At Fonoa, we have worked remotely from day one, and we love it. We are building a fully distributed team, which means we don’t have any central offices - everyone works from home, from a coffee shop, or co-working spaces. While we find this setup highly beneficial, it also has its challenges.
In today’s world, technology made working from anywhere relatively easy. Remote work has many benefits, it gives us the freedom to work from spaces we love, we can forget about commuting, office distractions, and have more focus and productivity.
Fonoa is a digital company, and all you need is a laptop and internet connection to do your daily tasks.
At Fonoa we are building a remote culture, creating processes and technologies to fit this way of working from day one. We clearly see the advantages of being a fully remote company. Our people get more freedom and flexibility, plus it makes it possible for us to hire the best talent for our open positions, no matter where they’re located. However, remote working comes with challenges too: communication, transparency, and visibility are just some of them. Without a remote culture, it is difficult to operate in a distributed environment and address these challenges. That is why building a remote culture is our top priority from day one.
Sometimes communication can be fragmented
When you are not working in an office, you miss lunches, coffees, or spontaneous brainstorms. It sometimes feels like you're not getting the complete picture of things happening.
To make our communication better and build relationships, we have virtual coffee donut meetings. Donut is a tool that pairs you with a random team member, so you can schedule a call to meet virtually. This way you have the opportunity to build relationships with your colleagues, get to know each other better, and find out what projects others are working on.
Sometimes it is not clear for everyone who is working on what
You can feel that things are moving slow, although that is not the case.
To improve transparency, we use tools like Notion and Linear to keep everyone updated with the latest changes. We are encouraged to share the news with the broader team in the #general Slack group. Moreover, if you want to increase your visibility, share success stories, project updates, or achievements, you can do it on our weekly all-hands call.
Meeting each other personally is important for relationship building
In-person meetings help us be more connected across teams, and communicate better. That’s why we schedule regular in-person team and company off-sites.
Every Fonoa employee has access to a tool that allows us to reserve co-working spaces anywhere in the world. In that way, we can organize team sessions and work together when we want to work in person from an office. It is a great way, to get things done together and socialize.
Periodically we organize company off-sites too, where the whole Fonoa team has the opportunity to spend time together. Getting together as a company from time to time allows us to strengthen our culture while having fun.
As you can see, working remotely can be challenging, but if you ask anyone from our team what is better for them, you will get only one answer - work remotely :)