The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.



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In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about how to be productive when you are working on a remote team. Steli and Hiten share their thoughts about the importance of discipline and motivation for individuals working in remote teams as well as the importance of building a positive company culture. They also tackle the systems that need to be improved to make remote work more efficient and the future potential of companies opting in for the remote work environment in the future.


Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:05 – Today’s episode is about how to be productive when you are working on a remote team


00:42 – Episode 92 was about how to build your remote team

00:53 – Today’s episode is about the individual remote worker


01:44 – Steli asks Hiten, what are the best practices you’ve seen with remote teams?


02:25 – In a physical office, there is a lot of structure and this can lead to productivity

02:56 – Those working remotely have more choices and there is no norm you have to follow

03:44 – Remote workers need more discipline to put in the time to work

04:07 – Remote workers also need to stay motivated


04:20 – Steli shares a quote: “People would never associate discipline with freedom, but the only way to freedom is discipline”


05:11 – Without discipline, you won’t be able to do the things that you want to do in life

05:52 – The immense freedom that comes with remote work can only be done through exercising discipline   


06:10 – Hiten says discipline and motivation go together


06:48 – If you can’t manage your own time by yourself, working in a remote team is impossible


07:18 – If you want to learn how to manage your time, do a timebox, plan it into your calendar and create your own structure


08:07 – Use alarms or write a to-do list early in the morning

09:24 – The list can also help you become more productive


09:34 – Interaction is not the same with remote and office teams


10:37 – There are people who might feel down without the human interaction at work

11:12 – As a company, you have to create your own culture

11:39 – Over time, a collective personality will develop

11:55 – It is not just about the individual, but the whole company

12:36 – The secret that will help you feel included is the company personality

13:10 – There is a joy in not needing to be physically present with somebody to create a connection


13:29 – “If you had to write down the personality of the company, what would it be?”

14:37 – Steli asks Hiten if companies have gotten better at remote work and fostering a great remote, work environment


15:28 – Hiten says it is still too early to say as it was only a year ago that tools were created specifically for remote teams

16:23 – Zoom is a good example of a tool for video conferencing that is used by remote teams

17:44 – The systems of work teams are still inefficient

18:38 – There is huge growth in people choosing to work as freelancers and having side gigs

18:48 – At some point, companies will begin as a remote team

19:41 – Remote work is still NOT being done well even though there have been improvements, but the research and psychology regarding remote work is still lacking

20:19 – Hiten has an engineer that he has been working with for 12 years that he has only met 10 times in person


21:27 – How does office politics work in remote teams?


22:53 – Hiten says office politics are reduced in a remote environment

23:26 – With remote teams, you are always guessing if someone is doing well or not

23:52 – Listening and talking with each other is different than typing conversations

24:40 – We should pay attention to people, especially those in remote teams

25:10 – Rumors can still spread on remote teams

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