Tricia Sciortino
April 28, 2020

Company Interview with Tricia, CEO of BELAY

For 10 years, BELAY has been a 100% remote work company. CEO, Tricia, shares the tools that keep them thriving and how boundaries & expectations contribute to their success.

How did you get started with remote work?

If your team is new to remote work, one of the first ways to get your team up to speed is to start with leadership.

Leadership must be on board with promoting and utilizing the tools your team will need to complete their task while away from the physical office.

When it comes to tangible tools, aligning with your IT team and introducing your employees to chat communication tools such as Slack, video conferencing such as Zoom and project management platforms like Asana will become important to help your team stay connected.

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What made you develop a remote work policy for your company?

Our company, BELAY, is a virtual assisting company that has been 100% remote for a decade. Our founders started the company after experiencing how impactful having a virtual assistant was to their business.

They saw virtual assisting as a path to help other entrepreneurs and companies free up their time while growing their business and that is why BELAY was created.

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What has been the benefit of allowing remote work?

As a remote company, we aren’t limited to geography. It’s a great position to be in as a business leader when you are looking to scale with the right people.

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What have been some of the challenges?

When we change the way we work, becoming isolated can become a factor in the early stages. It can happen from the newly minted remote employee to a telecommuting veteran.

Even though we are ten years into this type of environment, it can happen.

We course correct in this area by staying connected and reaching out to our team members when needed. This provides us with an opportunity to talk through an idea or simply check-in to make sure things are okay.

For example, many of our internal teams have group chats and interact throughout the day, share light-hearted stories, or ask work-related questions for the team to weigh in.

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Do you have a hybrid or full-remote team?

Our team is 100% remote. We have team members throughout the country.

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What are your company's most popular tools?

Our team utilizes video conferencing communication tools and platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangout, or Skype. From a project management standpoint, we utilize tools such as Asana and Trello to keep team members on track with their “to-do’s” while meeting deadlines.

Messaging applications are also extremely important in a remote setting. Slack, G-chat, and Microsoft Teams allow us to quickly connect and share documents for review and approvals.

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What does a typical day look like for your remote teams?

First, we create or plan our ideal workweek – even before we put pen to paper – to make sure the things that we know have to happen weekly are pre-scheduled, recurring and sit at the same time on our calendars.

Then, depending on when we’re at our best – morning or afternoon – we schedule accordingly. Additionally, we encourage leaving buffers on our calendars because life happens.

We are steadfastly committed to respecting boundaries, work-life balance, and the tenet that we work to live and not the other way around.

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How do you support or train your remote managers?

As more organizations move toward remote workforces, leaders must remain agile in modifying the way they lead and delegate.

It’s important for leaders to set expectations early, define availability, clearly explain goals, meet frequently, and communicate effectively.

When leaders can demonstrate these attributes to their next generation of managers and leaders, I truly believe they set a foundation for success.

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Do you have a formal remote work policy?

BELAY is a remote workplace. We don’t have a brick and mortar building, and all of our employees work from the comfort of their own home. It is the responsibility of each employee to ensure a secure and dedicated workspace and be free from distraction at all times.

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How has the role of HR changed when it comes to supporting your remote workforce?

With the increase of remote work, in light of the current news agenda, HR leaders will have to reconsider how they are training and investing in remote talent. With COVID-19 becoming the accelerator for what is positioned to be one of the more transformational moments in the modern workplace, I believe skills-based hiring will step into the forefront, and how we train and educate employees will transform as well.

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How do you build trust and camaraderie among your remote workers?

Our culture and employee engagement are vital to establishing trust within our organization.

We believe in putting people first, and this starts with recognizing that happy and engaged employees aid in organizational growth.

We’re also committed to our mission and vision and believe when our employees have clarity and a solid understanding of their role and our company, we can all grow and excel together.

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Do you facilitate opportunities for face-to-face interactions?

Definitely. We utilize Zoom frequently within our daily interactions.

“Face-time” becomes critical in a remote setting because you can account for body language and other non-verbal cues that can enhance interaction.

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Tricia Sciortino

Tricia Sciortino is the CEO of one of the nation’s leading virtual assistant companies, BELAY. As CEO, Tricia strives to lead and inspire her team to provide extraordinary services while finding great talent along the way. As a leader, she’s passionate about helping her team forge their own paths, careers, and professional development, putting each of the company’s valued employees and contractors in the driver seat to cultivate the balance of work and life that best suits them.

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