The Covid pandemic has had a profound effect on all of our lives – both personally and professionally. While we’ve all felt that impact at ZenHub, we’ve been lucky that we’ve continued to grow. Since the beginning of 2020, we closed our first round of seed-funding, increased our revenue, and have grown our team by 50 percent.
ZenHub is no stranger to flexible work. While before the pandemic we did the majority of our work from our office in Vancouver, BC, our team always had the option to occasionally work from home, the road, or (temporarily) abroad. But like many other companies with safety top of mind, we went fully remote at the beginning of 2020. And we did, like many other teams, experience some challenges.
People were used to seeing their teammates in the office and casually socializing throughout the day, so it’s natural that the transition to a screen left people feeling disconnected. We implemented a social series called “Learn with Me” where ZenHubbers taught their teammates a new skill. We’ve bonded over learning how to draw, and how to cook perogies, Spanish omelettes, risotto, and other amazing dishes! We host a virtual New Hire Lunch for every newbie, we’ve joined across time zones for a live concert, and we host a monthly virtual tea time with our CEO.
We were used to casually exchanging information before or after meetings at the side of our desks. In a fully remote or remote-first environment, it’s important to ensure everyone has an equitable experience – regardless of location or time zone. So we doubled down on documentation by using roadmaps in ZenHub to track progress towards goals. This way our entire team can understand how we’re doing. We evolved our open source wiki and hosted regular ‘The More You Know’ meetings where team members from across the business present on need-to-know topics when it matters versus having to wait for an All Hands.
We’ve seen so many benefits of embracing this remote-first culture. We’ve expanded our talent pool, hired people across Canada, in the US, and in Europe with no requirement for relocation. We’ve found that many team members have enjoyed the increased flexibility that comes from choosing where and how they work best. Rather than slowing us down, we’ve found that the change has encouraged us to reflect on and embrace how we work best. It’s pushed us to prioritize and made us better communicators. Now that a ‘return to normal’ is on the horizon, we’ve decided to embrace the ‘remote-first’ model indefinitely.
While we’ll retain our Vancouver-based collaboration space, we won’t require anyone to come back to the office on a regular basis. We want our team to work wherever they feel happiest and most productive. Whether that be from their home, our collaboration space, a community co-working space, a coffee shop – you get the idea 😉
What we imagine for our team is a world where you can…
- Skip your commute and start your day from home, connect with your team for a series of virtual meetings before cooking lunch and taking your dog for a walk
- Take early-morning calls from your home office, so you can help your kids get ready before dropping them off at school
- Move from the city to the suburbs without having to choose between comfort and a short commute or proximity and efficiency
- Head into the office and book a hot-desk for the day. Enjoy focusing in your dedicated work space before walking to grab lunch with teammates
- Accept a job with a growing Vancouver-based startup without having to move away from friends and family
We know that a remote-first model doesn’t just ‘work’, but requires a commitment to the right tools, the best collaboration practices, and a focus on culture building – and we’re ready for it!
Interested in joining our team? Check out our open roles here.