5 lessons learned from managing a scale-up remotely — Part 1 — “why”

5 lessons learned from managing a scale-up remotely — Part 1 — “why”

It’s August 2020 and Google Trends reports, that the term “remote work” has one of the fastest growth rates since the beginning of the pandemic. As a famous joke says, the pandemic and social distancing have become the most successful motivator for the digital transformation of many companies and for remote work to become standard.

google trends for the term “remote work” from the beginning of 2020

Since March 2020, thousands of articles and blogs have been released, demonstrating how to survive and master the remote way of working. We’ve learned to work from home, to communicate and cooperate without social contact. But have we learned how to lead and grow #business in the environment, which disallows social contact?

One of the CEO role’s description says, that the only job of a CEO is to take care of his customers and employees. As you can imagine, this might be quite challenging when you don’t have the ability to make human contact.

As a CEO, I am facing this situation as well and had to face multiple challenges of the new reality. In this blog, I would like to share the most important takeaways for me as a CEO, covering the human, process, and technology aspects of leadership.


There are actually few companies, which have been designed to use remote working modus by default from the beginning. The concept, in general, makes perfect sense, especially for product companies, where limitations of a #service company are not present.

Nevertheless, this was not our case. As a service company, our daily operations are depending on customer contact and interaction within teams. With the massive growth of pandemic and introduction of social distancing restrictions, both mentioned aspects of our daily business have disappeared overnight. This was obviously the main reason why the remote management of our company started to be an issue for us.

As governments have started to get pandemic under better control, social distancing restrictions disappeared, allowing us to get back to normal operations. However, I have decided to keep managing the company in a fully remote way. You wonder why?

They say, that each organization has multiple important milestones on its growth path from a startup to a corporate level. At ableneo we’ve recently reached a size of 50 employees, which usually is a point, where a transformation to “an organization” happens. The process is never easy, especially for me, going through this for the first time. As a former engineer, in my career, I was always a “doer” and got my hands dirty in real projects. This, on one hand, is very important in building a business, where you know exactly how stuff should work, on the other hand, however, the knowledge is often pushing you to care too much about minor, not important stuff.

This was my case as well and with the time, I have realized, that I am not able to bring the company further without taking myself out from the operations completely and “letting things happen”.

The good thing about not being physically present is, that it is quite easy to not know about things. That’s why I have decided to keep working #remotely and keep a distance from stuff which I should normally distance myself from.

This way, working remotely has become my personal strategy for bringing ableneo to the next level.

I’ve learned quite a lot during that period, and am still learning every day. In this blog series, I would like to share with you top 5 learnings I’ve made so far:

  • how good becomes great and bad becomes critical
  • why process is key
  • the risk of losing team spirit in remote work
  • the chance to manage time better
  • the importance of a data-driven approach

Stay tuned for the next part!


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5 lessons learned from managing a scale-up remotely — Part 1 — “why” was originally published in ableneo People on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.