The Future of Work

Developer Testimonials

How to be a successful remote software engineer

This blog post covers how a developer can be recognized, find a remote job, and be successful working remotely. However, it’s important to understand what is in it for organizations hiring remote developers.

*Full Disclaimer: All the views expressed in the blog are solely my personal views and biased based on my personal experience. The best-practices, technologies, or benefits listed are no silver bullets. The article is focused on engineers in the web development space. 

Remote working is not a new concept but working remotely is gaining popularity during these times. Many organizations are forced to rethink how they work. Covid-19, has impacted every person in the world, but with the challenges the pandemic has created comes opportunity.

There has never been a better time to work remotely, especially for engineers. Many organizations have now turned remote-friendly, some have also started hiring developers from regions unheard of – the reason? Untapped potential!!

This blog post covers how a developer can be recognized, find a remote job, and be successful working remotely. However, it’s important to understand what is in it for organizations hiring remote developers.

Why organizations should hire remote developers

It would be unfair to say that organizations do NOT want to hire remote developers as they are bound by government laws which prevent them from going beyond their country to hire a person on their payroll. It’s only possible for large corporations.

Let’s first understand the benefits of hiring remote engineers. As an organization you can:

  • Hire engineers who have untapped potential – these engineers have high productivity and are eager to learn.
  • Hire engineers from countries with lower GDP – allows you to pay people less than you would if you hire local talent.
  • Add diversity to your company culture – allows sharing different ideas and perspectives that you did not have before.
  • Become a 24×7 company – by hiring engineers in varied timezones you can move faster and support customers globally.

Now that you understand why a company wants to hire you, let’s discuss why a developer would want to work remotely.

Why engineers should consider remote jobs

There are many benefits (and few drawbacks) of working as a remote engineer. 

  • Choose your hours – Since you work in a different timezone, you can choose the hours you want to work, though it’s important to have some overlap. (more on that later)
  • Work with people with diverse backgrounds – there is a different thing about people who are well-traveled, right? Why is that?
  • Get paid more than your peers – you can only earn what your industry pays you, what if you changed the local industry? 😉
  • Choose where you work– Home, Coworking office, Coffee Shop? It’s recommended though you have a consistent setup (again, later!)
  • Better work-life balance – Save time traveling, get more time off (remote organizations are usually flexible), be with your loved ones often.
  • Choose your own technologies – though it helps get better jobs depending on the tech you work with, organizations are looking for the skills you’ve developed to help them identify what you’d work on.
  • Immense growth – working with people globally brings a lot of different perspectives allowing you to 10x your growth.

Why would organizations consider you

We have established that organizations want remote engineers, now let’s look at why an organization would consider you? What do you need that makes an organization believe you are remote-friendly?

Open Source Contributions
Organizations want to look at the work you have done. 

  • It increases the credibility of your work
  • It shows that you love writing code
  • It gives them a glimpse into the code you write

Remote-friendly technologies
If you are looking to join a startup, most likely they use technologies that are popular right now. Having experience in current tech is a great way to get noticed. Some of these technologies are (but not limited to):

  • Javascript (Node and React)
  • GraphQL
  • Python (Django)
  • Kubernetes and other cloud devops experience is a huge plus

It usually helps to be able to work on both backend and frontend (Full-Stack), since it’s crucial to be self-driven in a remote environment.

Solid previous experience and profile
Organizations love when they find a person who is a great problem solver. Working on multiple projects and industries, at different roles, are usually indications that you will do well in their company. Companies will also check your Linkedin profile to understand you better. Having an updated profile and strong recommendations from previous employment can go a long way towards helping you find the right remote job.

Attitude
I saved the most important one for the last. Companies hire for attitude rather than skill. Skill can be learned, but attitude takes a long time to correct. Having the right attitude is the only way to get good remote jobs. 

So what do I mean by having the right attitude? 

Display a willingness to learn more about their company, show a genuine interest in the company’s industry and what it cares about. Read the company’s vision, its core values, culture, and apply only if these attributes excite you. It’s essential that you’re a quick learner so that you can developed the required skills to perform at the company.

How to find remote jobs

So, if you have what it takes to be a good remote engineer, the question is, how do you find a remote job that you love?

Apply to a company’s remote jobs (via portals or company website)

If you do a quick search on Google, you will see many platforms like WeWorkRemotely, remote.co, and others.

You can start by looking at the skill you want to target and applying on the posts (make sure you research the company before applying). You need to have a great cover letter. Cover letters are a great way to express why you are the best person for the job they posted. A strong cover letter makes you stand out as companies receive 100s of applications.

Which application do you think they are most likely to open first? The one with the cover letter! You can also search for companies which are remote-friendly and apply directly via their websites.

Freelance

Freelancing is also another way to get jobs. Freelance positions offer more flexibility and let you have a better work-life balance. Freelance work also gives you the chance to choose your hourly rate, but you may sacrifice job security, and you might also waste time hunting for your next gig.

Platforms like Turing, guru, Upwork, and freelancers are good places to find remote gigs.

Personal Connections

Twitter is a great place to build relationships with other fellow developers. These connections will help you find your next job. 60% of organizations hire people that are referred by the people already working in their companies. This means the more people you know in the industry, the better chance you will have to get a good job.

Turing.com 

Turing is a unique platform that bridges the gap between a freelance platform and a job portal. It is truly focused on the developer’s well-being, growth, and tools to be successful in working remotely.

Turing is different because:

  1. You do not have to hunt for jobs – Turing will understand your goals and find you a job that you want. 
  2. You get long term work – You will work with a real company as their team member. You get the benefits of the company you are working for under turing. 
  3. You still get the flexibility as you choose your own hours and your rate.
  4. Turing pays you on time – you do not have to follow up with your clients to get paid or depend on a rating system to get jobs. 
  5. Turing handles issues that may arise between you and the client. 

Turing gives developers peace of mind by allowing them to focus on their skills and their job instead of spending time doing administrative work that reduces their productivity.

Working Remotely

Getting a job is only the first step. There is a lot more that you need to do to be successful at your job. 

Communication
Being an effective communicator is the key to being successful at a remote job. Working remotely means you need to make extra efforts to communicate with your manager.

  • Have regular check-ins with your manager (weekly as well as monthly)
  • Have at least 3 hours of time overlap between yours and your team’s work hours. 
  • Make sure you and your manager(and your team) are always on the same page, and that expectations are clearly understood. 

Turing.com actually does a great job improving your communication with your manager. 

Self-driven
You need to be self-driven. The more you have to depend upon another person on the team, the more difficult it will get to be productive in your job. It certainly helps if you are a full-stack engineer, as this allows you to do both the frontend and the backend by yourself – if it is not possible then you must try to separate (but not isolate) your responsibilities.
The more time overlap you have with your team, the more flexible you can be with respect to separating your work responsibilities.

Setup
Having a decent office and workstation setup is very important. You cannot be productive at your work if you have “pebbles” on the race track you are trying to win.

  • Make sure you have a good (and consistent) place to work
  • Your environment should be distraction-free
  • Good camera and microphones to have calls with your team. 
  • A fast computer that can handle your daily workload

Trust
Remote teams are happy and do more if they trust each other. Here is a great article that would do justice to explaining how important trust is in a workplace. https://blog.doist.com/trust-remote-workplace/

With this, I wish you luck finding a great remote company to work at. It can be hard, but rewarding. I trust that turing.com can help you find the next job that you love. 🙂

By Oct 27, 2020
Developers Corner

Things to know to get hired as a Turing Engineer

To help you out, we’ve reached out to some Turing engineers who passed Turing’s tests with exceptionally high marks and are now enjoying their time working with Silicon Valley companies. We asked them to share what they think is most important for a software engineer to know or do before applying to Turing.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a software developer who is considering applying for Turing.com. You might have just learned about Turing a few minutes ago, or you might have already gotten past the teaser coding problem on Turing’s landing page, created a profile, and are now staring at an extensive list of Turing tests. Either way, you (most likely a high-achieving and high-aspiring software developer) are on the right track. The number of high-profile silicon valley companies that hire  remote software developers through Turing  is increasing each week, and more than 160,000 software developers have signed up for Turing in its first year alone. You’re smart to be jumping on this opportunity now! But, if you’re like most developers, some part of you is likely starting to wonder if you’re sufficiently prepared to dive into the application.

Even the most seasoned software developers can get anxious in the days or hours leading up to a technical interview. So, to help you out, we’ve reached out to some Turing engineers who passed Turing’s tests with exceptionally high marks and are now enjoying a remote software job with top US companies. We asked them to share what they think is most important for a software engineer to know or do before applying to Turing. We even asked the primary designer of the Turing Tests himself, Turing’s VP of Engineering, Zan Doan, (previously an Engineering Manager at Facebook) to give his thoughts. Here is what they said:

1) Sharpen your problem-solving skills

First and foremost, as in any silicon valley technical interview process, Turing engineers are expected to be expert problem solvers, able to manipulate data structures and common algorithms to solve a variety of problems while optimizing for speed and efficiency. Everaldo, a Turing engineer based in Curitiba, Brasil, gave the following advice:

 “Turing applicants should familiarize themselves with sites like HackerRank and Codewars, where they can sharpen their problem-solving skills. They should also study dynamic programming and Big O notation to understand techniques for coding challenges, since, if you implement a naive solution, it will get a lower score or might timeout if the solution is quadratic or exponential.”

Everaldo also recommended studying the well-known book “Cracking the Coding Interview” by Gayle McDowell. Not a bad idea considering one can always count on seeing a few Stanford CS students crouched over that “little green CS bible” in the Stanford dining halls during the interview season. Mastering the material there will put you in a position to get the same caliber jobs that many of those same Stanford students are pursuing!

2) Know your tech stacks

One thing that is relatively unique about Turing’s tests is that you have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery in an array of tech stacks with which you’re familiar. Whether you’re a Swift iOS developer, a MongoDB + React + Node.js full-stack developer, a Frontend developer with expertise in Flutter, a Python developer capable of scaling a Django backend, or anything else, you can find corresponding tests on Turing’s platform. Dhyey, a Turing engineer based in Ahmedabad, India, says, “Make sure to take and pass as many tech stack tests as possible. Proving you have a range of skills will make you eligible for multiple roles and increase your chances of getting hired.”

Doing well on these specific tech stack tests might require a little review before you jump into them. Zech, a Turing engineer, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, recommends you do the following:

 “Take a little time to lightly review anything about that particular technology or language you’re not very familiar with because the tests tend to assess your knowledge about it from end to end. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should dive into a full-on ‘study for exam mode’ but just refresh your knowledge of a few things. If you’ve used a language/technology professionally for some time, you should pass the test without much problem.”

3) Showcase your technical experience

Investing time into filling out all the details of your profile and past experiences may be a hassle, but it will give you an edge over other vetted candidates. Dhyey emphasizes this point saying, “since the process is highly competitive and there is very little human interaction, it is very crucial for your profile to accurately reflect your ability for you to get picked over other vetted candidates.”

If that alone doesn’t convince you of the importance of highlighting your past accomplishments, projects, and experiences, this is the area that Zan Doan, the primary designer of the Turing Tests, also believes is most important. He says: 

“The word I would use to describe the best Turing developers is ‘hands-on.’ Turing jobs often require developers to adapt to a startup environment and make an impact quickly. Because of this, Turing tests not only ask the candidates questions about their general work experience but also hands-on questions about detailed implementations.”

Showcasing your ability to excel in a hands-on environment by taking care to describe your past technical experiences in your profile accurately will prime you for success on Turing.

4) Finally, prepare your workspace for success.

The Turing application process is similar to any technical interview, with the added caveat that the online tests (and later on, the possible interview) are all done remotely, meaning you’re in charge of preparing your space. 

On this point, Zech recommends, “make sure you’re in a relaxed environment with little to no distractions. You’ll need to have a working and stable internet connection, especially since you can’t retake an exam within three months in the event you fail.”

Similarly, if you qualify for an interview, Everaldo says, “it’s just like a regular interview: be ready, on time, dress code, be polite, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, it helps to have a good setup for the interview. Have a strong Internet connection, headset, mic, and test the setup before the meeting.

And that’s about it! If you feel well-enough prepared in the above four areas, you should have no problem feeling confident clicking “start” to begin taking Turing’s tests or signing into a remote Turing interview. Silicon Valley opportunities are at your doorstep. The most beautiful thing about Turing’s application process is its hyper-focus on finding talent. We believe talent can be found anywhere and can be of all races and genders. And if, by chance, you’re not successful in your first shot at applying to Turing, a computer science education has become so democratized that we’re confident you can study up, come back, and succeed another day.  Remember, at Turing, we know that not only is talent universal, but opportunity as well.

Ready to get started? Apply to Turing’s remote software developer jobs now

By Sep 17, 2020
COVID-19

The Post-COVID-19 Workplace

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in early spring of 2020, Few aspects of life have changed more than the workplace. A recent Stanford study reported that upwards of 42% of Americans are now working from home full-time (compared to just 7% pre-COVID-19).

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in early spring of 2020, Few aspects of life have changed more than the workplace. A recent Stanford study reported that upwards of 42% of Americans are now working from home full-time (compared to just 7% pre-COVID-19).

Pressed suits and business trips have given way to Zoom calls made from the kitchen counter, and growing collections of drawstring pants. With more and more companies making increasingly long-term shifts to remote work, it leaves us wondering, what will the new ‘normal’ workplace entail?

Earlier this month, the BBC Visual and Data Journalism Team released a stunning rendition of a typical work day in the post-COVID-19 workplace. While many of their proposed changes to the workplace will come as obvious adaptations, some of their predictions may surprise you.

Architecture

The demand for large-scale office spaces is already dwindling, according to Hugh Pearman of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In their place, Pearman argues, will rise specially designed workplaces removed from bustling city centers.

Such workplaces will be smaller, and carefully designed to facilitate in-person meetings; which will likely only be held for collaboration and brainstorming with colleagues. Long-gone are the full work days of tapping away at a keyboard (you can do that from home).

“Touchless Technologies”

Additionally, new buildings will likely employ “touchless technologies” that take advantage of data science, face activation, and voice recognition. Furthermore, air conditioning may be equipped with UV lights to kill bacteria and viruses. Antimicrobial metals such as copper will be used in high-touch areas.

“The Shift Away from the City”

Pearman goes on to point to historical precedents of health concerns driving large scale infrastructure changes. It was concern of disease and air pollution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that triggered population movements away from city centers into new and growing suburban areas.

“The Death of the City”, as a recent Politico article called it, blames COVID-19-induced telecommuting as the root cause of the urban flight taking place across the developed world. When employees realize they can work from anywhere, the lucky ones pick up and move for greener pastures.

“Making the Home Work”

With more people completing a greater portion of their jobs from home, the very idea of “home” is bound to shift as well. UK architect Grace Choi has already experienced these new demands, with more and more requests being made to incorporate home offices and work studios into new constructions.

According to Choi, “we’re all going to need to configure our space in a more intelligent way” as we adjust to a world of remote work structures.

We will all be adjusting in the months (and years) to come as we become hybrid workers – sometimes at home, sometimes at the office. One thing’s for sure however, remote work is here to stay.

By Aug 17, 2020
Hiring developers

With these companies leading the shift to remote work, Turing engineers are well-positioned to excel.

With at least half of the American workforce working from home, remote work is the new normal. And, as major company after major company announces their plans to extend remote work policies for the long term, it’s looking like this new normal won’t be ending any time soon.

It’s almost stopped being a surprise anymore. As each new announcement comes in of work-from-home policies being extended later and later than previously planned, most of us have stopped questioning, wondering, or even worrying. If anything, we find ourselves signing into our next scheduled Zoom meeting a little relieved. “Why would I even want to go back to the office?”

With at least half of the American workforce working from home, remote work is the new normal. And, as major company after major company announces their plans to extend remote work policies for the long term, it’s looking like this new normal won’t be ending any time soon. Here’s the break down:

Twitter

In many respects, Twitter was the trendsetter that made a more all-in approach to remote work “cool.” It was back in early May when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sent an email to all Twitter employees saying that they can continue working for home for as long as they see fit. That means remote work at Twitter can continue for as long as…forever. A spokesperson for Twitter revealed that this decision stemmed from Twitter’s “emphasis on decentralization and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere.”

Square

Jack Dorsey is also CEO of Square, which is why the mobile payments company was quick to echo Twitter’s earlier announcement and make work from home a permanent option. And yes, they did use the word permanent.

Facebook

Just last week, Facebook announced its decision to extend the work-from-home option to July 2021. Although this policy change was largely driven by ongoing COVID concerns, in a live-stream posted to his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he is also catching on to the larger vision of the future of work: “When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives” It’s clear that Zuckerburg has seen the potential of remote work to advance opportunities for talent around the world. To his staff, he pitched the idea as a way of creating “more broad-based economic prosperity.” With this vision for the future, Zuckerberg has announced that it is going to “aggressively” ramp up the hiring of remote workers. The Facebook CEO now predicts that 50% of the company’s employees could be working remotely in the next 5 to 10 years.

Google

At about the same time as Facebook, Google also announced that its employees will have the option to continue working from home until at least July 2021. With concerns for how the COVID pandemic will impact families (especially given the possibility of having to provide home-schooling for children) Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote to his employees that he hopes the remote work policy “will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Shopify

Back in May, Shopify joined Twitter in giving its employees the option to continue working from home indefinitely. Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke is also looking beyond the current COVID concerns and seeing the vision for the future of work. In a tweet, he explained that “COVID is challenging us all to work together in new ways. We choose to jump in the driver’s seat, instead of being passengers to the changes ahead. We cannot go back to the way things were. This isn’t a choice; this is the future.” What is this new future? Lutke made it very clear: “Office centricity is over”

What this means
With such large and influential tech companies like these transitioning to more permanent remote-work policies, it has never been a better time to be a Turing engineer. Opportunity is spreading across the globe. Silicon Valley is growing and Turing engineers are uniquely positioned to ride the wave of remote work jobs that is already here (with more coming). Like Zuckerberg’s sentiment, it’s time to stop cutting off the many brilliant and talented engineers who live in “different communities, have different backgrounds, and different perspectives.”

By Aug 13, 2020
BoundarylessEnterprise

Will Work Remain Remote Post COVID-19?

The world has changed. In December of 2019, you wouldn’t have been willing to bet that by April of 2020, we’d be doing every technical job in the US from our homes. Yet here we are as the world’s biggest-ever experiment in remote work enters its second full month. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that for most companies, even those with little or no remote work experience, things have been going pretty well.

The world has changed. In December of 2019, you wouldn’t have been willing to bet that by April of 2020, we’d be doing every technical job in the US from our homes.

Yet here we are as the world’s biggest-ever experiment in remote work enters its second full month. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that for most companies, even those with little or no remote work experience, things have been going pretty well.

So well, that Benedict Evans, the author of this remarkable newsletter (If you haven’t signed up, you should.) felt that now was an opportune time to reprise a wry truism and ask some excellent questions about it.

Benedict Evans Tweets about Remote Work

But then, he goes on to say:
“And in parallel, for years people wondered if the exploding cost of living and declining quality of life in Silicon Valley would force companies to start moving out . When would ‘are you driven enough to live here?’ be overtaken by ‘I can’t live here no matter what’?

“And now, we’ll find out. How many Silicon Valley companies will come out of months of forced remote work and decide that actually, they don’t need to pay SV office rents, and they don’t need to pay salaries to support housing costs 50% higher than London or NYC?

“So, this could be a catalyst for an acceleration in the global diffusion of software companies. /fin”

Or to put it more simply, as a result of coronavirus, has “remote work” become merely “work”? A lot of smart people seem to think so.

Below, Rich Barton, the co-founder of Zillow, announcing via Twitter that his entire team will be able to keep working from home for many months. He’s one among many Silicon Valley leaders that have come to agree that the benefits of remote work often exceed the drawbacks, even when you take the current pandemic out of the equation.

Rich Barton on Twitter Today we let our team know they have flexibility to work from home (or anywhere) through the end o… 2020-04-29 14-48-00.
Meanwhile, Jason Aten writes that even the behemoth, Microsoft, believes that remote work isn’t going to disappear once we emerge from the current situation.

Investors, many that used to believe that every key person needed to work from the same location, have altered their beliefs in today’s new reality.

This tweet from investor Jeff Morris is a great example:

As I type this, a number of companies are collecting data to learn just how far along the curve we are from remote work as a novelty to remote work becoming the way most of us work going forward.

We’re trying to find out how productivity has changed with most employees working remotely. We want to know whether people feel that remote work has improved or reduced their quality of life. We hope to get an idea of the annual savings companies expect to realize by eliminating the cost of maintaining some of the most expensive office space on earth, and we’ve been monitoring the shift in total payroll expense as a result of companies leveraging remote talent in geo-arbitrage regions.

While we don’t have answers yet, we have some clear sentiment. Many people won’t go back to the office. Some will appreciate the option to work where they please. CEOs believe they can radically reduce real-estate and salary costs without sacrificing much, if anything, in the performance of their teams.

At Turing, March was the company’s biggest month ever. Demand for skilled, remote-ready engineers has never been higher. And all of a sudden, companies that were remote-reticent have become believers.

While many uncertainties are staring us in the face, one thing is relatively sure; right now is not a great time to be a commercial realtor in Silicon Valley.

By Apr 30, 2020
COVID-19

Helping Amazing Engineers Get Back to Work Quickly

Please enjoy this replay of Turing CEO and Co-Founder, Jonathan Siddharth, as he speaks to the shockwaves rippling through the technology community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Helping Companies and Engineers During this Crisis

Please enjoy this replay of Turing CEO and Co-Founder, Jonathan Siddharth, as he speaks to the shockwaves rippling through the technology community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Says Jonathan; “We are living in unprecedented times. A lot of people are about to be negatively impacted by all the changes in our economy. I’m sure you’ve already heard of layoffs at many companies or companies planning to do layoffs.”

“Unfortunately, our country and the world are going to go through a very painful rebuilding process. Many companies that were not fundamentally as strong are going to go through layoffs where amazing, talented developers are going to be let go.”

“We think information workers, knowledge workers, and software engineers are likely to be disproportionately impacted in the US, and many other places.”

“We want to do our part too. Turing has always been committed to finding the world’s best developer talent, through our automated vetting engine and matching them with the world’s best companies.”

To hear the rest of Jonathan’s thoughts and how Turing can help, watch the full Periscope above.

By Apr 6, 2020
COVID-19

A Collection of the Best Guides for the Suddenly Remote in the Time of COVID-19

At Turing, we’ve been focused on remote work for years. To help you out during the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve begun curating the best and most in-depth guides to help you navigate this new and confusing reality.

With so much information out there right now for the Suddenly-Remote, it can be hard to know where to turn or which information is reliable.

At Turing, we’ve been focused on remote work for years. To help you out during the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve begun curating the best and most in-depth guides to help you navigate this new and confusing reality.

We will continue to add to and update this list as additional high-quality information becomes available. Keep in mind that the majority of these guides were written for the immediate application of remote-work basics. They are not intended to provide the detailed information, skills, and best practices required for sustainable remote work or for new companies that are adopting a remote-first paradigm from day one.

With that in mind, here are our initial picks for the best guides to help you and your company deal with the need to go Suddenly-Remote during this very challenging moment in time.

GitLab’s Guide To Remote Work

https://about.gitlab.com/company/culture/all-remote/

Gitlab is the world’s largest all-remote team. They know what they are talking about. Gitlab’s guide is one of the most detailed guides out there and includes the company’s “Remote Manifesto.” They cover:

● How & Why

● Getting Started

● People & Values

● Management

● Hiring & Learning

You can jump into the sections that are most relevant to you and your team and share the link with others throughout your organization to help get them up to speed on all things remote.

Zapier’s guide to working remotely

https://zapier.com/learn/remote-work/

Here is another remote working heavy hitter. Zapier is 100% distributed, with over 300 employees spread across 17 countries.

The Zapier guide includes an AMA for those new to remote, which is available at the start of the page. This guide consists of the following seven areas:

  1. Automation for remote work
  2. Teamwork on a remote team 
  3. Remote work for managers 
  4. Remote work for employees 
  5. Remote workspaces 
  6. Remote work tools The state of remote work

Zapier has also added a recommended reading list. Their guide is downloadable as a file for ease of sharing.

Remote Work Guides from Twist

https://twist.com/remote-work-guides

Twist is a communication app from the wonderful people at Doist. Doist is a remote company with 68 team members spread across 25 countries.

Their guide is a collection of various remote working guides curated in once place. The guides available are as follows:

● The Future of Work: The Guide to Remote Work

● Remote Setup: The Remote Guide to Logistics

● Remote Projects 101: The Remote Guide to Project Management

● Scaling Your Remote Team: The Remote Guide to Hiring

● Leading Distributed: The Remote Guide to Management

● The Art of Async: The Remote Guide to Team Communication

● Designing Without Whiteboards: The Remote Guide to Product Design

There is a great depth of information here, including thoughts from various remote work experts throughout the guide.

The ultimate guide to remote work from Miro

https://miro.com/guides/remote-work/

Miro believes in helping teams to collaborate. Their remote work guide covers:

● Introduction to Remote Work & Collaboration

● Is Remote Work as Great as it Sounds?

● The Most Important Remote Work Statistics

● Guide to Hiring Remote Employees

● How to Onboard Remote Employees

● Building Remote Work Culture & Why It’s So Important

● How to Manage a Remote Team

● Engage Your Remote Team to Keep Productivity High

● Complete Guide to Remote Team Meetings

● 15 Best Team Building Activities & Games for Remote Workers

But what if you need more than a guide? The extraordinary team at Slack has you covered there, too. Simply click this link: https://calendly.com/slack-customer-experience/remote-consult?month=2020-03 to schedule a remote team consultation.

As more quality information is released, we’ll be updating this meta-guide to help you easily find the best resources from one centralized location.

By Mar 19, 2020
COVID-19

Remote Now! A Quick Guide to Remote Work Best Practices

In a world where so many are going suddenly remote there are things we can learn from those who have been working outside a traditional office. While there are differences in circumstances, job types and personalities, there are also many commonalities for those of us working remotely.   Here is an outline of some best practices to help you, and your team, make the most of remote work. 

Note: This is the second part in our series on Remote Now, a primer for employees and companies that have been forced to become suddenly remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for additional posts over the next few days!

In a world where so many are going suddenly remote there are things we can learn from those who have been working outside a traditional office.

While there are differences in circumstances, job types and personalities, there are also many commonalities for those of us working remotely.  

Here is an outline of some best practices to help you, and your team, make the most of remote work. 

We will cover:

  • Communication
  • Social interactions
  • Trust
  • Online etiquette
  • Remote work boundaries

Over Communication is Key

Quick Wins:

  • Have agreed communication processes & schedules
  • Embrace the remote way of communicating
  • Use video in meetings
  • Batch communications where appropriate
  • Edit and review messages before you send them
  • Over communicate = assume nothing – give context and give some more
  • Strong documentation as a rule 

This is the number one challenge for most people going remote.  When working in an office we become accustomed to being able to “swing by” someone’s desk to ask a question.  Communication in a remote role forces us to be more deliberate and think ahead of time what we might need when we send a message to a colleague.

It also forces us to not “scratch the itch” straight away.  You might like an answer from your colleague straight away, but if you are using asynchronous communication then you need to get comfortable with waiting for a response.  But having agreed times that people respond by will help the team to know, and meet, expectation.

And batching communications will help you develop better communications hygiene.  Don’t send off a message every time you have a query, put them into one post and edit and review before sending.  Ask if you could make your message clearer, or do you need this level of information?

Documentation is a huge part of keeping your team and projects moving forward.  Make sure to prioritize good documentation and agree on formats and processes for keeping documents up to date, while ensuring version protection and data security.



Quick definition: Synchronous = real time e.g. phone or video call  vs. Asynchronous Communication = you send the information not expecting it to be picked up straight away e.g. email, messages via Slack.

Social Beings and Trust

Quick Wins:

  • Schedule social time with the team
  • Have the trust talk with team members
  • Set expectations around check-ins
  • Encourage two sided feedback
  • Ensure team members feel supported
  • Build serendipity into the team

We are social creatures which helps us to create bonds, growing trust and improving communication and collaboration as trust is developed.  Without social interactions this can be greatly slowed down on a remote team. Build some serendipity into how the team interacts, using tools like Donut via Slack helps to bring some randomness into team interactions and encourage the creativity and the social strengthening that happens in unstructured situations.

Therefore making social interactions part of your work week is hugely important.  Make time in your daily standup to include time to chat about life in general, while it might feel like a “waste of time” there and then, it is actuallys an investment in improving the team’s effectiveness in the long run.

Schedule in virtual chats, run ice-breakers and when appropriate, organise in person meetups to help your team to bond.

Managers should start open conversations with team members to ensure they feel trusted within their work.  As a manager you may need to “check-in” on a team member, but make sure it’s clear that you’re not “checking up on them”, this can feel like unnecessary monitoring.  Build clear expectations around when check-ins happen at the team and individual level. Schedule them in, use a format like a daily stand-up to help everyone know where they are on a project, what their next steps are and how they are progressing so far.  For individual check-in, ensure that team members know that these are about finding out if they are enjoying their work and feel supported. Make it about you both sharing information and have equal sharing of feedback.

Key to all of this is trust, it can be hard to help people new to remote work to feel like they are trusted.  This is vital in helping that person to flourish in a remote role and should be a core part of the management team’s goals.  Having the conversation about trust helps, also recognising someone when their work is good is very important.

Online Etiquette and Boundaries

Quick Wins:

  • Use video for conference calls
  • Use an agenda
  • Everyone is remote for the meeting
  • Either set specific “office hours” or a set cut off point for work
  • Create rituals to help you start and end the day

Because of the nature of many of the tools we are using we need to be extra deliberate about how we an online meeting.  It is much easier to mistakenly speak over someone in a video conference call than in a physical meeting room. Create habits that help to ensure people are engaged and feel involved.

If you have a hybrid team and are running a conference call, treat everyone as if they are remote.  Having some team members in a room, while your remote colleagues are struggling to hear the conversation happening on site isn’t good meeting etiquette.  Have all team members at their desks and dialling in as if they are also remote. This helps to level the field for communication and gives the in office team members a clearer understanding of what is good practice for an online meeting.

And finally boundaries.  These are important to ensure people don’t burn out.  A struggle for many remote workers is continuing to work late into the evening, or working through lunch.  This becomes a matter of diminishing returns, you are no longer as effective and it can take days to come back from burnout.  Agree a set hours of work where possible, and suitable, or set yourself certain boundaries like “I don’t work after 8pm on a week day” will help to avoid burn out.  It also helps you not needing to wonder if you are ok, or if you could fit in another hour, which is one more decision you would need to make. 

The issue is often being able to switch off after a days work.  You might have just hit on an amazing idea but now it’s “home time”, using rituals to finish (and start) your day helps you to get into the right mindset and wind down from your work brain.  Things like taking a walk outside, listening to a certain type of music, exercise or scheduling a call or coffee with a friend or family member can help to draw the lines around your work.

We all find our own ways of working and are always learning from each other.  We’d love to hear what works well for you and your team. Find us on Twitter and let us know your remote working best practices!

By Mar 16, 2020
BoundarylessEnterprise

Ashu Garg is Bullish On Boundaryless Teams as the Future of Work

Ashu is equally bullish on the role that remote, distributed teams will play in the future of work. Join us and learn why Ashu likens the Bay Area today to Florence during the renaissance, why the world is flat, and why the companies he believes in incorporate boundaryless teams in their plan from the start.

In today’s episode of our podcast, we meet Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital.

Ashu loves puzzles and making bold predictions, including the prediction he made in 1998 that the IT Services Industry would grow by 100x in the next ten years. A decade on, that projection proved prescient.

Today, Ashu is equally bullish on the role that remote, distributed teams will play in the future of work. Join us and learn why Ashu likens the Bay Area today to Florence during the renaissance, why the world is flat, and why the companies he believes in incorporate boundaryless teams in their plan from the start.

By Feb 10, 2020
Hiring developers

How to Become a Remote Developer | Turing Jobs

My goal with this post is to tell you how to prepare yourself to get your first serious remote gig.

Thinking of becoming a remote developer and also want to work for a top tier company – hopefully, one based in Silicon Valley – but you don’t live in the US and you haven’t been able to secure a visa. Don’t despair. More and more of the latest valley startups have discovered that there’s a ton of talent offshore. This means that today might just be the best time in history to become a remote developer.

As someone that’s been working remotely about as long as it’s been possible, my goal with this post is to tell you how to prepare yourself to get your first serious remote gig. Today, I work for a company called Turing that places developers with opportunities all over the globe. We have some of the most advanced developer testing and vetting of any company in the world. What I’m about to share with you are key insights I’ve developed first, as a person that’s gone through Turing’s testing and vetting process as well as someone that now works on making that process even tougher and better.

First Things First, Be Prepared to Show Your Work

If you’re a developer applying right now, make sure that you’ve got a portfolio of some work that you’ve done before. It could be code you’ve submitted to GitHub. It could be some art design work that you have worked on. Maybe some websites that you’ve worked on, or maybe applications on the App Store.

Being able to showcase completed work is a very good thing. When we’re evaluating candidates that have passed our tests look at prior work. Additionally, many Turing clients want to see examples of the work a potential match has completed. The other thing that can help you stand out is if you have a good CV. But be careful! Attention to detail is critical. Make sure there are no errors in any documents you share to showcase your skill.  Nothing will shoot you in the foot the way an obvious mistake can. Believe me, I’ve seen so many people with errors in their CVs. To me, it’s a red flag if someone submits such an important document with mistakes. It says you’re careless and don’t take the time to check your work. So, no errors on CVs!

It’s also really important to have relevant information included in your portfolio. If you say that you have a particular skill make sure that there’s a corresponding project where you have actually used that skill. You’d be surprised how often someone will say they are proficient at coding in a certain language but then they don’t provide a single example of their work in that discipline. If you say you’re good at something, impress me by showing me an example of your great work!

Another critical skill for someone remote that wants to work for a high-profile US company is to have strong English. I know there are many people that are not native English speakers so it’s always good to make sure that your English is very concise. If this is a weakness, don’t ignore it. Do whatever it takes to make sure that you understand English very well and that you’re proficient in communicating in English, too. It’s the language your team is going to use, it’s the language you’ll be using to comment your code, and it’s probably the language of the people that will be using the product you want to help build. It’s easy to think people will overlook weak English skills, but if there are two candidates that have the same experience and have performed equally well on the automated tests, the one with better English skills will perform more strongly in a live technical screen.

How to Ace Your Automated Testing

The key to a superlative performance on automated testing is to be very well prepared.

Ensure, for example, that if your area of expertise is Python, you have prepared yourself in terms of the coverage of the topics in Python.

Be sure you’re prepared to cover that language end to end because the questions will try to test your coverage. The exam will cover your in-depth knowledge as well. if it’s algorithms and data structures that you work on be sure you know everything from the most basic concepts all the way to graphing algorithms and runtime complexity.

How Long the Automated Testing Should Take a Skilled Developer

For a skilled individual, I estimate that our current automated testing will require about eight hours. So, maybe a day. But of course, you may not want to put all that pressure on yourself to finish everything in one day. My recommendation is to allocate two hours per day and give yourself roughly a week to do just about all the MCQs in the qualifying exams.

Technical Exams – Where You’ll Sink or Swim

Just like with the automated MCQs, your performance during the technical interview will come down to how well you’ve prepared yourself. During a technical screen, we want to understand your in-depth knowledge. We also try to validate your performance on the MCQs and to understand if you have good working knowledge of design patterns.

For whatever programming language you use, it’s critical that you know everything from the basics to some really advanced techniques. And since we only pass the top 1% of developers you need to be prepared to talk about the projects that you’ve worked on in a little bit of detail.

You also need to be able to answer system design questions. System design questions are very important for a screener to understand how you are able to visualize a product from an architectural point of view. You should also be able to go deeper, all the way to the code, and even how it is going to be deployed on the final environment where it’s going to run. So, you need to be prepared to discuss all those things related to end-to-end software development.

For example, if you are a Python Django developer, you should be prepared to answer any questions relating to that language in depth. It’s also good if you’re capable of answering questions about system design and also planning as well.

Where Developers Get Tripped Up in the Technical Screen

During a technical screening, most people are not prepared to go into detail on algorithms and data structures. Again, it comes back to preparation. We often have people complain that they don’t need to know this stuff for the work they do but being competent with both algorithms and data structures is very important for high-level work. Another thing I see a lot of candidates struggle with is when we ask them to explain various concepts in English. I’ll emphasize again, that having strong English communication skills is vital to ensure placement with top-tier US opportunities.

Final Words of Advice

To wrap up this post, I want to emphasize a couple of the key points I’ve made above. In Silicon Valley, it’s very competitive to find good work. If you’re trying to get into this market as a remote engineer, you have to be truly exceptional. Turing’s tests are designed to filter out all but the best candidates to be matched with our clients.

If you’re really serious about securing one of these most in-demand positions, my advice is as follows:

  • Preparation is critical. If you have a weakness, work to improve it
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding algorithms and data structures because if you do, you’ll fail the MCQs or the technical screen
  • Make sure your ability to communicate in English is up to the task. If it’s not, take action to improve it
  • Be sure to have a portfolio that includes projects related to the languages you claim to know
  • Polish your CV. Scrub it of mistakes because if you don’t, we’ll notice them and that will hurt your chances

Next Time

In my next post, I’ll be talking about what you should expect once you’ve passed the MCQ and technical screens, how candidates are matched with opportunities and what you should do to ensure that your onboarding process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

 

By Feb 5, 2020
BoundarylessEnterprise

The #Boundaryless Remote Distributed Teams Podcast with Murray Newlands:

In today’s episode of our podcast, we meet Jonathan Siddharth, CEO and Co-Founder of Turing. Jonathan built his last successful company, Rover, using remote, distributed teams. His new company, Turing, is based upon the idea that talent is global, while opportunities are not. Please tune in to discover how to hire remote employees and what it takes to build your company with a fully distributed team.

The #Boundaryless Remote Distributed Teams Podcast with Murray Newlands:

In today’s episode of our podcast, we meet Jonathan Siddharth, CEO and Co-Founder of Turing. Jonathan built his last successful company, Rover, using remote, distributed teams. His new company, Turing, is based upon the idea that talent is global, while opportunities are not. Please tune in to discover how to hire remote employees and what it takes to build your company with a fully distributed team.

About the Boundaryless Remote Distributed Teams Podcast:

The world has changed. In the past, companies were built with locally-hired teams, operating out of the same office. But today, entrenched competition, brutal commutes, exorbitant real-estate prices and more global distribution of talent have upended this practice. Now, billion-dollar companies are now created with teams working remotely and distributed all around the world. Creating #boundaryless companies is hard but we will give you the tools to succeed.

By Feb 4, 2020
The Future of Work

10 Best Cities on Earth for Remote Workers

Remote workers enjoy an enviable combination of freedom, productivity and job satisfaction. What better way to celebrate work and life than to travel while you earn your living! With countless breathtaking locations on the map, a bit of thought should go into your destination choices. You’ll want reliable internet, of course, as well as affordability,… View Article

Remote workers enjoy an enviable combination of freedom, productivity and job satisfaction. What better way to celebrate work and life than to travel while you earn your living!

With countless breathtaking locations on the map, a bit of thought should go into your destination choices. You’ll want reliable internet, of course, as well as affordability, nice weather  (however you define “nice,”) and workspaces to accommodate your productivity.

If you’ve got remote work and a passport, all you have to do next is decide where to venture off to. The following list of cities might spark interest and give you some ideas.

Canggu, Bali

Photo by Harry Kessell on Unsplash

One of the alluring factors of Canggu is, of course, its weather. With temperatures in the mid 80’s (F) all year round, it attracts surfers and digital nomads who love living outdoors.

For work, there are co-working spaces and plenty of cafes and restaurants, most featuring decent WiFi. Also, for being a resort village, Canguu is affordable.

Known for:

  • Laid back atmosphere
  • Culture
  • Beaches
  • Dining
  • Temples

TIP: Bring your laptop to Machinery Cafe, the “first and favorite locally owned co-working cafe in Batu Bolong, Canggu.” With coffees, meals, and plenty of new faces to meet every day, you can’t go wrong.

Bangkok, Thailand

Image by Alvin Aden Ardenrich Pan from Pixabay


If you’re looking for a large-city lifestyle mixed with a subtropical climate, you’ll likely fall in love with Bangkok. The capitol of Thailand and the country’s most populated city, it’s home to over eight million inhabitants. You’ll always find plenty of restaurants, nightlife and new things to do, which makes this exotic metropolis ideal if you’re an adventurer.

The traffic here is famously bad, so plan to get around by using the Skytrain (Bangkok’s Mass Transit System.)

Known for:

  • City life, including night life
  • Royal palaces and temples
  • Museums
  • Dining and Shopping

TIP: Looking for a place to get work done? For delicious coffees and foods of many types, start by heading over to (Not Just) Another Cup. Their menu is quite good, so bring your appetite along with your workload. 

Mexico City, Mexico

Image by Rodrigo de la torre from Pixabay

Mexico City is a land of urban sunshine and amazing street food. It’s less expensive here than in both the US and Europe, and it’s also home to many co-working spaces and coffee shops.

For lodging, Airbnb is a popular option with digital nomads in Mexico City. And for transportation, you’ll have access to a robust subway system (which is the fastest and cheapest way to get around the city.)

Known for:

  • A rich cultural center
  • Financial center
  • Music and theater
  • Art
  • Street vendors

TIP: To really get productive, check out the Punto Working Space for an inexpensive but accommodating co-working environment.

Belgrade, Serbia

Photo by Dragan Jankovic Faza

If you have an appreciation for culture, history and night life, run – don’t walk – to Belgrade. Yes, winter gets gold here, so come in the summer months if you’re looking for warmth and sunshine. But if you’re fine with snow, there’s a lot to experience in the winter season. Winter lovers flock to the annual Belgrade Christmas market, as well as Košutnjak forest (a beautiful city park/forest where you can hike and picnic.)

Known for:

  • Architecture
  • Nightlife
  • Sports
  • Fashion and design

TIP: For great coffee and a splash of music, consider getting your work done at Zaokret. And when you’ve wrapped up your work, order some beer as well.

Porto, Portugal

Image by nathsegato from Pixabay

Portugal has lovely weather and many sights to see, but it does get cold in winter months. Fortunately, Porto is more affordable than the more well-known Lisbon, which makes it ideal for remote workers who want to experience this country.

In Porto, you’ll have access to reliable public transportation as well as accommodating co-working spaces. (The co-working environments are better workspaces than the cafes in Porto.) You’ll also find several networking meetups and community lunch and drink events where you can meet other remote workers.

Known for:

  • Architecture
  • Urban environment
  • Port wine
  • St. John Festival (São João  Festival) on June 23-34
  • Universities

TIP: For a few cafes that are great for working in Porto (since they have plenty of outlets, tables and WiFi,) take your work over to Mesa 325, Brando Casa do Café, or Combi Coffee.

Tampa, Florida

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

For digital nomads who want to experience adventure in the US but don’t have the budget for New York City or Silicone Valley, Tampa is a perfect choice. It’s sunny all year, there’s no shortage of night life, and it offers the rare benefit of not withholding state income tax.

Known for:

  • Arts and culture
  • Water sports
  • Ybor’s cigars
  • Clubs and nightlife

TIP: For productivity, a couple great places to get work done are the Felicitous Coffee House and the Foundation Coffee Company. Also check out Hyde Park Village for more choices.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Deensel – High-rises of Puerto Madero

Buenos Aires is another location where you can ditch your winter wardrobe. Many remote workers love this destination because of its diverse population and bustling cosmopolitan areas. It’s also attractive to travelers who love theater and art.

Although Buenos Aires is Argentina’s largest city, it’s nonetheless quite affordable for visiting and living. It also has a large subway system and offers public bike sharing.

Known for:

  • Multiple ethnic groups, languages, and religious groups
  • Rich music traditions
  • Film/cinema
  • Television networks
  • Fashion

TIP: Bring your workload to Mooi Restaurant for an attractive environment and brilliant foods and treats. Tea Connection is another most-visit venue.

Berlin, Germany

Photo by Harald Krichel

One aspect that makes Berlin so attractive for remote workers and digital nomads is its central location. Seated in the heart of Europe, travelers are well-positioned to visit anywhere else they want on the continent.

For work, there are plenty of cafes and reliable internet connections in Berlin, along with co-working spaces and networking events. Also, since many people speak English here, it’s easy to get tips from locals who know the area.

Known for:

  • Performing arts
  • Science and higher education
  • Nightlife
  • Museums and galleries
  • High standard of living

TIP: Don’t miss this workspace hotspot! Located on the ground floor of Microsoft Berlin, the Digital Eatery offers free workshops, WiFi and technical support.

Prague, Czech Republic

Photo by Jaromír Kavan on Unsplash

Prague has become an attractive destination for expats and remote workers all around the world. It’s welcoming of tourists, full of history, and rich in museums and galleries. Not only is Prague loved for its reliable transportation system, fast internet and other urban offerings, but it’s also affordable enough for the digital-nomad lifestyle.

Known for:

  • City life and clubs
  • Universities, science, and high-tech centers
  • Prague Castle and the Prague astronomical clock
  • Historical exhibits and museums

TIP: Check out Café Pavlač for a unique remote-work experience. It features a café, bar, art gallery, great food and friendly staff.

Beijing, China

Photo by 郭友柏

Beijing is a bustling urban environment where you can experience unique adventures and meet many business- and tech-minded people. It features a wide range of weather, from cold and windy winters (but little snow) to hot, humid summers. There are plenty of co-working spaces in this city, as well as a robust public transportation system to get there.

Known for:

  • Science and tech
  • Business
  • Nightlife
  • High-speed rail networks
  • Universities

TIP: For co-working, check out the SimplyWork coworking space, as well as WeDo in several locations.

Have you traveled and worked in any of these cities? Or have you been somewhere not mentioned in this post? We’d love to hear from you, so let us know about any tips you have for new remote workers or aspiring digital nomads.

By Feb 3, 2020
Management

10 Traits of the Best Remote Managers

A recent Inc. article recalled a time back in 2002 when Google tested a hypothesis that managers were a “necessary evil” and weren’t important. This hypothesis wound up being incorrect, but it ultimately led to Google’s discovery of ten traits of highly effective managers. Interestingly, these traits seem to be even more critical for managers of remote employees…. View Article

A recent Inc. article recalled a time back in 2002 when Google tested a hypothesis that managers were a “necessary evil” and weren’t important. This hypothesis wound up being incorrect, but it ultimately led to Google’s discovery of ten traits of highly effective managers.

Interestingly, these traits seem to be even more critical for managers of remote employees. Here are the characteristics and why they matter for boundaryless teams.

1. Be a good coach.

While coaching is beneficial for in-office employees, it’s even more crucial for remote teams who don’t meet and influence each other in person. The best remote managers coach their employees by helping them improve their productivity. They also help their teams sharpen their career skills and coach them toward staying self-inspired and self-motivated.

2. Empower teams and don’t micromanage.

While micromanaging is ineffective in the office, it’s an absolute death knell for remote teams. Constant emails and Slack messages to the same employee regarding every aspect of their work reflects a complete lack of trust by a manager. It means the manager has no confidence in the employee’s talents.

The best managers trust their remote teams. They empower their staff with the tools and coaching needed to do excellent work on their own.

Operating with a high level of trust requires good hiring practices. So hire the most skilled people on earth (an ability made possible by remote work) and then trust them to do what they do best.

3. Create an inclusive team environment, showing concern for success and well-being.

Many companies have a mix of remote teams and in-office employees. Managers need to foster morale and a strong sense of community. If a distant team member feels left out of the company’s social structure and culture, their sense of isolation will make their work suffer. Managers can’t let this happen.

4. Be productive and results-oriented.

Traditionally, a primary measure of employee performance has been the number of hours spent in the office. But managers of remote employees need to shift this standard to one of results. As long as an employee is performing well, when and where they work should be of little concern.

5. Be a good communicator. Listen and share information.

Communication has always been important in business. But with distributed teams, it becomes even more important. As a general rule, managers should do what they can to communicate overly. All staff must be receiving the right communications at the right time, regardless of their location.

6. Have a clear vision/strategy for the team.

As the Inc. article pointed out, “with no North Star, employees sail into the rocks.” Especially with a remote team, a manager should involve the entire employee base in the creation of the team strategy for success.

7. Support career development and discuss performance.

I already mentioned the mistake of neglecting remote employees and allowing them to feel isolated. It’s also essential to help them grow in their careers and make sure they know they’re appreciated.

Help them work through their weaknesses, point out opportunities, and acknowledge them for their strengths. When employees aren’t physically present with their manager and co-workers, career development needs to be an even stronger effort than it is with office workers.

8. Have the expertise to advise the team.

The best managers are highly proficient advisors who gain trust and admiration from the team. These characteristics are especially important for employees who don’t often (if ever) see their managers in person. The leader of a remote team should be even more skilled in their trade than the highest-performing team members.

9. Collaborate.

The need to collaborate is magnified with remote teams. Team leaders should be aware of the latest apps for messaging and video conferencing. Managers should also encourage their people to test tools and suggest new ones.

10. Be a strong decision maker.

Boundaryless teams must have someone to count on for quick, proactive decision making. Otherwise, the “out of sight, out of mind” nature of a distributed workforce will lead to attitudes of “it’s not my job.”

Remote teams need to know a project’s direction, and everybody should understand who is doing what. Managers should be trustworthy, quick-thinking, and decisive.

By Jan 14, 2020
Boundaryless Landscape

Six Remote-Work Myths That Need to Die in 2020

The problem with today’s remote-work myths is that they cause needless apprehension that prevents companies from being competitive. These myths also prevent hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide from being as productive and fulfilled as they could be. In this post we expose the myths that might hold companies back from becoming bigger, better, and boundaryless.

Forbes recently published an article titled 10 Potential Developments for Businesses When Adopting Remote Working Arrangements. It featured ten members of the Forbes Finance Council.

Although the article was insightful in some sections, I found that it ultimately spread more myths than facts.

The problem with today’s remote-work myths is that they cause needless apprehension that prevents companies from being competitive. These myths also prevent hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide from being as productive and fulfilled as they could be.

The first six points in the Forbes article were mostly accurate. Remote work creates:

  • More Accessibility and Flexibility
  • Lower Labor Costs
  • Reduced Space Needs
  • Improved Employee Longevity
  • Reduced Scaling Costs
  • Increased Effectiveness While Capturing Top Talent

But the article’s last four points are where the myths emerged.

Myth 1: Remote Work Creates “A Need for Sophisticated IT Solutions.”

Turing's Boundaryless Landscape of Remote Distributed Products

Turing’s Boundaryless Landscape of Remote Distributed Products

According to the article, remote work “requires sophisticated IT solutions to execute properly and ensure work continues seamlessly at work or at home.” What the article doesn’t mention is that an entire landscape of apps exists for ensuring that work continues seamlessly.

While these apps are certainly sophisticated, IT departments aren’t needed to use them.

Myth 2: Remote Work Leads to “Fluctuating Productivity Levels”

According to one of the article’s contributors, “it can be challenging to help your remote employees to either maintain or improve their productivity levels when required.”

The reality is that remote workers are generally more productive than office employees, and we’ve known this for quite some time. See, for example, this study from 2015, this one from 2018, and this one from 2019.

Myth 3: Remote Work Creates “Communication Issues Leading to Bigger Costs”

According to one of the contributors of the article:

Communication is at the root of most problems, so a resource strategy that makes communication less direct will be challenged. What is lost is synergy, collaboration, accountability and more that benefit most from face-to-face experiences. What is gained are inefficiencies and, therefore, costs.

There are several misconceptions there. In reality, the robust landscape  of communication tools makes it possible for remote professionals to collaborate as effectively (or even more effectively) than office employees.

Face-to-face communication has diminished in the office. On-site employees are already accustomed to emailing their colleagues or touching base via Slack. Since office employees are already using these apps to collaborate with co-workers down the hall or a couple cubicles away, they might as well be working remotely. There’s no difference.

Further, when office employees do come together for in-person meetings, the chief complaint is, “I could’ve saved an hour of my workday by getting a Slack message instead.”

So, contrary to the claims of the article, remote work does not lead to communication issues, inefficiencies, or greater costs. In fact, remote work boosts communication and efficiencies, thereby reducing costs.

Myth 4: Remote Work Creates “Negative Energy”

No other myth makes me scratch my head as much as this one – especially when the same Forbes article, in the “Improved Employee Longevity” paragraph, contradicts this negative-energy paragraph. (Earlier in the article, one of the contributors correctly writes, “Letting your employees work one regular day from home can do wonders for morale.”)

Here’s the “negative-energy” blurb, quoted from the last paragraph of the Forbes article:

The culture of a team and an office is becoming very important, and not having the team all in one place can create negative energy.

Wrong.

As studies like this one have demonstrated, “Among other findings, we learned that remote work or the ability to work remotely makes employees happier, feel more trusted, better able to achieve work-life balance, and more inclined to take a pay cut to benefit from added flexibility.”

Myth 5: An Office Is Needed for a Healthy Corporate Culture

The culture of a team and an office is becoming very important…

While a healthy team culture is indeed very important, it’s certainly not true that an office is necessary for this. In fact, two-thirds of knowledge workers think the office will disappear by 2030.

The reality is that the landscape of communication tools makes a robust team culture possible with no central headquarters. Remote teams collaborate without the necessary evils that accompany life in an office – including gossip, corporate politics, micromanaging, and other negatives that suffocate a good team culture.

Myth 6: Remote Workers Don’t “Work”

Again focusing on the last paragraph of the Forbes article:

We see more and more employees who want to “work” from home. I believe that less work is being done, and other employees see them as not being team players. Things come up during the day, and when things go sideways that is when employees can bond the best.

It’s staggering that there are still executives who view remote workers as delinquent slackards who spend their workdays watching YouTube or playing Fortnite while getting paid.

Obviously, this is nonsense. As with any other job situation, not working will quickly lead to getting fired.

Again, refer to the studies I mentioned above in Myth 2. Remote workers are generally more productive than office employees.

Further, contrary to the above quote, on-site employees certainly view their remote counterpart as “team players.” If a weakest link is pinpointed, remote workers know that they can be replaced just as easily as office employees. There’s as much incentive for remote workers to pull their own weight as there is with office employees.

In the 2020s, Companies Who Don’t Offer Remote Work Options will Lose

According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report, 99 percent of their survey respondents want to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers.

If you want to keep your best employees, boost productivity, and gain the ability to hire world-class talent from around the globe, don’t listen to the remote-work naysayers. In the 2020s, remote-friendly companies will be the most competitive.

By Jan 8, 2020
Cartoon graphic showing remote workers
The Future of Work

Benefits of Remote Work Outweigh the Challenges

Once in a while, we see pushback to the remote work phenomenon. Some people cite loneliness, but meetups and community events can overcome this. Others mention the stress of being “always-on” or “always connected,” which can be alleviated through effective work/life scheduling and setting reasonable availability expectations. There are a couple of other objections, but… View Article

Once in a while, we see pushback to the remote work phenomenon.

Some people cite loneliness, but meetups and community events can overcome this. Others mention the stress of being “always-on” or “always connected,” which can be alleviated through effective work/life scheduling and setting reasonable availability expectations. There are a couple of other objections, but they can all be overcome and managed.

As tweeted by David Tabachnikov (@davidtab), Co-CEO at ScholarshipOwl,

Socializing: Work from a co-working space, have a flight budget, have offsites
Meetings: You don’t “need” meetings, and yet you can still have them.
Water cooler: Donut bot,
Collaborators: Figma, Docs, Zoom Screen Share, shared whiteboards
Can’t focus at home: Anticafe, Co-working

And a good point was made by an opinion blog post in The Globe And Mail:

“So is the answer to get rid of remote work and bring everyone back together to work harmoniously together? Well, no, for so many reasons. From having to build more office space to having more cars on the road every day, moving away from remote work could not happen without huge costs, many of them involving worker horror: As much as it may be lonely to work alone all the time, it is not clear that many remote workers really do pine for the opportunity to be in the office kitchen every day. What they do want, however, is to still feel that they are connected to their colleagues and part of a team. Creative companies are succeeding at this, whether through virtual weekly meetings or retreats, or just encouraging people to call and talk to each other rather than e-mailing and texting.”

We agree.

By Dec 19, 2019
Tweet: Women in the Gig Economy
Interviews

A 7-Point Checklist for Remote-Employee Success in 2020

Forbes contributor Diane Mulcahy recently interviewed Krystal Hicks on the topic of “why companies don’t trust their employees.” (Krystal Hicks is the founder of JOBTALK – a resource for career-curious professionals throughout every phase of their journey.) When I read Krystal’s observations in this article/interview, it occurred to me that they were so good, they could easily serve as… View Article

Forbes contributor Diane Mulcahy recently interviewed Krystal Hicks on the topic of “why companies don’t trust their employees.” (Krystal Hicks is the founder of JOBTALK – a resource for career-curious professionals throughout every phase of their journey.)

When I read Krystal’s observations in this article/interview, it occurred to me that they were so good, they could easily serve as a Checklist for 2020 Remote-Employee Success.

So I decided to organize them into that list! Here are some highlights from the interview, along with my added seven checklist points (in bold headers.)

1. Do You Trust your People?

Diane Mulcahy asked Krystal why so many companies are slow to implement remote or flexible work policies. Krystal’s response? “It’s trust. There’s no trust. And the mistrust stems from leadership.”

To quote Krystal further,

“Companies that are attracting incredible talent demonstrate that they trust their employees. They provide people with a choice about where to work, and the tools, like video conferencing, to make sure that they’re successful… Trust is the new currency, and the best talent wants to work for a company that trusts them.” 

2. Do You Measure Productivity Effectively? 

Krystal told a story about a client of hers who was concerned that remote workers wouldn’t work as hard if they were unsupervised. Her response to this fear is excellent:

“The real question for companies and leaders considering remote work policies is: How do you measure productivity when employees are at their desks in front of you? And if you do not measure them in the office, then it’s difficult to assume that people are going to be less productive at home. Companies need to figure out how they can implement metrics to measure productivity for everyone, no matter where they are working.”

3. Do You Have The Right People Managing Your Remote Teams?

“The Achilles heel of most organizations is promoting the wrong people into people management roles,” Krystal said.

“I think we have this epidemic of people who were great producers who received promotions into management, and they are terrible managers. There was an assumption made that because they were a great performer, that they would be a great people manager. And I think those are two starkly different things. And I’ve seen it be such a devastating move at so many of the clients that I’ve worked with because bad managers will chase out great employees.”

4. Have You Shifted from Blockbuster to Netflix?

 Diane Mulcahy asked Krystal what she means when she uses the term Managerial Darwinism. Krystal explained that what she’s saying is “adapting or dying. It is the understanding that there is Blockbuster and there is Netflix – you have a choice about which one you’ll be.”

5. Do You Accept That You Have Less Power/Control Over Employees Than You Used To?

 “Employers have less power because they no longer have the same level of control over their employees. Most importantly, they don’t own the financial future of their employees anymore. More employees have side gigs and no longer rely on their employers for 100% of their income. They’re earning money outside their full-time job, and that changes the power dynamic.”

6. Do You Hold Retention Interviews?

According to Krystal,

“I’ve heard of a lot of people say that they do exit interviews, but I believe there is such good information in retention interviews, where you talk to people that have been at the company for 3, 5, and 10 years and learn: What has kept them? Companies have amazing employees that they are not leveraging as a source of information.”

7. Do You Budget for Consultants? 

Krystal has observed that companies are thinking about consultants differently.

“They’ve either already had success working with a consultant, or they hear about other companies that have had a good experience, or they’re watching their high-performing employees leave to become independent consultants. Companies are realizing and recognizing that consultants are a reliable source of talent.

I’m also now seeing companies start to budget for consultants, which is a significant shift, and a strong indicator of demand, because when a company has a budget, they’re going to spend it.”

One more quote from Krystal Hicks helps conclude our checklist:

“The stakes are high for companies to figure out remote work because employees are really demanding it.”

By Dec 6, 2019
The Future of Work

The Future of Work is Remote

We believe there is a new way to build companies: have a smaller local engineering team, and amplify that with a distributed team of exceptional remote engineers.

This article originally appeared on Turing’s Medium.com page.

Working with Remote Engineers Made our Last Company Successful

Many of you know the Rover story. Vijay and I started our first company out of Stanford, raised venture capital, and took it all the way to a successful acquisition.

It had a secret.

The secret was our contrarian approach to hiring. When almost every engineering manager and VC in Silicon Valley preached the importance of everyone working from the same office, we took the unpopular stance that we would hire great people, regardless of where they worked from. We didn’t do this to make a point. It was absolutely necessary for us to look beyond Silicon Valley, to keep the quality bar high while keeping our costs low.

Silicon Valley has a growing talent shortage problem. Hiring top engineers locally is costly, and not scalable.

Turing was born from this insight. Turing lets you push a button and hire a pre-vetted engineer instantly from the global talent pool.

Turing makes scaling talent as effortless as scaling servers on AWS. It’s high quality talent on demand.

It is Hard to Scale an Engineering Team in Silicon Valley

With software eating the world, the demand for high-quality engineering talent has skyrocketed, and the local talent supply can no longer keep up. We hear about San Francisco’s housing and real estate problems, as well as visa/immigration issues regularly. Silicon Valley has hit human scaling limits, and it’s time to look beyond the valley for talent.

Employee retention data also paints a bleak picture. The average Silicon Valley engineer retains for 13 months. If you factor in the time to hire (~1–2 months), onboard (1–2 months), and handoff (0.5 months), you get about nine months of productive work. This is scary — and it’s a huge contributing factor to one in every ten startups failing in the first 12 months.

Deploy the World’s Talent at the Touch of a Button

Turing was started with one goal in mind: solve the tech talent shortage problem. Turing rigorously screens engineering talent from all over the world. In addition to technical skills, the platform vets for communication skills and fit for remote work.

It’s pay-as-you-go with no minimum commitment. You only pay for the hours worked. We take care of hour tracking, payments, and all the complexities of working with remote contractors, so you don’t have to. You simply push a button and go.

The Turing platform also ensures managing your remote team is easy. Historically, managing remote engineers has been a frustrating experience. If you’ve worked with remote engineers before, you might remember late night calls, communication issues, a lack of cohesion with the rest of your team, and a general sense of unease that you’re managing them less effectively than your local/on-premises team.

Turing will make remote work a joyful experience.

We start by ensuring there is adequate time zone overlap with the rest of your team. You need specific management processes to maximize productivity. Turing enforces these remote management best practices natively on the platform. Turing uses AI to assess ongoing developer productivity by building deep developer profiles based on actual work done. The AI analyzes data from code, Asana, Slack, email and various other communication platforms to ensure high quality of work.

Deep learning has opened a world of possibilities. We are working on automatically assessing developer skill based on actual work done, by building deep developer profiles. These are detailed, comprehensive and continuously updated. This helps with deeper matching and offering personalized career growth recommendations to engineers.

— Vijay Krishnan, CTO

Through a combination of automation, AI, and remote-native product design, Turing will make remote work a joyful experience for managers and their reports.

Talent is Universal, Opportunity is not

There is incredible engineering talent all over the world. Where you live should not have any bearing on where you work. We want to ensure the world doesn’t miss out on the potential of talented individuals, just because they were born in the wrong zip code. We find the Lost Einsteins of the world and give them what they desire more than anything else — opportunity.

The opportunity to participate in Silicon Valley, and change the world.

Despite growing up nearly 9000 miles from Silicon Valley, my co-founder Vijay and I had an opportunity to contribute to the Tech industry, because we met at Stanford and lived in the heart of the Valley. We envision a future where, thanks to platforms like Turing, the next generation of makers can change the world without needing to move to Silicon Valley.

Remote is the Future of Work

To hire world class talent, you have to look at the entire world when growing your team. With collaboration tools rapidly improving it’s easier than ever before to run a company as a combination of local and remote engineers. Slack, Asana, Trello, Jira, Blue Jeans and smartphones have made possible today what would have been inefficient or infeasible a decade ago

We believe there is a new way to build companies: have a smaller local engineering team, and amplify that with a distributed team of exceptional remote engineers.

We are designing the office of the future. A virtual work space that remote engineers love working from, in bits instead of atoms.

-Noa X, Head of Design

Many billion dollar companies rely heavily on remote/distributed teams. Fortune 500 companies also see the need to go remote.

We will Help you Change the World

Bold ideas change the world. You are working on something you are passionate about. Turing will help you change the world by making sure you have the right talent with you, at all times in your journey.

Turing has talent today. We are starting off with Frontend and Full Stack Engineers, and rapidly expanding to other software engineering roles, including iOS, Android, Backend, AI and Data Science.

Changing the world is hard — you have a million things to worry about. Now there’s one less thing.

We’re on a mission to help ambitious Founders, CTOs, and leaders succeed by giving them exceptional engineers from the global talent pool. How can we help you make your company or project successful? Let’s talk.

By Oct 2, 2019
People sitting at a table working on a computer
Hiring developers

Why You Should Hire the Best Talent, No Matter Where They Are Located

When it comes to deciding who to hire, most employers specifically look for applicants located in proximity to the office. Candidates who can physically come into the office every day is a preference shared by many companies. However, this approach (while traditional) does not always guarantee that the applicant awarded the position, is the most… View Article

When it comes to deciding who to hire, most employers specifically look for applicants located in proximity to the office.

Candidates who can physically come into the office every day is a preference shared by many companies. However, this approach (while traditional) does not always guarantee that the applicant awarded the position, is the most talented candidate available nor the best fit for the job.

Hiring remotely is a fairly new concept in the business world. Thanks to the internet, as well as advances in technology over the last few decades, it is now entirely possible for a company located in the United States to employ a worker from India, without anyone having to relocate.

The rate of people around the world opting to work remotely is continuously rising, allowing more and more companies a chance at choosing employees from a far wider talent pool. Despite this, many companies are too deterred by the thought of hiring someone who would never step foot into the office, to consider the benefits of remote workers.

Here are just a few benefits that come with hiring remotely that you should consider before writing off these applicants:

1. Remote workers are proven to have increased levels of productivity.

In an experiment conducted by Stanford professor, Nicholas Bloom, it is proven that employees who work from home have higher levels of productivity and concentration. After all, these workers are in a comfortable environment, don’t have to worry about a commute, and have better work-life balances. Their happiness translates into quality work. Bloom recorded a 13% improvement in performance among remote workers.

2. Research show a decreased rate of employee turnover, among remote workers.

In the same study, Bloom found that resignations from companies dropped 50% when employees were working remotely. After all, employees leave their jobs for a multitude of reasons, popular ones being too long of commute, need more time with their family, moving, etc. By taking away the stipulation that they MUST be present in the office to keep their position with the company, there are far fewer reasons for an employee to feel the urge to hand in their two weeks notice.

3. Companies are proven to save money when their employees are working remotely.

Fewer employees within the office means that, as an employer, you don’t have to rent as large of an office space. Additionally, if your company pays for employee meals, transportation, relocation, etc.; you can cut all of those expenses by hiring remotely.

There are a vast number of benefits when it comes to hiring remotely, so why wouldn’t you choose an insanely talented remote worker over a locally based, yet mediocre, employee?

The concept of remote employees may seem strange at first, but the world is rapidly changing. Every year, more and more talented individuals decide to work remotely and this trend is only going to continue. Don’t miss out on the best talent that the world has to offer, solely because that employee works remotely.

By Jan 29, 2019
A red traffic light
Hiring developers

What to Avoid When Hiring Remote Teams

Remote teams are everywhere. I’d call them the future, but really, they define the present. In the United States alone, 43% of the workforce has already spent part of their career working remotely. If trends are anything to go by, this number is only going to continue to grow. As a manager, hiring (and retaining)… View Article

Remote teams are everywhere.

I’d call them the future, but really, they define the present. In the United States alone, 43% of the workforce has already spent part of their career working remotely. If trends are anything to go by, this number is only going to continue to grow.

As a manager, hiring (and retaining) remote workers can be a challenging task. You’re looking for someone who is skilled, flexible, and a good communicator, while also being able to divide their time and prioritize tasks. With such a broad set of criteria and a seemingly bottomless well of candidates to choose from, narrowing down to the perfect candidate can feel a lot like finding a needle in a haystack.

If you’ve found yourself unsure of how to proceed with filtering through your stack of applications, simply follow this 4-point guide, outlining what to avoid when hiring remote teams.

1. “Versatile Communicator, Wherefore Art Thou?”

Sound communication is the spine of any team. Therefore, it is important to hire people who are skilled (and versatile) communicators.

For instance, you don’t want to hire an engineer who only uses e-mail as a means to communicate. Though text is the most common method of communication among remote teams, you’d ideally want a freelancer who is flexible and adept at different mediums—video, in particular.

This probably goes without saying, but it’s also extremely important to hire workers who are comfortable with the language that you operate in. Very frequently, companies prioritize other qualities over communication and this just harms them in the long run.

Other important qualities to search for are the abilities to both follow clear tasks and prioritize cleverly. Additionally, you want to be sure that the remote workers you hire are a good fit for your company’s culture.

As a manager, your focus should be on the big picture and in the long run, communication has a substantial and directly proportional impact on productivity. By ensuring that you choose candidates who are able to communicate effectively, you will avoid a lot of potential problems in the workplace.

2. Hard v. Soft Skills

Say you’re hiring a remote engineer and have two candidates to choose from:

  •       Tommy, who’s very talented but has low self-direction and interpersonal skills;
  •       Timmy, who isn’t quite as talented as Tommy but is more organized, alert and passionate.


Who would you pick?

If you’re working within a remote setup, it’s probably a better choice to hire Timmy.

Things like self-direction and motivation can be worked on if you’re working in the same physical space, but it can get harder remotely. Due to this, it’s important to ask behavioral questions, along with skill-based questions, in order to understand what kind of person the candidate is, in addition to their knowledge of the field.

Arguably, in the remote space, a more adept and sharper communicator is better to have than a very talented employee with limited communication skills.

3. Time Zones

AMs and PMs flipped over their heads—what is time in the modern age?

True, in today’s modern world, it’s easier to communicate across hemispheres, but still, it’s certainly better to work with someone operating out of a similar time zone.

When hiring candidates for remote work, ensure that they are comfortable with your company’s hours of operations. At the same time, you must also be cognizant of their time schedule and be flexible accordingly.

4. Avoid Crowded Talent Pools

You don’t want to be where everyone else is. If you can help it, search for workers in less crowded markets. For example, if you’re looking to hire remote engineers, look in Eastern Europe rather than India.

The reasoning behind this is that in bigger and more popular markets, you’ll end up competing against business giants like Google and IBM for human resources. Any situation that involves you battling it out against a company like Google will be an uphill task that should be avoided at all costs.


Hiring remote workers can be tricky, but if you follow the right steps, it can be an optimal solution for your company. By knowing what to avoid when it comes to hiring remote talent, you will be able to easily narrow down candidates, making the process far less tedious, and therefore, less daunting.

By Jan 23, 2019