What are some good tips for managing a team that works remotely? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
The success of our team all starts with hiring. Having a fully remote team gives us access to the best people because for the most part, we're not limited by geography. Right now we have team members in Canada, India, and 11 different states across the U.S. The geographic diversity of our team also means we are more accurately representing Marco Polo users, who come from around the country and the world.
Our hiring process is thorough because in addition to bringing on people who are smart and have the right experience and skill set, we also want people who are purpose-driven and who want to work joyfully as we've defined it.
It's also really important that our teammates be happy. Being fully distributed creates more time and flexibility in our schedules because we don't have to make long, soul-crushing commutes. Instead, people can work from home, a coffee shop, a co-working space, or some other "happy place," and have time during the week to pursue their personal interests, be with their families, and generally just be human beings.
To optimize collaboration and keep up momentum, we established overlapping collaboration hours. For us, it's 9 am to 3 pm Pacific. Having core collaboration hours can make it hard to hire from outside North America, but it's still possible to make a different continent work.
Our team members communicate excessively and transparently.
"Fear of Missing Out" is real! So we have daily standup meetings as a whole company followed by team standups. We avoid private communication channels. We welcome lots of work and non-work chatter throughout the day over various channels like our Joya Teamily group (Teamily ="Team"+"Family"), Favorites Friday, Game of Thrones, Joya Kids, Joya Pets, Coffee, Home Improvement, etc.
Since we're remote, we invest even more heavily in our company culture than we might if we were in one location. Our meetings always start with celebrations or appreciations, and we hold company retreats multiple times per year so that we get time together.
We manage communication using a combination of platforms and apps designed for remote teams. For us, it's Slack, Zoom, Asana, Peakon, and - yes - Marco Polo. There is no one perfect solution to meet every need, but used in combination for the right purpose, these tools work great for us. And many of them are free.
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