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How we successfully run an international remote team

We have over a hundred team members spread across 13 timezones. How do we make it work?

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The SimpleTexting team began building an internationally remote company long before 2020 made it a necessity. 

Spread across 21 countries and 13 timezones, we’ve continued to grow and scale SimpleTexting while only meeting in person a couple of times per year. We’ve never wanted to limit our talent pool to one location — as a result, we’ve found the best people for the job in every corner of the world. 

While we’re a big believer in remote working, we know that it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And it also takes a lot of work. Over the last six years, we’ve dedicated ourselves to building a successful remote working environment by exploring new tools, taking on feedback and by recognizing what’s not working (yes, it happens!). 

So what can you expect if you’re looking to join the SimpleTexting team? 

Here’s how we maintain a motivated and productive international remote team. 

SimpleTexting Careers

Looking for a new challenge? We’re currently recruiting for a number of roles.

The communication tools we use 

When your team is spread out around the world, communication is key. And not just active communication — knowing when to switch off and let people know you’re not around is equally as important.

Our weapon of choice for day-to-day chatting is Slack. 

There are two reasons we typically use instant messaging instead of emails:

  1. Nobody wants their email inbox clogged up with simple requests that can be solved in minutes.
  2. Whether we’re chatting about our weekends or sharing pictures of our families, text-based messaging is a much more natural way to bond as a team than email. 

We use Slack to share non-work-related things too. Some of our team are yet to meet in person, which makes humanizing each other even more important. 

We have Slack channels for photos of family, friends, vacations, and weekend activities, as well as a random topic channel for anything we want to share. That includes our Wordle scores, which many of us shared for around two weeks straight (and some are still going).

We also have allocated channels for each team, and we are big believers in only joining channels that are necessary for you. If a team member feels they no longer need or want to be in a channel, they’re welcome to dip out anytime.

The SimpleTexting Slack channel

For collaboration and project management, we use Notion.

Due to its flexibility, Notion is our primary workspace. Each team within SimpleTexting has additional tools and apps that they use to best manage their workload. However, everyone is set up with a Notion on day one of joining the team.

We find Notion the most effective way to share projects across teams, keep each other updated on workloads, and tag other team members in upcoming assignments. 

For HR purposes, Notion is the go-to. All of our onboarding resources are held in Notion, and we even have a personnel directory for each new team member to share a little bit about themselves. With a team of over one hundred people, the directory is a great resource to get to know those you don’t interact with regularly.

The SimpleTexting team home page in Notion

How we champion a work culture remotely

Time zones are hard. There are no two ways about it – we have team members on the West Coast of the U.S. and in East Russia. We use our tools, communication, and emphasis on checking in with each other to help build a collaborative work culture within SimpleTexting.

At the end of each quarter, we host an all-hands meeting. Every member of our team contributes to SimpleTexting’s success and growth, and our all-hands cover the activities and wins of the quarter across all teams. 

During our all-hands is when we also announce the winners of our SimpleTexting values prizes for the quarter.

Take a look at just how international our team is.

A map of SimpleTexting employees' locations

What are the SimpleTexting values?

As a remote team, you have to walk the talk when it comes to values. Every quarter, team members can nominate one another for one of our five core values.

  1. Set Egos Aside
    We know we’re all human, nobody is perfect and that’s okay. We recognize achievement, but don’t let it go to our head. This is a safe space to be an imperfect person who is always striving to be better.
  1. Push Your Boundaries
    We’re never satisfied with the status quo and always searching for ways to take things to the next level. Evolutionary improvements are our bread and butter; revolutionary improvements are our North Star.
  2. Plan to Pivot
    We’re versatile learners who observe the reality around us, orient ourselves accordingly, make decisions, and act.
  3. Own It!
    We heed the call, step up, and own it. We build trust through our actions, with a steadfast commitment to our teammates and our work.
  1. Extend Kindness
    We believe that kindness is the not-so-secret key to forming strong relationships. We choose to be generous in spirit with our coworkers and clients, which has the potential to create forever relationships.
Our values at SimpleTexting

We announce the winners in our quarterly all-hands, while those who nominate others are entered into an annual draw to also win a prize. Values matter in every company, but even more so when each team member works independently. We have to trust each other completely.

On top of our core values, we also ensure every new hire has autonomy, shows initiative, and demonstrates a positive attitude. As a remote team, our work culture is built on the interactions we have each day online. Sometimes these interactions are the only “human” contact of the day, so how we speak to and treat one another is vital. 

For this reason, we have a thorough hiring process, but that gives us full confidence in every person who joins our team from the start.

Our talent knows no borders

To put it simply, we get the best. We know talent and ability isn’t found in one location, and by employing an international team we’ve hired those who can do their job best not just in one city, or one country, but in the world. Obviously, we’re incredibly proud of this, but it works both ways.

As remote working has become more and more common, we’ve had to build a work environment that people want to join. We don’t believe in micro-management, and we know productivity is best where you’re most comfortable. We attract awesome new team members because our current team has worked hard to build a successful remote work environment.

Do you think you’d make a great SimpleTexting team member? Check out our careers page to find your next career move.

Alice Dodd
Alice Dodd

Alice is a copywriter at SimpleTexting. When not teaching the world about the benefits of business texting, you can find her feeding family, friends and strangers with her latest baking experiment.

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