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When I got started in cyber security in the 90s, the process of partnering with companies in other parts of the world, while maintaining current working relationships, required major changes, both at the business and personal level. Geographic distance was a huge constraint—so much so that after Microsoft acquired my security startup, GIANT Software, my wife and I moved from the East Coast to Seattle with our newborn daughter to continue our mission.
However, in 2022, the scene is very different, as our expectations of office versus employee space have changed, and the popularity of the hybrid work model has grown rapidly. With companies shutting down their offices, employees working remotely and entire teams facing a setback due to the pandemic, it is no surprise that the nature of company leadership has changed drastically.
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as CTO Reason Labs, but with offices spread across Europe and Asia, I’m not quite sure I could have predicted how we would operate as a global team in this decade. Thankfully, a huge appreciation for being able to meet face-to-face and travel whenever possible, along with the development of technologies to manage drastic changes in office lifestyle, means that metamorphosis in 2022 is challenging. , but also exciting.
Although our teams are broad, I believe there are some aspects that are important to focus on:
prioritizing strong communication habits
It’s never been in my best interest to be a distant leader or just an individual – maintaining and building relationships with my teams is a top priority. The evolution of working remotely has redefined the difference between in-office and offshore meetings. In the office, small talk already happens outside the meeting room, which means meetings get to business as soon as they start.
In contrast, global video meetings should take into account the lack of natural human interaction and allow these meetings to be slightly less formal, so that people can connect and feel comfortable. Many employees may have never met with their manager in person, so these remote calls are a chance for both parties to make an impact.
This is why I would insist on making time for the things that matter. Everyone has busy schedules, but my meeting with international teams, chatting with employees around the world on Slack channels, and engaging in HR-powered work tasks, even if it’s via Zoom, These are all a part of the connections I care about so much. , To that end, when choosing technology for your company, I recommend choosing programs and apps that are universally available.
After clearing the time-zone constraints and settling in for a meeting, I find that engaging in open discussions with employees, be it R&D, QA experts or the marketing team, never fails to motivate it happens. Never be so isolated that it disrupts the creative flow – sharing ideas with global teams will always provide an eye-opening experience in itself.
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safety, security, security
Security lies at the heart of a successful global team. Employees need to feel like someone has got their back, especially when working remotely. A distributed team means a distributed network and distributed tools. If one is compromised, your entire team could be affected.
For example, Phishing scams on the rise Over the past 24 months, employees cited distractions at home, lack of cybersecurity training, as well as threat actors using pandemic chaos and confusion to their advantage as some of the main reasons.
Your security situation should be the company’s main focus: updating your security system, antivirus and EDR providers, choosing a VPN, and password management are imperative. Furthermore, endpoint security of the entire company’s equipment is just as important. With multiple employees using more than one screen, as well as personal devices to check their work email, providing clean digital hygiene habits across the company should be a constant theme.
At Reason Labs, we practice what we preach, as our IT and DevOps teams are constantly improving our internal cyber behavior and OPSEC. This task is daunting enough for a single office – but when working around the world, with offices in different time zones, as well as people working independently from home, the challenge becomes more significant, Because we re-address our assumptions and continually improve our infrastructure.
Additionally, we strongly believe in dog food manufacturing our own cyber solutions within the company, as we believe they bring value and also see where we can improve. The advantage of already being a global company is that we can test these products on other continents and see how they affect their efficiency.
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personal well being
Although there were people working from home before 2022, the scale of cyber security needs is huge on that front now. This has led to a greater awareness of how we work remotely, rather than just assuming people to work from the office. In the same way that it is imperative to protect all technical endpoints within the company as well as our entire infrastructure, so too is the well being of individuals within the company at the heart of our operations.
It’s the little things, like being able to bring your dog to work or providing benefits for employees to build their own at-home workstations. Valuing employees’ personal milestones also makes a difference in how people approach their workplace and how comfortable they need to feel in their remote work environment.
Of course, there are many other factors involved in leading global teams, be it cultural awareness, clear work ethic, setting attainable goals and managing expectations. Ultimately, trusting your instincts and delegating are two of the biggest advantages you can take advantage of – and of course, if you’re able, it’s always worthwhile to take those business trips to spend time with your teams. Is.