SmartWorking – The Future of Work
In this personal story, Maryrose describes her journey through SmartWorking. From becoming a fully fledged Shopify, ‘Customer Success Guru’, to founding her own business, Maryrose shares her valuable remote working experience with you!
We have all heard the future of work is with Artificial intelligence (AI) and robots etc. Perhaps it is, but if you take a closer look, the future of work is already well underway. Existing in the simplest form, a way that has leveraged technology to apply dynamic and flexible working structures. In turn, having the capabilities to revolutionise our lives and attitudes to work.
The Simplest Form : Remote Working
I bet you are already conjuring up all kinds of notions. Employees working in their pyjamas, slacking off to check social media etc. You may be imagining a disconnected work life where little or no team culture exists. Some companies/employers have the idea that employees need to be sitting in an office from 9–5 to get things done and that management needs to have a constant presence to ensure productivity. I too had the same connotations towards working remotely, until I embarked on my own journey.
Shopify – No office Required
On February 26th I documented via my Instagram my first day as a remote worker. I wrote, “Come at me world I’m sitting comfortably! Logging on this morning everything seems possible, how could it not the world is at our fingertips. Modern technology has allowed me to chase dreams my younger self could never of imagined. How lucky are we too grow up and witness a time that is disrupting and challenging everything around us. Logging on with more passion than ever! Follow your dreams they’ll lead you home. Let’s do this Monday!!”
Fast forward more than four months now and I am now a fully fledged Shopify “Customer Success Guru” – where I help empower a diverse range of entrepreneurs around the world through live chats, phone calls, and emails, all from the comfort of my own home.
A day in the life of a Shopify Success Guru
- Each morning, I skip the morning commute, saving on road rage and gaining some extra z’s! I begin my day with a live video chat with my team, where we discuss live updates/issues and general chit chat to help us bond as a team. My team consists of 11 individuals, all working remotely just like me. In fact 100% of Shopify’s Irish employees (well over 200 to date) work remotely. There is no office!
- Throughout my day I spend my time on live chats, phone calls, and emails with Shopify merchants from all over the world, and my team and I communicate through a number of secure platforms, primarily via Slack, allowing us to message, problem solve and support each other. Although you exist in a space that is just you and your laptop, you never feel alone. You can reach anyone at any level by simply sending them a direct message. I have never felt so included, engaged, and part of a team as much as I do within Shopify. Shopify has fostered an incredibly unique team culture that exists on trust and openness to its employees.
What happens when a company defaults to trust?
Companies are focused to evaluate the only thing they can, our work and performance, rather than focusing on less significant issues such as being one minute late back from lunch etc. Shopify even goes a step further and sets out time in your working week for PD, or “Personal Development” time. This is our dedicated time we have to up-skill and work on knowledge gaps. Honestly, this has been the most refreshing part to the position, being trusted to lead my own personal development and even to have the time to self reflect on what it is I could improve on.
This new approach of motivation is discussed by author Daniel Pink in his book “Drive”. He explains motivation by three essential elements:
(1) Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives;
(2) Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters; and
(3) Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
We all strive to become the best versions of ourselves and Shopify believes that giving its employees autonomy will only help us become more engaged in our positions and work. Research shows that the secret to high performance in oneself isn’t our biological drive or our reward-and-punishment drive, but our third drive—our deep-seated desire to direct our own lives, to extend and expand our abilities, and to live a life of purpose. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.
Work Life Harmony
We all strive for the perfect work life balance, but this is something that Tobias Lutke (CEO of Shopify) disagrees with. Instead he strives for a work life harmony. Work life/balance means that both work and life have to exist in two different states and compete for attention. Work life harmony simply exists in one state – “your life”. I no longer feel like it’s work vs life, my job has streamlined into my life. Gone are the days of the disengaged, unproductive, weather-ruled daily commute. Hello to a life where I close the lid off my laptop and I’m home! Gaining hours that once didn’t exist, my days now are longer, happier and safer.
So, from the girl that tried to install the internet to a windows 95 with an AOL disc in the early 90’s, to the now twenty something year old adult that is the founder of her own online business (MyLadyBug) and works for a global tech company (Shopify), all from the comfort of her own home. Yeah!!! Smart working is work, and it works. Remote working is not the real issue – it is the dynamic structure that the company needs to create whereby trust, control and openness is key.
Shopify Success Guru
Founder of MyLadyBug