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  1. 2

    Very interesting - thank you for sharing it!

    1. 1

      ๐Ÿ™Œ

    1. 5

      Thank you @justinahn @ashleythomas @Borisov91 @hanadi-540 @aldalima for being such amazing community members ๐Ÿ™Œ

      1. 3

        Thank you for building such a great community :-)

        1. 2

          My pleasure! Thank you for the Remote Clan ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŽ‰

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            Thanks a lot, Hrishikesh

            Glad to be a part of Remote Clan, and look forward to contributing more in 2021. Happy new year, folks!

          1. 5

            Happy New Year, everyone!ย 

            Let's make 2021 better than 2020! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

            1. 1

              Amen!

            1. 12

              Hi Suvansh!

              That's a great question that I understand deeply.

              The solution is to figure out if the candidate has the needed remote work skills (or can acquire them easily). Not to throw out all of the candidates who have no proven remote work skills through remote experience, or ignoring the importance of those skills.

              ...

              Because it is undeniable that there are particular remote work skills that help people perform well in a remote work environment. For example:

              * Being a reliable person that delivers what is agreed;

              * Being a proactive person who asks questions and figures out how to make progress;

              * Knowing what communication channel is right for each communication goal.

              * Would this person enjoy working remotely - e.g. some extroverts have difficulties adjusting to the remote work environment.

              (not complete list)

              ...

              We wrote two blog posts about those skills and how to assess them:

              https://blog.remotemore.com/the-5-killer-job-interview-questions-for-hiring-remotely

              https://blog.remotemore.com/the-4-soft-skills-to-find-a-remote-job

              1. 5

                This is very helpful, Boris! I really appreciate you sharing the list as well. I can see why my recent hire is not working out as she fails on 2 of the 3 items.

                The only problem I see now is that recent grads do not usually have any answers to these questions as they have no past experience. In such cases, do you think working with them for a month or so to check for a fit is the solution?

                P.S. is knowledge.remotemore.com up? I could not access a couple of links in the blogs - http://knowledge.remotemore.com/land-your-next-remote-job

                1. 7

                  You are welcome :-)

                  A trial period is always recommended. For most companies, introducing trial periods of 2-4 weeks is the best way to improve their hiring process.

                  The interviewing process essentially tries to minimize the unsuccessful trial periods. It is a trade-off: how much time to spend in the interviewing process vs. how often you would have a wrong choice discovered 2-4 weeks later.

                  ย 

                  .

                  .

                  ย 

                  For recent graduates:

                  * Ask them if they have worked remotely (university group work also counts) - and what was their experience with it, what worked well, what didn't work well. Successful remote work experience is the best signal, so if they have this, it would be great.

                  * "What do you think makes a remote team good" or "Why do you think you will be good at working remotely". This should give an idea of how much they know about remote work, and it is a great way to see their communication skills in action.

                  * Communication skills - are they good at writing, are they good at expressing themselves. Look at their emails, CV, Cover letter, look at their expression during the interview.ย 

                  * Organized/reliable - how do you keep yourself organized? How do you approach a goal that you have, e.g. finishing your university degree?

                  * To be honest, usually I prefer hiring more introverted people for remote roles. Because often extroverts do not enjoy working remotely, and this makes them demotivated after about 6 months. So asking about hobbies helps to figure out the profile of the person.

                  * Language skills - do they have the language skills to work with the rest of the team.

                  * Work environment - do they have sufficiently good machine, internet, quiet environment etc. You can ask them where do they plan to work from.

                  .

                  .


                  Some of those knowledge.remotemore.com links we have stopped supporting. The one you're asking about is this file:

                  https://www.dropbox.com/s/76i75xifzcy69if/The%20ultimate%20guide%20to%20finding%20your%20remote%20job.pdf?dl=0 - page 10 is probably the most interesting one for you

                  1. 5

                    The unofficial guru of remote hiring at his best!

                    1. 2

                      Thank you, Karthik :-)

                    2. 4

                      This is great, Boris. Have incorporated the questions and the factors to consider in my hiring process now!

                      1. 1

                        2-4 weeks probation seems extremely short, 3-6 months is common. But really you need to balance the impression that you will give someone a fair shot and that they don't stay on 'probation' too long.ย 

                        Obviously in at-will employment countries you can terminate someone at any time anyway. Official probation policies are more about unions and actually not being able to dismiss someone without serious cause after probation.

                        You do need to be okay with firing people who aren't working out well enough at any time.

                    3. 4

                      These are great thoughts, Boris!ย 

                      Honestly, I don't think that previous work experience is necessarily a great indicator of whether a person is suited to work remotely. In some instances it's easier to create totally new habits for people that have no work experience than it is for some to unlearn their non-remote habits.

                      I'd also add that many of the ways you "work" during your studies resemble remote/async work way more than in-office work does (e.g. long form writeups, teaching yourself things on your own).ย 

                      It's more a question of the fundamentals, which I think Boris nails in his reply.

                      /Jakob

                      1. 3

                        I'm glad to share learning ๐Ÿ™‚

                        /Boris

                    1. 4

                      I think it's imp to have a Daily Standup

                      I think it's also imp to have tools in place that help tracking tasks, organizing and reporting work (eg Jira or Trello etc)

                      I think you have to have check-points. People get blocked and you need to make sure they unblock vs go down rabbit holes

                      I think it's imp to reassess on a wkly basis

                      Much of what I'm writing is just good Scrum process - I don't see a way around this.

                      1. 2

                        That's what I normally say too!

                        My experiment from last weeks - confirms it in practice as well.

                        I guess my theory was that this team now have enough context about the project, and know our more decentralized way of working, that they can the sane output with less management involvement.

                        But I was wrong. I'm not sure if it was because of motivation, or lack of self-management skills. Interestingly, when I started to dig into this, looks like while it didn't work for some of the team members, it worked for others.

                        Thank you for writing it/reminding me!

                        1. 3

                          Just one thing about this, Boris - I have also realised that we need to slowly build a layer of management between founders and certain employees. Just so that this management oversight can be looked into by someone else instead of you.

                          These guys can be those who are able to manage these long-term initiatives well.

                          "It feels like low value-adding activity compared to the alternatives." => at least this is taken off your plate so that you can look into newer initiatives.

                          1. 1

                            Good point.. What we have tried was - to have one Lead Developer in each team.. who can do some of the oversight on the more junior people in the team. Essentially, it is a Senior developer.

                            Without a Senior developer in a team, things are harder and take more oversight.

                            I like this idea you propose, it is more of this direction.

                      1. 3

                        I asked a friend of mine who has is a serial entrepreneur, with $50M+ acquisitions in his experience.

                        He had a very insightful reply:

                        "Dear Boris,

                        ย 

                        this is one of the big challenges of leadership. It can be super rewarding when it works and massively frustrating when it does not work.ย 

                        ย 

                        I think this depends on at least three elements:

                        - The people involved

                        - The leadership and work culture

                        - Learning/ growth curves


                        Re 1. Regarding the people involved it is not so much about their abilty to do their actual job but rather about their ability to self manage, motivate and get things done. Also there sometimes is a reluctance to take over responsibility missing because of fear or pure comfort reasons. Also some people have never experienced organizations with distributed leadership. The leaders themselves sometimes are part of the challenge: When you let go you need to provide the freedom for the new leaders to do their job, organize work and maybe have other paths that lead to success. Also interventions can be tricky and in the worst case undermining.

                        ย 

                        Re 2. The leadership and work culture is a lot about how responsibility and power works. When it is transferred temporarily through delegation it usually requires frequent check ins and more leadership involvement. When it is handed over permanently (a lot harder to reverse) it elevates leadership and organizations to new levels. Sometimes it is just unclarity where you and the team are not fully aligned on what is happening: They think you are delegating and expect more "micro involvement" and you think you are handing over the power and they just don't take it. Either because they do not understand or because they don't want. In my experience it is important to figure out, what you want, what the team wants and if you can clearly communicate with each other.ย 

                        ย 

                        Re 2. This is I think the key to success. A lot of times we forget, that we do all of this over time. And that we can design growth and learning curves. When the expectations are understood it can be super helpful to figure out which leadership skills are missing/ are not trained or that people expect a clarity that is not provided or even no one can provide. In my experience it makes a lot of sense to be quite transparent with the team and align on expectations and outcomes and a path (i.e. for the first "project" I will be close, for the second we will have regular check-ins and from then on it is going to be like thisโ€ฆ) I am always surprised how people can have so different expectations and thoughts, so communication is key here: see point 1. In my experience a good feedback culture is key to align and develop.

                        ย 

                        Another interesting way to look at this when it comes to "task" level is the motivation/ ability matrix. It is super simple: on a task level you look at an individuals motivation and ability to do something. This leads to a 4 field matrix. Depending on their ability and willingness you adjust your leadership behaviour between directing, motivating and explaining. When you then combine this with a learning/ growth curve approach this leads to well working organizations in my experience.

                        ย 

                        This topic is one of the most challenging ones in my entrepeneurial life as it is a constant struggle when people work together. What helps me a lot is my love for humans and my strong conviction in creating organizations that can bring out the best in people and help them to continuously develop.ย 

                        ย 

                        Does this help you?

                        ย 

                        Cheers

                        Joerg"

                        1. 3

                          Hi Boris,

                          Sorry for the late reply and your friend's reply is quite interesting and I agree with it completely!

                          The problem I think I/we face is that I/we know many of these concepts but they become quite tricky in practice.

                          1. Hiring

                          Yes, there are some that thrive independently and some who aren't able to do as well. But as an early-stage startup (maybe even for bigger companies) I don't think we can always hire the former. In the race against time, we do make a compromise on one of the many things we want.

                          For e.g. At Flexiple, I want people to have a great attitude (hardworking and work ethic-wise), to be smart, have the ability to communicate well, be reliable and manage personal productivity. In this, I have already given up looking for specific skillsets in people, believing that any person with these softer aspects can always pick up the hard skills.

                          But we fail in finding a person who fulfils each of these qualities. I would think that these are reasonable demands, but it turns out that it is a rarer combination than one would think.

                          Having said that, I haven't given up and am still sticking to finding only such people henceforth. Our interviews are totally geared to these aspects rather than any role-focused discussions. I will share an update on how this goes in some time.

                          ย 

                          2. Tracking

                          About tracking - @suvansh faces quite a similar problem as many of our hires report to him. Many times, I think, it is just the anxiety of whether things are even being done which becomes problematic.

                          I think this stems from the fact that he is also quite new to delegating work and also that he expects everyone's output to be as perfect as his.

                          For this, I have suggested and am implementing:

                          - A simple tracking tool on Airtable: That helps him to know exactly who is working on what. For our colleagues, they will have a relay type system where everyone needs to keep their "view" clean of any outstanding items and has to tag the next person who needs to work on that task.

                          Further, I have set up automated mails whenever deadlines are breached and also a sort of escalation (first mail only Suvansh and the colleague are marked, next time the other co-founders - Hrishikesh and I - are also marked).

                          I am trying to continue implementing such alerts so that manual "where are you with your task today" doesn't happen.

                          ย 

                          3. Leadership

                          This is definitely a problem. As I said, not only Suvansh but even I am new to delegating work at Flexiple. I did almost every aspect of work at some point earlier and estimate the time something will take based on my capability.

                          That's quite wrong. Not to be arrogant, but I think it will be quite tough for people to match up to all the experience I have gathered over years. So, it requires being realistic and maybe even conservative.

                          Next, I think we need to get better at accepting the fact that others make mistakes and will make them. In the guise of not wanting any mistakes to be made, a lot of micro-managing takes place - that wastes the manager's time and also doesn't allow the employee to learn & grow either.

                          Finally, at some level, we need to accept that not everyone joining the company will have the same attitude as founders. It isn't fair for us to expect that and this expectation also causes a lot of friction.

                          ย 

                          There's possibly more to discuss around this topic and I will continue to share as I think of them :)

                          1. 2

                            Interesting! Thank you, Karthik.

                            ย 

                            I can relate to many of the things, e.g.:

                            - We should have different expectations towards not-founders.

                            - It is surprisingly hard to find people that meet what we as founders consider a reasonable list of requirements.

                        1. 7

                          I need to figure out how to clone our engineering team to deliver on our six-month roadmap in the next two months :)

                          1. 4

                            Was going to suggest what Sophia has asked. Not intending to pitch at all, but you could take a look at Flexiple. We have helped many companies in such situations. If nothing happy to get on a call :)

                            There are other guys like @Borisov91 also who run very successful startups to help with this.

                            1. 3

                              And you can't outsource some parts of it?ย 

                              1. 2

                                Hi Pez!

                                We have had similar situations multiple times before.

                                The info is a bit generic but hereโ€™s some input.

                                With the same team and the same process, you cannot 3x the output. Most probably you cannot even 1.5x your output through process changes within 2 months.

                                So you are looking to hire. Try to minimize the hiring time - for example, use hiring marketplaces. We have had cases where we have hired developers within 24h of identifying a hiring need.. through our hiring marketplace - www.remotemore.com

                                Think about the bottlenecks, to allocate your hiring correctly: Product Management Design Development QA

                                If you are going from 2 to 6 people, it is possible to execute it with output per developer remaining constant. But from e.g. 3 to 9, means creating a new team, which creates coordination work, so decreasing efficiency per team member.

                                Minimize the onboarding time. Aim for 2 weeks to 100% productivity.

                                โ€ฆ

                                We can do a call if you want input that is customized to your case? [email protected]

                              1. 3

                                Hey Boris, I have a few thoughts about this based on my experience. Not amazing solutions but just my perspective. If you don't mind I'll type it out tomorrow.ย 

                                @suvansh will also have a lot to say about this too.

                                1. 2

                                  Thank you, Karthik. Looking forward!

                                1. 5

                                  The first and most basic one is - writing down how many hours I work each day.
                                  Hitting the goal there.

                                  ย 

                                  Then there are many more ways. Daily standups are amazing - that's why pretty much every product team works like this. You have a 15min meeting with your team, saying what you did yesterday, what you plan to do today.

                                  ย 

                                  I think in remote work, but also for anyone serious about their productivity - you need a way to write down what work you plan to do, and then what you have done. I use Trello for this.. Normally, you have one tool on team level that everyone is using.

                                  1. 3

                                    Great point about writing down what you plan to do - I think this also aligns with Sarah's point around making specific commitments.

                                    For the point around standups though, do you have any suggestions to keep these meetings restricted to 15 mins? We usually end up discussing a lot of things & it easily breaches the 40-min time limit every single time. To add more context, we have a small group of 4-5 people in the meeting and all of us have business roles. We share the things we're going to work on during the day before the standup itself to save some time, but it still takes long.

                                    I ask this because I have been thinking of ditching the daily standup altogether and have a weekly review kind of meeting instead.

                                    1. 4

                                      Hi Ashley,

                                      With product teams - it is easy to keep the meeting ~15min. Things are happening slowly in product teams, often you need to do 4-8 hours of work independently before there is a need for collaboration.

                                      While business teams - we also often take even 1 hour when we do daily standup with my co-founder. Decisions need a lot of collaboration. It is fast-paced and group work.

                                      So maybe there is a _need_ for this kind of daily sync in the business team, even if it is a bit time consuming.

                                      1. 4

                                        True Boris, I just wish we spent lesser time on call early in the morning. It feels like an hour has passed & yet no work done :(

                                        But I guess that's the downside you've to live with, at least till you don't have much variability in your daily work.

                                        1. 4

                                          We do this kind of meeting after people catch up on their emails etc. in the morning, which is about 1-1.5 hours after the start of the day.

                                          Maybe this helps!

                                  1. 5

                                    It is good for Slack as a company, and its founders.

                                    I agree completely that those enterprise customers that Salesforce can bring will accelerate Slack in growth, and especially profitability.

                                    Although I'm not keen on Slack turning into a bloated enterprise software abomination (like Microsoft Teams?).

                                    Hubspot is a great example of enterprise software. In theory, it has so many nice features. But in reality, they have built them just so that their enterprise sales team can say "Yes, we have that", not with the user in mind, not with depth and quality of the features.

                                    1. 3

                                      Yaa, that would be an interesting one isn't it? We have seen companies like Microsoft turn seemingly decent products like Skype into something that does nothing for anyone.

                                      Will be interesting to see what Salesforce does with Slack though. Does Slack have what enterprises need? I don't know - frankly, I don't know much about what enterprises need, but my bet would be that there will be some product changes.

                                      But in reality, they have built them just so that their enterprise sales team can say "Yes, we have that", not with the user in mind, not with depth and quality of the features.

                                      Are you suggesting that Hubspot isn't a good product?

                                      1. 2

                                        Some people like Hubspot. As a whole, it is not a bad product given how many people use it and pay for it a significant price.

                                        I have used Hubspot for 1-2 years and I don't like it.

                                        It may be that others need different features than us. But for us, when we switched to Close.com, it was amazing. It is one of the top 10 best decisions of 2020 we have made.

                                        1. 2

                                          > It is one of the top 10 best decisions of 2020 we have made.

                                          Wow, that's a big statement :). @suvansh also likes Close quite a bit though we haven't taken it up yet.

                                          I have only used Hubspot's free product very specific things I was testing on the marketing front and found it to be a decent product with also good support. But never too deep to be able to judge the product as a whole.

                                          Thanks for the heads up :)

                                          1. 2

                                            You are welcome!

                                            We also used Hubspot the free version - for the basic CRM things it was good.

                                            But then when we wanted to systematize more the sales function, so we needed analytics things, better sending of automated emails etc. - Hubspot was not so good, and the annual subscription is quite steep. You also pay per number of contacts which quickly adds up in our industry.

                                            Probably the best feature we got from switching from Hubspot to Close.com is that we can at any time click a button and get our pipeline of customers by stage etc.

                                            1. 3

                                              I can totally imagine that. Totally different use case, but we still feel the steep costs of Mailchimp and its per contact costs.

                                              For now, we are using Airtable and Freshsales to manage our CRM work. But as our outbound scales and we want more organisation there, we might have to do better. I am just quite reluctant to use multiple tools.

                                              So, with Airtable, there are a lot of powerful things that can be done. Over the past 6 months, I have been trying to automate almost everything within our startup and get it all within airtable.

                                              1. 2

                                                That's pretty cool!

                                                I also want to look into Airtable, it sounds very promising.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Oh, it absolutely is!

                                    1. 1

                                      We are based in Germany, so we don't have so many alternatives than DB :-(

                                      We use primarily Revolut/Transferwise and DB primarily for government stuff in Germany.

                                      We used to get letters on paper from DB almost daily. Things such as "we have changed our privacy policy, here is our new privacy policy", "you have made a transfer through the online banking" etc.

                                      We actually had to yell to them a bit on the phone for them to stop sending us so many letters on papers. We told them many times before that we don't need those letters on paper. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

                                      1. 2

                                        Wow, that is really quite archaic. Wouldn't have expected that from a bank in Germany. To be honest, we don't get such stuff even in the most traditional banks of India! Now, that's something

                                      1. 3

                                        My opinion?

                                        Taxes........ no. ๐Ÿ˜„

                                        ย 

                                        I think it's bullshit. The logic is - people who work remotely, save money. So they have money to pay more taxes.

                                        1. 7

                                          Love this thread.

                                          Superhuman led the change for a few things, in my opinion:

                                          1. Opinionated software - Doing things in a certain way only is most efficient e.g. use of keyboard, targeting inbox zero. Other cult products like Roam do the same.

                                          2. Focus only on the core problem & strip the rest - Superhuman's biggest enemy is Gmail, which has a very cluttered interface. They focused only on getting one thing right - helping you clear up emails in the fastest way.

                                          3. Back to command line & keyboard shortcuts - Most popular products do this now (e.g. Slack) and it's become evident that to be efficient, you have to interact with your app using commands. Amazing to see Tomo does it as well ๐Ÿ‘, I know Kitemaker by @kevinsimons-476 & @sigurdseteklev does the same. Would love to hear their thoughts on this too.

                                          4. User onboarding - Their conceirge onboarding became so famous that apps started getting pitched as 'Superhuman (onboarding) for X'. They were also probably the first to show that personalised onboarding can be done at scale.

                                          5. Game design - Rahul talks about building Superhuman as a game vs. business software. I feel this aspect is not talked about a lot, but is also a crucial factor in achieveing user delight for Superhuman.

                                          Moving forward, we will see more of opinionated software that solve problems for a niche do really well. Possibly become a cult like Superhuman or Roam. And in terms of immediate change, I feel command line & keyboard shortcuts will become a necessity ๐Ÿ˜Ž

                                          1. 5

                                            I agree with Hrishikesh completely.

                                            Points 4 and 5 are very interesting. When I read about it, it made me think about how we approach those things in our company.

                                            There is a widespread belief in the tech industry that personalized onboarding is something bad (coming from Silicon Valley). Big part of the investors get concerned when we tell them that we work with the customers somewhat considerably (Customer Success function).

                                            I hope Superhuman impact this false belief.

                                            The guys/girls at Superhuman have my admiration for thinking independently on how to do things, figuring out a superior way for their case and standing firm behind it.

                                            1. 2

                                              Absolutely Boris, we also faced a lot of heat initially when we used to talk about high number of manual touchpoints in the onboarding process. The skepticism was how do you scale it. Superhuman's actually done this really well.

                                              On point 5 i.e. game design, I like the concept in theory but it requires huge effort and may not apply to every product. Even at Remote Clan, we are always thinking of ways to add in gamification features which the Superhuman team is strongly against.

                                              Their rationale is gamification just motivates users to fight for rewards but doesn't really push them to have fun while using the product & then rave about it. This has turned out really well for Superhuman. But I believe an early-stage product or community could use that extra push from gamification rather than just banking on an amazing product/design & users raving about it.

                                              I am curious to know if and how you apply point 5 (game design principles) at RemoteMore. Would love to hear about it!

                                              1. 3

                                                About gamification -

                                                I think of it as one way of adding delightfulness into the product. But there are also other ways. For example, if the page loads very fast, that in itself is also delightful. Another example is this gif from Mailchimp when the user clicks to send the campaign, and the campaign is sent.

                                                I think that as a whole, delightfulness and visuals help, especially in a crowded industry (incl. B2B). But in my opinion, there are more important objectives to hit first - if those are considerably threatened (mostly due to lack of resources), then pretty much ignore the delightfulness part.

                                                @hrishikesh

                                                1. 3

                                                  But in my opinion, there are more important objectives to hit first - if those are considerably threatened (mostly due to lack of resources), then pretty much ignore the delightfulness part.

                                                  Haha, absolutely true words. Most times, you don't have the luxury of crafting delightful experiences from the word go due to constraints on budget, time, talent etc.

                                                  For example, if the page loads very fast, that in itself is also delightful. Another example is this gif from Mailchimp when the user clicks to send the campaign, and the campaign is sent.

                                                  Makes sense. The parallel from Superhuman is the background you see when you hit Inbox Zero. I have seen people say that they feel a sense of accomplishment & calmness when they hit inbox zero. It's an achievable goal set in the product which users aim for, very similar to the experience you have in games.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    Cool, thank you for sharing the screenshot!

                                                    It's a good example/lesson of what can be done in this area. ๐Ÿ™‚

                                            2. 5

                                              Yeah, we have kind of gone into this path with Kitemaker. For us, the user onboarding we have put a little less emphasis on personal onboarding since we are making a collaboration tool we want the threshold of getting started as simple as possible. We do some personal onboarding, but I think you need quite good WOM traction to pull it off on the scale that Superhuman has done.

                                              Another point of hotkeys and opinionated software that sometimes gets overlooked is that having people invest in learning your tool (like Superhuman almost forces you to during onboarding) and that making them faster/more efficient is an effective way to reduce churn. Basically, when teams have spent the time learning the hotkeys, sees they work faster (some teams tell us that they have made a bit of sport in trying to find and learn new hotkeys in Kitemaker), they don't want to start using a less efficient tool, and they don't want to go through a similar investment again.

                                              The "Superhuman interface" model is not easy to pull off, and we have worked through many challenges both on design and the tech, and we're not near the goal yet :)

                                              But both of us are happy to share our experience :)

                                              1. 2

                                                Great & very relevant points Sigurd.

                                                people invest in learning your tool (like Superhuman almost forces you to during onboarding) and that making them faster/more efficient is an effective way to reduce churn.

                                                Absolutely. It's a huge ask from the user. Even for Superhuman, initially, you are supposed to have the onboarding call and also then get used to all the hotkeys. So it's surely tough to achieve, however as you said, once users are onboard fully and see efficiency gain, there's no turning back.

                                                some teams tell us that they have made a bit of sport in trying to find and learn new hotkeys in Kitemaker

                                                This is an amazing achievement ๐Ÿ‘We would love to know more on how you have gone about building Kitemaker. Would be lovely if you could share your posts or experience on the community.

                                                To make it even easier, we recently added canonical URLs & do-follow links so you can repurpose existing/new content. I saw some amazing posts on your blog on Hashnode. Would love if you share relevant posts here too :)

                                                Let me know if you need any help!

                                            1. 2

                                              Great interview!

                                              ย 

                                              This question - can a remote team be remote - is very interesting and relevant.

                                              Some people say it cannot be good.

                                              Some people say that it is even better.

                                              ย 

                                              I think the work is measurable, and it doesn't have too much internal communication (nodes in the organizations) - so I think it should be possible, at least in theory.

                                              But it would need a very good process.

                                              ย 

                                              The bigger concern I have is - would the remote salespeople enjoy working remotely?

                                              ย 

                                              What do others think?

                                              1. 3

                                                I have seen some salespersons work really work well in a remote framework. With a lot of tech sales being done over video calls anyone, being in the same place is anyway not a requirement.

                                                As you said, I think it is very measurable (in order of increasing impact):

                                                1. No of leads one has reached out

                                                2. No. of calls made

                                                3. No. of positive conversations

                                                4. No. of leads converted

                                                And so on.

                                                About the question around whether salespeople will enjoy working remotely, I think it all depends on the person. While I do believe that salespeople are likely to be more extroverted than others, I think with inside sales growing that's not a necessity anymore. A lot more sales is done over mails vs. actually talking to people.ย 

                                                So, I do believe remote salespersons should be as happy/sad about working remotely.

                                                1. 1

                                                  Hey Boris,

                                                  I feel working remotely becomes tough for salespeople for 2 reasons -

                                                  1. They spend all their time on video calls (not only clients but even teammates now).

                                                  2. They are unable to celebrate success/ ride on the adrenaline of a colleagueโ€™s successful sales.

                                                  While sales now moving to more emails than calls actually help reduce Zoom fatigue, the adrenaline rush has to be replicated by internal structures. Thatโ€™s where I think the role of a Remote Culture Manager becomes important at larger teams.

                                                  Otherwise, sales as a profession is as conducive to remote work as any other function.

                                                2. 3

                                                  Hey Boris,

                                                  I think Mark has already made some great points.

                                                  My wife is actually in sales and she has told me multiple times that she would like to go to the office more often (hope that's not to get some temporary respite from me ๐Ÿ˜‚). Of course, in her case, she has F2F interactions with clients and most people in such roles are extroverted (as is she).

                                                  But I do know of many of my friends who are doing a good job in sales roles too. Even in this interview, Shane accepted that the lack of success in the sales function was mostly because the person they hired to lead the function was not comfortable working remotely.

                                                  So, I think it starts by hiring the right people for the role who can then lead by example, place proper structures around output, etc. I think onboarding in sales is surely possible remotely too. @suvansh does a brilliant job at Flexiple and I have seen his methodical nature in setting up processes that have helped quite a bit.

                                                1. 6

                                                  I as a job seeker would prefer that you can train them as well on the remote working process parallely while they are doing their work, learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. If they have remote working skills then it is good to have that but still needs to be polished.ย 

                                                  Also, Students or freshers are not trained on these things they are just running in the daily run, so giving them time to learn the required skills and then onboarding is good idea.

                                                  Another way can be instead of hiring full time hire them as a intern see if they get adjusted in one month otherwise you can have other better options.

                                                  1. 4

                                                    Good point. A trial period or hiring an intern is always the best option to mitigate the risks of a bad hire. But the drawback is it would consume a lot of time and resources that are often crucial for founders.

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                                                      Thanks๐Ÿ˜€

                                                    2. 4

                                                      You are right. Training and onboarding are a big part of the objectives for any new joiners for the first 2 months. The hiring process as Boris suggested needs to incorporate factors that assess their suitability for remote work.

                                                      1. 3

                                                        > Also, Students or freshers are not trained on these things they are just running in the daily run, so giving them time to learn the required skills and then onboarding is good idea. > >

                                                        ย 

                                                        I agree, you should consider training the new employees in this.

                                                        For example, having internal guide on how to be successful when working remotely in this company.

                                                        It skills like any other skills.

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                                                        My reply - ๐Ÿ‘

                                                        (We are a startup with about 10 employees)

                                                        ย 

                                                        The main benefit of emojis, I think, is that they provide an additional way to convey information, which is highly needed in written communication. As we all know, voice tonality and body language is a big part of the meaning in verbal communication - and we miss those in written communication.

                                                        ย 

                                                        Consider this comparison - how much the emojis strengthen the message:

                                                        "This is okay."

                                                        "This is okay. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘"

                                                        ย 

                                                        Or even this one - how many words 2 emojis replace:

                                                        "Yes, this is an okay way to do it, and I'm fine for us to proceed with it."

                                                        "๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘"

                                                        ย 

                                                        Maybe it depends on industries... and demographics of the people involved?

                                                        Cultural awareness is needed (just like in verbal communication).

                                                        ย 

                                                        I've seen a study that reports 80% of professionals approve the usage of emojis in professional written communication, while 20% are against it.

                                                        But this was before Corona and before all-remote teams.

                                                        ย 

                                                        So what do YOU think?

                                                        1. 5

                                                          Great examples Boris. I know people can also go overboard at times and that might cause problems in a work setting. For ex. emojis with hearts or kisses can be interpreted in a very wrong way. I believe it's important for managers to lay down some ground rules in the regard.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            It's a good point!

                                                            I think it depends on the size of the organization and the culture.

                                                            For a small company (5-20 people), I think it is fine to set a good example. If someone is doing something awkward, it is possible to notice it and give some guidance to the person directly.

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                                                              Good point! Wonder if there are companies that have an emoji policy? Like a set of appropriate emojis to be used just within the workspace ๐Ÿค”

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                                                          Great move from Slack -

                                                          ย 

                                                          I have pondered in the past if we should switch away from Slack because we were missing those two features. Now we can try it out inside of Slack, and make up our mind if we should use them or not :-)

                                                          1. 4

                                                            So do you use your Slack in Dark Mode too? ๐Ÿ˜‚

                                                            1. 4

                                                              Haha you are right, I use nearly every product including Slack, Twitter, and even Notion in dark mode. ๐Ÿ˜… This could be an interesting topic for discussion.ย 

                                                              1. 4

                                                                This could be an interesting topic for discussion.

                                                                If I'm using an app and it has a dark mode, I'm definitely toggling it ๐ŸŒš

                                                              2. 1

                                                                I also use Slack in Dark mode, and I love it :-)

                                                                We should also make RemoteMore in dark mode :D

                                                              1. 1

                                                                When this gets commercialized into video calls, it will accelerate remote work significantly!

                                                                It is an impressive technology and a great idea that allowed it.

                                                                I'm really excited to see this in action!

                                                                P.S. I will post on LinkedIn about it and give you credit for spotting it :-)