remote job consultationWe are offering free consultations on how to lead & manage remote teams during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn More

Creating a Remote Network for Your Business with Gonçalo Hall

Gonçalo Hall is the Founder of the Remote Work Movement, where he helps companies and individuals to work and grow through the implementation of remote work. He is also the Co-Founder of the Future of Work conferences and the Co-Organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest conference on building & scaling remote teams.

Follow our guest on their social media:

Succesful business man

Luis:

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to another episode of the DistantJob podcast, your podcast about building and living awesome remote teams. I am your host, as usual, Luis, and, my guest today is Gonçalo Hall.

So, Gonçalo is an event organizer. He organizes remote events, conferences, et cetera. And he also has his own podcast. His podcast is the Remote Movement podcast, and his latest conference, the conference that he’s organizing, is a conference with futureofwork.co. Gonçalo, welcome to the show.

Gonçalo Hall:

Thank you very much for inviting me. I’m very happy to be part of the podcast, and thank you very much for the work you are doing, promoting remote work.

Luis:

Hey, it’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure, and my business. So, I do well to promote it. I usually start by asking a very generic question, and that’s how has remote work made your business possible or helped you make it better? And you’re free to answer that, to start by answering that if you want. But we were talking just before we started recording that you’re planning six conferences this year, right?

Gonçalo Hall:

Yes.

Luis:

And that’s pretty incredible because suddenly, all the conferences became remote. If there’s one industry where remote is the life of our blood now, of that industry, is the conference industry. How do you go about organizing many, more than a dozen, conferences a year? What does that look like? And how has it changed since before COVID?

Gonçalo Hall:

So first, I was organizing physical conferences. I organized the first conference in Portugal about remote work. It was Remote Shift last October. And I was planning to organize this year with Running Remote, which is the biggest conference in the world about remote work, very, very focused. They’re organizing in Austin, Texas. They were organizing in Austin, Texas, in April, and also organizing in Portugal in the end of the year. Everything was canceled for logical reasons. So then we started to think about organizing remote conferences, and it started first with the Portuguese one that happened two months ago or three months ago. It was Nomad Digital Summit. It was a B2C conference about remote working in Portuguese. And we had 4,000 people. That was insane. So that trigger everything else.

Luis:

That’s awesome.

Gonçalo Hall:

So, I [inaudible 00:02:38] to organize… Yeah, it was amazing. So I start to organize more conferences. So now I have the same conference in English, the futureofwork.co will be our new home for all the future conferences. The next one is B2B, B2C in the Future of Work. Then we have a conference coming in Brazil, B2B today to teach more about remote work in Portuguese. Then we have one for start-ups, one about online conferences. It just really, really fun to organize these conferences. The biggest difference between this conference and the physical conference, it’s just to go to the physical conference to meet people.

Here, when you go to online conference, the goal is much more educational. You are going there to make a change to a greater self, so we have to focus on that. And big part of my work when I’m organizing the conferences is to choose the right topics and the right speakers so we can make a transformation in people life. And when you think about conferences in that way, usually everything goes well. At least until now, we can’t complain. Things are going really, really well.

Luis:

Yeah, that’s actually really awesome. And that’s the main reason I started the podcast, actually, is to be able to pick the people I want to talk with and learn from them. So, that’s the… But you definitely found a way to take it to the next level because not only are you learning from them, everyone else is learning from those people as well. So that’s super cool. Unless you don’t eat and you don’t sleep, which maybe that’s the reality, but I assume that you have someone helping you out, organizing these conferences. So tell me a bit about your team. How is the team structured and how does the team synchronize remote?

Gonçalo Hall:

One of the things I noticed when I failed a couple of times to be an entrepreneur was that I cannot work alone. I work better in teams, but I do have to manage the teams because of my personality, I am very bad at the production, I am very bad at all the small things. I am very, very good with the big eagle eye and watching everything from above and connecting with the right people, bringing the right sponsors. So, I started to build teams that help me with everything I’m building. I have more or less eight different projects with eight different teams, and I’m basically the CEO but just because I have the vision, I just bring people for operations, I bring people for marketing because it’s really boring for me, and I bring in people and by having this online collaboration, it helps me to build then and faster everything I’m building.

So my colleagues, one of them right now is in [inaudible 00:05:14] Portugal which is insane. We lost our marketing lead our big brother Portugal, so that was happy, fun and sad at the same time. But then our other colleague  Vietnam, in Da Nang right now. I’m right now in Portugal, but when we started, I was in Asia as well. And yeah, we organized everything remotely. All the conferences… I never met in person, actually. And Diego. I met him for some times, but just in Lisbon, when I was in the working space with him, and we organized everything remotely. We use for example, Airtable for older organizations. We’ll use the Airtable master of team.

And we meet three times a week usually, and yeah, we just work and everybody knows what they have to do, and we just coordinate everything through Twist, for example. We prefer a synchronous communication, so we use Twist, and Airtable. And that’s 90% of the work.

Luis:

That’s awesome. So, that’s the core team, right? That’s the leadership team. And what about the rest? How does it fan out from that?

Gonçalo Hall:

We are three. Sometimes, we have a lot of people now that saw what we are doing and want to help, but on a free basis. They want to do internships, or just help us out with anything. So, people want to learn more about this world. So, we are thinking about accepting, but the truth is, we organize everything by ourselves. There is no other people. We may subcontract if we need something, if we need a website, and if we need a [inaudible 00:06:41]. But just the car, the three of us and then we can go to the gig economy and hire whatever we need.

Luis:

Awesome. So, you’re the operations guy, and the chief of operations. And then you have your colleague that’s a big brother. He was the marketing guru. And what’s the other part of the team? What is he up to?

Gonçalo Hall:

The operations guy is [inaudible 00:07:08]. [inaudible 00:07:08] runs the operation, the website, everything. So we have [inaudible 00:07:12], who is like the king of Airtable. He just organizes, he is very detail-oriented. I’m the opposite. I have the big vision, I connect people. So I bring the speakers, I take care of most sponsors. I tell the speakers what are they going to speak about, which is very, very important. So it can align with the whole conference and everything makes sense in the end of the day. So, I am more like the connection person. I am more the face of the project, but both of them work two times more than me.

Luis:

Okay, yeah. Well, that’s not a bad position to be in. So, tell me a bit how you organize that. I know you sync three times a week, right? So, that’s something that happens weekly. Obviously, one is in a very different time zones from the other two. So how do you manage the time zone things? Especially considering that you’re depending on contractors and stuff like that. What does your usual day look like? How do you organize your day to day tasks in order to make all the pieces join together?

Gonçalo Hall:

So, this is not our main business from any us. This is like a side gig. That’s why we don’t dedicate as much time for it as we probably should if this was our main business. We do it all for fun, all because there is… We bring someone mostly if it’s for fun. And we want to bring a change to the world, but they can take into consideration… Like, the meetings are very easy to schedule. They’re always at the same time. We meet every week at 12 in Portugal, which is afternoon in Vietnam, and that’s quite cool for everyone.

Everyone is very comfortable with that. [inaudible 00:08:47] prefers to have meetings in the afternoon, I prefer to have meetings in the end of my morning so I can focus on the work in the morning. So yeah, that’s quite easy for us. And because it’s always at the same time, the rest of the schedule goes around it, the rest of the calendar has to adapt to that, because that’s already in the calendar. That’s a fixed meeting we have. And that’s cool, really good.

The gig people, it’s like, it depends on what we need from them. If we need a website, if we need just social media sometimes. It’s very easy to go and to hire them. We have a very big Portuguese network coming from Almada. Nomad digital, so we are a collective of digital nomads in Portugal. Most of them are freelancers, so we can just connect with each other, ask for help if we need them. And that’s how it works. We usually hire, but we hire internally, or groups of people that we know of, in my Facebook group or in the Nomad digital group. And yeah, we keep it simple and we try to deliver as much as possible, working as little as possible, because we do have another businesses that we also run.

Luis:

Okay. Remotely?

Gonçalo Hall:

Yes, everything is remotely.

Luis:

Tell me a bit about the other businesses, and how is the remote setup there and how do you run them?

Gonçalo Hall:

First of all, I’m a remote work consultant. So, I do help companies implement remote work. Right now I work with three clients at a time because it’s very demanding. And for that I work alone. I have people just taking care of my website, they take care of my brand. I have an online course, I also have a team taking care of my Portuguese Instagram. We created Portuguese pages for everything because we are selling to Portugal and Brazil. So, I have a team just running my course, my ads and they just show up and deliver the course. What do I have more?

I’m starting to remote , which will be a project about remote work, first to the draw board, but then most important, we are connecting persons from the whole continent, one person for each country to help them promote remote work internally but also to connect everyone and make something big in Europe. I feel we are a little bit behind US sometimes because they have this really interesting culture. So I’m trying to bring Europe together and start to work first locally but then as a whole.

And I have remote Portugal coming up in the few weeks as well, kind of the same project, but for Portugal trying to promote remote work in Portugal. And yeah, I just have a small team for each one of these projects. Usually it’s three people, and I divide everything by three. And I just run all the projects at the same time.

Luis:

Nice. Obviously, the remote work has had a huge boost in the past couple of years. What have you changed your mind the most about over these last two to three years? What were some things that you believe that defied your expectations? And what are some new beliefs that you formed regarding remote work?

Gonçalo Hall:

Biggest change in my mind was about partnerships. Last year at running remote in Bali, is when [inaudible 00:11:50] from [R-Loop 00:11:50]. They were the guys who created the R-Loop projects for Elon Musk. And they did the whole project by partnering with people all around the world, everyone working remotely in a very, very interesting engineering project. And they were able to deliver the R-Loop. Not the R-Loop. What’s the name? I don’t remember the name of the project, but it’s from Elon Musk. And you can see it’s the underground thing that goes from the city.

They did everything remotely. And when I was speaking with, he’s a very, very smart guy. He told me, “Gonçalo, you’re not understanding, people are moved by partnerships. People don’t move by money. And they are looking for making an impact. So if you find people that want to make a change with you in the world, they are not asking you for money, they’ll ask you for stake or for everyone gaining.” And that was the moment where I realized that I couldn’t do everything by myself. I couldn’t just start businesses random because I get bored and I hate the operation parts.

So since then, and this was last June, I started creating all these partnerships that right now are eight, all companies. And I started saying we’re creating in the partnership, we divided the stakes by the number of people inside the company, which is usually three, maximum four. So it’s 30% for each one, and I just parked in with people that can deliver my vision for each product. And by partnering them, I don’t have to have all the manual mind sight, they know exactly where they’re going. Every single project works like a small startup, everybody knows that when we get money, it’s divided by three. And yeah, and that helped me deliver eight projects instead of one at a time.

People say that you should focus on one time, maybe for most of the people, I can’t focus on one thing at a time. I need to work in different projects. So, by changing my mentality about partnerships, by understanding that other people want to make a change in the world, but maybe they don’t have the right ideas. Maybe then they are not entrepreneur, or they need someone to help efficient but they love the operational side. I learned that I can develop 10 times faster, 10 more businesses at the same time. And that changed the whole world, that changed the way I work that changed the way I relate with people, the way I relate to teams. And yeah, that’s why I’m successful right now, is because of that little change in my mentality and my vision.

Luis:

How do you usually find the people to partner with you? How do you select your partners and how do you network define them? I mean, I doubt they’re just childhood friends.

Gonçalo Hall:

No, none of them, nothing. It’s very randomly. I’m a digital nomad. I meet a lot of interesting people, both online and offline. And usually I have a list of ideas on Evernote that one day I want to do them, like remote [inaudible 00:14:48] was one of them. And when I find someone-

Luis:

Sorry, but it’s just so funny that I do the same thing. I have this list of businesses and ideas to build.

Gonçalo Hall:

The same?

Luis:

Yeah, exactly. And sometimes I… So for example, I did a free one last month, just with my brother. My brother is a developer and I had an idea for the apps. And we just teamed up and did it, so I can definitely understand how that is. That is something nice to have.

Gonçalo Hall:

Yeah, it’s exactly the same process. I meet a lot of people because of events, because of everything I do, I’m exposed. So sometimes you meet amazing people who just think, “We should do something together. You guys are amazing.” And that’s how all my partnerships build. So for example, remote Portugal, I launched a Facebook group in Portuguese [foreign language 00:15:38], to tell about remote work in Portuguese because I felt there was nothing in the markets. And I just think people, and one of the persons, Ricardo just started [inaudible 00:15:47] started to add remote job opportunities every single day. Every single day, that guy for free posts two or three remote job opportunities in the group, for free out of nowhere.

Because he loves the opportunity, because he loves the community. And he’s doing that for almost one year. So, when I decided that I wanted to start something in Europe, a job board and I had a big vision for it. The first guy I talked with was Ricardo. “Hey Ricardo, I have this vision. I want to work with this, I can bring companies, I can bring people. I cannot run the operation. Would you be interested in running this operation with me?” I explained the numbers and he said, “Yes.”

Then we needed someone to build the website and to work on the technical side of it. He already worked with one person he really enjoyed from Portugal, so we have a team. And it’s always like that. Remote Portugal, what we did, I’m doing with Miguel and Matilde from. And I met them at remote [inaudible 00:16:46], so nine months ago. I’m a little bit against Instagramers by default because they are showing a life that’s not possible to have. And that was my vision. Then I met these guys, and they were delivering very good content about digital marketing, about freelancing. And they were just packaging it into the digital nomads brand.

When I met them after Instagram… They are really good. They work really, really hard. They are great with content. And when I thought about I want to create something for Portugal, they’re Portuguese. When I thought about I want to create something for Portugal, we really need a strong brand here promoting remote work to make a centralized place for knowledge. The first people I thought was these two guys are amazing. from the digital nomad brand. So, I will bring them over because there will be the website, they will create content, they really work hard. Again, the same vision, I first met the people, I had the ideas and I connect both over time.

Luis:

Nice. That’s really cool. So let’s talk a bit more about the specifics, that is in the case of partnerships. But as you told me before, sometimes you need to hire even if it’s just on a contracting basis to achieve project. As you know, someone that’s good at what they do is not necessarily good at doing that thing remotely. There’s a specific skill set for people working remotely. So, what do you look for when hiring people specifically for a remote work position? What are the traits and skills that you look for? And how do you test for them?

Gonçalo Hall:

The first thing I look is what have they done in the past? What are their results? Whatever it is the [inaudible 00:18:30] design, I hire the designer, and what were you working on before? Show me your work first. And then it’s communication, when asked questions, can they communicate well. Because if communication is broken, and I had that issue with the first designer I hired, nothing will work. You will not understand the project. We cannot communicate, we cannot exchange ideas. So, communication is a big, big thing for me. So the first one is show me your work and communication.

There are little things that you can understand about people if they’re used to work remotely or not. For example, where is the light when they have a call? Is the light in the back? Is the light in the front? Where is the lights? Do they know how to write? Do they know how to express ideas? Can they sell me their vision? So communication, both written and oral is very, very important for me. And then you can try to get clues about project management.

Like, did you ever get late in some project? If yes, why? “I had too many projects.” Okay, how many projects do you have right now? “I have one.” Can you deliver these next week? I need this “Yes, I can.” Okay. And then we test with a small project. And one thing I learned is I always test with a small project before. So, if I want to hire a designer, I’ll ask him or her to design the logo for me so I can understand how they work, if they can deliver on time, and then I would hire them for my company.

Luis:

All right. That’s a good way to do about it. Actually it’s very similar to what I do. Though I do tend to hire long term, so I try doing trials as well. Saying okay, let’s try what this looks like for one month, you get the full salary of course, and let’s see, after one month we’ll decide. But yeah, for sure the small gig is a very good way to decide if we want even to have that trial or not.

Gonçalo Hall:

Yeah. Again, I hired… I went for cheap first, and that was a very bad decision. I try to get something cheap, which is true. I hired this guy from Pakistan, and they will draw me the logo, like how hard can it be? And it was just awful experience. He couldn’t understand what I wanted, he delivered something that was awful. I could do better on Canva and I’m very bad at design. I quit. I canceled it. I paid the money and then I hired someone from the west.

Luis:

Yes, that’s definitely something that I learned as well. What you save in money, you lose in time. When we are building small businesses, and when we have a limited budget, obviously, we have to be budget conscious. We can’t just ignore the price. But there’s definitely a sweet spot where you don’t get the cheapest, for sure.

Okay, I want to move on to some rapid fire questions. The questions are rapid fire, but the answers don’t need to be. Feel free to answer as extensively as you want. First question is about your digital workspace. What browser tabs do you have open right now?

Gonçalo Hall:

I have Brave and I have Chrome. Do you want to know what I have open?

Luis:

Yeah, browser tabs. So I get the picture of what your computer looks like when you’re working. That’s the purpose of the question. Though, I’m also curious, why do you two instances of the Chrome. I mean, Brave is essentially chrome with privacy.

Gonçalo Hall:

Yes, yes. I’m using Brave as my first one, but then I have to use Chrome for several things. For example, my email marketing service doesn’t work with Brave and I have some other stuff.

Luis:

Really? Wow. I’m impressed.

Gonçalo Hall:

It’s a Portuguese one. Little for the negative side.

Luis:

Yeah, exactly.

Gonçalo Hall:

What do I have open? I have Airtable open right now. I have always my email and my calendar open, and then I have always LinkedIn on because that’s where my business goes most of the time. And have to-do lists. I use to-do lists for managing my life. It’s not only my work, it’s my life. I need to-do list to remember things, like my memory in one place. I have always  open as well. It’s amazing and Evernote as well. Evernote is like every time I have a meeting, every time I have anything I need to write down, it’s Evernote. Everything is there. I can just jump on my phone later and watch it. So, those are the top things I have open right now.

Luis:

Nice. Nice. I used to be an Evernote fan but it just got a bit too bulky and big for my taste. But I used to do a lot a huge amount of work there. For some reason I never got super into Airtable, but I can see why some people like it.

Gonçalo Hall:

It’s hard. It’s not an easy tool. I’m just very into Airtable because well the guy from operations from Future of Work is the king of Airtable. So, I just write things down there everything. When I break something, imagine when the format goes wrong, I do something wrong. I send a message. “Well, please fix.” And Airtable. Please fix.

Luis:

Okay. If you had €100 to spend with each person working for you, could be your core team of leaders, or it could be your contractors, what would you give them? And the rules are you can’t give them the money. And you can’t ask them what they want. You need to buy one item or one something to give to everyone.

Gonçalo Hall:

I would give them a good pair of headphones. Some booze, 35 or 25 or every and kind of. I’ll give the best headphones in Portugal that are cheaper than €100.

Luis:

Nice. Okay, that’s good. What about you? What purchases has made your work life easier or more productive in the past year?

Gonçalo Hall:

I think this microphones helped a lot. I’m using these very professional microphones I bought in Malaysia last year when I was traveling around the world. And because I do podcast, because I speak in conferences almost every week, because I have so many things and my face is public right now, it’s very important for me to sound good as well. And it changes the perception of people when you go up with a microphone like mine or like yours, and when you sound really good versus when you sound really crappy with the [inaudible 00:24:51] headphones, or when you’re just with a MacBook microphone. It’s a huge difference on the perception that people have from you. So, I think this microphone brought me a lot of money and helped me a lot in bringing my face into the world.

Luis:

Oh, definitely. Definitely. What is the brand by the way?

Gonçalo Hall:

So it’s a Samsung K-25, Q2U.

Luis:

Nice.

Gonçalo Hall:

It’s Samsung. It’s everywhere is the cheapest the best option microphone for anyone. It’s very small and portable.  it’s something small and portable, because I have too many stuff. And just perfectly works and it sounds good.

Luis:

Yeah, it’s great. I personally love the [inaudible 00:25:32] for the noise cancellation. I mean, on this call, I’m using headphones, but I usually don’t need to. It’s just because there’s more noise in the environment than usual. But usually I don’t even need to, and it really is a great feeling to be able to be on a video call and people hear you perfectly, and you don’t need to be heating your ears.

Gonçalo Hall:

Yeah, it’s so good.

Luis:

So, tell me a bit about books. What book or books have you gifted the most?

Gonçalo Hall:

I have so many books. That’s hard. The 4-Hour Workweek is like a Bible for what I do, from Tim Ferriss, of course. It’s like the Bible. And one book that changed a lot, my vision and what I do, and I keep talking about it all the time. is the Art of War. No, the War of Art.

Luis:

By Steven Pressfield, right?

Gonçalo Hall:

I think so. It’s such a good book.

Luis:

It’s really good.

Gonçalo Hall:

The basic idea is that people try to create something new because they don’t want to copy others, but when you get inspired and the way artists get inspired is by consuming content. So if you hear five great podcasts and inspired by those five great podcasts, you create a new one that is similar to that five. Take the best of that five, yet still to [inaudible 00:26:56], that’s your podcast. You are not copying anyone. You are just taking the best from each one. And that vision change everything. And when I think about what I do, about the conferences I do, it’s nothing you think.

There is people organizing nomad summit. There is a lot of conferences around. But I have my vision for the conferences. I took the best from running remote, I took the best from nomad summits, and that created something mine. I’m not copying, I’m creating stamping inspired by others. It’s totally different.

Luis:

There’s another great book about that that’s called… I don’t recall the author, but it’s called Steal Like an Artist. But the Steven Pressfield book is really great. And I got it in audiobook also. I believe it’s narrated by him, and it’s really good. It’s really good.

Gonçalo Hall:

I read both and it’s amazing.

Luis:

It’s a great recommendation. Yeah. I have to ask what podcast did you steal from for your podcast? I mean, for my podcast, I actually am on the record, because I wrote a blog post about it last year. Last year a Seth Godin challenge where I wrote a blog post every day. So, eventually all my secrets were out. I’m curious about yours.

Gonçalo Hall:

The first one, of course, Tim Ferriss first podcast I ever heard, so I do have something from him. It’s a huge inspiration, both in my life, in my work in everything I do. So yes, of course, I have some Tim Ferriss on my podcast, and that’s totally okay. So I have distributed from Matt. Matt is the CEO from Automatic. He does a really, really, really good podcast where he interviews the world’s leaders. He tries to go deeper.

So, sometimes when I’m interviewing the CEO from a remote company, I think about methods like okay, this is not only for beginners, there are people that understand about remote work. It’s okay to go deeper. So, I take that from him. And I’m trying to take more from Noah Kagan. I just talked with him two days ago. That guy’s amazing. He has the OkDork, and he’s the CEO from AppSumo. And has a podcast, and he’s very actionable, he’s very go mindset. I’m trying to improve that, and I’m trying to get more inspired than just have smaller chunks of content on my podcast. And have when Noah Kagan went in Ferris style podcast.

And my podcasts are long because of also Tim Ferriss. They’re not three hours Tim Ferris, but I don’t care about time. Usually I have episodes for one hour and a half, sometime 40 minutes. Like, I don’t care about time. And that mentality came from Tim Ferriss as well.

Luis:

Yeah, my listeners know that all too well. They have been submitted to some very long podcasts. But it’s just the way I like it, as well. I have two second Noah Kagan. Noah Kagan is actually one of the people that I like the most on marketing. I mean, what I do, my main job is director of marketing at this job. And especially when it comes to content, Noah has some of the best tips on figuring out, not necessarily on building the content, but on figuring out what content to build. It really is amazing. He really is amazing.

And the reason I started picking up stuff with him is because actually he keeps selling me stuff through AppSumo. so much money on AppSumo that it’s embarrassing.

Gonçalo Hall:

Me too, the same. In the last year since I launched my businesses, I spent so much money. And there’s always something that you go there think I should buy this, or shouldn’t I? I should buy it. And yeah, sometimes-

Luis:

Exactly. They just write the best emails and the best landing pages and it’s really incredible, really good content.

Gonçalo Hall:

Even the products. I want to show products like them. They showcase the product, it’s amazing. The attitude of the people and how happy they are, it’s just good. They are really good.

Luis:

Yeah, yeah.

Gonçalo Hall:

And they’re going remotes. They are going remote [crosstalk 00:30:49].

Luis:

I thought they were already remote. Actually, I always-

Gonçalo Hall:

No.

Luis:

I mean, they have this big thing about… Well, I guess everyone has that big thing, “Hey, we’ll get you out to be remote.” Right on the top of the website. That’s actually something that you’re probably been familiar with. I’ve been doing the remote work. I’ve been working at distant job for like four years now, fully remote company, always was. I was leading remote teams for 15 years now because I started very early on blogging and managing editorial teams. So, I have a lot of experience, you as well, and so many people we know.

But there are so many companies that are only remote for like six months, that have huge books and workshops about how to be remote. It makes me a bit… Okay. What do you think about that? I think that it’s going to be damaging in the long term because some people that are purporting to be experts are not nearly as good or as experienced as they look.

Gonçalo Hall:

Yeah. The companies, I understand their point of view. Like AppSumo, I Noah Kagan saying one year ago that he didn’t believe in remote work.

Luis:

Yeah, and now they’re teaching people to do remote work. I mean, I love Noah, but come on?

Gonçalo Hall:

Exactly. Exactly my point. They were against it one year ago. It’s recorded. I think it was Tim Ferriss [inaudible 00:32:16] spoke about this. And they were speaking about remote work and said, “No, our teams have enough history, everything is done in the office.” And one month ago, he really changed his mind. And I think that’s different. He’s not doing this just to take advantage, he really changed his mind about remote work. He understood that it’s hard to hire in Austin and that when he goes remote, he just can suddenly hire everywhere in the world, and that’s very different from hiring 20 kilometers away from your company.

So, with regards to your question, from the company side, I don’t have that much of a problem. It’s interesting because like you, I know a lot of companies that just six months ago told me they would never go remote and now they are fully remote and they are promoting themselves as remote-friendly and they want to be [inaudible 00:33:00]. It’s so cool but they were totally against remote work six months ago. But the worst for me, maybe because I’m part of them is to see a lot of people out of nowhere, people that never worked remotely suddenly bringing courses about remote work, suddenly trying to become remote consultants, suddenly trying to put out content that is super basic about remote work.

Because I’m a consultant, I do help companies to go remote. When I tell that, it’s like, oh, really, this is going to be one of those things where everyone is the super digital marketer. Everyone is super remote consultants. We just promote it like that? That was sad. I got mad at the beginning. It was hard for me because I know the remote community very well. I know all the good consultants. And there are a lot of good consultants out there. I know all the companies doing a great job and there is a lot of companies doing a great job. To see all of these people that out of nowhere, they just pivot into remote work. I know people from digital marketing that suddenly they open the remote work on their website one month after COVID started in Portugal.

And it’s like, I really go, “Is that what you want to do?” People tag me because they know my work. And people tag me in all these people that just started. Most of them are now dead. We are four months into COVID. Most of them started they try to get money, probably they get money and they are dead because they don’t have the knowledge. They don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just taking advantage of the markets. And that can bring bad reputation. When you have a consultant that will tell you, “Yeah, sure. Just put [inaudible 00:34:34] through Asana and you will be good. You’ll be able to work remotely.”

No, you have to change all the processes. There is a lot… Nobody talks about documentation. The way you manage projects, the way you communicate.

Luis:

… right? The biggest challenge I had when starting to manage remote projects for profits, not just as community effort. When it’s a community effort and everyone is working for free and it’s their hobby, that’s fine. You can just have an oral tradition. But when you’re actually running a business, you need to have documentation. That’s something that caught me by surprise knowing that I need to allocate like 15% to 20% of the team’s time to documentation.

Gonçalo Hall:

Yeah. And it’s essential. For long, it’s essential. To run a remote team, and you don’t have documentation, it’s like you have no brain inside the company. And nobody’s talking about it. Just people that know about remote work, if you have issues somehow, hire the consultants. If you somehow are talking about going remote, implementing remote work. If you are not talking about good documentation, what you are doing is pointless. You have no future in remote work without documentation. And 99% of the company and 99% of my clients had a very bad documentation, and they are tech companies, most of them.

So, when I think about companies that are not tech companies going remote, and wanting to make this work… You can go two months without documentation, but you are thinking about doing this, hiring people outside your company, remote documentation is essential.

Luis:

Yeah, yeah. For sure. Absolutely agree. Okay, so final question has a bit longer set up. But let’s say that you are hosting a dinner, once people can get back together in large numbers of course. You’re hosting a dinner in one of your conferences, and the main round table at the dinner is going to have a theme. It’s the future of work and remote work. It’s nothing new to your event. The twist here is that the dinner is happening in a Chinese restaurant. So you get to pick the message that goes inside the Chinese fortune cookies. What is your Chinese fortune cookie message?

Gonçalo Hall:

Right now, I think it will be okay. We are right now in a private moment in the world, and people are scared, companies are scared. People don’t know how to work remotely. The market has changed massively. Like conferences, companies, eCommerce. People are moving and habits are changing very fast. So, companies are scared and I don’t blame them. It’s very hard to adapt. And if you are a big company and trying to adapt fast, it’s very, very hard.

So, I think in the middle of the chaos of the news, in the middle of the chaos of the life like we are living it right now, it’s important to think long term. And thinking long term and thinking things will be okay. Things may be different, but if we adjust our course, things will be okay. No need to stress. We’re being sold panic, we’re being sold the world is going to end. No, it’s going to be okay. We just need to adjust course. We don’t need to do massive changes tomorrow. We do need to start doing some changes so we can give more flexibility that our company can be human-centric, and those things are going to be big.

But if you adjust and if you don’t change 180 degrees in one day, if you keep adjusting, things will be okay. So I just went in this idea that the world is going to end, that is coming a big crisis. The companies are all going to die. We are all going to leave in the streets. No, the market is [inaudible 00:38:15], habits are changing, but in the end, it will be okay. It’s always okay.

Luis:

Yeah, okay. That’s good advice. That’s good advice. It’s going to be a big fortune cookie, but I’ll take it.

Gonçalo Hall:

Well, it will be okay. I think that’s the only message.

Luis:

Things will be okay. That fits. So, Gonçalo, it was a pleasure having you. Now, please tell people if they want to learn more about your companies, or even continue the conversation with you, where can they go to find more about you, to get in touch with you?

Gonçalo Hall:

The first place I always answer people is on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is like second home. You can tag me anywhere on Gonçalo Hall, I’m everywhere pretty much. If you enjoy podcasts like this I have my where way interview people Luis. And it’s called Remote Work Movement podcast. And if you like conferences, we organizing the next two under the futureofwork.co. And that’s pretty much it. And you can always email me if you want. My emails are very public. So if you go to LinkedIn, or to the conferences, you will always find my email.

Luis:

All right. That was awesome. Thank you so much for being a guest. It was my pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, this was Gonçalo Hall.

Gonçalo Hall:

Thank you very much for the opportunity. I hope you have a big success. And we keep changing and we keep improving these remote work worlds.

Luis:

We will, for sure. This was Luis with the DistantJob Podcast. Thank you so much, and see you next week. And so we close another episode of the DistantJob Podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners. And the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me, and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well.

You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners. Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blogs/podcasts, click on your favorite episode, any episode really and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episodes up, so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form. And of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country.

Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent. And to help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need, and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate, 40% faster than the industry standard. And with that, I bid you adieu. See you next week on the next episode of Distant job…

 

 

More ways to listen:

Remote work is growing at full speed. Companies are starting to realize that their vision must surround on growing their company virtually by connecting with talented employees and building partnerships all over the world.

In this podcast episode, our guest Gonçalo Hall shares his insights on how are the remote conferences and events taking place during the pandemic. He also shares valuable strategies for building a remote network for your business and how working with people in a virtual setting is the key to success.

''I bring in people and by having this online collaboration, it helps me to build everything ten times faster.'' Click To Tweet

Highlights:

  • Main differences between remote conferences and physical conferences
  • How building remote partnerships leads to success
  • The importance of being a team player in a remote setting
  • His insight on how being a digital nomad changed his remote work perception
  • How he was able to build his business network 100% remotely 
  • How to identify remote work skills on candidates

 

Book Recommendation:

 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE so you won’t miss all of the other interesting episodes that we have coming up in the next few weeks!

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to our newsletter now and receive our latest eBook “Agile in Remote Teams” for free.