The transition from office to working from home because of COVID-19 was difficult for many organisations.
Developed and launched RemoteWork.no, a remote work consultancy which went on to help 200+ clients work better together digitally.
In early march 2020, we had a crisis meeting at our office.
If this new thing we had read about in Asian newspapers – COVID-19 – became as bad as we thought it might, we would have a major problem. If the world would go into pandemic panic mode, would anyone want to buy innovation consulting?
We didn’t know what COVID would turn into at the time, but we knew we needed a hedge against the bad and worst case scenarios we had mapped out. So we did what any entrepreneurially minded people would do: we escaped the city to think and execute a plan.
We spent a few days thinking about what a global pandemic could lead to.
What kinds of problems and challenges might follow in the wake of a pandemic? Beyond the horrific effects on people’s health, what might be some unexpected second and third order consequences? How might it change how we live and work?
After compiling a long list of possibilities, we had to filter them through the following lens: which of these do we have the competency to affect in a positive way?
We decided to make a bet on the hypothesis that remote work would soar during a pandemic if people had to stay away from each other physically, and that this transition to a new way of working would be difficult for many organisations. Could we help them?
On march 9th, we bought the domain name www.remotework.no and got to work to create what would later become a full-fledged remote transition consultancy.
On march 12th, Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg declared a national lockdown. The next morning, every office worker in the country worked from home, many for the very first time.
Chaos ensued. Very few organisations were ready to go fully remote overnight. Most had no best practices in place for how to communicate with each other nor how to get work done effectively. RemoteWork.no was perfectly positioned to help these organisations with the sudden transition to a new way of working.
We didn’t know exactly how we could help clients at this point in time. Nor did we know exactly what parts of working remote would be most problematic for people. Therefore, we did what we always do – we started with customer insight, did everything we could to discover customer problems, then prototyped and tested a range of solutions.
After a few failed attempts, we found something interesting. After announcing a webinar called “Learn how to hold digital workshops”, we bought some Facebook ads and went to bed. The next morning, we were flabbergasted – hundreds of people had signed up for the free webinar!
That first webinar turned into more webinars, totalling about 3000 people registered, which turned into paid courses on how to work creatively as a remote team, which turned into consulting offerings, which turned into hiring more people to grow the RemoteWork team under its own brand, which turned into the success story you are reading right now.
We started RemoteWork as a hedge against COVID, which we feared might bankrupt our entire company. Looking back a year later, the graph below shows that we successfully created an ideal COVID hedge – every time there was a new wave of COVID infections, RemoteWork’s revenue got a solid bump two weeks later.
The RemoteWork project ended up accounting for 40% of Braver’s entire 2020 revenue, even though it didn’t sell anything at all until 22nd of April (when Kristin bought the first course seat we offered!).
But as the pandemic eventually fades away, we still believe in RemoteWork as a business unit. The way we’re conducting knowledge work has been altered for good, and any organisation that wants to thrive in the future must continuously get better at working effectively, creatively and strategically through digital channels.
If you agree, and you want to improve your organistion’s remote working capacities, feel free to get in touch with the RemoteWork team directly at email@example.com. They’d be delighted to help you!
Below is a webinar recording where we share the story of how RemoteWork came to be (in Norwegian).