While 2020 had many people around the world working from home (WFH), here at Yodo1 we’ve taken it a step further: on December 1, 2020, Yodo1 completed its transition to a fully work-from-anywhere (WFA) company. We closed our Beijing office doors for good and are embracing an environment of productive flexibility—from absolutely anywhere!
The plus points of working from anywhere could fill up an article in themselves, but it’s not without its challenges, either. Luckily there are a host of tools available to help meet these, and ensure both that our work is done efficiently and effectively, and that we can keep our company culture going and stay connected, even though we’re spread across the world.
If you’d like to dig into this topic further, check out this informal round table of Yodo1 staff around the world sharing their own diverse experiences: what they love about WFA as well as the obstacles and some practical tips for meeting them.
As you can imagine, with everything now online, communication is a major part of everyone’s workday. Part of Yodo1’s culture is “keeping everything in the sunshine”—meaning that we all stay in touch, share what we’re doing, and don’t wait till things are finalized to present them to the group. We use a work communication platform so we can plan meetings, chat and share files anytime with anyone, anywhere. Department groups can focus on their specialties, while the company-wide group keeps the whole team united and on the same page.
Zoom isn’t new by any means, but it’s now a part of daily lives: we have 1:1 meetings, team meetings, and even company-wide ones. We always try to keep meetings as short as possible and as long as necessary, and adhere to agreed-upon start and end times out of respect for everyone’s time, as well as the time zone differences. We can also watch recordings to catch up on a meeting if we’ve had to miss it, just like an online lecture.
With a team that’s based all over the globe, getting people together across those aforementioned time zones can be a challenge. When a Zoom meeting doesn’t fit the bill, opt instead for tools like VideoAsk or Loom—they’re great to pitch ideas to each other or record quick tutorials in the form of short videos. Our colleagues on the other side of the world can then watch them in their own time and respond accordingly.
This is a new way of communicating for some, and it can take a bit of getting used to, but the benefits go beyond just what we’re discussing in that particular meeting or video: people’s video presence, confidence and communication skills are visibly improving! Communication is of utmost importance at Yodo1; it’s such an important life skill no matter the situation, and any time spent improving it has benefits that stretch far beyond the immediate.
It can be hard to visualize a project and see where everyone is at in their work when people are in different teams and work pipelines. Online platforms like Airtable and Notion help us store, organize, collaborate and work on just about anything from anywhere, from content planning to company recruitment. Collaboration can really enhance creativity and no matter what the project, we like to have input from as many people as possible.
When working from anywhere, you may find that you miss those elements of working in an office that you once took for granted, like having a quick catch-up in the elevator or getting to know one another over lunch breaks. At Yodo1 we encourage team members to engage outside of work hours and enjoy each other’s company without having work on our minds all the time.
That’s why we have a company Discord server—a place to host online events, share hobbies and nurture interests: gaming, cultural exchanges, sharing music, health and lifestyle tips, and even our favorite recipes!
So whether you appreciate the freedom and space or are missing the day-to-day interactions of office life, check out some of these tools that we use at Yodo1 to stand in for in-person interactions. You may need to invest some time and effort to fully master them, but they will enhance your work life immeasurably, and learning new things is a vital life skill anyway, right?
And finally: we’re always hiring, so if our work environment sparks your interest, check out our Careers page and you might be the next to join our diverse and fully remote company, WFA.