Digital Nomads Daily Podcast Cover Episode 39 How Leaders Can Strengthen Remote Company Culture with Jürgen Pretsch01 (1)

38: How Leaders Can Strengthen Remote Company Culture With Jürgen

How to create a remote-friendly company and lead digital nomads? In this week’s episode, we answer these questions with entrepreneur and startup founder Jürgen Pretsch. He has been nomadding for over six years and has experience leading teams remotely. He is launching his new startup Shap and his entire team is working remotely. We go deep into leadership skills for remote organizations, build trust and talk about how leaders and employees can deal with micro-management. Jürgen sees the remote lifestyle as a mindset. It requires a lot of trial and error to be successful in your personal and work life, so experimenting and having conversations with your people are key. Tune in for an inspiring episode for all digital nomads, leaders and entrepreneurs.

‘‘Many of the things that you should be doing if you are leading a remote team are things that should be already doing anyway even in an office team.”

Image of with Jürgen Pretsch for Digital Nomads Daily Podcast Episode How Leaders Can Strengthen Remote Company Culture (1)

A leadership conversation with a digital nomad startup founder

The digital nomad lifestyle attracts many different people and we see a lot of entrepreneurial vibes in the community. Jürgen is one of these entrepreneurs and as a digital nomad himself, he understands that the digital nomad lifestyle is challenging with so many changes. That’s why remote work and travel isn’t the best lifestyle for everyone. The truth is that not all remote workers want to travel and some people just enjoy staying in their country and others would like to spend more time with their families. So organizations need to understand what remote work means and looks like inside their organization before rolling out company policies.

picture of startup founder Jürgen Pretsch for Digital Nomads Daily Podcast Episode How Leaders Can Strengthen Remote Company Culture (1)

Creating a digital nomad-friendly work environment

Before traveling, Jürgen saw that not everyone needs to work in an office. Some jobs can easily be done from home or in a flexible office while other jobs require to be on-site, like a nurse. Regardless, in any work environment leading in a healthy and trustworthy way is key to company growth.

With so many people wanting to go remote, we see in the community that companies try to create a physical office space in a virtual world. The truth is that classical leadership principles always apply. Although in a remote work environment, people conduct their work in their own space and it takes away a sense of control you would experience in a traditional office. This creates friction and leads to unpleasant work situations for employees and can ultimately put the organization at risk. The question is though if this sense of control is necessary and effective as people think.


Tips for remote workers and digital nomads

  • Respect the trust your company has in you and don’t just go remote without letting them know. It’s bad for the organization, for yourself and puts a bad label on other digital nomads in the community.
  • With so many changes, habits are a powerful tool to nurture your well-being. Find out things that work for you and make them part of your day-to-day life.
  • Mirco-management can happen anywhere and also in remote work environments. So if you feel uncomfortable with the management style find out why this is and what they want to get out of this. Perhaps there is a reason or they are not noticing it. If you cannot communicate this then it’s probably best to find another job.


Tips for organizations who have (aspiring) digital nomads on their team

  • Stop talking about your people but focus on having conversations with your employees and co-create a remote work environment. Ask your people how remote looks and feels like to them and see how your company can reshape its culture.
  • Adapt a startup mentality where you experiment with different ideas. If your organization is new to remote work, get tools and recourses to help you become successful so your organization and people can thrive.
  • Focus on the results and what people deliver instead of controlling how many hours someone is online. Controlling work environments aren’t pleasant and by giving people autonomy, they become more engaged and committed to giving their best work.

“The hardest part for me also goes down for the nomad thing, if you move very fast, it gets exhausting. You always feel like you are missing out ”

Choose small instead of aiming big

A final piece of advice for both employees and organizations is to take things step by step. If there is a desire to go fully remote for whatever reason, remember some people want to travel and others just want to live in a better place. So have a conversation on how this could be achieved before making any harsh decision.

A great way to do this where organizations and employees benefit are workcations. It’s basically a demo and in this setup, the employee goes to their desired destination and commits to working remotely. In this way you can audit how it works and see the impact in a safe and trustworthy way.


What is important is that both employee and the organization:

  • Don’t treat this as a holiday so go for at least 4 weeks
  • Get clear on expectations and outcomes
  • Have an open conversation and reflect afterwards on the experience.
Quick Links:

Follow him on LinkedIn @Jurgen Pretsch

Visit Shap via


Say hello to  Digital Nomads Daily on Instagram @digitalnomadsdaily

Meet your host Nienke Nina Instagram @nienkeninatravels