How Ideamotive uses Clockify to achieve efficiency in a remote work setting
Last updated on: January 9, 2023
Picture this: you’ve got only 24 hours to complete that strenuous task, but the outcome depends on more than one person.
Will too many cooks spoil the soup?
Not if you ask the professionals from Ideamotive — your go-to place if you want to find the best possible tech talent within 24 hours.
But how do they do that? Do they excel at time management?
To find the answer to this and many other questions, we’ve reached out to Ideamotive’s COO, Kamil Osiecki.
Turns out, their extraordinary abilities did not just appear out of thin air — they are the result of a carefully thought out time management strategy, strong remote culture, and a bit of time tracking.
Let’s find out what we can all learn about becoming as efficient as possible (even in a remote setting), by taking a look at the behind-the-scenes of this remote-first company.
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What does Ideamotive do?
Whether you’re in search of an IT expert who can build your product from scratch, or you’d like to join a network of like-minded tech professionals who can help you secure your next gig, Ideamotive is your place to go.
By blending the best recruiting practices with their own background in managing a dev shop, the people behind Ideamotive came up with a unique proposition that they offer today:
“We switched from being a classical [recruiting] agency and a classical dev shop to being a consultancy, to being kind of like a marketplace, where we, first of all, help our customers to understand what they need and what technology is best for them.
We have this technical background that can help you out with propositions of which kind of talent to pick — we match and test developers before we present them to our customers.”
So, by taking the best out of two worlds, Ideamotive team perfected their own workflow enough to be able to offer the best possible solutions for both companies of all sizes and IT experts from all around the world.
The balancing act of managing two remote teams
Although the experts from Ideamotive always provide the fastest possible solution to their clients, to be able to hit the mark every time, they needed to welcome the best possible people on board.
But, in line with the nature of their business, the workshare in Ideamotive had to be equally distributed between two separate teams:
“The first one is the Delivery team — basically, they are the talent that we provide to our customers.
We also have a second chunk, which is a Business team that includes:
- Legal, etc.”
Still, things weren’t always business as usual — Ideamotive also had to adjust to the newly developed conditions of operating remotely:
“That was a bigger challenge for us — to move from being in a physical place together towards being a fully remote team. So, we had to introduce some practices — and it was a very nice management challenge for us because it was a new thing to do.”
Although the Delivery team mainly consists of programmers who used to work remotely for years, Ideamotive’s Business team needed to adapt to a new remote work reality enough to achieve maximum results — no matter where their desks were.
💡 Clockify Pro Tip
A perfect remote work day doesn’t exist. Or does it? We’ll let you in on a secret — there are ways to make the most out of your work-from-home experience, and we’ve listed them all:
Ideamotive’s strategies for achieving maximum efficiency in a remote team
According to Kamil, switching to a remote setting after years of working on-site seemed like a dream come true at first. With fewer distractions and longer hours of sleep, they were all happy to jump on the bandwagon of working from home.
But, soon enough, making sure they’re on the same page with their miles away team members, all while retaining the same productivity levels and sneaking in more free time started to require a great deal of work.
Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to overcome the challenges of working remotely.
Ideamotive team is the living proof that it is possible to achieve maximum productivity, while still bringing out the best in your team, regardless of your work setting.
Since Kamil let us take a sneak peek into Ideamotive’s day-to-day remote operations, we are now able to present you with four practical strategies you can use to maximize your remote team’s efficiency like an expert.
Strategy #1: Do your best to help remote teammates not feel lonely
It’s not a secret that remote work brings joy to millions of people, especially after they’ve waved goodbye to commuting.
But, if we look at the saying that distance makes the heart grow fonder, it stands to reason that a lot of remote workers might feel like they are not getting what they bargained for. With their team members not being at arm’s length anymore, loneliness may quickly start to kick in:
“When you are all together in one office, you have this kind of feeling of collaborating with people. Once you get outside of the office to have a home office, you basically mostly stay in the same place you live and you have this feeling of being alone.”
So, aware of the dangers that go hand in hand with leading a dispersed team, the management at Ideamotive decided to nurture a particular mindset to retain the connection within the team:
“We decided to take a step back and think about people, not processes. We had this thinking process about what our values are, and the very first thing that we figured out is that we are all entrepreneurs in our company. Each and every one of us, even at the lowest level of organizational structure, is a master responsible for our field. Because of that, nobody feels like they’re alone. They’re responsible for something, adding to the company. And they know that there are other people to help them if necessary.”
Strategy #2: Establish the best times to connect
Just as we’ve welcomed the peace and quiet of working from home, the noise lurking from all our devices started to interfere with everyone’s productivity.
Although keeping in touch with your remote team is a great way to remain connected, we couldn’t help but wonder — how much of a connection is too much?
If you’re troubled by the same question, you’ll be glad to find out that it’s possible to quiet the distracting “noise” while still keeping in touch with your team.
The easy fix is called the best time to connect — and Kamil let us in on the details of how this strategy works:
“When we have customers from the US, there is a seven-hour [time] difference. So, obviously, there is an overlap. This is where we say “Okay, this developer is available for three hours.” It is very important to establish [this rule] at the very beginning of corporate cooperation, because the worst thing that can happen is that a programmer is in the zone and someone pings him. That’s the most frustrating thing and it kills productivity.”
Since this strategy works like a charm for Ideamotive’s Delivery team, they decided to try out a similar thing with their Business team:
“We use a team chat app only for purposes of having something urgent, or for an E-coffee where you can just hang out with someone and chat about non-business-related matters.
And don’t really use phones. It’s not like I will call my team and say “Okay, where are you?“ We don’t do that, it’s very disruptive. We call someone if it’s really necessary — and it happens very rarely.”
So, instead of disrupting someone’s focus whenever a new idea pops up, they try to make a note of it and use communication tools only for urgent matters.
Strategy #3: Cultivate a feedback culture
Being able to give and receive open and honest feedback is a skill that never goes out of style, regardless of the work setting.
But, when working in a remote team, feedback becomes twice as important since it can significantly improve everyone’s performance and keep the team morale high.
With that in mind, the management at Ideamotive decided to place a high emphasis on feedback and encourage honest talk from the very start:
“I know that feedback is a buzzword, everybody gives and receives feedback, but we introduced that in a different manner. Even in the recruitment process, at the very last stage, when there is the CEO of our company, after two hours of the interview we ask [candidates]: Okay, give us feedback.”
Still, the process doesn’t end there, and the open talk atmosphere remains as important even after the candidate gets the job:
“Very often, we have these emotional discussions online in front of the whole team. We do that because [saying] only nice words would not work.
So, we cultivate this feedback culture in a really cruel meaning. I can say to my CEO that he made a big mistake and I can tell him that in front of the people. I want to tell him in front of them because I want to encourage my people to tell me those kinds of things.”
Since open and transparent communication is key to strong company culture, by providing their team with opportunities to freely express their opinions, the management at Ideamotive builds a trustworthy work environment where everyone’s viewpoint is equally valued.
💡 Clockify Pro Tip
To be able to provide valuable feedback, you have to stay on top of everyone’s performance. But, how to make sure your evaluation is truly objective now that your team’s working fully remote? Turns out there are ways to assess your team’s performance, regardless of their workstation:
Strategy #4: Don’t forget about the work-life balance
With all the perks of working remotely come the challenges of switching off and giving yourself the benefit of a break.
Familiar with the long-term negative effects of an imbalanced work schedule, Kamil shared his view on this issue:
“There will always be too much work. You can’t do everything, there will always be something to do. If you have this entrepreneurial mindset, you will find new tasks, and this is a big threat for the whole team — it can lead to burnout and a drop in motivation.”
So, to help their team members be in control of both their workdays and private lives, everyone in Ideamotive tries to focus on the outcome:
“I don’t really care whether someone starts at 10 a.m. or 6 a.m. as long as she or he is delivering. Sometimes, I can only work seven hours a day, and sometimes I need to work 11 hours a day. So it’s all my decision, as long as I’m delivering results.”
In the meantime, while trying to reach that end goal, employees are encouraged to take a break whenever they feel necessary:
“The only thing that we appreciate and cultivate is clear communication. If I want to go for a jog, I’ll just write ‘For about one hour, I will be running.’ And that’s largely fine for our team — everyone will just give you the motivation to beat your record. And, when you’re back, you say ‘I’m back’ — and just get back to work.”
Although it is possible to get carried away and continue to work long into the night — simply because there’s too much to be done — the awareness that the final outcome trumps the number of hours can be a great motivator to avoid working long hours in the long run.
💡 Clockify Pro Tip
Working long hours can have a great impact on everyone’s quality of life. Still, there are ways to avoid this from happening to you:
How important is time management for Ideamotive?
Whether you are trying to hire in the IT industry or you’re simply looking for the best possible tech solution for your product, chances are, you’ll have to act pretty fast.
With the global tech market predicted to grow more than 6% in 2022 — while the tech talent shortage continues to increase — remaining ahead of the curve in the IT industry became heavily dependent on a team’s ability to manage their time.
Naturally, we wanted to hear everything people from Ideamotive had to say about this issue:
“Tech business is super agile and super quick — if you sleep on something, it’s lost. So, there are plenty of things going on both on the talent side, but also the customer side.”
So, in order not to miss any arising opportunities, experts from Ideamotive try to act as swiftly as possible:
“If a developer is very good, he or she is usually getting ten or fifteen offers every week. So, if you’re not quick enough, if you overlook something, you will lose in this market.”
But, being able to act on opportunities rapidly does not always come as easy — and this is where handy tools come into the picture:
“When a customer needs instant help, we have a couple of hours to react. This is very immersive, addictive, and difficult to manage on time — because of the work-life balance — but there are tools that help you out — for instance, Clockify. This is very important for us and it’s the essence of our business.”
With tools specifically designed to improve team time management and provide a detailed visual overview of the hours each team member puts into a task, companies can more easily stay on top of their game — even in a quickly evolving industry.
Why is time tracking in Clockify vital for Ideamotive?
Since Kamil has pointed out that Clockify is essential for Ideamotive’s day-to-day operations, we wanted to find out about the transformations that Clockify has brought into their workflow — as well as the reasons behind their decision to track time.
How did Ideamotive find out about Clockify?
Dealing with time-sensitive issues on a daily basis while leading two remote teams usually means that nothing can be left to chance.
Knowing how much experts from Ideamotive value their time, we first wanted to hear how they discovered Clockify and what led them to choose this time tracking app.
“We first heard about Clockify from the Internet — many companies recommended it as an easy way to track billable hours. We did some research on the app and found that it was very user-friendly and had a lot of great features, such as the ability to create reports, track time spent on projects, and invoice clients. We decided to give it a try and have been very pleased with the results.
Clockify has helped us be more productive and efficient in our work, and we would recommend it to any business owner or employee looking for a time tracking app.”
As soon as they started using Clockify, they noticed how it perfectly fits their workflow:
“A very important thing for our business is logging hours. The whole business stands on it because we are very transparent and the talents log hours to get remuneration for that.
But, the same tool gives information to our clients, because our customers can see how many hours are being logged on the developer side — and they have a straightforward calculation there as well.”
So, instead of guessing where their time went — or manually calculating the hours they’ve put in — Ideamotive decided to maximize their transparency and ensure that both their Delivery side and the Customer side operate like clockwork.
Why does Ideamotive use Clockify?
As it turns out, Clockify quickly became the core of Ideamotive’s business precisely because it gave them a clear overview of everybody’s time:
“If we don’t have this oversight and don’t have this transparency, we cannot operate. We cannot calculate our forecasts, we cannot see what our financial results are, and we cannot assess whether a developer is above or below the budget. We cannot assess if we cannot give transparency to our clients — because they can’t see those hours logged.
And, obviously, a tool that tracks hours, which is reliable, which is easy to use, which has API and stuff like that… [It means] we can connect to our different warehouses and automations.”
Due to its ease of use, people from Ideamotive got used to logging their hours in Clockify, and now see it as a staple part of their workday:
“Clockify is vital, in essence, [because] it’s very reliable and straightforward. What we need is a robust tool that has many plugins, is easy to use, and has great UX in which we can tag and see different people on different projects.
And this is what Clockify delivers, for sure. Without that, we would be blind and deaf and we could not operate. It would be like without hands for us. So it’s very important.”
How did Clockify change Ideamotive’s workflow?
Since transparency is key to Ideamotive’s workflow, we were eager to find out whether Clockify had any impact in increasing the visibility of their operations.
Turns out, Clockify has brought about instant change from the very start:
“There are a few changes that I’ve noticed since I started using Clockify. The first, and most notable, is the improvement in my overall work/life balance. Before I started using Clockify, I tracked my time manually — which was very time-consuming and inaccurate.
With Clockify’s timer feature, it’s easy to track how much time I’m spending on each task, so I can be more conscious of where my time is going.
Additionally, the reporting feature has made it easy for me to see where I’m spending the most time, so I can adjust my workflow accordingly. Overall, using Clockify has helped me to be more productive and efficient with my time.”
After using Clockify for a while, Kamil noticed several improvements in his communication with clients:
“Since Clockify allows me to share detailed reports with clients, they can see exactly how much time I’ve spent on their projects — which makes it easier for them to understand my billing. Additionally, the ability to add comments to each task entry has made it easy for me to keep clients updated on my progress without having to send a separate email or report. This has resulted in fewer questions and a better understanding of my work on their behalf.”
How does Ideamotive use Clockify?
Being mindful of your time does not always come naturally if you don’t have enough data to back you up. Since Clockify enables teams of all sizes to see where exactly their time goes, we wanted to hear everything Kamil had to say about the way they use our time tracking app.
“Basically, in the Delivery team, talents need to log their hours on a daily basis — but this depends on our customers’ needs. Some customers don’t need the hours logged, so talents just log 8 hours. But, there are small startups that are very agile or need to optimize their costs — so they need [more] detail. This is what the Delivery team knows, and they act accordingly.”
Ideamotive’s day-to-day operations heavily depend on a system that gives them enough transparency of the time and effort the Delivery team has put into each task. Because of that, they have decided to test Clockify further out and see how it fits into other aspects of their business:
“Sometimes, on the Marketing side, we like to log [time] to see the effort that has been put and compare that to those results. So, sometimes, we use it as an ROI or just to compare AB testing and something like that in the Business team. But, it’s not for transparency — this is for analysis purposes.”
Since Clockify provides a detailed overview of everyone’s progress, obtaining an accurate analysis is a matter of seconds.
Should you track time when working remotely?
Although remote work comes with a fair share of drawbacks — such as issues caused by physical distance and the lack of transparency — time tracking is there to bridge the connection gap.
Let’s see what people from Ideamotive had to say about staying on top of everyone’s tasks while still saving enough time for more burning issues.
Every second matters when you work remotely
If there’s anything we’ve learned from Ideamotive, it’s that every second matters. But, they’re also aware that our productivity levels tend to decrease when every little thing we need to do to improve a remote team’s transparency has to be done by hand. That’s why they prioritize automation:
“We know that time is limited, so we rather manage tools instead of time — and, to do so, we optimize and automate things. If something is repeatable, we automate it first thing in the morning. Even though we need to report, have oversight and transparent information about something, we automate that so it creates itself.”
Luckily, time tracking is one of those activities that does not require conscious effort if done the right way.
Final thoughts: Remote work makes the dream work if you mind your time
Taking a glimpse into Ideamotive’s workflow has shown that working in a remote setting is more than just a long stretch of trial and error.
This IT company has managed to perfect their remote system enough to ensure their teams are as efficient as possible — but without neglecting the importance of the right work-life balance.
Still, to go past the troubles that come with the lack of team interaction, experts from Ideamotive realized they had to take good care of their time.
So, if you ever have your concerns about how to make remote work really work, you can never go wrong with paying attention to how you spend your time.
Although knowing how many hours it takes to respond to all the emails might not fix every little issue that remote work throws at you, it will bring you clarity, transparency, and trust — and that’s just as good.
✉️Are you and your team operating remotely? Do you have any tips and tricks for making the most of your remote collaboration? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured in this one or one of our future articles.