Remote Work At Lullabot
* As of June 2015
Lullabot Remote Company Q&A
Jared Ponchot, Creative Director - Interview with Remote.co
The simple answer is that we design and build websites.
Lullabot began as a fully distributed company from day one.
We’re a fully distributed company and have been since our founding, so it’s definitely “in our DNA” I think.
We allow people to lean into their natural rhythms, have greater autonomy, avoid painful commutes, have ownership of their work environments and maintain the focus needed to do great creative work.
We didn’t so much “integrate” it as we built on it as our foundation. We did so because our two founders were in different cities and already working together well without being in the same place. As we’ve grown, being fully distributed has been an advantage not by simply broadening our talent pool for finding the awesome people that make up our team, but also by creating a passion for and intentional focus on communication within our company culture and way of doing things that has served us well as a business.
The fact that we’re fully distributed means we highly value strong communicators, both verbally and in written form, so that’s one of the first things we look at no matter what skill set or discipline we’re hiring for.
Through a combination of phone and google hangout video interviews, with the occasional in-person interview.
We’re a very results oriented company, but for client services work depending upon the contract type we do track hours and do things that are pretty typical business practices for keeping track of our levels of productivity.
Creating patterns around internal communication, being intentional with scheduling connection and investing in retreats and in-person time.
Finding the balance between asynchronous and synchronous communication. It is tempting to try to do everything possible with asynchronous communication (e.g. email, etc.) but there are so many kinds of things that hugely benefit either in quality or efficiency through synchronous communication.
We provide a monthly stipend for these sorts of things via a prepaid debit (Pex card) and we offer to front-load it on hire if an individual needs to purchase a computer for example.
Formally, from the hiring process onward.
Retreats are a huge thing. We have an annual all company retreat, but we also have more focused retreats pretty regularly for smaller teams within the company focused on particular things.
It will make you get really intentional about a lot of things that are great to be intentional about, including communication. The hybrid model (or phase) can be painful for many companies though, where some are remote and some are collocated. When you have a collocated team with a few remote workers you often have a collocated team with a few alienated workers. There are a lot of advantages to embracing a fully distributed model.
I take breaks and spend time with family at times throughout the day, but I also will turn off email etc. notifications on my phone at times as well when I want to make sure I’m not distracted. I have a day light basement office, so at the end of my work day I get to go upstairs and shut the door on the office. At times I go for walks after work to have a segway between work and home.