-by Michael Wray, Mariner Software President
If you follow this blog you know it can be a little heavy on product-reated posts and not so much of the inside look at Mariner Software.
I thought we would change that up a bit for this post.
Earlier this month and without a lot of publicity, Mariner Software did something that not a lot of companies can do – we turned the company completely virtual. That's right. Every full time employee, developer, and contractor (some that are the equivilant of a full time employee) throughout the world now work from their home office. After nearly a decade of renting a phenomenal office in downtown Minneapolis overlooking Target Field, we decided to do something different and try the virtual model.
Q.) So why did you do this?
A.) Several reasons.
-We are a small company, and even before "virtualizing," many of our team worked from their home offices. Officially doing this company-wide really didn't effect all that many folks.
-This is 2012. Even with an office, we ended up communicating through iChat, email, conference calls, teleconferences, social media, text and most every other method of communication. Except faxes. I can't believe how many large companies still rely on faxes. What the hell? But I digress. The bottom line is, we've had years of experience communicating virtually, this model will be no different.
-Winter. Winter in Minneapolis sucks. Not having to fight traffic on a 20 below morning will, I guarantee, make for happier employees.
-Cost. No need to explain this one.
-Because we can. We are fortunate to be in an industry which lends itself perfectly for a virtual business. We don't have customers stopping by the office to order product. We don't need a retail presence. We can all still do our jobs effectively and efficiently without being in the same office.
Q.) Any concerns with going virtual?
A.) Not many. We will still have bi-weekly meetings at random locations throughout the Twin Cities to make sure we don't lose that social element of working together as a team. For some, working from home will be a transition but one that should be simple enough.
Q.) How will this model effect Mariner customers?
A.) It won't. We will continue to support our customers no differently than when we had an official HQ. Customers can still email us, call us, Facebook us, Tweet us…just don't fax us. 🙂