Day in the Life of a Remote Company: Aha!

Day in the Life of a Remote Company

Aha! is one of those companies that has advocated for remote work since day one. They’ve seized remote work and its culture with both hands, grasped its essence and offerings, and squeezed every delicious drop of opportunity possible. 🤤 As a result, Aha! and its talented team has largely benefited.

100 team members spanning across six countries and 80+ cities worldwide
Founded in 2013, Aha! provides roadmap software for thousands of innovative companies — from startups to the Fortune 500. As one of the fastest-growing software companies in the U.S., the company is self-funded and has been highly profitable from the start.

0 HQ, 100% remote, 100% lovable
Aha! has been a leader in the remote space on many fronts, often sharing their principles and frameworks for success, most notably The Responsive Method — which has benefited not only employees, but customers as well.

Gratitude and a human-centric-focus are at the heart of their culture and it’s easy to see why Aha! is a fantastic company to work for.

Read more below for our interview with Molly Jane Quinn, their Sr. Director of Marketing, who expands on the company’s view of remote work, company culture, day-to-day operations, and more.

How is Aha! organizationally structured?

Aha! is organized by functional groups. We have your expected areas such as engineering, finance, marketing, and product management.

Note: No sales team! Instead, we have a Customer Success team — made up of product management and marketing experts who serve our customers with best practices and technical support. We also have a People Success team, who do everything from recruiting to annual celebrations to planning our company onsites.

The lead of each functional group reports to the CEO. And then there are team leads who report to the functional lead, with an amazing group of individual contributors across the company. We are proud to promote from within — nearly every team lead in the company grew into the role.

What cultural practices are you proud of?

Aha! pioneered The Responsive Method — it is a framework for personal and professional growth. You will frequently find the team referencing the core principles in our everyday work, abbreviated as TRM.

The core idea behind TRM is that sustainable success and happiness originate in respect for and service to others. So when people have a question or need help (whether it is a customer or a teammate), you have the best chance of helping when the need is fresh. We respond super fast. Our global average first-response time to customer requests is less than 2 hours.

Name some of your practices that ensure your team is comfortable in their role and working remotely.

Extensive onboarding program 

Every new hire
participates in our five- to eight-week onboarding program to learn the market, the product, and the team. We assign onboarding buddies too. At the end, the new teammate gives a live product demo to a prospective customer — the entire company celebrates each "graduation day."

Generous profit-sharing
Aha! is profitable. (Yep!) Our company shares its success with the people who make that possible through generous annual profit-sharing.

Bi-annual Onsite We get together in person twice a year. Everyone meets up in a destination travel location for what we call an "onsite." It is a week of team bonding, productive meetings, and aligning on strategy for the next six months. Past locations include Palm Springs, California; Vail, Colorado; and Punta Mita, Mexico.

To make new folks feel welcome, we host an intimate "rookie" reception with company leaders. And we set up small group dinners during the week so people can develop close relationships with those outside of their immediate team.

How do you address common remote challenges for your employees?

Buddy system
Aha!s can opt-in to be paired with a random teammate each month for an unstructured video call — about 60 people are currently participating. There are lots of chat channels aimed at specific interests, from pets to books to sports to cooking. (We even tried out a live cooking class and a virtual book club.) The point is that we keep experimenting and trying new things.

Weekly 1:1s Everyone has a weekly 1:1 with their manager. We also have a weekly all-company meeting where each functional group presents work and progress against plans. Transparency is one of the principles of TRM and we share information with the team freely.

Hatitude: prioritizing sharing and gratitude
We create opportunities for every single person across the company to share and receive gratitude. We call this "hatitude" and while there is special time dedicated to sharing this in person at our onsites, we do it every day over chat as well.

Emphasizing face-to-face time
All meetings are held over video — even impromptu chats.

What does a "typical day" look like at your company?

There is no one "start" to the day because we have a global team, but let’s run through a sample 24 hours using Pacific time as our guide.

12 am - 5 am
Customer Success teammates in South Africa and England get things going by answering customer questions and holding live demos.

6 - 8 am
North America starts to sign on, and you see more chatter online. (And more than a few gifs and memes.)

9 am - 10 am
Marketing will post the weekly go-to-market launch and new content for the team to read and share. Cue the emoji reactions.

10 am - 12 pm Cross-functional groups hold lunch-and-learns, there are always a few 1:1s happening, along with the quick video call to work through a tough problem.

1pm - 4 pm
There are always candidate interviews. We average a few thousand applications per month, which keeps us busy!

4 pm - 6 pm Folks may share advice with product teams asking for guidance on Roadmap.com, our fast-growing online community we sponsor for product builders.

7 pm - 12 am
Asia-Pacific is covered — we have global 24/7 support and maintain our 2-hour first response time for support queries.

Trusting employees is a big part of hiring remote candidates. How do you ensure your team is staying on task and engaged with their work?

We strive to hire intrinsically motivated people. Every week, the entire company completes what we call "3Ps" — this stands for "progress, planned, problems." It is a quick way to track what you have accomplished, what you plan to get done the following week and call out any challenges where you might need help from your manager.

What advice do you have for companies who want to go either fully remote or hybrid?

It comes down to company culture. You need a clear vision, frameworks for success, and a plan to achieve — whether the company is co-located, hybrid, or fully remote. We also suggest you define your core principles, as we have with The Responsive Method.

Why do you believe remote work is here to stay?

Aside from the many, many, many studies that show how remote work positively impacts individual teammates — remote work benefits the company too. Because we are entirely distributed, we can continue to hire exceptional talent regardless of where they are located.

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Aha! Is currently hiring!
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