Written by guest author Savanah Eichfeld (Director of Talent at SnapEngage).
Required social distancing has redefined remote work. For some it’s a fairly easy transition and for others it’s requiring total transformation. Regardless, most of us are asking ourselves how we continue to crush it every day with wildly new conditions. SnapEngage has been a global organization from the very beginning. We’ve learned a lot about remote work along the way and would like to share some of those lessons with the world!
What does remote work look like at SnapEngage?
Two former software engineers named Jerome founded SnapEngage ten years ago. One Jerome lived in Boulder, CO and the other Jerome lived in Berlin, Germany, so SnapEngage began life as a fully distributed organization. Since those early days, we’ve operated on a partial remote schedule. Up until recently, this has meant that twice a week, most of us worked remotely. This has allowed us to take full advantage of our in office days while still allowing for the flexibility and focus that working from home provides. It also supports and enhances the foundational pillars that make SnapEngage special: trust, tools, transparency, virtual connection, and purpose.
1. We focus on outcomes
Like we said, everyone gets to work from home. Trust is a key part of how we work from day one. We focus on the what, not the how, and encourage creativity and innovation. We set clear goals, discuss them frequently, and each one of our team members has specific measurables they are accountable for. In fact, remote work – even partial remote schedules – forces us to do this. It allows us to work seamlessly together without needing to be physically present in an office.
2. We write things down
Today there are lots of online tools that make lots of promises. At SnapEngage, we optimize productivity by ensuring we use the right tools for the job(s) at hand. There is process and accountability for subscribing to new tools so that we understand the problems we’re trying to solve before selecting the tools to address them. We have a document-first mentality, recognizing that information not shared is information lost. We have a process playbook, published meetings notes, and wiki resources. We have video technology that we all have access to and use exclusively (we do not use phones for internal communication at all). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we use our Team Chat tool to communicate quickly and seamlessly on individual, group, team, and companywide levels. The changes in the environment might mean you are working differently or remotely. Team chat is included in every SnapEngage plan and we use it ourselves to stay connected.
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3. We are Open Book
We’re a small team that often feels like a family. Families share things! Our co-founders implemented an open book policy long ago, operating on a foundation of over communication and transparency. We give context, invite input and collaboration, and keep doors open. This constant communication, abundance of sharing, and real transparency helps us feel closer to each other and to the goals of the business, despite being apart.
4. We celebrate virtually
Historically, office events and celebrations were typically held on in-office days, however we’re well practiced at celebrating together from afar. Each quarter, both offices get together for our Quarterly Celebration. We celebrate milestones and goals achieved, recognize promotions, reflect back on fun events, and discuss exciting new initiatives for the next quarter. We enjoy refreshments in our respective locations but also get to see and hear each others’ questions and updates over video. We even use a community board to share kudos and fun life events and updates throughout the day. Between our Berlin and Boulder timezone, it’s rarely quiet.
Now that we’re all remote all the time, we’re determined to continue the pattern of bonding and team building. Our recent initiative, “RemoteEngage” takes after our tradition of “WalkEngage” and creates an opportunity for chit chat, relationship building, and even Q&A despite the fact we can’t just ask that nagging question as we pass by a co-worker’s desk. It’s a time to chat, enjoy coffee together, raise questions, or just listen in. As close to a casual walk as we can get.
5. We believe in what we’re doing
Finally, everyone at SnapEngage steps into their role each morning with a clear understanding of what our product is, how it serves the world, and how their role makes an impact. Now, more than ever, we see opportunities to help other organizations everywhere weather this storm and continue to operate under new conditions. It motivates us, enables us, and keeps us unified and working together, despite a new absence of social energy in our daily lives. We rapidly released the COVID-19 Symptom Checker bot to help our healthcare clients scale as quickly as possible. Our support team is also online and ready to assist clients 20+ hours of the day.
We’re continuing to find creative ways to stay connected and use the tools we have to the best of our ability. Do you have ideas on how to effectively work remotely? Send them to us at [email protected]!
About the Author: My name is Savanah and I am the Director of Talent here at SnapEngage. I am passionate about thoughtful leadership and creating an exceptional employee experience. I believe that happy, engaged people make good companies great.