Ever get curious about how other people work? Do they also drink industrial quantities of coffee, have communication hiccups with their coworkers, or struggle to manage their time? Whether you’re building a small business or running a global enterprise, keeping a happy, engaged, productive team can challenge even the best of us. And that was before the world caught a virus.
The How We Work series asks business owners, team leaders, and all-around productive people what they’ve discovered about adaptive ways to work. No two stories will be the same, but one thing’s for sure: it’s probably not business as usual.
You wouldn’t expect a guy that talks about murder boards to be this nice.
When Benjamin Carew and Arnaud Mardegan founded Othership back in 2018, not many people had gotten on board yet with their idea of a global workforce that was mostly remote. Welp. We know how that’s gone.
In this inaugural post for our How We Work series, Benjamin talks to us about a flexible working revolution, the occasional morning grumps, and steering the Othership through a few storms. And if you haven’t caught it yet, I work in a couple nautical puns.
Tell me a bit about your business. What do you do and how does that add value to the people you serve?
At Othership we believe in a new world of work that revolves around you.
That adapts to your needs, and allows you to pursue the work you want to do, wherever you are.
Where working for yourself doesn’t have to mean working by yourself. And where fulfilling work is a fundamental right, not a rare luxury.
Together with our members we are sparking a global flo-working revolution, inspiring people to adopt a new way of working controlled by them.
My role in this is to navigate the Othership through the maze that is delivering customer value in a rapidly changing world of work while maintaining a healthy business that will last long into the future.
How many people do you lead? And what does your team do, specifically?
4 - We are split into Marketing & Tech, Community Manager & Events, Finance, Outreach, respectively.
Take us through a recent work day for your team.
We wake up and get our lives together - whether that's breakfast, checking emails, some sport or a dog walk before going into a morning call for help (AKA daily stand up, but we dont stand.) Here we generally have a morning welcome, make any urgent asks for help and I sometimes get quite grumpy depending how long I have been awake or what's been niggling the night before.
Are there any platforms or apps your team uses to help manage workflows? Any you just can’t live without?
Loads - but Trello is a blessing and if you don't have shares in Zapier why not?!
How do you get feedback from your team and what questions do feel have prompted the most valuable insights?
We do regular feedback sessions, murder boards on each other’s work, and generally discuss how each other is behaving emotionally. This is key to our success.
Every team, and individual, goes through periods of lower productivity or struggling to accomplish much. What do you think are the reasons work doesn’t get done and how does your team deal realistically & compassionately with that?
If someone is low or struggling we would hope they would tell the rest and we will just work out how to cover it off and if we can do anything to help motivate them back.
Tell me about something that was really hurting your team and how you fixed it.
A crowdfunding platform not to be named took our last cash as we had ridden out lockdown, then for a reason they could explain, they pulled our crowdfund. We went and raised 3.5x above target privately in 21 days!
Editor's note: yikes - and - holy smokes !
What would you say is the biggest challenge for your team right now and how you’re tackling it?
Navigating ever changing circumstances due to COVID-19.
Do you have any favourite ‘hacks’ that make teamwork easier?
Loads but not sure how willing I am to share them all now. Firstly just be open, never lie or exaggerate, and don't use the words ‘I think!’
What do you do when you need to recharge and take a break? And how do you encourage your employees or coworkers to do the same?
Just take one if you need one. I go for a run, walk or climb. In the summer gardening or a nap in the garden.
What does your workspace look like? A candid pic, if you’re brave, is extra appreciated 😎
Ah I cant load a pic but check out insta.
What are you currently reading/watching, or what’s something you’d recommend?
Brainy Business - Now They See Us
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see how __________ answers these same questions
Ben has 8 years' experience mainly as a freelance engineer, working on electric and special vehicles. Ben then led a team driving digital transformation at Ford, before moving to BP as a Digital Program lead.
Ben is passionate that the best commute is no commute. His ambition with Othership is to break down borders by making it possible for anyone to work from anywhere.