A glimpse into a 100% globally-distributed and remote tech company
Jonas Kröger sits on a packed bus somewhere in Morocco between Errachida and Fees. The bus is hot and full of chatter in Arabic. An older gentleman sitting next to him is trying to strike up a conversation in broken French. Jonas is tracking himself via Google Maps as he doesn’t speak enough Arabic or French to ask the people around him where the bus is actually going. He had booked the first seat he could find as it was the midst of Ramadan when public transport is very limited. He was happy to find a bus that was seemingly going in the right direction. Thinking "Code issues don’t wait for me to arrive," Jonas puts aside concerns about language gaps and uncertain destinations, pulls out his laptop, and deploys a hotfix.
Jonas is a solutions architect and one of more than 180 employers of Platform.sh – a 100% remote and distributed tech company. Platform.sh has been fully remote since its beginnings in 2010. Its founders aimed for a healthy work/life balance for all employees and set up the entire company with the remote work culture in mind. Today, its team members are based in 31 countries, span 13 time zones and speak 22 languages combined.
Providing the ultimate benefit to employees: flexibility
Jonas holds client meetings from tropical beaches in Southeast Asia, conducts product demos in African deserts, and spends his weekends hiking scenic mountains of the world. One of his latest Instagram posts shows a caravan of camels in the sandy Sahara desert with the caption "Just another day in the office."
While for many at Platform.sh the remote lifestyle allows for more flexibility while juggling family responsibilities, for Jonas working remote means being able to live his life to the fullest by exploring the world.
"The opportunity to combine work and travel was a huge step in my life," Jonas says. "Having the flexibility in the organization and the trust from my manager just removes a lot of pressure, and I can focus on my work with confidence while enjoying my life. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest benefits a company can offer nowadays."
Hiring globally and diverse: access to a broader pool of talents
The ability to hire talent anywhere in the world is one of the main advantages of remote companies – especially in the IT industry, where good engineers can be a scarce find. A remote work policy allows companies access to a bigger talent pool. But when hiring they should focus on effective performers that can work with a high level of independence and autonomy – an essential characteristic of Platform.sh employees and indispensable when it comes to creating a reliable remote workforce.
"I think a remote company is more agile and flexible when facing daily challenges," Jonas says. "I find my co-workers to be much more self-sufficient and independent than colleagues I had in my office job before. As a remote worker, you simply have to be more autonomous because you can’t wait around forever for your manager to tell you what to do."
Hiring remote also allows for more diversity, as your recruiting is not restricted to a specific region in the world. Even though it can be challenging for human resources to locate people with the proper mindset from candidates scattered around the world, the payoff is enormous. Companies can benefit from a diverse workforce in a myriad of ways: adding skills and experiences rooted in different cultures can drive innovation; leveraging local knowledge and language skills can open doors on a global scale; embracing the inclusivity and equality of a diverse workforce can promote comfort and acceptance for everyone, spurring productivity.
"Personally, I really enjoy the diversity aspect of Platform.sh, and I know my colleagues agree," says Jonas. "The strength of the company definitively draws from its diversity, with people from all kinds of different cultures and backgrounds contributing to one common objective, serving one common goal. That’s what makes us successful."
Supporting safety measures in challenging times
The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing millions of people to make financial sacrifices or take health risks in order to continue their jobs. It reminds us that the safety of employees needs to be an organization’s top priority. Not only does remote work encourage an employee to invest more time in physical activities and mental health, it also allows workers to stay at home in crisis situations.
"While Covid-19 obviously impacted everyone, it didn’t impact our professional lives. It was quite the opposite: From the beginning of the outbreak our management stressed that health was more important than any business and empathized that the company had our backs if we ever needed to prioritize our personal lives during these times," Jonas says.
These accommodating measures were only possible because Platform.sh had already created a self-sustaining remote work culture prior to the crisis. This allowed the company to move its focus to helping its customers, rather than needing to come up with solutions to its team’s work procedures. The established remote environment paid off, not only for Platform.sh’s management but also for its employees and customers.
About the author: A guest article by Cati Mayer from Platform.sh, the PaaS with continuous deployment built-in that combines a robust cloud hosting solution with modern tools to enable developers to build, evolve, and scale applications faster and more efficiently. As 100% remote and globally distributed company, Platform.sh currently employs people from more than 30 counties, across 13 time zones.
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