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Remote Work at OpenSnow

Team Members
*As of July 2017
OpenSnow Remote Company Q&A
Joel Gratz, CEO - Interview with Remote.co

OpenSnow.com makes weather forecasts for outdoor athletes.

We started remote from day one.

Remote work is essential to our business model. We want our forecasters to live where they forecast because local knowledge leads to more useful forecasts. And our full-time employees who are not forecasters should be free from commuting, which wastes time and energy.

Happy employees, responsible employees, no commuting, and no money paid for rent.

It was happenstance as we developed a solid team and no home office. Now we can’t imagine having a home office.

We are conducting the first one now by mix of email and video chat. If we happen to live close to some of the applicants, we might meet in person.

We simply said on the job description that the position is remote and we have no set work hours. This nicely self-selects people who thrive in this environment.

We’re a small team that has only hired remote workers, but haven’t often had the chance to see their work product and work with them on a part-time basis before a full-time hire.

Weekly calls are important, as is setting and communicating realistic and exciting goals.

Everyone gets unlimited time off. If goals are clearly communicated and employees are responsible, we don’t need to babysit with restrictive PTO policies.

Organically. We trust people to get their work done when they need to do it.

Every company has different needs, so it’s not one size fits all. If you are thinking that remote work could be good for your company, give it a chance!

Sometimes I take things for granted, that everyone is working happily along. That’s why weekly check-ins are useful so that things are NOT taken for granted and any issues can be communicated and addressed.

Phone calls are useful. As are group chat tools like Slack, and email too. It’s a mix.

We only added weekly calls after about five years. We found that hearing each other’s voices was very helpful when discussing more difficult topics, and it also made us feel more connected.

Thankfully this isn’t a big issue, but as our team grows, it will become a challenge. More clearly communicating goals and aligning team members will be the way that we try to address this challenge.

I work a lot, but I don’t have set hours, so it’s less stressful when planning meet-ups with friends and family. This is the biggest benefit.

It’s a personal finance book called The Simple Path to Wealth. Take care of your own financial house and it will free up your mind to focus on building a great business.