More often than not when we talk about startups being innovative, we are referring to their products or their business models. But startups can also have innovative ideas about work-life balance.
That’s what’s driving Matthew Rowan, the founder of Process PA, a startup that takes care of a lot of the governance and compliance work necessary for voluntary organisations. Things like taking the minutes of a board meeting for a P&C association.
Rowan has four children and it takes him about 50 minutes to get to his desk in River City Labs. Ideally, says Rowan, he wants more flexibility so he can drop his children off at school.
So Rowan is building a company where there isn’t an ordinary office or structured hours. Process PA is a new company, and only has one other employee, but Rowan has already started building a flexible, remote workforce. The first employee is a developer living in the United Kingdom.
The British developer, Max, works a late shift so that he and Rowan cross paths for a couple of hours in the morning. They have a continuous Skype call going, and Rowan keeps Max up on a second screen.
“I can turn to Max and say ‘Hey, what is this?'” says Rowan.
“Having a Skype presence is important.”
The two also use visual studio, a set of developer tools, to collaborate directly on the work they are doing. They can keep track of projects through it and it integrates with other software.
Rowan references Github, a company with 240 employees, more than half of whom work remotely, as an example of what he wants to accomplish. Github uses a couple of different services to chat and collaborate, including Github itself.
As the company grows he can experiment, like other internet-based companies, with using microblogs or group chats to keep everyone informed.
Process PA has already raised a seed round as part of being accepted into the River City Labs/Muru-D accelerator program.
Now, Rowan is looking for a marketing person who he hopes can also take advantage of the flexibility. He’s imagining hiring a mother – someone who would also like to drop their kids off at school, who might already have a relationship with a couple of associations.