We spoke with Drupal development, staffing, and support company Axelerant about how they work, their team and pro tips for being successful as a distributed organization.
How many employees do you have?
50 – 60
What’s the importance of location independence at your company?
At Axelerant, we’re not limited, and we’re certainly not restricted. Working remotely at Axelerant has enabled us to maintain a work-life balance, to be free of restrictive office living, and — for some of us digital nomads — it’s given us a life on the go.
Did you start with the intention of having a distributed or nomadic team? If not, when did you decide to support people working remotely?
Yes we did. And it’s good to see the team has grown up to more than 50 members.
What are some of the challenges you face as a team without a central location or office?
We need to build more strong engagement activities and keep on improvising them by commenting on how we’re working to overcome them with monthly meetups by regions, some team members travel to other locals and crash their couch, or get together annually on the beach or mountains.
What’s the upside that comes with not having a central location or office?
- We never have to take the bus or drive a car through rush hour again.
- Having flexible timings helps you manage priorities at home and work.
- There’s an immediate difference when we’re freed from commuting, and it happens at the bank.
- Working as a member of a distributed team undoubtedly provides us with more time with family and friends.
- When you allow team members to work from home, you are telling them that you trust them to get the job done.
- When you’re working remote and are not feeling so well, you can take time off to rest and come back.
- Being part of a diverse team helps you recognize, understand, and overcome cultural differences. You achieve a mobile, global outlook.
- We can dress up as want to. No need to buy expensive formal attires.
- Remote working gives us the ability to surround ourselves as we want.
- Lastly, you don’t have to leave your family for a fancy job in another city.
Are there important non-office workspaces in the history of building your company—a favorite coffee shop, bar or similar space?
Some team members go to coffee shops like Custard House in Bangalore or that Italian place in Srinagar and work if they like to. Our team also has monthly “happy hours” through video conferencing.
What % of your company regularly works remotely?
Any advice or best practices for supporting the work styles of your teammates from a distance?
- Create a common, values-based culture
- Trust, but verify
- Consistently hold feedback sessions
- Meet regularly if possible
- Document processes for repeated tasks
- Use the right tools for the job
What types of places do your teammates choose to work from when remote?
It could be a beach bungalow in Kep, a Bangalore getaway, a Hyderabad arch-view cafe, the Mogul Garden’s in Srinagar, the Shang Cafe in Taoyuan, or a surfers beach in Sydney.
What qualities do you look for when hiring for a distributed team?
We narrowly focus in on people that demonstrate enthusiasm, giving, and openness every day.
You’ve built great products that help the distributed workforce at large. Why did you choose to do that?
To make sure members are connected and feel an integral part of organization.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Yes, we love to share our culture and process learnings, check them out at https://axelerant.com/blog/.
To learn more about Axelerant, their services, their remote team, with current career opportunities, check out axelerant.com/about/.