Sharon Koifman is obsessed about remote management.
He was born in Israel and moved to Montreal – a city he describes as “the most beautiful hybrid between new and old, combining the modernity of a North American city with the old charm of Europe” – at age of 10, and he lives there now with his lovely wife and two daughters. From there, over the past twenty years, he’s built and run three fully-remote companies.
Sharon grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and was heavily inspired by his father, who ran a boutique engineering firm. It was his father who first introduced Sharon to the idea of working remotely. He would design industrial machines on his computer and outsource the building to a machine shop that put together all the components.
Thanks to that influence, Sharon has built businesses from his own computer for the past 20 years.
He started back in the era of the dot com crash, where he ran a web hosting provider with an office in India. Like many entrepreneurs, he was taken in by the idea that he could combine the growing technical expertise in India with the much lower cost of living and hire several expert developers for the cost of a single western worker.
But the reality made much less sense than the math. The fact was that he had the people, but they lacked the team spirit, the culture. His experts were scattered and didn’t know how to work together – and the company suffered for it.
Once he sold that first company, he realized that whatever he would do next, he would benefit from managing his own employees remotely, but also that he would need them to feel the same tight-knit bond that people working in the same office have. As a child, he loved team sports like rugby and football, so he knew exactly what to shoot for – he just had to make it happen online!
Since then, Sharon has studied and researched not only how to operate remote businesses but how to create an amazing work culture, one where people love to come to work. He has dedicated his mind to finding ways – through systems and processes, services and tools – to bridge the gap between the faces in the monitor and the people in the real world.
These days Sharon runs DistantJob, a unique recruitment agency geared specifically for finding full-time remote employees who work from all over the world. He’s been working tirelessly to promote remote work. The key difference in his approach is that he wants to show how remote work benefits businesses.
Everyone talks about the benefits to the individual – less stress, less commute, better work-life balance, more options of where to live… We’ve heard it all. But Sharon’s argument is that remote work also benefits companies and their bottom line. He believes companies who adopt remote work can be leaner, less expensive, more environmentally-friendly, and have access to better and more productive people, faster.
And suddenly, the whole world was forced into remote work! So, in the wake of the COVID crisis, he wrote “Surviving Remote Work” in order to help businesses not only survive but actually thrive in this new environment.
He loves listening to soul music and legend has it that he can, if the stars align, be seen in the wild playing the piano.