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Today was a momentous day for Connect Yorkshire as it was the first ever ConnectOnline event


David Smalley

a joint founder of Litmus , gave an online talk about the challenges of home working. Litmus was founded in 2004 by David and 2 friends primarily selling software so being online was easy for them. Litmus now has offices in London, Boston and San Francisco but switched to home working early on and now 66% of its team work from home. Covid-19 has accelerated the shift to home working. This is a much better time to work from home because of the tools available to help you but there are some dangers. The talk covered 3 topics In Person, Productivity and Be Deliberate


In Person


You must replace person to person contact including purely social contact-hugely important to have fun, team building days, social rapport outside work-try Coworker coffee once a week arrange to talk to a colleague,  have a 30 min chat on zoom with a few colleagues, it should be even more democratic and cross-functional than usual, its very hard to effect change, and it’s hard to put a financial value on it. Don’t let people skip the sessions.




Software programmes make it easy to see what they’ve done, it forces you to judge the team by their output. It’s quite easy to do just enough-output is the only judge you know you must keep up. Have a Team mtg when a project is completed. Rigorously check the figures. Weekly email report about what’s going on written by the team-they want to tell the rest of the company what they’ve been doing. Because we are a remote working company the mindset is how can I show I’m working hard.


Be Deliberate


Don’t become remote accidentally. Make it a positive decision. Being both is not good. Get your team involved in the discussion but don’t leave it to them to decide. You must own the decision. The team must have access to promotion prospects.The younger team members  might not have the space to work at home eg may flat share,  so look at hot desking, co-working etc. 1 remote all remote otherwise the remote feel left out.People are unhappy if they feel left out of a discussion. Litmus ceo now chats to groups of 5 or 6 every week by Coffee chat. Do not sleep walk into it. Teams themselves can decide what tools to use.


Nick Butler