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TechHub Meetup: distributed teams around the world


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Automattic, GitHub, MySQL, 37signals, StackExchange, Mozilla, UpWorthy and many more tech companies and startups around the world have chosen to offer their employees the flexibility of working remotely from wherever they wish.

Distributed teams face challenges, but also incur plenty of benefits, from lower costs of living to making their own schedule. Companies that choose this option also decrease their maintenance costs by having no offices, less bureaucracy and fewer organizational layers. Startups also choose this approach, sometimes building their product “on the road”, while gathering knowledge from different ecosystems and melting it into their product.

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TechHub Meetup: distributed teams around the world

  1. 1. Key talking points • Learn about the inner workings of distributed teams and why agile tech companies choose this form of organizing their employees • Discover the advantages and challenges of working in a distributed team • Learn from practical advice on working remotely or while on the road • Building a distributed startup: where and when is most suitable to do it • How distributed startups can evolve into successful distributed companies.
  2. 2. TechHub Meetup Insights Benefits of working in a distributed team There are 2 types of companies you can work for: • Completely distributed • Partially distributed The benefits are wide ranging: • You can choose where to work from: • Example: 20% of Evernote is distributed around the world, in 11 office locations (US, Switzerland, China, Japan, etc.). There are local teams attached to the offices, but they also had a team that was doing customer support while travelling on a boat. • Small teams can also be distributed • Working in a distributed team can change your lifestyle • You can manage your time differently • You get to experience other cultures • Travelling becomes a necessary perk: you can travel regularly to the HQ to meet and bond with the rest of the team.
  3. 3. TechHub Meetup Insights Are distributed teams a trend? • Distributed teams are a necessity, not a goal. • Distributed teams allow and are fostered by bigger and more diverse environments. • Brains are evenly distributed around the world, so building distributed teams can enable companies and startups to hire the best people available. • Distributed teams can develop their own pattern. • For companies, costs are lower, because there’s no need for physical offices • This is a model for the future, that takes into consideration that diversity can be an important asset for creativity, innovation and understanding audiences worldwide.
  4. 4. TechHub Meetup Insights Maintaining productivity • It’s very important that the person who works in a distributed team has ownership over the product (defined by an emotional connection to the product ) • Equity is equally important (this is investment in the product, gives you decision power over the product) • It’s also crucial that your values and the company’s values be aligned • It’s advisable to write long emails, containing plenty of information and explanations • Fewer meetings means a more productive workflow • Travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and in the evening – this will make your life easier as a member of a distributed team. • You won’t need that many tools to work in a distributed team, except for: • Google Hangouts • Google Docs • Skype • Evernote • Your gear (laptop, tablet, etc.). Everyone gets to set up their own flow in this kind of working environment.
  5. 5. TechHub Meetup Insights On geoarbritrage Geoarbitrage - is a concept popularized by Tim Ferriss, author of the New York Times bestseller The Four Hour Workweek. Arbitrage is a well understood financial concept where disparities between markets are leveraged to generate or broker a return (more info here). The concept works when the money is sufficient. Getting paid in distributed teams: • Bank transfers and Paypal are the most widely uses methods of being paid as a member of a distributed team. • If you’re looking to build a distributed team as a startup, be aware that the legal residency of your company is very important when funding a startup, especially for investors. • You still have to pay taxes in your country of residency and you’ll need help from a good accountant to sort out the paperwork.
  6. 6. TechHub Meetup Insights Becoming a digital nomad • Companies are very welcoming to people who are passionate about the product they make and want to work for it, even if they want to do it remotely. • Find a job where you’re not on the edge of a burnout and desperately waiting for a vacation. • Find a job where you can pace yourself. • Decide what you want to do, and if your current goals don’t align with an existing company, start one yourself. • Don’t work for a company that pays you by the hour instead of performance. • Product based companies have processes that need fewer meetings, which is very different from outsourcing companies. • It’s not a problem to find internet, because it’s everywhere, but the quality of the connection is very poor. • Don’t take your laptop if you go on vacation, as a member of a distributed team. • Try to see if you like being a digital nomad at first and see if you could adopt it for a longer period of time.
  7. 7. See you at our next event!