October 10, 2019

The world is our office – Remote working at BMAT

We’ve spent more than a decade purposefully recruiting the most innovative, talented and quirky people on this planet. Telling them to stay at one desk and do what they’re told would therefore be counterproductive, and rid them of most of their value. So we don’t do that.

When we’re happier, our creative juices flow more and our productivity peaks. So, we started thinking about what makes us happy. Family, friends, music, travel, freedom and having a purpose were pretty strong contenders. We’ve designed our remote working culture to be in harmony with these things.

At BMAT, we work from anywhere in the world and time-zones don’t bother us. We’re currently an international team of 126 running our business across 40 different countries, monitoring music globally. Working remotely for us is not only permitted, but encouraged.

Many of us moonlight as musicians, as record label owners or as other key players in the music industry. We aim to help better the music world which we too are a part of. BMAT’s flexibility means we get to play an integral part in improving an industry we know and love, all the while keeping up with our other related passions. We can code during the day and play a gig in Berlin that night. The more sensitive ones among us can crunch data while visiting our grandmothers for some home comforts.

We have remote workers based all over, while our Barcelona-based team can manage their work and travels in a way that suits them. We open our arms to the world so the world will open her arms to us – or something equally as cheesy. We hire without the limit of location, so talent from all over the world can join us.

“Routine isn’t a friend to creativity. So, breaking that routine for a few days can clear your mind and spur new innovative ideas.”

Stuart, our Head of IT Ops, feels happiest on a boat, so we’re on board with that. We won’t question what he gets up to on international waters, but he certainly does get some of his best work done. “Being able to choose where you physically work can have a big effect on motivation. Some people like the office, some prefer to be at home, and others – like me – just like variety. In my case, it allows me to take weekends away sailing and not have to return immediately. I just stay on the boat for a few days and work.”

Remote working - Laptop on a boat

We want our team to keep their minds fresh and stay motivated. As Stuart puts it, “Routine isn’t a friend to creativity. So, breaking that routine for a few days can clear your mind and spur new innovative ideas.” We like new ideas. It’s not only adventure that can facilitate innovative ideas, but comfort too. “We can choose to do home office any time we feel it’s more convenient.” We’re pro-choice, you could say.

We trust ourselves and each other. Stuart also feels like “it makes us better communicators, makes us employees feel trusted, and let’s us have an overall better work – life balance.” By having this trust, we create a supportive space where it’s okay to make mistakes, experiment and bring your ideas to the table.

Amogh, one of our Software Developers and Kirstin, our Business Developer for Africa, are both based in our Barcelona office, but have the opportunity to visit their family and friends in India and South Africa respectively, “I wanted to stay longer with my family without compromising my responsibilities or holiday days, to which my team suggested I work remotely, meaning I could do exactly that.” Kirstin often travels to her hometown. She adds “Having the option to change working environment increases my productivity. It also promotes the autonomous attitude that BMAT thrives on.”

The amount of kilometres makes little difference when you’re as hot on using communication tools as we are. We sustain good communication, assess productivity and foster teamwork no matter where we are. “With tools like Slack it’s always easy to just send a message and hop onto a video call,” says Kirstin.

Let’s be honest, this working style isn’t without its challenges. According to Amogh, “Starting the days were fine, but the 3.5 hour difference meant 18.00 in Barcelona was 21.30 here, and my workload tends to build towards the end of the day.” But we’ve quickly overcome that by way of some good old fashioned BMAT adapting. “I’ve now figured out I can start earlier in order to catch up the following morning before the Barcelona team even start their day.”

Working remotely with dog

A change of scenery can also help some of us focus on the task at hand. Amogh agrees. “I personally feel more productive working remotely due to less context switching than when I’m in the office.” There are of course certain advantages for us all gathering in the same space, and for that we have our Barcelona headquarters, plus 16 other offices dotted around the globe.

“Having the option to change working environment increases my productivity. It also promotes the autonomous attitude that BMAT thrives on.”

Although it requires some coordination, remote working allows everyone more flexibility, which helps our team maintain the healthy work-life balance we strive for. Responsible people thrive on freedom and are worthy of freedom. We increase employee freedom as we grow, rather than limit it, to continue to attract and nourish innovative people.

If that feels like you, check out our current career opportunities.

Written by Kelly, Head of Content Strategy

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