Day in the Life of a Remote Company: MeetEdgar
Day in the Life of a Remote Company
You’ve likely caught Edgar the octopus floating around the internet 🐙 As one of the busiest mascots on the web, Edgar is just one of the distributed members on the team behind MeetEdgar, which in case you didn’t know, helps thousands of entrepreneurs plan and automate their social media posts, saving them from countless hours of social media babysitting and busywork.
“We were remote from the get-go! We started remote and never had any intention to be anything but remote.”
– Freya Pirbhai, People Ops Manager
Launched in 2014 by Laura Roeder, MeetEdgar has been 100% remote right from the start. This month, we chat with Freya Pirbhai, MeetEdgar’s People Ops Manager about how their team of 12 embraces remote-first culture and what the company does to ensure their team members are thriving, no matter where they’re working from.
How is MeetEdgar organizationally structured?
We are a creative, “knowledge worker” company. Every job here has structure with a strong creative element. Not creative as in “artsy,” but creative as in you are actually CREATING something, whether that’s code or a unique exchange with another human in the form of a customer service email.
All of this leads to how we structure management. Management is another way to say how we structure the value that we all provide as individuals into the most useful form for the company.
We’re divided into teams and each team is lead by an Advocate. Within those teams, individuals also have their own areas of ownership.
Team leads are called Advocates because they do just that -- they advocate for their team. At the company level, Advocates make sure that their department is well resourced. At the team level, they make sure their team is getting what they need to get their work done. Information, tools, or other team members they need to work with, whatever they need.
They also serve as the person who coordinates all the work on their team, working with the other Advocates to coordinate the priorities of their team in relation to the company as a whole.
What does a typical day look like at MeetEdgar?
We’re a remote team distributed all over the US, Canada, and different timezones, but here’s an idea of what goes on from the West coast:
- 6am: the customer support team logs on and answers questions from our community and Laura, our CEO hops on to record podcasts!
- 7am - 8am: the rest of the team arrive and we have a question of the day posted in the #general Slack channel. It’s usually a fun way for us to interact and start/build conversations. Today’s question was: QOTD: Share a pic of a random thing in your office or on your desk! Is there a story behind it? There are lots of pics and emojis!
- 8am-10am: some departments have meetups (either weekly or more) and we typically try to have no meeting Wednesdays for better focus work!
- 10am-12pm: we sometimes host a company Lightning Lunch (where someone from the team presents something fun either work or not work-related) or a company donut (where we all hang out and chat about a fun topic)
- 12pm-2pm: the east coasters are starting to finish up tasks and any meetings on the agenda and the west coasters share pics of their lunches in our #whats-for-lunch channel
- 2pm-4pm: typically the east coasters have said bye (wave) and the west coast holds down the fort. We like the idea of setting ourselves up for the next day, so lists and tasks are created so we can jump in and do our best work!
What benefits do you offer your employees to ensure they're comfortable in their role?
We make work-life balance as easy as possible by never making any in-person retreats mandatory. Since we are 100% remote, we make sure every team member has the tools to thrive in their home office.
We have a number of perks that we’ve set up to ensure our team is well setup to work remotely. We pay for internet and when they start with us we make sure they have the latest in technology for a new Apple laptop. We also cover house cleaning once per month which I think is a unique and fun perk. We check in with our peeps regularly to see if there’s anything they need or want. Check out our list of our perks!
What cultural practices do you proudly promote?
We added a few fun channels in Slack so that people can talk about things like food, TV shows, or anything in #general (provided it’s kind/conscious). We also give employees the option to work from a coworking space or coffee shop and we cover it. We want to be able to support each person individually. We also have company donuts, which is essentially a video call with the whole company, or sometimes smaller groups, to just be social and chat, get to know each other. And, we schedule team movie days or pizza hangouts every quarter too.
How do you address common remote challenges for your employees?
Our Slack channels include some fun, non-work related chats; we’re pretty social in there and we also support peeps to work from coworking spaces or coffee shops. Remote work isn’t for everyone, and so we make sure we are screening for this when we hire.
How do the current tools you use across the board serve your employees?
We have some main company-wide tools and then departments get to decide on which tools best serve them. Anyone is welcome to research or try a new tool and bring the case forward to switch or add! Slack is great for communicating, we can do so much in there and it integrates with most of our other tools. Zoom is great for group video calls and even quick 1on1’s. It’s nice to see faces when we want to chat about something, so that’s our default, rather than typing a private message.
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?
This goes back to hiring, we meet certain criteria in the hiring process, because we really believe in trusting our peeps and giving them full autonomy. We only hire people who we 100% trust to run the company if that was needed! We also have regular check-ins with each person, either from Ops or by their department advocate (leader).
What advice do you have for companies who want to go either fully remote or hybrid?
You must hire well and trust your employees to get their work done. If you’re not a remote team but want to head in that direction, it would be a good idea to visit your company values and talk about why you’re making the change. Hybrid situations are a little more challenging because inevitably, it’s going to be hard to capture everything that happens in the office to the remote working peeps. There are ways around it, but you have to be on top of your communication game.
Why do you believe remote work is here to stay?
There are so many benefits to working remotely -- not only from a cost savings point but from a talent point. You can hire from a larger pool and also support many individual lifestyles that might be better suited to working from home.
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