Remote Work At Tropical Travelers
* As of February 2020
Tropical Travelers Remote Company Q&A
Jennifer Byrne, President & CEO - Interview with Remote.co
What does your remote-friendly company do?
The Tropical Travelers is a luxury oriented vacation firm doing business online with clients around the globe. Our team is home-based which gives everyone the flexibility to make their own hours.
Did you switch to remote or start out that way?
Yes, the company started as remote.
How important is remote work to your business model?
Our business model was specifically designed to work from home. When I opened The Tropical Travelers in 2001, I found there was a need for travel specialists. In order to reach clients around the globe, we didn’t need to be in an office setting. We needed to be able to work early morning or late in the evening and have the proper tools (ie. computer/phone) to service our clients effectively. Our location wasn’t as important as the work we are doing.
What do you consider the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?
Flexibility. There is almost always someone available to service the clients. We have agents on-call early in the morning and late in the evening. Many of our consultants have children and this gives everyone the availability to do their jobs well, plus care for their families in a more effective way.
What were the main reasons to integrate remote work into your workforce?
The local travel agencies were only servicing local clients, mostly walk-ins. My business model was such that we needed to be focused on the Internet and where we could find new leads globally.
How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?
I am very fortunate to have an incredible team of consultants. They are self-starters who work until the job is done. This type of work includes very long hours and if you don’t have passion for this type of work, you simply can’t make it in this business. There is no closing time here.
How did you implement a remote work policy?
The company was started as such.
Can a remote-friendly company have a healthy culture?
Many of my consultants are local and we do attend many travel related functions together regularly. For those not local, they do visit headquarters several times per year. In addition, the team travels together upwards of five times per year. We also do webinars and conference calls on a regular basis.
What advice would you give to a team considering to go remote?
Absolutely consider it if your team is able to do their job from home. If you have a team of self-starters who have a passion for their job, it’s the ideal situation for cutting costs and more time-effective work structures.
What has changed about how your remote team operates?
The communication has gotten better between the team. We are a very tight-knit “travel family” and our goal is to service our clients in the best possible way. We are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to make this happen.
How do you personally manage work-life balance?
It isn’t easy from an owner’s perspective. And as a single mother, it takes a lot of juggling. I’ve been in this business for 21 years and my clients are extremely demanding on my team. Administrative support is absolutely necessary to maintain some free time.