Interview: Remote Year

Sam Pessin is co-founder & COO of Remote Year, a community of  digital nomads from across the globe, traveling and working together during a year across 12 different cities throughout Europe, Asia and South America. You can find more about Remote Year in Twitter, Facebook and its own site.

1. Could you please introduce you? What’s the name of your company, what do you do, how many are you, from where do you work?

Remote Year is a platform for professionals to connect with a global community while working remotely for a year. Our team is 100, and we have nearly 500 Remotes traveling with us. We are fully distributed, working all across the world.

Sam Pessin2. How, when and why did you become a remote team or distributed company with employees working remotely?

Our brand and mission is strongly in support of remote work / productivity. We decided very early on to make that part of the lifeblood of our own team.

3. Which have been the advantages to become a remote company or having a distributed team?

  • Our team is diverse and inspired to do great work
  • Each team member’s lifestyle is flexible and molded to their specific job junction or team
  • Team members are able to surround themselves with environments that inspire them (not everyone is inspired by the same things). For some it’s a coworking space, for others it’s a cafe, for others it’s a beach.

4. Have there been any disadvantages and obstacles? How have you overcome these challenges?

Communications is really important in a remote environment. Job functions, success metrics, and weekly goals all need to be tightly defined and managed to build trust and success.

5. How do you do to operate effectively as a remote or distributed team? Have you modified the processes, tools, organization and internal activities?

As mentioned above, team comms cadences are really important. The agendas and dynamics of those touch points are equally important
Some tools we like:

6. How do you do to hiring remotely? What’s the process that you follow?

We post on a number of global and local job sites for each role, screen and interview via video conference, and usually organize in-person final rounds to allow the candidate to meet more of our team and our remote family.

7. What would you say to companies that don’t believe to hire employees who work remotely?

Most work can be done anywhere at this point. The question is whether it makes sense to shift to that model or not as a company. We’ve seen that offering this can truly increase productivity of a team member, and also help the organization immensely with talent recruitment and retention efforts.

8. What advice would you give to companies that are starting to work remotely or establishing a distributed team?

Not to be a broken record, but communications is everything. You need to find the right tools and processes to get that right to be successful – remote or not.

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