Remote Work At Knack

100%

Remote

20+

Team Members

The Internet

Headquarters

* As of August 2017

Knack Team

Knack Team

Knack Remote Company Q&A

Brandon Griggs, CEO - Interview with Remote.co

What do you consider the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?

The implied foundation of trust. We give our team the autonomy to figure out how they can do their best work. This can only happen when you trust them to do that effectively. That foundation permeates everything as that trust is returned to the team and company where, as a CEO, I have zero concerns about motivation, politics, titles, etc.

What were the main reasons to integrate remote work into your workforce?

My co-founder and I had previous experience collaborating remotely, so as we bootstrapped we never even considered a physical office. Knowing we were always going to be 100% remote forced us to develop all of our operations around working remotely.

What traits do you look for in candidates for a remote job?

Written communication is an absolute must. This isn’t just about grammar, it’s about succinctly communicating your ideas and the ability to express your personality through writing.

How do you conduct interviews for remote jobs?

They are all done over video hangouts, so we can immediately see how comfortable they are with this. I do an initial one-on-one, then we have a second group interview with the broader team.

How do you conduct onboarding for remote workers?

Very deliberately. A big component is daily one-on-ones with a different team member to talk about the job, but more importantly, about the culture and how we work remotely.

Do you have remote communication protocols for your remote workers?

We have an overlap policy where we expect everyone to be generally available for conversations and video chats. Remote does not by definition mean time independence. We still feel synchronous communication is important, and want to remove friction by simply having real-time conversations with each other.

Do your remote team members meet in person?

Not only do we all meet twice a year in person, we live together in a giant house for a week to work and play. We’ve found these critical in cementing the bonds you form over chat and video.

What elements are key to successful working relationships with remote teams?

Actually having one. A relationship doesn’t mean reading standups in a Slack channel. You have to put in the work to meet regularly with each worker. One-on-ones are vital to get insight into everything you’re missing.

What is the hardest part about managing a remote workforce?

Always the communication. This is this the hardest part for any workforce; remote just amplifies the stakes.

How do you keep remote employees engaged and feeling part of the bigger picture?

There are no tricks here—you engage with them and make them a part of the bigger picture. This means transparent communication, distributed decision-making, and simply treating them as human beings.

How did you implement a remote work policy?

Early on it was very organic, but as we’ve scaled we’ve experimented with just enough formal policy to ensure we’re retaining the remote culture we value while still building a world-class product.

What advice would you give to a team considering to go remote?

If you don’t trust your team, work on that first.

What challenges have you encountered building a remote team?

We’re all still figuring out the best way to do this, so little has been codified on how to do it well. Every challenge is an experiment where you have to put in the time to figure it out and write most of the rules yourself.

What are the most effective tools for remote team communication?

Video hangouts where you actually can see each other is still the most effective way to communicate around complex topics, establish human connections, and benefit from non-verbal communication.

What is your personal remote work environment?

I specifically bought a property with a giant room of windows overlooking nature that I love working from each day.

What are the biggest benefits of being a remote worker?

Not being bound by other’s definition of when I should be doing my best work or my best living.

How do you personally manage work-life balance?

I have a wife, two kids, and live on an old farm. I love all three, so it’s never felt challenging to carve out time for life and give it my 100% focus.

What is your favorite business book?

The OG: Andy Grove’s High Output Management