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TecHRSeries Interview with David Nevogt, Co-Founder & CEO at Hubstaff.com

Several roles across the typical organizational hierarchy as well as multiple industries can benefit from a shift to a more remote work inspired experience; this is what the ongoing Covid-19 has opened up many conversations on. Catch this latest TecHRseries interview where David Nevogt, CEO at Hubstaff shares his thoughts and tips on optimizing work from home standards.

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Tell us a little about yourself Dave, how did the idea of Hubstaff come about – what is your biggest vision and plan for the platform?

Hubstaff was born out of a need to manage remote teams easily and provide more flexibility to work. I had already started and sold one remote business, and was running a second when I realized that others most likely had the same need that I had.

I also realized remote work was on the rise, and through my experience running a software company, I learned that there are smart, nice, talented, and hard-working people all over the world.

Our biggest vision is to make Hubstaff a work management platform. This means streamlining different aspects of running a business including timesheets, payroll, scheduling, and even GPS tracking for field service teams, for example. If there’s a task that you do on a recurring basis, we want to help automate it so you can focus on your most important work.

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At a time such as the present, with the ongoing pandemic and its effects on businesses and the need to work from home, what are some top tips you would like to share when it comes to tracking remote teams and a distributed workforce?

We’ve learned a lot about remote work, as we’ve been a remote business since the beginning. Here’s my top advice for managing distributed work:

  1. Keep communication channels open and decide how best to reach people for different requests.
  2. Hold your meetings as you usually do, and default to having the camera on whenever possible.
  3. Track your work so it’s easy to see what you accomplished for the day.
  4. Consider a daily stand-up (either a call or automated where you submit daily updates) to keep teams informed of priorities so they can dedicate time to the right projects.
  5. Make time for deep work by blocking off your calendar and focusing on the highest priority work.
  6. Separate workspace from living space as much as possible. This keeps you focused while you are working and lets you end the workday when you’re done.

What industries / roles do you feel need to proactively start inculcating more employee friendly work from home policies today? What tips would you share with businesses belonging to industries that have not been accustomed to the concept of remote work?

Many types of office work can be done remotely. It’s not for everyone, and there are certainly businesses that are just not set up for distributed work. For those who can make an effort to transition to remote work, the benefits are there. Shorter commute, more flexibility, being able to work when you’re most productive — it’s all possible when you give remote work a try.

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What other collaboration tools would you advise teams to use, to boost productivity especially during these uncertain times due to the global pandemic and as work from home starts becoming the new normal for several people and industries.

You definitely need a communication platform like Slack, a way to store and organize tools such as Google Drive or Dropbox, and software that allows you to do your specific role remotely (GitHub, Invision, that sort of thing).

Time tracking and project management are also key, of course, because it’s not as easy as walking up to someone’s desk to check in on a project when you’re remote. We use our own Agile project management, Hubstaff Tasks, which allows us to automate workflows, tag people and assign tasks, create Sprints, post daily Stand-ups, and even add due dates and hours estimates.

In your journey in tech/as an entrepreneur so far, what are some of the biggest leadership/team building lessons you’ve learnt?

I wrote an ebook on leading remote teams that covers some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. To me, the fundamentals of team management are:

  • Don’t be a jerk!
  • Lead by example
  • Self-evaluate
  • Know that you can’t change people
  • Make sure everyone knows they are accountable for their own actions

A few tips for businesses worldwide dealing with the current world pandemic

Embrace remote work. It’s an unfortunate reason for companies to turn to remote work, but we really think there are benefits for both employee and employer. Not having to commute and gaining back those hours in the day is just one small example. Giving it a fair shot during this time might just improve your team’s happiness, processes, and workflows for the better.

Hubstaff helps businesses reach new levels of productivity through better team, project, and time management. Hubstaff’s time tracking software is used by over 10,000 teams across the world that want to achieve more. Users can track work hours, pay team members, invoice clients, see in-depth reporting, and more through the web dashboard, desktop, and mobile apps.

David is the Co-founder and CEO of Hubstaff