3 Hidden Keys to Successful Communication as a Remote Team

This story is inspired by this week’s Startup Edition question:
How do you effectively work with remote teams?

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The biggest challenge of working in remote teams isn’t dealing with the physical distribution of your teammates but reducing the psychological distance between everyone. Bridging that distance is probably a test for all types of teams but requires more work as a remote team.

“One thing that excites me about building a company is the human experience of making something out of nothing together,” our co-founder and CEO Walter recently wrote in a company email. As a distributed company, we have to sweat to achieve that communal sense of creation, but in doing so, we’ve had to consider and resolve aspects of our work culture with deliberation.

Culture takes shape from a sense of coherence, built through shared experiences, expectations, and values — and one key to cohering is learning how to communicate effectively with each other. I wanted to dig deeper into what we’ve learned about communicating as a remote team that deals with building those shared relationships, expectations, and values and that help shape the cultural foundation of how we get stuff done.

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How Buffer Works Smarter, Not Harder

Buffer stands out among startups not just for its success in building a great social media sharing tool but in fashioning a company culture focused on making work fulfilling, impactful, and enjoyable. What’s fascinating is that they do this as a completely distributed team, spread across multiple countries and time-zones.

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Treat People in the Best Way

Co-founders Joel Gasciogne and Leo Widrich set the foundation for Buffer’s culture according to the tenets of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Carolyn Kopprasch, Buffer’s Chief Happiness Officer translates what that means for Buffer’s modus operandi: “We want to treat people in the absolute best way we can, and that includes co-workers, vendors, and customers.”

It also includes how the Buffer employees treat themselves. With a unique self-improvement program, they share their progress on anything from time management to healthy eating with their teammates, spurring conversations about different lifehacks and routines. Michelle Sun, Buffer’s growth and analytics expert, tracks fitness routines and getting up early while Leo has been making strides with learning how to code.

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Co-workers become a collective accountability partner for future plans like blogging or exercising, and more importantly, they become an incredible support system. Instead of looking askance when you’re doing work to do something to take care of yourself, you receive encouragement. “If you’re trying to work on your health or your fitness or your happiness level, that affects work a lot too,” Carolyn explains.

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Make Your Life Easier: The Best of the Internet

Lil girlHappy Friday – Double Awesomeness Edition! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs these past 2 weeks: 

This dull skill makes for excellent management.

How to make your life easier.

The most engaged employees work at small companies.

Spark happens when we create the conditions for it to do so.

The extreme habits of great remote teams.

Culture prevents people from jumping ship.

3 motivational mind tricks.

imageDundee’s Tip of the Week:  Keep track of specific kinds of dones by using #hashtags!

 

Anywhere in the text of your done or comment, type “#” followed by a keyword or topic name, like this: #reimbursements or #win.

An Ode to Distributed Teams

There’s not much mystery behind how a distributed team works. We show up, in our respective locations, talk to each other, and make stuff happen. The alchemy of coming together to make it work is the same that any team experiences when they build something together. There are a lot of ingredients that go into that magic, and these days, people’s physical proximity to each other is not necessarily one of them.

Like many of the teams we serve, our own iDoneThis team is dispersed. While we experience both the challenges and benefits of the form, what stands out is how naturally that form compels teams to consider and resolve the process of daily collaboration. When we get down to it and count the ways we love distributed teams, we see the alignment of four elements — company culture, communication, productivity, and the right people — that help make the magic happen.

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 half of the magic-making iDoneThis team

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How Pipedrive Achieves International Scale by Working Remotely

The reason why we exist is to help companies like Pipedrive work richly.  They have an amazing story — they’ve gone from Timo selling books door-to-door in San Jose to a company that spans three continents and has created one of the hottest and most useful CRM tools on the market today.  We’re so proud to be an ingredient in their success.

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I love the guys at Pipedrive because their ambition is global.  They know that sales is a problem that knows no boundaries—not language nor culture—and so from day one, their scope has been international.  Pipedrive was founded in Estonia, but at any given time, its founders are in Tallinn, San Francisco, Santiago, or Nairobi to spread the good word about Pipedrive, a simple CRM that people actually use.

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