Every week I have a standing meeting with 10 or more of my fellow Zirtual employees—my “Pod” mates. It marks the only scheduled interaction I have in what could be considered a typical office type setting. The rest of the week our interactions are support based, i.e., helping one another in whatever capacity that may be needed. My co-workers (co-worker doesn’t really suffice as a descriptor in our community really, more so a collaborator, a coconspirator, my Zeople?) are always so very smart, generous, and quick to lend a helping hand when needed.
We reside all over the country. We all work from the comforts of our individual environments, taking care of our client’s needs but also supporting one another as demand can fluctuate drastically from one moment to the next. Our culture is that of unity from afar. We all fully understand the difficulties and benefits that come with working remotely. We are bound by our loyalty to one another and our commitment to get things right for our clients. We have an intimate understanding of what the others are going through and will do whatever we can to ensure that each and every one of our fellow Zeople feels supported day in, day out.
While we strive for perfection every day and are personally responsible for our share of that commitment, the structure of the company is one that provides us a great deal of autonomy to work within the ebbs and flow of our everyday lives. For example I just spent three weeks away from my home, visiting friends and family over the holidays, and didn’t need to take a single day off. My office is where my body and computer are: a coffee shop in a bustling market, a co-working space high above the streets of downtown Los Angeles, a friend’s kitchen table… my culture is the people, the sights and sounds of wherever I am, my clients, and the wide net of support that is my Zirtual family.
These factors make working in a results based business for a growing company very unique. There are infinite amounts of blogs out there that post tips on ways to get rid of the winter office blahs and the lists of ways the office is killing you that don’t apply to us remote workers. In fact, they don’t apply to many workers at all anymore and they certainly don’t apply to me. If I don’t like the scenery, I can change it. If I need to go for a run, I go.
Our culture, as far as my experience at Zirtual is concerned, is about the work, the results, the support and getting it right. It’s also about creating something new and the individual contributions to making things better. For ourselves and our clients. That is what makes this new concept of the “remote” office possible. The company’s commitment to, and support of, each of their workers and the expectation of excellence in turn from each of them. The commitment of the employees to one another and everyone’s commitment to our client’s experience. These things are the backbone of our culture—a win-win-win.
While this post is under the umbrella of office culture, I’m not sure the word office can apply in its traditional sense anymore. To me it reads as “captivity” or “place devoid of flexibility”. I’ll never go back to a traditional office and I imagine you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has experienced the type of freedom that Zirtual provides would be willing to step back in one as well. Because I’m not going anywhere. Rather, I’m going everywhere.
While there are many freelance writers and designers who have enjoyed this level of freedom and off site work for many years, having the support base and unity of a company like Zirtual is a new and growing phenomenon. We are one of the companies leading the way into this space and I’m certain as technology progresses it will make sense both economically and culturally for many companies to follow suit.
Zirtual is always looking for people who want to be part of our ever growing family. If you think it could be a great fit for you please check out our current jobs and join our ever-growing team!