How we built a culture that supports remote work and effective communication

Communication August 31, 2018

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How we built a culture that supports remote work and effective communication

In case you haven’t caught up yet, remote work is the new trend. Open up your knowledge basket.

From day one, we made the decision to embrace remote work culture at Veamly. Looking back, it is crystal clear that we called the right shots.

Buffer has recently published a report on the state of remote work. The numbers were astonishing. 94% of remote workers encourage others to work remotely.

A Surepayroll survey revealed that eighty-six percent of those surveyed said they preferred to work alone to “hit maximum productivity.”

Two-thirds of managers say employees who work remotely increase their overall productivity.

It wasn’t easy for us. 2 years and dozens of mistakes and tweaks were the price we gladly paid to get where we are today.

Why we embraced remote work

It was an opportunity and a choice.

Silicon Valley is so competitive when it comes to acquiring talent. Going remote allowed us to access  bigger and new talent hubs. We are present in 3 countries: US, South Korea and Tunisia. Of course we are always open to explore other locations.

But building a strong remote culture comes with its set of challenges.

Keeping separated teams in sync needs a seamless transparent layer of communication. That’s why we use Slack for quick interactions and Zoom for meetings. Slack is organized through channels that organize the conversations through subjects.

It’s not obvious to build a team spirit and have bonding moments when you have remote teams. For that we create the “See beyond the Veamler” initiative. We use donut and  we have weekly all company meetings that includes 10 minutes social time.

Despite all, we were able to still create a synergy within the team. The coordination between the time zones is improving with time and the communicative spirit within the Veamly culture was key to make it happen so far.

Of course, we still need to find a way to make the offices be more interactive to energize each other from time to time. For instance, we tried Sneek but it didn’t work well for the team for now. We might test some other options in the future.

Also, we do have rituals for teambuilding including but not limited to:

  • Gratitude Monday: A 15 minute team meeting to reflect on the things we are grateful for.
  • Meditation Wednesday: A 15 minute team meeting to meditate and take out all the stress. We are aware that in a fast paced environment can be stressful after all.
  • 1MYL: 1 minute yoga of laughter is yet another ritual that we do on a daily basis since the early days.

Hiring remotely

When we started hiring remotely, we knew we must design a solid process.

Bringing talent to Veamly means they satisfy a set of criteria.

If they have experience with working remotely, it’s a bonus. If not, we  prefer that they are in one of the countries where we have an office. In all cases, we  dig deeper into confirming that they are very communicative.

We empower our employees by giving them access to information and decision making ability. Our managers however focus on leading, guiding, and helping with unexpected problems. Moreover, we monitor the team performance in order to prevent burnouts.

It’s also mandatory to have a people operations manager(Shout out  to our amazing POM Soumaya). Their main role is to make sure everyone is in synergy with the team.

Yes, we do have managers in the offices that are on-site when needed especially when you have juniors. We believe that the ownership is the core of our culture and that helps a lot. Micromanaging is a step for juniors until they are ready to have independence with their tasks.

Personal growth and beyond

We put everything into perspective so the company mission stays in motion. We care a lot about our employees.

To make up for the distance,  we get to know our employees as individuals and experiment with creative ways to support their hobbies and interests.

We wanna make sure that our team is taken care of, near.. far, wherever they are.

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