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Breaking the Taboo 💥 Why Side Projects Can Supercharge Your Remote Team
Break the taboo surrounding employee side projects and unleash their potential to supercharge your remote team, foster innovation, and create a win-win environment
Today, I want to discuss a topic often considered taboo in the European business world: supporting employee side projects. Yes, you read that right. I firmly believe that supporting your remote team members in pursuing their side projects can be a game-changer for your company. Let me share a couple of inspiring stories with you:
1) The Unexpected Lesson: My journey with Voxloud taught me the value of side projects.
In 2017, Voxloud was very close to being acquired by an American Telco Operator. After the acquisition attempt failed, I was really demotivated.
While looking for a way to get back on track with my motivation, I created an MVP that nothing had to deal with Voxloud: a hospitality self-check-in product. Although I eventually shut it down to focus on Voxloud, the experience helped me learn the Angular coding framework. It proved invaluable when managing the Voxloud frontend team after our successful acquisition.
Below is a photo of the physical product I created. The box allowed guests to collect keys, including a totem for general info (Wifi, Contacts, etc.). The body was made of plexiglass. Inside there was an Android Tablet, a Raspberry Pi and some Locks controlled by a cloud-hosted web-app.
A physical product designed and built in-house with a couple of friends living far from me. So 100% remotely.. such a great experience!
2) Robin's Smart Move: Chris Campbell - Director of Engineering - works on his side projects during his free time after hours
What's fascinating is that Robin - a hybrid workplace experience platform - supports his endeavors. They understand the value Chris Campbel - Director of Engineering - brings to their team by developing new skills on the side. Chris's transparent journey, which he shares on Twitter, inspires many, including me.
3) Gmail's Groundbreaking Beginnings
Google's famous "20% time" policy allowed employees to spend some of their work hours on personal projects. This policy led to the birth of Gmail, one of the world's most widely used email services. Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, worked on the project as a side hustle within Google.
So, why is supporting employees' side project crucial for remote teams?
When you embrace side projects, you demonstrate trust in your employees and an appreciation for the time they dedicate to your company. This fosters a positive work environment. Your team members feel valued and motivated to grow alongside your company.
It's time to break the taboo and embrace the potential that side projects offer. Encourage your team members to explore their passions. Watch as they develop new skills that ultimately benefit your company. 🚀
Great leader appreciates the journey their employees share with them and strives to create a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Keep leading the way, and have a fantastic weekend! 🎉