When people find out I work remotely, from my home office in Seattle, their first two questions are: “How do you work?” and the other is “Oh my, don’t you feel so disconnected from the people in the other offices?”
The answer to the first one is, essentially, the same way anyone works. I have a computer and a to-do list, both of which reside in my office where I get things done. But I doubt there are any surprises there, right?
The second answer is, to everyone’s amazement, ‘no’. I don’t feel disconnected from my team because InfoTrust has amazing communication in place. And it’s no surprise that, as a recognized best place to work, they’ve got their communication ducks in a row. After all, effective communication is one of the building blocks to employee satisfaction and engagement!
So, what exactly does InfoTrust have in place to foster communication?
We use a chat application, which is where most of our day-to-day interactions take place. Yes, email is still available, but mail is both messy (who here would raise their hand to say they want more emails every day?) and lacks a personal tone.
Given that we have offices all over the world, it’s important that we all have direct access to each other on each person’s unique schedule. Just as important is the ability to be normal people with one another, even if we are a world apart. Chat gives us that option by providing real-time discussions, occasional typos and all!
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that emojis and gifs are not only acceptable, but integrated heavily into chat. We have an affinity for both around here!
Every week, without fail, we have an all-company stand up. Everyone joins, from San Diego to Dubai (we even use our cameras for a face-to-face effect, depending on how late or early it is in each person’s time zone), and we discuss any or all of the below:
The meeting is only 15-minutes long, but it is a great opportunity to connect and share information across offices.
It’s like the weekly stand ups, but much more in depth. We talk about everything that went well in the last quarter, where we can improve, what our theme is for the new quarter (much like the ring in LoTR, each quarter we have one theme to bind us all!), upcoming projects and more.
This is a non-negotiable, two hour meeting that takes place at the end of each quarter. While the stand up is a great way to stay aligned on a regular basis, the quarterly kick-off takes it a step further and provides a longer, open forum for discussion (more on that later).
Yes, InfoTrust does have actual employee bonuses, paid out by the company. But that’s not what I’m referring to. Instead, I’m talking about employee-to-employee recognition. We use Bonus.ly, which gives a set number of points to employees each month that they can then award to co-workers based on exemplifying our core values.
The benefits of this are twofold: It reinforces our core values constantly while giving employees the ability to publicly recognize their co-workers. This regularly calls attention to all of the amazing things each person contributes to the team which, as you can imagine, feels pretty great!
This is not its own type of communication channel, but rather the underlying principle on which all of the other channels are built. It’s the reason why the many ways in which we communicate are successful and it is an integral part of our core values: Seek Feedback.
Every meeting, every chat and every interaction brings real discussion. They are no judgement zones where people can ask questions and, if they’re available, get real answers in return. Every person on the team is encouraged to share their feedback on everything from how we run meetings to how we can make better budgeting decisions.
Nothing about how InfoTrust works day in and day out is off limits, which is a powerful thing.
Interested in joining our super communicative team? Check out our open positions!