Remote Work At Universal Mind, Inc.
* As of February 2020
Universal Mind, Inc. Remote Company Q&A
Kristen Tyler, Director of Recruiting - Interview with Remote.co
What does your remote-friendly company do?
Universal Mind is a digital agency that specializes in helping our customers get the most out of technology. We’re creators and problem solvers; a team of strategists, designers and technologists crafting experiences that make people’s lives simpler. Founded in 2003, Universal Mind is one of the largest independent digital agencies in North America.
How important is remote work to your business model?
The most important characteristic of our remote workforce is that it fits our culture and values. We promote and maintain a “family comes first” work environment and remain passionate about maintaining that as a priority. The remote workforce grew organically based on our hiring philosophy, which remains to hire the best people in the world, no matter where they live.
What do you consider the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?
It allows the most talented people in technology the option to do what they love, while still being with their families.
What were the main reasons to integrate remote work into your workforce?
The remote workforce grew organically based on the people that we wanted to work with. We like to hire thought leaders.
What traits do you look for in candidates for a remote job?
We lean towards candidates that have a good sense of humor, ideally have worked remotely in the past, and have a passion about what they do while enjoying being flexible enough to work remotely.
How do you convey your remote culture in the recruiting process?
Absolutely! The best talent out there is often attracted to work from home options, and because that is such a huge part of our culture, of course we want them to have a clear vision of how we work.
Do you use third party testing or evaluation services when hiring remote workers?
We don’t. We use intuition, which may sound a bit “fly by the seat of our pants” like, but we’ve been very lucky so far in hiring the right people.
How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?
We use an agile development methodology that incorporates daily progress checks for the team. Also, if a developer’s velocity falls below a certain threshold, we can remotely detonate their computer.
How do you keep remote employees engaged and feeling part of the bigger picture?
We are all very communicative. We have on-the-fly Google Hangout video calls when needed, and we have weekly meetings set up to go over project details and wins. We also have an annual off-site meeting where everyone gets together for 3 days at a fun location and gets some quality face time!
What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?
We allow our remote workforce to work with any devices or apps that will allow them to do their job to the best of their abilities. Hopefully it’s on an Apple device, but who are we to judge.
How did you implement a remote work policy?
The remote workforce grew organically based on our hiring philosophy, which remains to hire the best people in the world, no matter where they live.
Do you have a favorite quote or bit of business wisdom?
A phrase that comes up a lot at Universal Mind is “don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Where is the best or worst place you’ve worked remotely?
I haven’t encountered any bad remote locations yet. Best, would be working from a sailboat.