Thursday, July 13, 2023

How To Build A Strong And Supportive Remote Work Culture

Remote work culture enables employees to perform at their best. 

It doesn't force them to work 9-5 schedules, work overtime, or neglect their personal lives. It allows everyone to work during their busy time without getting distracted. No ping, no unnecessary meetings, no micro-management, or much work.

But recruiting global talent is difficult. Without a solid system, you will create poor employee experience and high employee turnover. From hiring to communication and management, things can get out of hand quickly.

It follows up with you every step of the staff and how they work - and is useful to everyone.

What is a Remote-First Work Culture?

Remote work culture is a culture that puts the relationships and feelings of remote workers first.

Companies with a remote-first work culture cross geographic boundaries and time zones. They are based on the values ​​of trust, inclusion, autonomy, and transparency.

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Remote-first work culture means adding a 'remote' label to office-based work types and sometimes not allowing employees to work remotely without upgrading their work methods. It's about remote work and the requirements for remote workers are the default way to do this job.

Remote-first principles then form the basis for the way things work, which are not considered or improved upon later.

You are not wrong when it comes to supporting and nurturing a remote work culture. Remote-first companies are people-first companies. They enable people to perform at their best regardless of their location because they promote flexible hours and asynchronous communication.

Why does the hybrid model need an inter-first culture to be successful?

In March 2020, 88% of companies encouraged or required employees to work from home due to COVID-19. Within a year, companies like Microsoft, Spotify, Apple, Cisco, and others switched to the hybrid model.

Some of these companies now allow all employees to choose whether to work permanently from home, the office, or both. Other employees are asked to be in the office a few days a week or 50% of the time.

The challenge for those who prefer to stay away from is the information that sits quietly in the office. That's why remote-first work culture is important if one of your employees chooses to work remotely in the office from time to time. It is not optional; This is the only way to create a truly inclusive work environment for all.

Challenges in hybrid and remote work environments

Without conscious access to support, meetings, and expectations, people in remote and hybrid positions can feel overwhelmed, overwhelmed, disconnected, and ineffective. for example:

Employees who feel lonely and lonely do not contribute their best ideas to projects.

People who are unbalanced will struggle to support their families and find less demanding jobs

If people feel that they cannot give up because it threatens their chances of progress, they will be destroyed and lose their skills and performance.

This is detrimental to your success as a company and the satisfaction and happiness of your employees.

Opportunities and benefits of creating a first-class work culture

The shortest way to summarize remote-first benefits: Enable each employee to do their best.

When you open it, you see many layers of it. The true remote work culture is intentionally involved and creates equal opportunities for all. Without geographical and other constraints, people can put to work their knowledge, life experiences, self-expression, unique abilities, and talents.

Graphic Idea: Iceberg

Accordingly, representatives in a remote-first culture are:

productive and efficient because they work hours that match their energy and their condition

• Prosperous and easy to maintain because they seem valuable and beneficial as an important part of the company's puzzle

comfortable and balanced as they can live their preferred lifestyle and support their family

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There are also fewer fixed costs to run a remote company than a traditional, office-based company, which means you have more has more resources to empower, support, and reward employees for their impact.

How can you create a remote-first work culture?

A strong, supportive remote-first work culture is made up of seven components:

1. Recruitment

2. Compensation

3. Onboarding

4. Communication

5. Assembly

6. Benefits

7. Management

Only if you combine all seven elements well can your company culture be remote-first. Recruiting from a diverse, global market is not enough; It is important to have genuine ownership and belonging to different time zones, lifestyles, and work styles.

Each of the seven components plays an important role in remote work culture. Let's dive into them.

1. Recruit with a Remote-First Mindset

Success in a region like Silicon Valley has raised the cost of living, meaning the best talent can't afford to go there for job opportunities. Reverse Remote-First Recruitment: It creates opportunities for talented technical workers and gives companies access to a global talent pool.

Use your job postings to reach potential candidates worldwide, design and promote a global benefits package and company culture that supports work-life balance and flexibility. This can include paid leave, sick leave, parental leave, mental health support, education, and development allowance, home office budget, and more.

Remote-first recruitment enables you to create a diverse workforce. Be sure to find a diverse applicant pool, not relying solely on your job description to attract disparate candidates. This could include finding talent in developing countries or posting jobs on sites for female engineers or people of color.

Remotely, we promote connectedness, inclusion, diversity, and equality (BIDE) and believe that the more diverse we are, the more attractive we are to those trying to shape our future careers. Yes, you can think of a remote. When you make it non-negotiable, you create a place where your future employees can thrive.

2. Create an Inter-First Compensation Structure

The goal of remote work culture is to hire the best people at the best pay. Good News? As a remote-first business, you no longer have to pay the best talent in San Francisco. Our Global Workforce Revolution report shows that many job seekers are willing to take a wage cut to work remotely.

Of course, that doesn't mean you should go for as little compensation as possible for a given location. Fair and competitive pay is important.

Here's how some remote companies approach this challenge:

Basecamp will pay the same pay based on seniority level regardless of location

Buffer adjusts salary based on seniority and living expenses

GitLab includes the San Francisco benchmark, location, level, experience, contract, and exchange rates in its salary calculator.

The goal is to make your employees feel rewarded, connected, and loved. You're competing with local and global businesses for the same talent, which means you need to do as well or better than both in order to do the best job.

3. Create a Remote-First Onboarding Experience

Employee onboarding is the bridge between hiring a great candidate and making them successful at your company. 59 percent of HR professionals believe the battle for high talent is moving from success to editing.

Successful employee onboarding results in clarity of role, social integration, knowledge of company culture, and job ownership. It builds confidence.

But it's much easier to go to the office, where you can explore the company culture of your new job and discover for yourself. They can interact with coworkers in person, get real-time help from HR and feel physically part of something bigger.

For remote-first companies, you need to deliberately modify the new rental experience. If you let them go, they can feel lonely and disconnected. And if you put every piece of the document on them, they can get overwhelmed.

Here are some tips for a balanced, deliberate remote onboarding experience:

• Transportation and documentation guidelines are important, so consolidate them quickly with your new rental

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Create an onboarding page with direct links to the most important content

Encourage new employees to progress at their own pace and through onboarding on time, and to learn and research on the go

Consider adding a new job for a friend in your time zone, giving them a new perspective and a special "I'm new here!" questions to get

Remote-first onboarding means you can enhance the curated, positive employee experience from day one.

4. Defaults to asynchronous communication

Asynchronous communication (asynchronous) is the key to real remote work. This allows everyone to work at the peak of their energy and creativity and work in a deep, distraction-free focus mode – no suggestions or interruptions.

For everyone to work asynchronously, you need resources that support transparent work and that have thorough, always-updated documents. Remotely, Notes includes our staff handbook and our meeting notes, and GitLab is our only engineering resource.

Rely on tools like Loom to record video for questions and updates, and share those updates in public places like a Slack A channel. The goal is to make the current work status visible to everyone so that everyone can take advantage of their time zone and their schedule.

It is up to managers and leaders to set the right example with asynchronous communication. They need to be proactive in using their tools, respecting calendar boundaries, and meeting regularly with their reports to make sure they have everything they need to be successful.

Remote-first communication assumes that people will not be online at the same time. This eliminates FOMO -- the fear of losing out -- and allows employees to do their best and become completely disconnected when they don't.

5. Give All Meetings a Clear Purpose

A State of Meetings report found that businesses spend two hours each week in redundant meetings, with companies in the United States alone spending nearly $400 billion in 2019. With asynchronous functions, there should be some synchronization meeting - but none of that should go to waste.

The most efficient way to run a remote-first meeting is to make sure it actually takes place. Ask yourself: can this be done asynchronously? If so, don't hold meetings; If not, consider the reasons and ways to reduce it. If the answer is no yet, make an appointment.

From here, create some clear meeting guidelines. It doesn't just mention the agenda, some notes, and how you plan to organize the meeting. To increase efficiency and facilitate rapid development for your remote team, you have the tools to use for meetings, steps for setting meeting times, and what to do before, during, and after meetings. Instructions should be clearly defined.

before meeting

Zoom calendar events links and agendas

*as small as possible

Working hours for all attendees

during the meeting

start on time

Take Notes in Shared Documents

If You're Not Making a Benefit or Contribution, Quit

• If it's not on the agenda, it's not discussed end the meeting on time or earlier.

after the meeting

Clear notes and add links to documents

*If there is a recording, link it to the page

Feel free to swipe through some of our dedicated article on our own meeting guidelines or how to manage meetings effectively. Broadly speaking, you should try to avoid meetings wherever possible to increase productivity. When a meeting is necessary, try to stick to a few key principles:

• Always have a bullet point meeting agenda starting with the participant's name

Take notes in shared documents and clean them up after the meeting

Encourage people to leave the meeting if they do not benefit or contribute

For any regular meeting, rotate them to cover all time zones. Instead of receiving notes and meeting recordings, it always gives everyone a chance to participate.

6. Create a Custom Remote-First Benefit Plan

One of the major benefits you can offer as a remote-first company is flexibility. Can your employees shape their work around their lives and vice versa? Before considering additional benefits like scholarships or aid allowances, make sure your foundation is very strong.

Next, think about what your employer's country already offers and how your benefits fit into it. For example, 6+ months of paid parental leave is mandatory in some countries, so employees in that country will not treat parental leave as a bonus benefit.

Use our country finder to learn about the legal benefits required in each country and some helpful tips for creating a competitive package.

Remember that not everyone wants to live in the same country forever. Our research found that 81% of people can travel to regions, states, or countries without affecting their job prospects.

If you have employees living as digital nomads, make sure your company can support their relocation. These include compliance with local labor laws, taxes, visas, benefits, and international wages.

7. Importance of Supportive Inter-First Management

One of the main objectives of remote-first leaders and team managers is to protect and prioritize their teams and their own physical and mental health. Without a physical presence, it can be difficult to notice when a team member is in danger of rotting or becoming physically ill.

First, make sure you are aware of the workload of your employees. That way, when your live report needs help, you can actively clear the way and encourage feedback. It also helps you to work harder, avoid unnecessary expectations and deadlines, and reduce stress.

Create a process that takes people's time and gives them the comfort they need. This includes working hours as well as holidays. Being offline shouldn't be a concern and coming back after a break shouldn't be overkill.

As a leader, it's important that you do the same: You deserve the rest and you set a powerful example for your team. If team leads and directors don't use their PTOs, employees will feel like they are expected to work, and breaks and vacations are reduced.

Finally, it is important to increase connectivity through agenda-free, zero-task meetings and activities. Consider virtual workshops, group activities, volunteer activities, and bond calls (we've added a question a day to help the more introspective on the team). The interests of the employees cannot be considered. People can use their best form when they are at their best.

Leading companies to inspire your remote-first work culture

Need some direct inspiration from companies that excel in a remote-first work culture? Start with helpful resources about these businesses and check out their remote work.


GitLab is one of the largest remote-first companies in the world, with over 1,300 team members in 65+ countries around the world. GitLab enables its people to work and live in the most appropriate places. Check out all of their remote guides, where you'll find their remote manifest, their pricing, recruiting methods, experience, and more.


Buffer has a team of 85 people spread across 15 countries. Since launch, they have worked tirelessly and shared their commitment to far-reaching work culture. View their Public Salary, Salary Calculator and Variety Dashboard.

Help the scout

Help Scout is a team from 80+ cities around the world. Help Scout CEO Nick Francis says he doesn't remember when he started decades ago, the remote was a conscious decision, but a survival strategy.

But he knows what is needed to create a rich remote culture. "Go remote, or don't worry. The effectiveness of culture revolves around the flow of information. Everyone should feel like they have access to the same information."


Founded in 2011, Zapier has never had an office and has over 400 employees across six continents. One of their values ​​is the default for action. "When you have a distribution company, you have to try to hire people who are more likely to find and solve problems," says Zapier CEO Wade Foster.

See also: Remote Conversations: Part 5 with Wade Foster - Global Leadership, Work Asynchronous, and International Compensation

Like every remote-first company we appreciate, Zapier takes a remote-first approach to documentation, recruitment, compensation, benefits, mental and physical health, and connections.


Doist is the company behind Todoist and Twist products. The team has been out since day one and now has 68 members in 25 countries. Flexibility, diversity, and transparency are deeply involved in the way things are done.

The Doist is based on values ​​such as independence, passion, focus, clear communication, self-efficacy, and patience. See the articles Doist Remote Work and Doist's Remote Work Guide in detail.


Ripple is the first employee management system that fits both your HR and IT so you can manage and automate all your employees' core business systems in one hub. Remote's Global Employee API supports Ripple so that users can follow remote employees and combine domestic and international pay (you can read more about Ripple's products in our Marketplace).

The production itself is a platform that enables teams to work synchronously and practice their learning. Founded in 2016, Ripplings U.S. is across the country. Provides 100% remote employment to applicants. Ripple has hundreds of employees across India who lead a long-range vision for project management and collaboration across borders and time zones.

security branch

Safety Wing is creating the first global safety net for remote companies by providing insurance and pension products to remote workers and nomads around the world. The security team is completely remote, full of digital names distributed across three continents. The company is working diligently towards the mission of removing the role of geographical boundaries as a barrier to equal opportunity and freedom for all, which is dear to us from afar.

remote publicly available employee handbook

Everything we've covered in this guide to remote-first work culture is where we live and breathe remotely.

Want to see how we work asynchronously, run meetings, share information and progress documents? Our recruitment process, commitment, and diversification efforts, how do we recruit new employees and expect PTO and the benefits we provide?

You can find all of these and more in our publicly available employee handbook.

Remote-First and Public-First Is the Way to Go

Adopting and living a long-distance work culture leads to sustainable, balanced, productive work. It benefits your employees and your business alike; One does not need to compromise for the welfare of others.

Remote-First Culture Begins:

Dedicated efforts to recruit various employees

Provide custom compensation and benefits to meet the needs of employees in different countries

Prefer asynchronous work and over-documentation

Support physical and mental health by leading by example

If you build on this foundation for remote-first collaboration, you will be able to scale a globally distributed team, open up the largest potential talent pool, and create a platform for sustainable remote work success. you will be able to.

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