Remote Work Statistics with Sophia Bernazzani

Sophia Bernazzani is the Head of Content Marketing at Owl Labs. She’s a content marketer and people manager with expertise in blogging and content creation, editorial strategy development and execution, SEO, and team development and management at high-growth tech companies. She previously held the position of Senior Marketing Manager as an Editor and Team Lead for the HubSpot Blog and has seven years of expertise in content creation and project management.

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Luis:

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to The Distant Job Podcast. This is another episode and I am your host as usual Luis here for another show about how to build and lead remote teams. And today my guest is Sophia Bernazzani. Sophia, welcome.

Sophia B:

Hi, thanks. It’s great to be here.

Luis:

Yeah, same here. So Sophia is the head of content marketing and the people manager at Owl Labs and she was previously editor and team lead at HubSpot blog. So this is one of my favorite things in the world, also marketing. I mean that’s my job Distant Job and it’s always nice to have other marketing people on the podcast. So it’s also nice to have someone from Owl Labs in the podcast because there’s, I tend to ask my guests for recommendations and the camera that Owl Labs produces for team meetings through video has actually popped up a couple of times. So congratulations on your work as well.

Sophia B:

Oh, that’s great to hear. Yeah, I’m glad other people are spreading the gospel of the Meeting Owl.

Luis:

Yeah. The Meeting Owl. So I guess that the first thing that I want to ask you, you run in Owl Labs, you run a state of remote work report based on the survey you did. And that’s more or less, that’s one of the things that most excited me when preparing for this podcast. But there’s a lot of data there and I want to point to you specifically. Tell me what’s the thing that most excited you from that report?

Sophia B:

Yeah, that’s a great question. We run the state of remote work report every year to learn more about not just who’s working remotely, where they’re doing it, what roles they’re in, what industries they’re in. But we’re also really curious to learn about what challenges they’re facing. Remote work is relatively new. Many people have been doing it for a long time, but for a lot of people this year or this decade is the first time they’re doing it. So we’d like to talk about the challenges people are facing so that team leaders and IT leaders and remote workers themselves feel empowered to make decisions and execute based on the data that we share. So this data that I found most exciting in this year’s state of remote work report was we found a lot of really compelling data for employers. I think when people talk about remote work, often people focus on the benefits for the individual remote worker, which are undeniable, right?

Sophia B:

Like everybody wants better work life balance. Everybody wants to spend more time with their family. It’s nice not to have to commute. There are a lot of benefits to remote work for the individual, but sometimes people don’t focus on the benefits for the employers as much. And if you’re a company leader and executive, you might be thinking, what’s the benefit for me to enable remote work in my company? So we are really excited this year to find a few really compelling stats about some of the concrete benefits for businesses. So for example, we found that remote work really increases employee retention. Our data showed that almost 75% of workers that we surveyed said that remote work or the ability to do so would make them less likely to leave their company. And if you’re a hiring manager or if you work in recruiting, you know that hiring new people and training new people, it is time consuming.

Sophia B:

It’s costly in terms of money and it’s costly in terms of your team’s productivity. And company leaders all over the world are always thinking about what’s the next best perk that I can offer to compete. The war on talent is very fierce and there’s a lot of different benefits that people can offer to make one job offer better than the other. But it turns out that most of the people we surveyed said that remote work and having that flexibility would make them so much less likely to leave taking away the need to hire new people in the first place.

Luis:

Yeah, that’s huge. And actually we’ve … I mean Distant Job is a fully remote recruitment agency. We do, that’s something that we try to explain to pitch very hard to our potential clients. Is that look, if you hire remote, you get incredible retention. That’s something that we’ve empirically known for a long time because we have, we experience great retention whenever we help someone employ remotely. And it’s really nice that you gave us the data to back that up. So I have a question though because when we go to the very start of your document about the demographics, it says the number of people that were interviewed and it separates them between two groups, the people who are working at least sometime remotely and the people who aren’t working remotely at all. And it says that the whole pool is located within the US. But I wonder if you can give me a sense of where in the US. Is it all on the state where Owl Labs is located or is there a state of distribution there?

Sophia B:

It’s a distribution. So we worked with the data resource to get people answering the survey from all over the country. So it’s not just Boston, not just the East coast.

Luis:

Nice. Nice. Because I was … It would be very curious, this is a comment and a suggestion for next year. It would be really curious to see a breakdown by state as well.

Sophia B:

Yeah, no thanks for that. We produced a global state of remote work last year and so that was surveying people from different continents all around the world. And so our idea going forward is to vary between those so that we get a good sampling of data so that we can narrow down country by country. But then also so we can zoom out and say what the global perspective is. So definitely stay tuned for more global data in 2020.

Luis:

Yeah. So you said you did it every year. How many years have you been doing it for?

Sophia B:

This is the third year. So we did it in 2017 in just the US. We did it in 2018 globally and then this year we did it in the US.

Luis:

So obviously this is, I mean I’m assuming maybe that’s not true. Maybe it’s not right. But I’m assuming that this project is very close to your heart because this seems like the kind of thing that someone in your position as content manager, if I was in your position, it would certainly be a project that was very close to my heart. And so looking at closely at the data as I assume you have, what have you changed your mind the most about from the first time you did it to now?

Sophia B:

Yeah, so candidly, I wasn’t here for the 2018 report. I started at Owl Labs earlier this year, so I didn’t work on the 2018 report. However, I am still, this project is still very close to my heart. And when I started, I did work a lot on promoting the 2018 state of remote work. So I will say what has changed since doing the reports. I think that getting more data about like the brass tax of remote work was really important to us for this go around. The 2018 the global state of remote work was very high level. It was very macro level. Obviously because we were serving so many people from all around the world, which was really valuable.

Sophia B:

But I also wanted to dig in this year with some of the specifics of the day in and day out of remote workers versus onsite workers lives. So we asked a lot of questions about what’s challenging for them during meetings, what perks are most important to them so that we could get that data about what is motivating people when they’re considering different job opportunities and so that employers could look more holistically at how remote work fits into their work life balance and their benefits offerings.

Luis:

Got it. Got it. So those are actually nice insights. So talking about Owl Labs, talking about about Owl Labs for a bit. I know that Owl Labs is a hybrid team, so people like you in particular, sometimes you take the option to go to the office and sometimes like today you forego the commute and you work from home. So how in your view has remote work helped make Owl Labs a better business.

Sophia B:

Yeah, that’s a great question. Owl Labs, we’re definitely a hybrid team. Roughly one third of our team is fully remote. So they live in different states and work in different states. I would say another, maybe a third are hybrid. So that’s what I consider myself. I’m usually working from home a couple days a week or depending on my schedule, I might do a half day in the office and a half days from home. For example, I’m working from home today because we’re recording this podcast and I didn’t want the background noise of the office going on. And then I would say we have a third of folks that do prefer working in the office and they’re usually in the office every day unless they might have something else going on. And then they do take advantage of that remote work flexibility. And I think that helps us as a business because everybody is so different.

Sophia B:

And giving people a variety of different environments where they can work most productively is ultimately helpful for us as a company. We can come into the office and get together for an in-person brainstorm if we need to, but then we can also work when we’re on the go. We’ve had team members at an event this week and we’ve been able to keep up the streams of communication and having our meetings, whether they’re in the office or whether they’re home or whether they’re in the airport in some cases. And then I would say holistically, being able to hire from anywhere has a ton of benefits from us. Like we’re not limited to just one hiring pool in the Boston area. We hire people from all over the United States and all over the world to support us. So that’s really beneficial for us as we’re looking to, we’re a start up and we’re a growing team, so as we look to hire the best talent to help us achieve our goals, not having to be restricted to one area is a huge benefit for us.

Luis:

Yeah. So obviously there are people in Owl Labs that are more or less full time remote employees. I mean, I’m sure that you fly them in to meet the team every now and then, but some people, not everyone is like you, right? Some people just work from home.

Sophia B:

Yeah. Yeah. So there are folks who work full time from home, not close to Boston at all. I would say a couple of times a year we get all of the team together so that everybody can be spending time together in person in the Boston office. And then we’re really flexible about having people come in to work with their teams in person as is beneficial for them. So that’s more of on an ad hoc as needed basis. So we have, my marketing team is roughly half remote and half hybrid or onsite. And we have remote team members coming in on a pretty regular basis depending on what projects they’re working on or what their needs are. So we try to be really flexible and make it happen when people need to work with their team face to face.

Luis:

Yeah. So this kind of setup is super interesting to me because I actually think that the hybrid situation is the most challenging situation. And that’s actually the one that we have more experience in my company because most of the companies we work are like Owl Labs, they have hybrid setups. Now I want to ask you, so you have your own team, the content team. I guess, how do you know or how do you organize the team so that you know who you can count on when? And by this I mean let’s say that more people in your team are like you. They have the option of working from home if they feel it will be to the benefit of their focus and their work or to go to the office.

Luis:

How do you organize your team in a way that when you get to the office, you have an expectation of who you will meet there. Or if the person you’re expecting to meet there isn’t there and is actually working from home, how does that change your day? How does that change what you were expecting to do? I guess how do you juggle that?

Sophia B:

Yeah. I don’t really juggle it and it doesn’t really impact my day just because we are all hybrid team members and the folks on my team specifically have similar schedules to me. So I would say we use like asynchronous communications tools a lot just to give people a heads up so you can set your status on Slack to say that you’re working remotely or you can update your calendar depending on where you’re going to be. That’s something that I might bear in mind if I am booking a meeting with somebody. Like I might prefer to book a meeting when they’re not working from home versus when they’re in the office just because if I have the opportunity for face to face communication, I would prefer that.

Sophia B:

However, that’s not a deal breaker. There are plenty of people on our team that are having remote one-on-ones or one person’s in the office and one person’s fully remote, if their manager might be remote. So it’s definitely not a deal breaker in any sense. I would say when I come into the office, I can usually tell just by a quick glance at Slack, who’s going to be there and who’s not going to be. And we really rely on Slack. I think a lot of it in person teams, this will resonate. Like we Slack a lot even if we are all in the office together. And I think lots of onsite people do that, so it doesn’t make a difference for us. It’s-

Luis:

Well, I used to Slack a lot even before Slack existed.

Sophia B:

Oh yeah.

Luis:

Yeah. So is there ever a situation where you have a meeting, I mean, you’ve written a lot about meetings in the past. In the blog you have some very nice articles about meetings in the Owl Labs blog. And is there ever a situation where you arrive at the meeting and it’s surprise to you who appears to the meeting in the office and you as participating in the meeting from home?

Sophia B:

Sometimes, yeah. I guess sometimes we have, like I mentioned, we have some folks that are almost always working in the office every day. And so sometimes it can be a surprise if they’re working from home. But we set up all of our meetings to be remote friendly because we have so many remote team members. So there usually isn’t any like scrambling or anything that we need to do to make that possible. We always book our meetings, we always hold our meetings with the Meeting Owl and we always hold our meetings with video conferencing. So I guess the only surprise that might come is if everybody’s in the office and nobody’s remote, then we would just have to turn everything off and then stick to being in the office together.

Luis:

Yeah. That’s nice. It seems like your team is used to the hybrid thing. It looks like you are very well adapted that everyone already knows how the pieces fall naturally into place and that’s really nice. How did you … I mean I’m sure that’s definitely not the default way. So what do you think is the X factor in Owl Labs culture that enables people to so easily adapt to the way they are working?

Sophia B:

Yeah. I think in our case the X factor is that our company leadership and our founders have embraced it so wholeheartedly. I think that oftentimes things like remote work and things like hybrid work need to come from the top down for it to be embraced by the entire company. So Owl Labs was founded by our co-founder was working remotely and he was having a horrible experience participating in meetings and being heard and feeling heard. And that’s a struggle that’s really near and dear to everybody on the team’s hearts. I don’t think that people would be taking a job at Owl Labs if they didn’t care about this or that that experience didn’t resonate with them in some way. So I will say, our leadership’s embrace of it is really important to us. We have people at the executive level who work remotely full time.

Sophia B:

We have executives who work remotely part time. We have people that travel semi regularly. And so that really, it’s a forcing function for us, but it’s also, it’s why Owl Labs is creative and that’s why we do what we do. So it’s really important for us in like a dogfooding sense. And then I think it’s really important that there aren’t two cultures that be built on a hybrid team. So that can sometimes happen where if there are people in the office and then there are people who are remotely, remote folks can feel left out or they can feel out of the loop or if things aren’t getting communicated to them or remote people aren’t getting the same benefits in person folks are. And our team is really diligent about making sure that all of the technology is working before we start having a company all hands meetings so that remote people can hear.

Sophia B:

If we’re buying lunch for everybody in the office, we send people Grub Hub or delivery gift cards so that they can have that experience too. And then even our co-founders do this, everybody at the company does this. If you know, I’m sure you’ve experienced this before. If you’re looking at a monitor and you see somebody on the video conference trying to raise their hand and it looks like they’re trying to speak up, we’re really dedicated about stopping the meeting and making sure that person can jump in because we don’t want their question-

Luis:

Or doing the mime crying like-

Sophia B:

Exactly. Yeah. We don’t want our remote workers to be an afterthought. We want them to feel as involved as people in the office are, and so that’s something that’s really important to us. Like every meeting, every all hands, every company launch, that’s really important to us to reinforce.

Luis:

Hey there, it’s Luis. Welcome to the intermission of The Distant Job Podcast. If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a very big chance that you’re interested in building a great remote team. And to build a great remote team, you need great remote employees. That’s where Distant Job comes in. So here’s how it works. You tell us the kind of position that you need to fill. We talk to you. We try to figure out not only what are the exact requirements that that person should have, but also we try to figure out who would be a perfect fit for your company culture because we really believe that that matters. Then once we have an exact picture of what we’re looking for, we’re off to the races. Our recruiters tap into their global network and we filter people very well so that you don’t waste your time interviewing people that are never going to be off interest to you.

Luis:

We make sure because we are techies and our recruiters are techies as well, so when people get to you they are already preselected and you just have to decide between the cream of the crop. And once you make your selection, we handle all the paperwork, we handle HR for you, we handle payments, and you get a full time remote employee that’s among the best of the on the world and managed entirely by you, by your processes and following your culture. If this sounds good, visit us www.distantjob.com. And without further ado, let’s get back with the show. Thank you for listening. All right. So you manage a content marketing team specifically and that’s an area that’s very near and dear to my heart because that was my job for when I started at Distant Job. And so I kind of wanted to get into the weeds a bit. Tell me, take me through your typical day. What does your typical day look like?

Sophia B:

Yeah, that’s a good question. Every day is different. So I will say it doesn’t feel like there’s a typical day these days. I’m working on-

Luis:

So what about a typical week?

Sophia B:

I would say I’m usually in a lot of meetings. So I usually go to a lot of meetings with other members of our marketing team just to make sure that we’re all working in lockstep and that everybody is keeping tabs on what people are working on and how we can all work to support each other’s initiatives with our respective channels. So I would say I definitely spend a lot of time in meetings. On the content marketing team, we each have different projects that we’re either running point on or we’re executing on. So I do a lot of project management in my role, but I also do a lot of content creation. So I would say that I do spend a bit of my day either creating the content myself. So whether that’s working with a freelancer or our design team to bring something to life or I’m writing it myself or I’m making sure that all the pieces are in place to get it prepared for launch.

Sophia B:

We work really closely with our sales and our customer success teams to get feedback on how conversations are going, what personas are working with most frequently, how we can support them with nurturing emails and contact generation and nurturing. So we’re touching a lot of different projects on my team. So I would say I’m spending a lot of time aligning and getting in sync with folks and then I’m spending the rest of that time executing. I have one-on-ones with my team, like my direct reports, but then I have one-on-ones with other people on the team a lot just to make sure that nobody’s getting too siloed. And then usually tea happens somewhere in there. Usually getting an ice tea happens at some point in there.

Luis:

Okay. So I want to go back to the project management. But about the one-on-one, how often do you have one-on-ones with the rest of the marketing team and how often do you have one-on-ones with your direct reports? And I’m assuming that the marketing team, your content marketing, I’m assuming there’s at least sales, then email marketing and probably social media, right? Am I getting this right or are there more divisions?

Sophia B:

Yeah, we have a couple of groups on our marketing team. We have a really fantastic brand team that kind of heads up off things, events, they head up social media. They work with us getting podcast appearances or other partnership opportunities such as this one. And then working on brand and product positioning. So if we’re working on a press release for our state of remote work report, that’s something that’s in their wheelhouse working with our PR agency to make sure we’re getting coverage. We have a team that heads up our paid and retail marketing efforts, so all paid media. And then there’s my team, the content marketing team, and then we have a design and web team that are working on bringing content to life, bring our website to life in a way that’s beautiful and functional.

Sophia B:

And so I would say I have one-on-ones once a week with my direct reports and with my manager who’s our department leader. And then throughout the week I’m usually having a one-on-one with some of my peers on either design or brand or the paid marketing side. And then we have a customer marketer who kind of sits between the sales team and the marketing team. And I meet with her semi-regularly as well.

Luis:

All right, so these are a lot of meetings. I mean I’ve read that you have over 10 meetings a week. I think that it’s probably more closer to 20 from what you’re describing, right?

Sophia B:

I don’t think so. Yeah. I try to stack them so that it’s like I’m having a meeting day. So I try not to be like peppering my schedule throughout the week. I try to just-

Luis:

That’s exactly what I want to know about. How do you manage that sync? How do you manage to … what’s your process for stacking them?

Sophia B:

Yeah. Yeah. I’m a big believer in like time chunking. So it’s really important for me and my process to have a few uninterrupted hours to work. If that’s not possible every day, at least several times a week. So I usually end up stacking a lot of my meetings at the beginning of the week just because that’s usually when everybody’s getting on the same page. That’s when I’m having my one-on-ones. That’s when we’re having our teams stand up and then trying to reserve more time throughout the week to execute on everything that we talked about in those meetings and make sure that everything’s good to go for the next week and the next campaign and the next project.

Luis:

All right, nice. So let’s go back to project development. So you create projects, you participate in the content creation but you also manage them and obviously you manage your direct reports that are working on those projects. How do you keep track of it all? Do you use any project management system? What do you use and how do you use it?

Sophia B:

Yeah, we really, really die by Asana. That’s our team project management tool that we use. And we use that for our blog content calendar. We use that for our social media calendar and we use it for campaigns and we use it for planning for meetings. So it’s really like our repository for everything that people are working on so that we can all stay in sync and tag each other. So I’d say that’s a really helpful tool for us. And then we do a lot of staying on top of pieces of it in Slack as well. That has like a nice Asana integration. So you can always add something that you Slack to somebody to your Asana tasks. So I would say Asana is the biggest tool. And then we obviously like everybody, we do a lot of collaboration, Google, Google drive. So like Google sheets and Google slides is where a lot of the work actually happens. And Asana is how we make sure that we’re staying on track and we’re keeping up with deadlines and things like that.

Luis:

Nice. So how do you handle … You have several direct reports. How do you handle getting a grasp on their performance? I assume that part of those one-on-ones is you giving them feedback about what they are working that are doing well and what aspects they can improve. How do you keep track of that? How do you evaluate their performance as part of your content team?

Sophia B:

Yeah, I think it’s really important, especially my direct reports aren’t remote, but I think this is really important on remote and hybrid teams that everybody has really clear expectations and really clear deliverables, so that it is really easy to measure success. I think sometimes when people aren’t seeing each other every day, it can be easier to feel a little bit out of step with what your team is working on. And so just making sure everybody is 110% clear about what’s expected of them, what the goals are that they’re working to, and also the vision for how what they’re working on supports the business. And so those are things that I touch base with my direct reports on once a week when we’re in our one-on-one. So just touching base on what they’re working on, how that’s tracking toward their individual goals and then how that’s tracking toward contributing to the greater company goals.

Sophia B:

And that helps me evaluate their performance because like if they’re getting closer to hitting their goals, that means that they’re doing it well. But it also helps keep me in check on like am I being a good leader? Am I giving them the vision that they need to feel connected to their work and have a sense of connection to the work that other people are doing? So I would say just always trying to start small and start micro with the specific projects and giving feedback there. But then also making sure to zoom out and make it macro so that people still feel proud of their work and feel that it’s connected to a bigger mission.

Luis:

Okay. So it sounds like a good system. So I want to respectful of your time. It’s been over half an hour now, but I do want to get to have some winding down rapid fire questions. The questions are rapid fire, but the answers don’t need to be. Feel free to expand as much as you want. So if you could buy a tool in bulk for everyone that works remotely with you, can be hardware, can be software, but it can’t be the owl camera. Come on. You know that we will already promote that at the end. But if you could buy a tool in bulk for everyone working remotely with you, could be hardware, could be software. And let’s say that, let’s look at that $100 a person. What would you buy?

Sophia B:

That’s a good question. I think it would probably be Asana. I think I would recommend that to almost any hybrid or remote team just because we’ve had such a great experience with that. I don’t know how much it costs per seat, but I’m hoping it’s less than a hundred dollars. So yeah, I would say either Asana or I would buy them all Grammarly premium. That’s like my favorite tool and I paid for it personally a long time ago just because I got so much value out of it. And Grammarly has a plugin for your emails and it’s just saved me thousands of email typos over my career. So not related to remote work but still very near and dear to my heart. So I would say Asana first and then Grammarly.

Luis:

That’s a beautiful recommendation actually. I’m a fan of grammar and I actually pushed Distant Jobs adoption of Grammarly just because I think that’s so much of remote work communication happens in written. It really pays to have Grammarly go through it. Not really for the typos, but it can also help you write in more adequate language for what you’re hoping to achieve. So that’s, I actually like that recommendation a lot. What about yourself? What purchase has made your work life easier or more productive in the past year?

Sophia B:

Great question. I think probably my AirPods. I use those a lot just because I have one-on-one calls with remote people so often. So it’s really easy for me to just like go from listening to music when I’m working to jumping on call really quickly. I feel like I’m not doing as much wrangling with audio stuff as I used to do when I was dealing with like big bulky noise canceling headphones. So yeah, I think I like using my AirPods a lot and I also, I bought Excel and that’s been great. I was using Google sheets for a while, but having it broken out into Excel makes my computer run a lot faster. So Excel was another good purchase for me. Yeah.

Luis:

Nice. Actually, I never thought about that. I’m not a fan of Google sheets to be honest, but I never thought that Excel would be super better. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

Sophia B:

Way better, yeah. Highly recommend it.

Luis:

So what book or books have you gifted the most?

Sophia B:

That’s a great question. I’m trying to think. I try to gift them a lot because I’m in a book club. So I do a lot of book buying.

Luis:

That’s a good question for you.

Sophia B:

I’ve been gifting the book Educated lately. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. It’s a really inspiring story about a woman who was raised in a very religious survivalist family and she never was sent to school. And it’s kind of about her story to educate herself and it’s really inspiring. I highly recommend it.

Luis:

Nice. Nice. Good. So can you give me the author name?

Sophia B:

Yes. It’s Tara Westover.

Luis:

Okay. Yeah, I’ll definitely include that in the show notes. Okay. So final question. You are the host of a dinner at the Chinese restaurant. The dinner is going to have a round table about the future of work and the guests are all the influence people in Silicon Valley, the CTOs, the CEOs, the hiring managers, everyone that’s going to have a say in how the tech industry goes into the future of work. Because you are the host, you get to pick the fortune cookie message that goes inside the fortune cookies. So what message is that?

Sophia B:

The message would be, trust your people and trust yourself. Because I think that a lot of remote work hinges on trusting people’s ability to get work done, people’s productivity, people’s sense of personal responsibility. And I think that people that are nervous about remote work might not impress their employees as much as they think they do. So I would just encourage them to lean into the sense of everybody’s a professional and everybody works hard and trust that everybody’s bought enough into your mission, that they can help achieve it no matter where they are.

Luis:

Awesome. That’s a good place to finish on. But before we finish, of course, I want you to tell if people want to continue the conversation with you, when our listeners want to continue the conversation with you, where can they reach you? And of course I want you to have the chance to explain why Meeting Owl has been referenced by several guests as the tool that they wish that their remote people had. So where can people find more information about you and where can people find more information about Meeting Owl that I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Meeting Owl is Owl Lab’s flagship product.

Sophia B:

Yeah, definitely. So the best way to reach me … Oh my cat’s joining us. Sorry for the interruption.

Luis:

It’s always nice. My cat joins us occasionally. They’re just, I took them to the vet for their vaccination earlier today. So they are feeling quite lazy and resentful.

Sophia B:

Well, that’s with the cat. The best way to reach me is probably on Twitter. I have a long last name. So I have a shorter handle and it’s Soph, S-O-P-H, underscore Bern, B-E-R-N. So definitely reach out to me there. And then, yeah, I would love to, if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about Owl Labs, you can find out more about us at owllabs.com. We’re really proud of the Meeting Owl. It is the first intelligent 360 degree video conferencing camera that gives remote workers the feeling of being in a room. So it’s a very friendly and adorable camera. It has eyes like an owl and basically it sits in the center of your conference room table and it uses the owl intelligence system using AI and robotics to auto focus on whoever is speaking in the room, so that to remote folks you can actually see what their face is and what their expressions are looking like, instead of being a fly on the wall or sitting at the top of the conference room staring down at everybody.

Sophia B:

It splits into a multi pane view so that you can see what it looks like if multiple people are speaking at the same time. It has eight omnidirectional microphones that make it really easy to hear everything and it makes it incredibly easy to connect with people, feel included in the conversation. And then it really pushes onsite people to include remote workers like we were talking about earlier. So if you’re interested in learning more, it’s owllabs.com. And then if you want to read more content from my team, it’s owllabs.com/blog.

Luis:

Yeah. So I’ll include those links in the show notes. So ladies and gentlemen, it was Sophia Bernazzani. Sophia, it was a pleasure to have you here.

Sophia B:

Thank you so much. Thanks for being here. Thanks for having me here.

Luis:

See you. And so we close another episode of The Distant Job Podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That will 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/blog/podcast, 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.

Luis:

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, this distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who we 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 adios. See you next week on the next episode.

More ways to listen:

Marketing expert Sophia Bernazzani shares some statistics that show how remote work is meant to be the future of employment culture. Don’t miss her recommendations and also a peek of her experience as a remote worker herself.

In today’s podcast, our guest Sophia Bernazzani shares some findings of the state of remote work from the Owl Labs’ annual report, including stats about flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and employee retention in a remote work environment. The data also shows info about the demographics, hiring, tech tools, and motivating factors of remote employees.

The products made at Owl Labs help remote workers with top-notch tech quality tools like “The Meeting Owl” conference camera, and Sophia shares how she incorporates it in her daily routine as a remote team leader.

Book Recommendations

Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

Tool recommendations:

  • Asana Work Management Software
  • Grammarly Premium Online Grammar Checker 
  • Apple Airpods
  • The Meeting Owl