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3 things to consider when your company goes remote

Life at Storyblok Akbar Karenga Akbar Karenga
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As of writing this post, we have 19 nationalities living in 14 different countries at Storyblok, all working remotely. This is rare for a startup of our size and age, yet, the question to ask is whether this way of working is right for you? 

Have deep reasons to go distributed at the company level

While we are proud of our Austrian roots, our founders, Dominik and Alexander, knew the content problem we were trying to solve was global. International clients came very quickly and we saw little reason to tie ourselves to one location. Thus began the evolution of Storyblok’s global presence, starting off with Alexander moving to Brazil. Alex has made a beautiful life for himself and his family in Teresópolis, a town in the hills and forests of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While business is super important, we never underestimate the personal reasons behind location choices.

Our seed round was a mix of Austrian and London backing between 3VC and First Minute Capital. This came with an opportunity to grow under the local Founders Factory Accelerator program. They recommended we be based in the city (London) to take full advantage of the expertise of the operations teams. This meant our new VP of Sales and VP of Operations moving to the UK in early 2020. Being remote has always been at the heart of how we work and evolve at Storyblok.

Image of a world with Storyblok's headquarters and working locations

Honestly highlight what will be better and what will be worse by going remote

We are naturally social creatures and are used to face-to-face interactions. Video conferencing cannot replicate that. So, we have made a conscious decision to embrace other ways of working.

  • Meetings are kept to the essential only 
  • You meet your direct reports and close team once a week, and everything else is task/project-based
  • We keep as much documentation on our Notion pages 
  • The vast majority of info is on company-wide Slack channels    

We are keen to have an all-company trip when Covid restrictions are loosened, so we have several days together.

Storyblok editing capabilities

Hire people who will specifically enjoy the associated benefits of working remotely

In our interview process, we ask candidates how they would leverage the extra flexibility of working remotely. 

We have several parents of young children at the company (I am in that cohort), where we have been able to be hands-on in childcare, and you can see calendar blocks where we are active in our families lives.

Our modern world has meant that we fall in love with people from different countries from our own. Some of our staff are “trailing spouses” that were looking for new opportunities in the country of their partners. This is especially important if they did not know the local business language.

The urge to travel has been dampened but not extinguished because of Covid, with the growth in “Digital Nomads” being a topic before the pandemic. We interviewed and hired two people who want to travel and work simultaneously while with Storyblok.

If you are curious about working in an international remote-first environment, then get in touch

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