
There is no limitation to where talent comes from or works from. At Argyle, we have access to exceptional global talent and we don’t have to spend money on setting up offices around the world.
Employees won’t have to relocate and they don’t have to sacrifice their personal life to meet the demands of the job.
Employees are grateful for the freedom, flexibility, and independence a remote work environment offers, and it shows in the quality of their work.
It accelerates productivity and growth. Having teams in different time zones combined with the asynchronous nature of our work means someone at Argyle is always logged in writing code. When one side of the world finishes its work, the other side picks it up seamlessly.
M.R. Ranagswami is the Co-Founder of Sandhill.com