WaSaBi Part 5: Making it WFH

In my last blog, I wrote what my thoughts were on the US office and how I felt about working from home. We are definitely interested in a virtual office at this point in the US. I honestly thought, “Hey why not? This can’t be that difficult!” But the more I dove, the more questions came up. The taxes and employment laws in each state differ and that’s the biggest challenge we are going to have to face. I started doing research on different countries and it is truly making my head spin! I don’t have an accounting or HR background, so how to hack into this part of the company is all new learning for me. I’ve been going through different third party HR/Accounting firms as well, to see if that would be easier for us to manage this. We want to give our future employees a competitive employment package, which will include medical/dental and that too varies from state to state. It’s a lot of administration work to weed through and I want to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row before we start hiring, so it might take a bit to sort out. BUT, we did figure out other things that we will implement for the WFH office:

Daily Stand-Ups

I personally hate meetings because of my time at Amazon. I felt like my whole day was nothing but meetings and I could only do work after my last meeting at 5 pm. I really want us to manage our teams without having to do crazy amounts of meetings, but I personally believe a quick standup every day is worth it. Everyone checks in with each other and give time to discuss any blocks or notable issues while together.

Weekly Cross Team Meetings

This is something that I find important that surprisingly a lot of places I have worked at do not do, or they don’t do it efficiently. Team leads will meet up weekly to discuss hot topics and updates. Depending on how many teams we have, I don’t think they need to be longer than 20 mins.

Twice a Year WFH Team Boot camps

This is one thing I really miss about working at Unity, our boot camps. Even my marketing team got to fly to Copenhagen and participate. We’ll emulate this practice at Our Machinery with the US team. We’ll pick cities twice a year to meet up and pair program, work on code, do team presentations, and discuss what’s going on in the company to get input.

Once a Year OM Meeting

We’ll gather the whole company together, WFH peeps and our Stockholm office to meet up for a week. I am hoping to coincide this with GDC or at our own developer meetup. It’s so important to physically see each other when you are working with other people. We’ll use this time to team build as well as the OM staff meet with developers that are creating in The Machinery. My high hope is that the company and community will be diverse and we’ll be able to make improvements to the code and company events/policies that we didn’t think of before. I am 100% all about learning from each other and progression!

I have a lot of issues to figure out before we launch the OM US office, but we are still leaning towards it being a WFH office. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences about WFH, [email protected].

by Tricia Gray