Remote Work At XWP




Team Members

Melbourne, Australia


* As of November 2021

XWP Remote Company Q&A

Kevin Kautzman, Technical Writer - Interview with

What does your remote-friendly company do?

We do enterprise-scale WordPress web development.

Did you switch to remote or start out that way?

Yes, XWP has always been remote.

How important is remote work to your business model?

Remote-first is core and vital to XWP’s culture and how we work.

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

From the beginning, Dave and XWP rejected the notion that so-called “outsourcing” or “offshoring” and remote, distributed teams were one and the same. Still, XWP remains committed to finding the best people wherever they are, treating them equally, and paying them fairly. This approach massively impacts both XWPeople and our clients. In short, remote work means we can hire the best talent wherever they are.

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

XWP’s remote agency roots go back more than 15 years, starting with XHTMLized in 2006. It all started with Dave Rosen’s vision for something different: a mission to deconstruct man-made political barriers and empower people no matter where they are born or where they come from. XWP is proud to represent XWPeople from 34 countries and six continents, comprising a rapidly growing global community of over 100 people.

What is your hiring process for remote workers?

We only hire remote workers, so we can’t speak to how this would be different from on-site hiring. A high-level overview looks like this:

  1. Application submission, review, and selection.
  2. Initial screening interview via video call, focused on the basic role, qualifications, and values alignment.
  3. Hiring manager interview via video call, focused on role-specific skills and more values alignment.
  4. Trial project, a paid experience allowing deeper interaction with a broader selection of XWPeople. This can be an investment of four to eight hours.
  5. Final interview and offer.

Do you use third party testing or evaluation services when hiring remote workers?

No, all of our screening/evaluation processes are proprietary.

How do you conduct onboarding for remote workers?

New XWPeople complete a thorough checklist that walks them through onboarding, including meetings with their manager and senior management.

Do you have remote communication protocols for your remote workers?

Within a global team, expectations are much closer to a 24-hour response time to chat-based communications, and meetings are scheduled well in advance and coordinated to ensure sustainability for XWPeople regardless of where they are based.

Do your remote team members meet in person?

This is not a requirement, and due to the global distribution of our team, it is difficult to coordinate. We do use regional industry events as a great excuse to get large portions of the team together whenever possible.

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

Trust is absolutely essential. We are a team of colleagues and hire some of the best talent in the world. If you don’t trust the people you bring on board to accomplish what you’ve hired them to do, why have you hired them?

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

XWP includes every XWPerson in a regional “Homebase” with monthly meetings. We also host regular XWP Live town halls, open to everyone at XWP. XWP also engages dedicated “people advocates” who provide one-to-one support for community members.

What is your BYOD policy for remote workers?

XWPeople use their own devices.

What is your time off policy for remote workers?

XWP offers paid leave options and flexible time off.

How did you implement a remote work policy?

Remote is organic with XWP. Everyone works this way, so the culture is entirely devoted to making remote work successful for XWPeople.

Can a remote-friendly company have a healthy culture?

Absolutely! Treat your company culture as a product that is just as important as the product or services that you sell to your customers. Be intentional and invest in it.

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

Establish and encourage trust. As a pioneer in the remote business world, there’s one element that Dave Rosen felt would set XWP apart: “From day one, it was about building trust and creating a community based on trust.” You won’t find activity monitoring software or spying in this workplace, just a clearly defined mission and dedicated people who make it happen.

What are the most effective tools for remote team communication?

XWP relies heavily on Slack and an asynchronous style of communication, which allows us to communicate effectively across 17 time zones.

What has changed about how your remote team operates?

As software tools have evolved, we’ve reached for solutions that boost transparency and real-time collaboration.

How does your team address different time zone challenges?

Our team works asynchronously and communicates largely via Slack, which keeps us organized across 17 time zones. Keeping an up-to-date shared calendar is also very important for helping team members schedule interactions.

What are the biggest benefits of being a remote worker?

Flexibility, better work-life balance, and the ability to manage my own schedule so I have more time for family, friends, and hobbies.

How do you personally manage work-life balance?

I live and die by my Google Calendar and attempt to stick to it, so when I sign off, I’m off until I’m ready to sign back on again. It’s important not to get distracted, and my calendar helps me stay on track.