How Buffer, Github, Gitlabs, Invision, Trello, Zapier & Automattic make Remote Teams work
The freedom and flexibility to work on your own terms add to employees’ happiness. Technology and the internet have made work from home possible for many employees. This option not only eliminates the need for travel but also offers more flexibility.
Some companies still believe that employees are more productive in the office. A notion challenged by many companies today. Firms are going 100% remote with a distributed team. Even without a physical office, they achieve productivity and success.
The approach to building a successful remote team is simple. Companies hire the best candidates and provide a great work-life balance. They spend money on employees rather than the office space. The focus is on ensuring the team’s productivity.
Here are some popular companies that have embraced the remote working style.
Buffer has close to 80 employees working in different countries. Their social media management tool is very popular and used by over 60K paid customers. The company goes out of its way to bring out the feeling of equality and inclusiveness.
Buffer believes in transparency. Hence, they share their recruiting practice, salaries and revenue details on a transparency page. Moreover, employees at buffer enjoy many perks like unlimited vacation and annual retreats.
Image Credit: Buffer
Automattic is one of the most popular brands on the market. They have products like WordPress, Gravatar, Simplenote, and Longreads under their belt. The employees of Automattic can work from anywhere they want. At present, the team is 500+ strong with employees across the globe.
So, how do they manage remote teams?
To work across different time zones, the company uses slack. The management of Automattic looks for applicants with strong writing and communication skills. This is the key to their success even when it comes to the support they offer.
To check for writing skills, even the interview process is text chat based. Employees enjoy annual retreats, co-working allowances, paid sabbaticals and an open vacation policy.
The company is currently hiring for positions like business support, and product marketing.
Image Credit: Automattic
Gitlab is a code collaboration platform that built for the enterprise. Programmers across the globe use the platform. Gitlab is a 100 percent remote company with staff located across 3 continents.
Their remote working policies are pretty interesting. The employees can work from anywhere they want. This saves time for commute and gives employees the freedom to be with their loved ones.
The company encourages the employees to use various chat tools to communicate. For meetings, they use apps like the hangout.
Image Credit: Gitlab
Invision is a design collaboration and prototyping platform. Popular companies such as Airbnb and Adobe use the platform. The Invision team has the freedom to design and test products from anywhere.
They have around 220 employees working in 14 countries. Invision’s CEO believes that it is important to give employees the freedom to work on their own terms. Something that’s not possible with a traditional desk job.
The company places more emphasis on outcomes rather than the physical presence in the office. Employees get medical insurance, free gym membership, travel allowance and unlimited Starbucks drinks.
Image Credit: Invision
It is an automation tool, which connects your favorite web apps such as slack and Gmail. This company currently has around 80 employees working from 13+ countries. The company is fully distributed without any headquarters. Employees enjoy the flexibility.
The company saves on cost for office space. The employees can also cut down on their travel expenses. Zapier believes that people are more productive in a remote setting than in the office.
Slack connects the employees of Zapier. Zoom helps in video calls. Hackpad makes their documentation easy. Employees also enjoy profit sharing, medical coverage, annual retreats and unlimited vacation.
Image Credit: Zapier
Trello is a popular project management platform. It has 19+ million users including brands like National Geographic and Google.
Two-third of the Trello team works remotely. The key to their success is seamless communication. Most employees connect with each other via video conference. The company has taken promote to a healthy collaborative work culture.
They have an optional weekly event that encourages employees to network. Every week, four employees receive an invite to meet and talk for 30 mins about anything.
These initiatives help employees connect with each another, outside of work. Additionally, employees are also given perks and incentives on a regular basis to keep them going strong at work.
Image Credit: Trello
Github is a platform where users get to collaborate on or adopt open source code projects. The work culture is different here. You can work from anywhere, at any time.
As there is no solid structure, formal meetings hardly happen. Employees use online communicators to interact. Most of the work gets done online.
Github enjoys many benefits with a remote workforce
Hiring – Github believes that if you need the best talent, then restricting yourself to the talent in a single city is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Diversity – With a team aligned to company culture and values, you can tackle any challenge.
Productivity – Remote teams can effectively utilize their day and communicate with coworkers. Employees have greater focus when they are not exhausted from energy draining commutes.
Image Credit: Github
These companies have managed to a strike it off well and hence, are successful. Company culture evolves over a period of time, and the way remote work fits into that has to evolve as well.
Companies must view it as a continual investment. Remote working may not suit all companies. For companies who can adopt this model, it is a sure shot way to offer flexibility and work-life balance.