TaxJar – Motivated, high-achieving and frighteningly intelligent

Sometimes we focus too much on creating the story about our business, forgetting the most important story of them all – how it all started and why we started. Here is series of behind the scenes view how remote teams work together.
TaxJar team drawing

We had a conversation with Mark Faggiano, Founder and CEO at TaxJar.

TaxJar is the simplest way to collect, report, and file sales tax. Trusted by more than 5,000 online sellers including the likes of Sony, MailChimp and SpaceX, their fully distributed team is taking the stress out of sales tax with cutting edge technology!

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What is the most important team value you have?

Openness – we’re transparent with our customers and as a team.

How ‘remote’ is the team at TaxJar?

We are 100% remote! We have team members located in multiple States all over the U.S. We do all get together twice per year at “JarFest” though, it’s always good to meet in person occasionally.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as remote team?

One of our biggest challenges, and not necessarily because we are remote, is creating processes as we scale. As a remote team we’re almost forced to over-communicate. That has actually helped though as we find better ways to work together, create workflows and store information.

How do you communicate within your team? Any tips and tricks you would share with others?

We talk all day on Flowdock (which we chose instead of Slack), and have channels for each team. We also do weekly planning with each team, and daily standups to make sure everyone is on track and doesn’t have any blockers.

We get together as a team every Friday to go over the past week and make plans for the next, and also to demo anything that we released over the past week.

Once a month, we do “Mini-JarFests” just to talk about our vision and anything else that’s on our minds.

How does working with team members in different timezones work for you?

The daily morning standups we do (which fall in the afternoon for our East Coast team members) allow us to track our progress. As long as we’re all the same page, timezones are never a problem!

Do you use visuals when collaborating with your remote team?

The great thing about TaxJar is that we’re flexible. You can adapt how you work here to your own work style. Some people chose to use presentations when communicating, others don’t. It’s totally up to each member of the team.

What funny moments have you experienced as a remote team?

Since we communicate via video chat quite a bit, there have been plenty of times where kids and spouses have meetingbombed us. The funniest times are when they don’t realize they’re on camera! I won’t go into details for fear of embarrassing anyone…

What has been the best resource on remote working for your team, if you have used any? Mentors, blogs, newsletters, etc.

We love reading the blogs of other remote teams like Buffer, Automattic, Zapier and Basecamp. For anyone interested in remote work, I’d suggest check them out!

Follow TaxJar on Facebook, check out their awesome remote work blog remote work blog or if you want to get involved more, check out their hiring page!

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