Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting any of my colleagues in person or going for after-work beers with the rest of the crew, I feel like I’m very much a part of the ezeep team. Which is pretty amazing, given the 5,000 or so miles between us. If your company also maintains a remote work force, you can easily replicate what we do to foster strong connections among our international team members.
Inclusiveness Is Intentional: It’s a decision and an attitude that defines who we are. When I had my first meeting with Lea, the office manager, she gave me a tour of the office, stopping to introduce me via video chat to each and every person we encountered. Not only was this fun, but it was great in the days that followed to know who I was communicating with as I got all my new hire stuff squared away and got to work.
24/7 Support Isn’t Just for Our Customers: Although my workday is 6 hours behind Berlin and my clients start their days even later, I know the ezeep team always has my back. This delights and amazes me everyday–seriously, every single day. Our engineers support scheduled installations into the evening. Frederic, Sascha, and Marian (our cofounders) set the tone, and have all gone above and beyond to make sure that important questions get answered quickly, customers are up and running, and any hiccups we encounter are resolved as soon as possible. The excuses available to avoid this level of support come easily, but no one here takes the easy way out.
Communicate Often & Use the Best Tools for the Job: We have daily standing meetings as a sales team to check-in and use a lot of different products to stay organized and communicate. Heck, we even have a bit of a policy about what to use when, but the cool thing is, we all use it. Obviously, our primary go-to is the inimitable Salesforce. News to share with the team and product feedback go in Podio. Passing notes or swapping info? We use HipChat. When we need to really talk, we fire up Skype and turn on the video feed because it’s nice to talk face-to-face.
Hot Tip: Invest in a good mic/speaker setup for conferencing. Not only do meetings make more sense when you can hear every word, but taking the hassle out connecting pays off every single day.
Never Work Alone: Working remotely doesn’t have to mean working alone. Remote employees need a vibrant office community, too. I recommend joining a coworking space. It is incredibly motivating to have a place to go to work everyday and be surrounded by a community of amazing, inspiring people. We all work independently, together.