HeroX doesn’t have a central office. The company is 100% remote with team members operating from 3 countries and as many time zones. The culture is positive, productivity is high, there is a set of systems, apps and organizational structures that hold up invisible walls and... we love each other.
When members of the team meet each other for the first time in 3D there are often tears of joy, and many hugs. How do you create a thriving work culture with a team that is 100% remote? How has HeroX achieved this level of connection AND productivity? The simple answer is technology - and a culture that shines with a little sprinkle of crazy.
Support each person’s ‘Brand of Crazy’
Allowing people to maximize results using their personal ‘brand of crazy’ not only fosters well-being, but it ramps up creativity and a sense of accountability towards the overall company goals.
For example, if Joe does his writing at 2am in his pajamas from the roof of his New York skyscraper, so be it. Joe is much more likely to feel respected for his need to write at 2am, is grateful for the freedom to do so, and therefore loyal to the business and committed to its success. Why? In the least, so that he can keep writing at 2am in his pajamas.
Employees are most driven to succeed when they work in a relaxed, comfortable environment and feel appreciated for their expertise and accomplishments… (they) use fewer sick days and take less time off, because they can better workaround appointments, illnesses and other events. Employees are healthier, happier, and have less work-related stress. ROWE is environmentally friendly, saving both energy and commuting expenses.
- Abby Perkins - Business.com Writer
Counting hours is about as useful as counting calories.
We have a ‘results-oriented’ work environment (ROWE). The days of tracking hours are coming to an end. When you are oriented towards results, and your performance is assessed based on your achievements, the time of day that you reach your goal is insignificant and we don’t need to know about it.
Why not track hours? Consider this: if your aim is to achieve 2500 calories a day, you can eat five chocolate bars and achieve your goal. The measure of success is in the value of those calories, and the energy and health they lend to your body. The same goes for a traditional workday. Just because you punched in at 9 and out at 5, there is no indication of productivity or value for the health of the organization.
The core values of our organization are extremely critical. How the leadership team runs their systems and empowers their team is essential. Keeping the team excited and with you… and decreasing the amount of distraction is key.
The ROWE requires a well-oiled system of goal tracking based on methodologies such as the 3HAG and 12 week plan, a strong leadership team, and transparent accountability. In addition to that, we have optimized the use of apps such as Trello, SLACK, Basecamp, Confluence and GSuite to streamline our task and project management systems. Visibility is the last key ingredient. If one person’s measures are slipping, it is felt by all. At HeroX, if someone is not meeting their measures the rest of the team is readily available to jump in to support them.
Schedule play time
A team that works together and plays together, thrives together. Yes, we are on a thrilling mission as the world’s leading crowdsourcing platform - solving problems is very satisfying. This helps with the motivation factor, but the day-to-day task list for most of our employees matches those of most other companies. We want to have fun too.
The remote work life has less distractions, partially due to the lack of people knocking on your office door, but the ability to be able to connect - and find that connection through technology - is important. You don’t have the luxury of walking down the hall, or participating in the ‘water cooler’ talk getting to know your co-workers personally. Finding ways to have fun while getting work done requires some out-of-the-box thinking.
In our culture, we have to remind each other to go offline, and take a break! Finding time to connect with workmates is a priority in cementing the culture. We start every meeting with a positive focus, a win or share from our personal or professional lives. We huddle daily, weekly, monthly & quarterly (in person), where wins are celebrated, the 3HAG is reviewed and the quarterly 12-week plan is set in motion. We even have a SLACK ‘taco’ channel where the team can reward one another with 🌮 tacos!. Truly, a taco warms your heart.
Peak in on the conversation between a couple of HeroXers:
Dessie Maliaka, HeroX Innovation Manager chats with Kal Sahota, HeroX VP of Possibilities about her experience of Remote Work Life at HeroX.
Secrets to our success
Ultimately you have to love what you do, in order to do it from anywhere. When you feel connected to the mission, you are connected to all the people heading there with you. If you are a leader of an organization, wondering how to make the shift, first ask yourself “How am I going to inspire my team to want to get up and make a difference?” and then check out more from the HeroX blog: Inspirations.