How we stay connected
eing a 100% virtual and global company definitely has its drawbacks, as nice as it is working from the comfort of our own homes, we don’t have the same team dynamic as those working at an office. With that being said, we prefer working from our home offices and for the past 2-3 years, we’ve mastered working from home to an artform 🙂 well, as close as you can call it to “art.”
We’ve got people across the US in five states, one of which is in the middle of the Pacific (yours truly). As for those internationally, they’re located in Brazil and Germany. So, when we say we’re spread out, we’re very much spread out.
So, how have we managed to stay connected across time zones and culture? Easy, we practice these three guiding principles: Team, Transparency & Fun (not in any particular order).
From the beginning when we started the company, we knew the Team would be our core and defining success of whatever endeavour we were going to do as a company. So, we had to be a bit picky, okay a lot picky 🙂 This meant vetting everyone we interviewed, not only for smarts but also personality and character.
We’re not batting 100% at this, there were times we’ve hired a team member that just didn’t fit, even though in the beginning it seemed to have worked out. And, it’s not uncommon where we end up with multiple rounds of interviews (greater than 4), we want to make sure everyone on the team would be comfortable working with a new team member. Fortunately, albeit lengthy at times, we’ve been able to create a very cohesive team thus far.
Some might see the remote aspect of our team and the fact that we spend considerable time on hiring the right person as a downside. But the reality is that we are not constrained by the geographical boundaries that most companies are limited by. We seek the best talent no matter where they are. The results of this are evident in the absolute rock star team members who have joined NDM/DocQ. Some are even national programming olympiad finalists. Since team is the strongest part of our DNA, we see it as only fair that we chase the best no matter where they’re located.
The future of work is undoubtedly remote and we at NDM/DocQ have always been prepared for it.
Transparency is another important guiding principle. We want to make sure everyone can communicate and ask questions to whomever they want in the company. To make this work, we don’t really have a hierarchy, sure we have people reporting to another, but we encourage a direct line of communication from our most junior/entry-level team members to the most senior.
To promote this open communication line, we utilize Keybase, a chat application similar to the likes of What’sApp, Google Chat, Slack, etc. And, we also use Zoom for some face-to-face, company wide and/or ad-hoc meetings.
We also encourage idea-sharing within the company, from tech stacks to use, infrastructure to how to run the company. We knew earlier on as part of the leadership, we could always improve, and if one can offer a way to optimize and/or create a better working environment, we’re all for it. Although we do not run the company as a democracy, we do listen to every idea, suggestion and advice, and at times implement them as we see fit.
Lastly, fun. This is a must being virtual and working in our lonesome at times. We do events, like No shave November, or, prior to the pandemic, team dinners (for those who are in near locales) and game night, which we recently started. We realize, without some fun this job could get very monotonous very quickly. And, if we can encourage fun alongside our team members, the more the merrier.
We love everyone of our people, and yes, we call them our people, because they’re more than colleagues and co-workers, they’ve become a part of our genetic code that make up NDM/DocQ as a company.