HOV is a remote company. Yes, we don’t have an office. In this advent where remote work is becoming more mainstream, we as a company have been distributed from the very beginning. This means being remote is entrenched into our culture and core beliefs. While other companies are still undergoing the trial and error process of creating their own remote playbooks, our processes are already streamlined for this upcoming work paradigm. We’ve developed skin in this game far longer than others, and are continuously improving.
So how do we make this “remote work” thing work so well?
Let’s start with the values that are central to our culture. As our company has grown over the last year, we’ve been working on establishing clear expectations about what it means to work on our team. At the core of these expectations are our 5 values.
- Learning machines – We are continuously learning and sharing with others. In our company we have what we call the ’90/90/1′ where each of us is working on a side project, or anything that has a learning outcome – which can then be presented as a deliverable at the end of each month and ultimately culminated each quarter.
- Epic work – We pride ourselves on the quality of the work we do using the concept of “Work Superpower”. In short, it’s one thing people can rely on you to have an expertise in.
- Never give up – We work on challenging problems and often find ourselves in difficult situations. This requires us, as individuals and as a team, to be ready to face these hurdles, technical or otherwise, and overcome them.
- We have each other’s back – Teams can move faster and produce more value than single individuals. We cultivate a culture where everyone stands to contribute strongly individually, but is also willing to reach out if a team member needs a hand.
- Challenge the status quo – At its core, HOV is not only an accelerator but also a Tech company. At the intersection of these two domains, innovation and creativity is paramount. This means we like to hear great ideas and cultivate them. Either this is an innovation to our own processes or an idea for a project the company can work on. We are not afraid to experiment.
These are the 5 values that form the core to our work culture, and we don’t take them for granted.
Next, come the work strategies and tools.
Communication and visibility is paramount to remote teams. Because we work remotely, one of the things you have to show for your day is not the number of hours you worked but what work you’ve actually gotten done. This kind of visibility , which is tailored specifically for remote teams, is one of the things our internal tool Identifi provides.
We are continuously iterating and improving our tool where its ultimate goal is to improve/enhance connectivity of individuals in remote teams.
Some of the other well known tools we use are:
- Slack: For day-to-day chatter
- Notion: For discussions, video logs, team goals, and various Documentations
- Zoom, Slack video: For weekly video chats, or one-on-one chats, standups
- Jira: For team project management
At HOV we distinguish team members as either a manager or an individual contributor. Each manager has a 1:1 with their direct reports once a week; this interaction is also facilitated by our internal tool Identifi.
Don’t forget the activities!
The entire company attends a weekly town hall to discuss updates of various company projects. This makes a huge difference as it gives everyone an idea as to what’s happening on other projects in the company as well as build alignment across teams.
There’s also the annual company outing where we meet, stay, and relax for a week at a chosen destination. The goal is to have that much needed in-person time that remote teams obviously lack. Unfortunately this year’s meetup is cancelled due the current unforeseen events.
Heres a photo of our last company outing (fun, right?):
There’s always room for social interaction, even in a remote setting. We hold icebreakers once in a while to get know each other and we like to goof around in other ways too like building some silly apps that we use internally for fun.
This is just a glimpse of how we work at High Output Ventures, and how we run the show. If you have comments or thoughts, we’d love to hear!
P.s; We’re always looking for more people to join the team! If you’re interested, visit our career section to know more (who knows where we travel to next).
Christian Villamin, Software Engineer
Usman Sheikh, Managing Director
Czarissa Navidad, Designer