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Remote Work at Mokriya

Team Members
Cupertino, CA
*As of February 2016
Mokriya Remote Company Q&A
Luke Ryan, Marketing at Mokriya - Interview with Remote.co

Mokriya is a design-centric mobile development studio based in Cupertino, CA. Our apps for Craigslist, Sidecar, and many more have delighted millions of users.

Yes, Mokriya started off remotely and continued growing into a completely distributed team.

It is extremely important. Remote work has allowed us to build an amazing team of 40+ with people from all over the world.

Access to a bigger talent pool and a happier and more productive team. This leads to a higher performance and greater employee retention.

Greater freedom and flexibility for team members. Focus on craft rather than clocking in at an office.

Although not deal breakers, we do look for certain questions we look to answer affirmatively. Is there alignment with our values? Has she/he worked remotely before? Is she/he an effective written communicator? Does she/he have attention to detail?

Interviews will be conducted on Zoom and depending on the position we may then also have candidates complete small projects before a final decision is made.

We try to convey as much as possible about our team and our culture on our About and Careers pages on mokriya.com.  And by answering candidates questions about our culture as transparently as possible.

There aren’t rigid rules in place for our communication. For example, we do not expect replies on Slack or email within any particular timeframe. We encourage daily huddles for team-based projects via videoconferencing.

Currently this is on an ad-hoc basis. It is not uncommon for parts of the team to meet in person in all parts of the world. This could be triggered by personal preference or client projects bringing us together.

We are experimenting with OKRs at Mokriya. This is a simple way to keep the team aligned and measure progress on a quarterly basis. By having brief daily huddles, it is also possible to measure progress on a day-to-day basis.

Communication. Culture and values. Transparency. Authenticity.

Developing and maintaining culture as we grow. The larger Mokriya becomes the more important it is to stay true to our values and hold onto our culture.

Encourage transparency and company-wide visibility of information on Slack. Stick to good engagement habits such as regular one-on-ones. Consider also using some type of employee feedback or pulse survey tools to ensure everyone on the team has an opportunity to feel heard.

Mokriya has a flexible vacation policy. Meaning we don’t measure vacation time. We grant each team member the trust to take time off when they need it and encourage a healthy balance between work and life outside work.

Organically. We learn as we grow. Thanks to the generosity of the remote community, there is a lot of best practices being shared and we hope to contribute to that as we continue to learn and grow as a distributed team.

Remote companies can often foster health and vitality more so than an office culture. By granting trust to your employees to choose their own, optimal work environment they are able to weave health into their routine as they see fit. As opposed to being forced into a stressful commute and rigid office hours.

Be mindful of the importance of distinguishing between remote-first and remote friendly. If you go down the remote path you really want to build remote into your culture. Make sure there is transparency and visibility across the entire team. Avoid having a split culture between people in an office and people that are remote.

Naturally, it takes time to optimize communication and collaboration methods across time zones, but with the great selection of tools we have available to us now we seem to be overcoming that challenge.

Most communication at Mokriya happens on Slack. This is supplemented though with one-on-ones, team huddles and all-hands meetings on Zoom.

Currently I’m working from a co-working space in Sydney, Australia. I use a 13” MacBook Air. I’m surrounded by great coffee and a bunch of creative entrepreneurs and startups. I’m also very grateful to have Bondi Beach just minutes from my desk.

The ability to choose the living and working situation that works best for you. It sounds cliche, but a happier employee is a higher performing employee. I have found this to be true not only for myself but for other remote employees that I have managed.

Personally I start by creating a separation between home and work. This just works best for me because I don’t have a home office. So I like to start my day early and tackle Most Important Tasks from my co-working space between 9-2pm. This is also the main overlap with my teammates, so any huddles or one-on-ones usually happen at this time. I like to break up my day with exercise and then come back in the afternoon to continue working on the more admin-related tasks on my to-do list.

If possible try to create a “space for work” that is removed from your life. It could be a co-working space, a home-office, a cafe or designated desk space in your home. Finding outlets to recharge your batteries are also important. Exercise, meditation, time with family. If you can pull it off, a good 7-8 hours sleep with your phone on airplane mode doesn’t hurt either!

An oldie, but a goodie, that can be applied to business and life, Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends And Influence People.”

“D.R.E.A.M. – Data Rules Everything Around Me”. I first heard this from the CMO of Zenefits at a growth conference in 2015 and it is the data-driven mindset I apply to all growth marketing initiatives.

The worst (and I hate to say this because the place itself is magical) would have to be Bali. The WIFI was just not up to scratch when I last visited. The best would be an inspiring little co-working space in Stockholm, Sweden called Knackeriet.