Remote Work At Ciao Bambino! Inc.
* As of January 2020
Ciao Bambino! Inc. Remote Company Q&A
Amie O’Shaughnessy, CEO - Interview with Remote.co
What does your remote-friendly company do?
Ciao Bambino is a family travel planning guide and vacation planning service.
Did you switch to remote or start out that way?
We’ve always been remote.
How important is remote work to your business model?
Essential. Our flexible work model enables women with children to be moms and work, i.e. they can work when they want from home or wherever they are in the world.
What do you consider the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?
Flexibility. Many parents would otherwise not be able to work if they had to spend time commuting to an office during “standard” business hours.
What were the main reasons to integrate remote work into your workforce?
A remote work model is cost-effective and enables us to hire a wide variety of talented people from around the world and not be restricted by geography.
What traits do you look for in candidates for a remote job?
People who are very focused and don’t need to be in a “group” environment to be motivated and work hard are ideal for remote work. People who get distracted easily find it more challenging.
How do you convey your remote culture in the recruiting process?
I clearly stipulate that our remote culture means that our employees must be self-starters and that our training tools are more limited. Our employees must thrive on working independently.
Do you use third party testing or evaluation services when hiring remote workers?
No. We only check references.
Do you have remote communication protocols for your remote workers?
We do have set parameters that we ask people to follow. The more numbers you put around what people should be doing the better. Clear expectations are a critical success factor.
How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?
We have sales and other deliverables which are measurable. I think it more difficult to measure the productivity for roles that don’t have clear deliverables with results attached to them.
What is your time off policy for remote workers?
We do not have a time off limit. However, for it to be worth my while to manage our resources, they have to contribute a minimum amount.
What were your biggest fears in managing remote workers?
Trust is a big fear and challenge. At the end of the day, as a business owner of a remote team, you aren’t there to babysit what your team is doing and saying … and they are a reflection of your brand. Communication, communication, communication is the only way forward … but even then, this really is a challenge that in some respects is insurmountable. The flexibility benefit, however, outweighs the cost.
How did you implement a remote work policy?
Formally. All hires are brought into the company under the premise that they work remotely.
How do you nurture your company’s culture in a remote work environment?
We are in constant communication in email and use Google Docs to share and store ideas. “Team Calls” are essential to ensure that everyone feels like they are part of something larger.
What advice would you give to a team considering to go remote?
Electronic communication does not replace the value of in-person communication. It’s critical to meet longer term hires who will work for you remotely. Bonds are established in person that support the trust required for successful remote relationships.
What are the most effective tools for remote team communication?
We have at least quarterly team conferences calls.
How do you personally manage work-life balance?
I set clear boundaries regarding work and personal time. This lifestyle means that they are always intertwined, but I do my best to try and make sure that every bucket gets quality time … i.e. family, self, work etc.
Where is the best or worst place you’ve worked remotely?
Worst: The car on the side of the road.
Best: Any Four Seasons Hotel.