Today, we’re sharing our interview with Serkan Kurtulus, the founder of Cowork7/24, a platform allowing remote professionals to find and book coworking spaces.
Serkan Kurtulus comes from the corporate career background where he had worked for a multinational company for 20 years as an IT Manager.
How Does Your Remote Workday Look Like?
When you’re leading a start-up, every single day is different.
What I do may change. Where I work from may change. When I work may change.
What doesn’t change is that I connect every day with my team, which is also remote, to stay current with their work, their challenges, and how we help each other to move forward. Sometimes it’s just a two-line communication on WhatsApp, sometimes it’s a 3-hour online meeting. But staying connected with your team (and your business partners) is crucial when you’re doing remote work.
What Tools Do You Use to Get Things Done?
We usually use Slack or WhatsApp for communication, and Asana for tracking tasks, and Google Hangout for meetings, and Google Docs or Sheets for document sharing.
But after two years, I am less strict on the tools, and more open to people adopting their own ways to track and get things done. I usually, personally use Google Sheets for instance for planning tasks. It’s simple. I don’t always need all the fancy features of a project management tool.
What’s the Biggest Challenge of Remote Work?
The biggest challenge of working remotely as a team, is communication. As we’re all humans, we need the personal touch and connections. That helps people communicate more effectively, and more effective communication leads to better results. But when everyone is working remotely, people miss understanding each others’ styles, habits, feelings, emotions and this may lead to a lot of misunderstandings, and ineffective work. Thus, I believe all remote teams must come together once in a while for team building to be more effective.
The biggest challenge of working remotely at an individual level is the risk of being distracted (by some many things) and the tendency to lose track of time. So it’s essential to manage it proactively, and deliberately develop a sense of operational self-discipline.
What Are the Advantages of Remote Work?
I would answer this question in two ways too:
- As a manager, you have access to a broader pool of talent to work with.
- As an “employee,” you have access to a broader pool of job opportunities to pursue.
What’s the Future of Remote Work?
I think “remote work” would be the norm than the exception as it is considered today.
Today, usually, remote work is considered for jobs/business outside of your geography. It will be the norm and common practice even for work within your neighborhood. Companies will see and pursue it as an opportunity to cut their costs. People will also see it as an opportunity to cut costs, and save time for personal interest.
I see no reason why people should be forced to commute to “an office” to do the same work that they could do from elsewhere.
What Made You Consider Remote Work?
During my corporate career, it was just given. I had already outgrown my home location, and working remotely for wider geography was the only way to go.
In my start-up, it was the ONLY way to go as anyway Cowork7/24 supports and enables the new modern workforce to do their best work from anywhere, anytime. My team had to reflect the profile of our target users and audiences. I can’t imagine ourselves (i.e. my team) sitting in one office trying to develop and operate a solution/product for the location independents, digital nomads, freelancers, coworkers.
What People Who Want to Work with You Need to Have?
Number 1 is Passion. They must have a passion and desire to make Cowork7/24 a success.
Secondly, they should be pursuing work and lifestyle similar to our users. If my team can’t put themselves in the shoes of our users, we can’t deliver products or services our users will love and use.
Positivity. I want to work with people who have a can-do attitude. Start-up life is not easy. We’ll always have challenges and issues, and we know we’ll always overcome them. People who just make the journey easier and more joyful for others (and for themselves too, of course) are more welcome to my team.