Day in the Life of a Remote Company: Doximity

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Get to know Doximity as a company through the eyes of a team member from the engineering department! Based in Mansfield, OH, Sarah Reid is the Senior Software Engineer and Tech Lead. Here she provides both a personal account of her experience as a remote worker and what it's like to work remotely for Doximity.

In case you don't already know, Doximity was founded in 2010 by the pioneers of mobile healthcare apps. They're currently transforming the healthcare industry with their mission to help doctors be more productive, informed, and connected.

Once named the Fastest Growing Company in the Bay Area, and one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, joining Doximity means you will be part of an incredibly talented and humble team of 650 and counting. The company functions as a hybrid remote company and because more than half of the team is distributed (~80% during non-pandemic times), the team pretty much operates as if they're fully remote.

Doximity is one of our Top 100 Remote Companies Hiring, and you'll see below just how stable their remote situation truly is.

Hey Sarah! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I'm a full-stack software engineering with about 8 years of experience. I work in web-based technologies, with most of my experience in Ruby on Rails and a smattering of React and Vue. I've been working remotely for over five years, with three of those years spent here at Doximity. I was born and raised in Ohio and currently reside in Mansfield with my husband. In my spare time I enjoy painting and cooking.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/in/sarah-reid-62a389119

What does your typical workday look like?

I’ll give you the “non-Instagram-able” version of my day since that one happens more often. 
  • 6am: Wake up to my alarm, then shut it off because I want more sleep. 
  • 6am-9am: Sleep in and revel in the fact that I have a remote job with no commute (and I don’t have to fix my bedhead if I don’t need to make an appearance on-screen).
  • 9am: Put on a warm, plush robe and shuffle into the kitchen for breakfast.
  • 10am: Make tea, switch on the laptop and get oriented for the day.
  • 11am-12pm: Code review any PRs my team posted or write code.
  • 12pm: Swap the sweat pants for jeans to convince myself I’m not a couch potato.
  • 1pm: It’s now 10am in the Pacific time zone, so I message my coworkers in CA to catch up on work-related items.
  • 2pm-5pm: Write code or attend meetings (sometimes both).
  • 6pm: Shut down the laptop, make dinner, and chill with my hubby.

Describe your workspace setup:

I’m blessed to live in a house with a dedicated office space. Doximity offers a budget to all remote employees for their initial home office setup, which has made my office even more comfortable. 

I’ve got a StandDesk (which I don’t use enough), your standard office chair, a MacBook Pro for my work laptop, two external monitors, and a 5-year-old Kinesis keyboard that’s easy on my fingers.

I have some non-work-related items in here as well like my plants or a second table for weekend projects like painting, crafting, stuff like that. I also have a comfy recliner which is great for relaxing during afternoons full of meetings.

Aside from your phone and computer, name a gadget you can’t live without in your workspace: 

I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t imagine working without my Airpods Pro. Communication over video/audio calls is vital when working remotely, which makes a quality headset more important than ever before. The control over background noise with these headphones is fantastic for focus (I can filter out my neighbor’s 2-hour drum sessions), and the microphone carries my voice so clearly that my coworkers don’t have to struggle to understand me during calls.

What do you listen to while you work? 

I’m usually streaming something on Spotify. For focusing, I like to listen to their Deep Focus or Peaceful Piano channels. For more fun/relaxed work I like to listen to the songs I’ve “Liked” which includes songs from artists like Celine Dion, Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, a handful of Post Malone (I’m not into rap, but I like his voice), and Sia.

How do you and your team work together and collaborate? 

We use several tools to collaborate. 

Slack is great for quick questions, reminders, status updates, or just sharing fun/random information.

If we need to have a more complex conversation or want to do pair programming, we’ll use a video conference tool like our own Doximity Dialer Video, Google Meet, etc.

In addition to that, every meeting we schedule automatically comes with a Google Meet link so remote folks can join.

When we have people working out of HQ, all the conference rooms are equipped with video conferencing technology.

We use Pivotal Tracker to organize and prioritize our units of work (or “stories” if you’re familiar with the Agile process).

For things like technical proposals, we typically use Google Docs. In addition to all of that, we have an internal Wiki that houses all of our internal knowledge, everything from technical how-tos to HR benefit information.

How does Doximity advocate for remote work?

Our hiring process ensures an applicant can complete every step remotely.

When there isn’t a pandemic going on we do like to give candidates an opportunity to tour the office and interview with some employees in person, particularly if they’re planning on working from HQ. However, by default all our in-person interviews are done with a Google Meet or Zoom.

In addition to that, we have a set of remote guidelines to help new remote workers integrate into the company culture. Topics range from “Expectations when Working Remotely” to “Best Practices to Foster Kind Communication” (example: “Differences in opinion are resolved on zoom, not slack. If you disagree with someone, jump on a call. Escalating Slack back and forths can be toxic to any culture.”).

How were you and your team impacted by the pandemic?

It varied among my team members. While the pandemic affected everyone, I would say the greatest impact was on our folks based in the San Francisco office. They no longer had all the perks that came with living in San Francisco and their office space was reduced to a niche in their small, one-bedroom apartments often shared with a spouse/partner/roommate/kid who was also now working/learning remotely. I admire their strength and ability to still show up to work every day in the face of such adversity.

How would you describe the culture at Doximity as a remote company?

Engaging and fun. There is so much to do here remotely. We have tons of fun slack channels to connect employees with shared interests. We have a channel for dog owners, cat owners, investors, bikers, cooks, a channel just for random stuff, a channel to ask for recommendations on anything from mattresses to where to find a notary, the list goes on.

One of my favorite channels is one we call #doxhome. Every week we have a company-wide challenge to compete to win a $100 amazon gift card. As an example, this week’s challenge is “Groundhog Day Inspiration  - Post a pic or video of something you can do every day & never tire”. Other employees up-vote your picture by reacting with an emoji (we use a party parrot wearing a mask), and the post with the most votes wins. It’s so fun to get a glimpse into the lives of your coworkers, as well as share a bit of your own life with them.

What do you think are Doximity’s strengths as a remote company?

Our ability to adapt to unusual circumstances, like the pandemic, is one of our strengths as a remote company. As an example, before the pandemic our company was 2/3rds remote. The transition to 100% remote employees was fairly seamless for Doximity since we had all the tools in place to handle remote work. Similarly, we had to adjust to virtual “offsites” instead of in-person offsites (an activity we do quarterly to get teammates together outside the office), the first virtual offsite wasn’t perfect, but the subsequent ones have greatly improved because our leadership took in all feedback.

What kind of benefits does Doximity offer?

When it comes to physical office space, we offer new remote employees a stipend to use towards setting up their perfect home office. In terms of finding a place in the company, we have a newbie program where the newbie is paired with an experienced Doxer to help them navigate the company, make introductions, and just generally support them and help them integrate into the company quickly.

How does Doximity address common remote challenges for you and your team? 

During non-pandemic situations, we have quarterly offsites where we all get together in one place to reflect on the previous quarter’s work and do fun activities. Some of my favorite offsite locations have been Palm Springs, California and Stanford Sierra Camp near Lake Tahoe.

Since the pandemic, we’ve had to adjust. We now have virtual offsites, which are fun but can’t replace the real thing. In addition to that, every team is encouraged to have regular “social hours”. 

On my team, we have a Social Hour every other week. We typically play some kind of virtual game (Codenames is one of our favorites), but we leave it unstructured and sometimes simply chat with each other. While virtual meetings can’t fully replace real, in-person interactions, they can still encourage engagement and help ward off loneliness.

Why do you believe remote work is here to stay?

Because it works. Software engineers have been able to work remotely for years now; we only need a laptop and an internet connection to do our work. With recent advancements in collaborative tooling, other disciplines and roles within a company can now be just as productive in a remote environment as they were in an office. In fact, they may be more productive. There are several studies that attest that remote workers are more productive than their office-bound counterparts. Now that so many companies have been exposed to remote work, I would be surprised if any of them went back to 100% in office work.

Do you have any advice for people looking for remote jobs in your department/company? 

Communication skills are more important than ever, particularly in a remote setting: you can’t just lean over your coworker’s cubicle to ask a question. Anyone who wants to work remotely should familiarize themselves with the tools most frequently used for communication; Slack, Zoom, and Google Meets would be good to learn. Also, develop language skills such as how best to phrase your question to ensure your meaning is clear; you’re more likely to get the answer you need if your coworker is sure what you’re asking. A little extra patience will go a long way as well: you should be as happy to handle interruptions from your own coworkers who need your help as you are willing to interrupt someone else when you need help.

That being said, working remotely is not for everyone: it requires a greater level of independence than working in a typical office environment. You must be prepared to be a self-starter, able to figure out what to work on in a given day, discipline yourself to meet goals without constant supervision, and be willing to seek help if you get stuck. If this sounds like you, then you will enjoy remote work as much as I do, and I can’t think of a better place to work remotely than at Doximity.

Doximity's currently hiring!
Now that you know the company a bit more, apply here.

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