Allo has a strong remote working culture even before COVID-19. See how we stay connected and efficient even when we are not working physically together.
Allo's Remote Working Culture
If you don't know already, Allo is a global team located out of San Francisco, USA, and Seoul, South Korea. While we have an office in both locations, we have a strong remote working culture even before COVID-19 happened. At Allo, every Tuesday and Thursday are remote workdays. We can work from anywhere we prefer. Even on other days, we can choose to work remotely as well after informing teammates. Not surprisingly, our working time and hours are also flexible as long as we keep up our responsibilities.
Why Remote Working & Flexible Working Hours?
While we have the freedom to decide when and where we want to work, we do not see this as a cutting edge benefit. Instead, we see it as a way to help us work more efficiently and productively. Everyone has their own "golden hours and places" to work, and we do not want to force teammates to work from the office when they feel like concentrating on a specific project on their own. We also don't want to ask everyone to work from 9 to 6 when someone prefers sleeping in a little while producing most of their work during the evening. "How do you make sure everyone is working?" or "How do you communicate and collaborate efficiently?" are concerns that are often raised when talking about remote working. In this article, we will walk you through how Allo works remotely, flexibly, and efficiently at the same time.
How Does Allo Work Remotely?
Every day, the whole team spends around 20 minutes participating in a daily stand-up meeting together. It is a meeting for the San Francisco team to wrap up their day and share their plans for the next day. For the Korea team, it is a morning meeting to start the day. (See how we run our daily stand-ups remotely) We use this time to align with each other and talk about anything, work-related or not.
For a team to stay aligned and be productive even when teammates are not physically together, utilizing online communication and collaboration tools effectively plays an essential role. Besides using the standard communication and project management tools, it is also highly suggested to have a process and documentation repository that everyone on the team can refer to. For the Allo team, naturally we utilize the Allo platform to do so. Allo is our high-level project management tool, and we create all our product roadmaps and marketing roadmaps here. At the same time, Allo is also our primary collaboration tool; we communicate and collaborate on each project directly inside of Allo and document the process along the way.
Another concern we may have when not working together is transparency. Because we don't see each other's screens and can't chit chat like when we were in the office, we often focus only on our work and don't know what other people are working on. At Allo, we try to make our daily work as transparent as possible. In the Allo platform, there are activity histories available. As mentioned above, all the high-level discussion and progress documentation are all done in Allo. So with activity histories, we can quickly get an idea of what kinds of projects other teammates are working on merely by looking at one another's canvases.
Finally, we will end our day by writing a daily retrospective on our "#daily-retro" Slack channel. We share what we have accomplished with the team during the day, our satisfactions and disappointments, and what we plan to do tomorrow. It helps us align on our tasks and priorities one more time.
The Key When Working Remotely - Trust
While sometimes we need to adjust our workflow or working habits when working remotely, one thing we certainly can not afford to lose is the trust for each other. When hiring for new teammates, make sure to pick someone passionate and has the same values as the current team. However, once they are onboarded, it is trust among members that allow them to contribute their most to the team. At Allo, we focus on the overall process and deliverables, instead of constantly checking on people to see if they are getting their work done.