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Philipp Stauffer, co-founder and managing director of FYRFLY Ventures, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #291 - Philipp Stauffer: Office, Hybrid or Remote?

Philipp Stauffer

January 16, 2023

02:42 - Pros of the Physical Office

05:28 - Cons of the Physical Office

09:09 - Advantages of a Fully Remote Setup

11:43 - The Hybrid Model Approach

13:11 - A Purpose Meeting Place

About Philipp Stauffer:

Philipp Stauffer is the co-founder and managing director of FYRFLY Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in companies using data and intelligence to build their competitive advantage. His investments have included AngelList, Philz Coffee, and Beekeeper, among many others. As well as being a founding board member of the Swiss Blockchain Federation, he is also on the Advisory Board of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation. Additionally, he serves on the boards of PubMatic, the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce, and the Digital Citizen Fund.

Human beings are social animals and it's easier to build better trust by meeting in person than remotely — this is the value physical spaces may have over a remote working model. Philipp got a taste of the office environment when he started working at a Swiss private bank. When he got into consulting, he started working remotely. It became apparent to him how different office life is versus remote working: in terms of culture, habits and lifestyle. The serendipity of running into someone at the office who ends up being instrumental to your success is something that is hard to replicate in a remote space. 

Even though working in an office has its social advantages, some of the drawbacks of the physical space are the additional expenses in time and money that come with commuting. Despite this, going to the office versus working remotely was not something many companies thought about until the onset of COVID, which changed the work culture completely. It forced us to become more intentional about travel and taught us how to be more efficient with time. The appeal to a remote working environment grew as physical spaces, especially for startups, became an unnecessary additional expense. Furthermore, the distance became less of a factor when putting together a team, and more companies were able to hire talents from all over the world. 

Remote working became the ideal fix post-covid. However, as it became the norm, its challenges became more apparent. Having team members operating in different countries with different time zones can make collaboration challenging. Additionally, there is a greater need to build a more engaging work culture which is efficient in easily motivating a remote team. If this is not done well, some founders lose control of their company, experience mass quiet quitting or have to shut down their business completely.

With these challenges came innovations that made the remote working experience less complicated and more profitable. Today, even though more companies are introducing a hybrid model that balances remote and office life as the world continues to navigate back to normal, it is clear that remote working isn’t going away anytime soon.

Memorable Quotes:

"Involve your team in your hybrid model approach."

“The pandemic taught us how critical it is to make in-person meetings purposeful.”

If you would like to learn how to handle competition as a founder, listen to our previous episode with Philipp Stauffer.

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