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“We Don’t Count Hours, We Count Results”: How Jobgether Makes Remote Work Work

Making Remote Work Work at Jobgether
In this article

Hello, and welcome to a new interview in our series “The Workplace Scoop”.

Today’s guest is Alex Hernandez, the co-founder of Jobgether. Jobgether is a platform that connects job seekers with remote and flexible opportunities worldwide. In 2023, Jobgether scrapped, moderated and published more than 1.4 million remote job postings. That’s 10x more than any other remote job portals.

Now, because Jobgether is a fully remote company, we wanted to dig a bit more into this topic. So, read on to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly (if the case) of running a fully remote company.

How to Run a Remote and Flexible Company

  1. Alina from Tidaro: Alex, I noticed that Jobgether calls itself a “freemote” company. Can you tell us more?

Alex Hernandez: Freemote actually comes from freelance and remote. All our 26 employees are freelancers, through Deel and we are a fully remote company. People can work from wherever they want. We are completely flexible in the work schedule and don’t ask people to clock in or out. Because our team members are based across 4 continents, we are a fully asynchronous company and Discord is our tool to communicate.

  1. Alina from Tidaro: This flexibility in the work schedule feels like an amazing perk. I’ve seen data showing that flexible schedules beat flexible locations. And I know this is also welcomed by women, who definitely need to balance lots of family responsibilities. 

My question is, what are the challenges of such flexibility, and which are the solutions?

Alex Hernandez: Flexibility, today, is becoming the new way to go. While it is still considered a perk, it soon will be normal. To allow such flexibility in a company, the most important thing is trust. Without trust, this will not work. In the US, a Survey from 2023 showed 96% of US companies were using software to monitor employees working from home. We don’t believe it’s the right thing to do. Remote work and flexibility should be based on trust and output. Each individual has a clear objective and deadlines. We judge people based on work being done and delivered on time. People with family responsibilities can work around the schedule the way they want, as soon as they deliver.

With flexibility comes responsibility and accountability. Naturally, there are some challenges with working flexible schedules or locations, but they can be tackled if the team has clear goals, metrics to follow, and strong leadership that will accelerate company culture. 

I’d say that the key challenge here is ensuring everyone is informed and aligned. Employees work at different times, so coordinating meetings can become difficult, which leads to miscommunications or delays in projects where timely responses are critical.  Implementing comprehensive communication tools that include asynchronous communication platforms can help bridge the gap between different schedules. Regular updates, clear documentation, and shared calendars can keep everyone in sync regardless of when they work.

woman that has a remote meeting

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Also, because we just recently entered this era of flexible working, it could be challenging to move from a traditional to a flexible schedule, everyone should address perceptions of availability and the potential stigma that might be associated with not working traditional hours. Educating managers and staff on the benefits and challenges of flexible work arrangements can help foster a supportive culture. Training should also address how to manage and integrate flexible schedules without stigma. 

To release this stigma company leadership should establish clear, outcome-based performance metrics that focus on deliverables rather than hours worked can help ensure fair evaluations. This approach supports the idea of judging employees based on the quality and timeliness of their work, not a 9-5 archaic notion.

I think a lot of companies lack training for managers on how to effectively supervise remote or flexibly scheduled teams. To me this is crucial, you won’t get any tangible changes unless you talk through and learn strategies for trust-building, remote leadership, and effective remote team management practices.

  1. Alina from Tidaro: Speaking of remote leadership, what are the biggest challenges you face in running a remote company, and how do you overcome them?

Alex Hernandez: There are several challenges you face in running a remote company. Company culture is something we are still trying to improve as we have different nationalities, different teams, different local cultures and we are probably not meeting in real life as often as we should. However, our team members are very committed and love the mission of Jobgether, which makes it easy to create a culture of excellence. 

Also, onboarding can be tricky remotely. We document all our processes on Clickup and all our documents are available to everyone but we are thinking of doing the next onboardings in person, with the manager and the other team members to speed up the process.

  1. Alina from Tidaro: You mentioned company culture…You just paved the way to my next topic. Many leaders fear that when dealing with remote work arrangements employee engagement and the sense of belonging are worsening.  I must admit I felt it on my own skin in some previous jobs…But I had a hunch it wasn’t because I was working remotely…What’s your take?

Alex Hernandez: Before Jobgether, I worked for 12 years onsite. Many employees, also going to the office every day, had no sense of belonging. Remote work, lately, has been responsible for all the problems of the companies. At Jobgether, no one quit in the last 3 years. Why ? Because they all feel part of a meaningful project, we hear everyone and we take into consideration everyone’s opinion. We give responsibilities very early to everyone and we truly care about everyone. I strongly believe our employees are here for the right reasons and the sense of belonging is strong. So, no, remote work is not the reason why the sense of belonging is getting worse. Bad management maybe? 

Onboarding and Communication when Dealing with Remote Work

  1. Alina from Tidaro: I also believe that bad management might be the answer here as well. Now, let’s go back to another challenge you mentioned previously. There are many voices out there saying that remote onboarding is tricky. How do you screen and interview candidates effectively for a remote work environment? And how does Jobgether manage its onboarding?

Alex Hernandez: As I was mentioned before, onboarding is not an easy task to do remotely. 

When we screen candidates, we look at previous experiences, hobbies and languages mostly. Education doesn’t matter to us and where you are from or where you live either. We have 9 different nationalities (across 26 employees) and we are not looking for clones (like some companies do). Diversity is a strength at Jobgether and we are really proud of it. We treat everyone equally. Interviews are being done on video calls, usually in 3 steps. The first step is with the hiring manager, then with the rest of the team and finally with one (or more) cofounders. Onboarding is online too, with full access to all company documents and full documentation on Clickup. 

We also create 30-60-100 days at Jobgether roadmaps, where the manager clearly explains and sets up key goals and expectations for the newcomer. In that way, we avoid miscommunication and lack of goal understanding. After each period we have calls where we go through these docs and discuss achievements or pitfalls and what should be done to tackle them. 

However, we are thinking that doing next onboardings in person is possible. We believe it could be nicer for the new incomer. 

  1. Alina from Tidaro: Good luck, here! I hope this will turn out well for you!

Now, could you tell our readers a bit which strategies does Jobgether use to ensure clear and consistent communication across the teams?

Alex Hernandez: We have a 0 internal email policy. All communications are being done through Discord (similar to Slack). We have public channels (Marketing, Product..) and private channels. 

We also use Loom and Claap in order to minimize the number of meetings. Without an agenda, there are no meetings. 

  1. Alina from Tidaro: Sounds like a good plan, Alex :).

Now, you mentioned earlier about having clear objectives and deadlines. This connects to my next question: how do you set clear expectations and measure the performance of remote employees?

Alex Hernandez: For all our projects, we have a leader. It can be anyone in the company, an intern or a cofounder. That person will be responsible for the delivery of the project. Deadlines are being set up with the management team and that person has full power to involve whoever they need for delivering that project. It gives a great sense of accountability to everyone and deadlines are, most of the time, met.

  1. Alina from Tidaro: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with a remote company?

Alex Hernandez: Talk to other remote founders. Use English as the main language from Day 1. Trust your people. 

Alina from Tidaro: Alex, thanks so much for sharing this information with our readers!

I feel that proper information and true stories can really inspire other companies to embrace remote working.

And the fact that at Jobgether, no one quit in the last 3 years, it means that you’ve found your mojo. And yes, we can make remote work, work.

Remote work

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Conclusions

Here are the main takeaways from our interview with Alex Hernandez, the co-founder of Jobgether on the topic making remote work, work:

  • Embracing a Freemote work style: Employees are freelancers and work remotely with flexible schedules.
  • Trust and output-based performance: Focus on delivering high-quality work on time, not hours worked.
  • Solutions for communication: Use asynchronous communication tools, clear documentation, and shared calendars.
  • Training for remote leadership: Managers need to learn strategies for trust-building and effective remote team management.
  • Company culture: Build a strong culture by giving everyone a voice and making them feel like part of a meaningful project.
  • Onboarding remotely: Create clear roadmaps with goals and expectations, use video calls for interviews, and consider in-person onboarding for a smoother transition.
  • Communication: Use tools like Discord for all communication and minimize meetings.
  • Setting expectations: Set clear objectives and deadlines with ownership for project leaders.
  • Advice for starting a remote company: Talk to other remote founders, use English as the main language, and trust your people.

If you want some extra inspiration on how to run remote teams, you could also check our article How Atlassian is Managing Distributed Teams.

Alina Belascu
Alina Belascu
Alina is a digital marketer with a passion for web design. When she’s not strategizing she’s doing photography, listening to podcasts on history and psychology, and playing with her 2 dogs and cat.