We had a conversation with Aiste from the marketing team at MailerLite.
MailerLite is one of the world’s leading email marketing service providers with a focus on simplicity, excellent customer support and beautiful email designs. They serve over 200,000 brands, businesses and freelancers around the world and show no sign of slowing down! 🙌
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What is the most important team value you have?
We believe that shared experiences connect us to each other much more than any shared consumption does. We feel way more connected with someone who also traveled to India than with people who have the same iPhone, right?
This is why instead of free beer and pizzas every Thursday, we travel together, walk 25km together or learn how to slackline. All these things are stories that bond us. This is how a group of people feels more like a team than just a group of colleagues.
How many people work remotely in your company and how often?
Today MailerLite is a team of 26 people. Our office is located in the center of Europe in Vilnius, Lithuania. Half of our team always work remotely from places such as U.S., Thailand, Ukraine, Singapore, Poland, Guatemala and Croatia.
We’re very flexible so if someone decides to spend the winter abroad, they are free to work remotely if they want to!
How often do you meet up?
Twice a year we all meet during workation (which we think is an awesome way to motivate your team). It’s a two-week paid work trip that is combined with aspects of taking a vacation. Last winter the whole team went to Bali. This summer we all met in Lithuania, and we’re already planning our next workation in Morocco. It’s always a lot of fun!
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as remote team?
I guess we face the same challenges as most remote teams do – communicating effectively and making sure we’re on the same page. Slack has helped us a lot as every day we meet our colleagues on it and if something is not clear – we just ask.
How do you communicate within your team? Any tips and tricks you would share with others?
As mentioned above, Slack is our main communication tool. We have more than 20 channels for different topics from design, development, food to random chat. Some of the channels include all team members, some are temporary, made for a project (a new feature or our upcoming birthday for example).
15Five helps us to know how the team members feel. It’s based on a simple idea. Each team member spends around 15 minutes a week writing a report that takes their manager no more than 5 minutes to read. The report includes questions like:
What’s going well? What are you proud of this week?
What challenges are you facing? Where are you stuck?
One suggestion to improve your role, team or organization?
This is how we also get to know if someone feels sick, had a break up with a girlfriend or wants the team to visit an art exhibition. The things that matter the most, which you don’t necessarily talk about during your lunch break.
How do you start your day as a team?
Since we live in different time zones, we can’t start the day together a lot of the time. Some of us start the day by going to the gym, some go for a walk with a dog, others surf. To us it’s important that you’re happy, productive and motivated!
We share our daily life on Snapchat. Every day a different member takes over MailerLite account, check it out!
Do you use visuals when collaborating with your remote team?
Every month we have a presentation about our roadmap, Q&A session, and a guest speaker. We do these events on Google Hangouts and they’re always being recorded for our colleagues who couldn’t participate.
What has been the best resource on remote working for your team, if you have used any? Mentors, blogs, newsletters, etc.
We used to believe that a team is a group of people who work in the same office. “Remote” has changed our opinion and inspired us to get out of our comfort zone. So actually hiring remote employees has been our best resource. It was a huge eye-opener for us. That enabled to hire the best talent from all over the world. This is also how we can provide 24/7 customer support.
And finally, what books should remote teams and workers be reading to succeed?
- “Remote” by David Heinemeier Hansson
- “4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss
- “In Praise of Slowness” by Carl Honore