Here at SMTP2GO, we have a hub team based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and then a large remote team scattered all over the world. We currently have team members in New Zealand (of course!), Australia, Spain, UK, USA – as well as many other locations. We’re a truly global enterprise.
Being a remote worker isn’t always easy but it’s something that we do really well at SMTP2GO. We’re proud of this! We have a team of more than 15 remote staff – but we still feel connected and we all know each other pretty well, despite the distance and lack of physical contact.
I’m based just outside of London, and I recently flew into Madrid to meet with Louise and Teresa, who have both lived in the Spanish capital for several years now. Louise is Irish, Teresa is English and I’m Welsh. It sounds like the start of a ropey pub joke, doesn’t it?! The three of us work on content, as well as providing top-notch technical support to our European-based customers.
How do we make remote working work for us?
We’re really good at keeping in touch with each other and are in constant communication. We use Skype for daily communication and Slack for company wide communication. We’re respectful of each other’s time zones and know how important it is to keep each other in the loop (this can something as little as saying hello in the morning, and goodbye when you log off, or keeping the team informed if you’re going to be offline, working on a project). Our CEO has a great skill for selecting people who get on and work well together (it’s a kind of CEO magic!). When we do meet, we have a blast! I feel fortunate to be part of such a fabulous team, chock full of awesome people – some who I’ve never spoken to face-to-face.
Benefits for our customers
As a company, we believe in the importance strong communication between our teams – especially our customer-facing support team and the developers. This isn’t a widely open channel of communication in many companies but we’ve always been keen to foster this because our support team are often the first to know when users are having issues, and there could be a potential issue, which is fed back to the development team. This communication enables us to offer our customers super reactive support, which means that any potential issues are dealt with swiftly, resulting in a better service all round.
A different approach
The working dynamic in remote teams is different and we’ve successfully adapted to this way of working. We’re all happy in our roles, and many for us have been with SMTP2GO for several years. As an almost founding member of staff, this year sees me celebrating my fourth year! Having regular meetups is fantastic for boosting morale and motivation. Loneliness can be a huge downside of remote working and this is why it’s great to hang out with colleagues from time to time. When I met my colleagues in Madrid, we got our laptops out, sat around doing our regular tasks, discussed our approaches, swapped ideas, brainstormed, laughed and drank a lot of great coffee! I came back to London feeling grateful for the role I have, refreshed and raring to go.