Why improv’s “Yes, And” is the essence of “individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. You can use this simple technique to improve teamwork.
My name is Lukasz Szyrmer. If you are new here, I am the author of the book Align Remotely. I help teams thrive and achieve more together when working remotely. In this episode of the Managing Remote Teams podcast, we speak with Remote work influencer and PeopleOps expert Ali Greene. Ali is keen on equity in labor markets as well as making everyone’s life at work better through self-awareness. Setting effective boundaries is a critical skillg. She’s also the coauthor of an upcoming book on the subject.
Upon listening, you will discover:
After four years of full-time travel as a digital nomad, and almost 40 countries visited, Ali decided to retire from full-time traveling (for now) and from DuckDuckGo where she was the Director of People Operations right before the pandemic and the “remote work” shift took the world by storm. Ali is now currently based in Spain. She is the Founder of cohana.io. She also works with Oyster, an HR platform for globally-distributed companies, as the Head of Culture and Community. Ali is a frequent speaker and podcast guest, chatting about topics near and dear to her heart: remote work, community building and organizational psychology. Ali has also recently been featured as a “Remote Expert and Influencer to Watch”. She is the co-author of the upcoming book Remote Works.
The insight that healthy and effective boundaries start from your own self-awareness, as it helps each team member to do the same. Effective boundaries actually start from your own self-awareness as a leader. Because you doing so helps each team member to do the same. It opens up the discussion. To set up a healthy arrangement for everyone.
Modeling the right behavior, I think is quite powerful.
Allie Green, welcome to the podcast. Could you say, could you say a few words about yourself and how you got into remote as a topic?
Yeah, so I have been working remotely. This is funny. I just looked at the. Exact date a few days ago, cause I saw a post on LinkedIn.
That was a poll of how many years have you worked remotely? And it was six years ago. During the summertime I was living in New York city doing an hour commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan to sit on my computer all day and. I am not a city person. And I was really quite unhappy living in the city. And I had questioned for a long time.
Why companies, especially companies that dealt with the internet and technology and knowledge workers, weren’t making things more flexible and fun and innovative with how you’re working when they’re making such fun and innovative products. So I ended up. Super cliche. I ended up leaving that job.
I backpacked around South America. I went to Machu Picchu. I had. A lot of hiking and reflecting and thinking about what I wanted to be doing with my life. And I was lucky and fortunate at that time to be able to stay close with the company I was working with and ended up consulting with them on human resources.
And through that consulting experience, I really learned about this world of remote work because their office was still very much in Manhattan and I was responding to emails and South America. I then went and visited my family and. Michigan and did virtual learning and development sessions and workshops with them.
I moved to Philadelphia and I was able to do most of my work completely online and every so often would pop in. To the office because it was fun. And I wanted to build the relationships with people.
And so thinking about that experience six years ago and where it’s taken me so far has been really interesting because through these six years I’ve had experience managing remote teams.
I helped grow. The people ops team from scratch at my former company, duck deco while traveling the world full time. And so not only working remotely, but what does it feel like to work remotely in a country where you don’t speak the language and don’t know how to properly cross the street, which was scary when I first moved to Vietnam and people just would fly at you and their motorcycles.
And so it was really a wild experience. The four years I was at DuckDuckGo, I became. Just so passionate about how remote work can change lives. And it definitely changed my life in terms of the fact that I’m now living in Spain, but there’s so much social impact there as well.
And so when I made the decision to leave duck duck go a few weeks before the pandemic strike last year, I had no idea what things were going to turn into and how many people were going to have to be thrown into this world of remote work. Coming from a place of so much fear because of everything that’s going on in the world, instead of the excitement that I faced when I started working remotely.
And so now I really split my time in two ways. One is I’m the head of culture and community at a company called oyster. And their mission is to really help make companies be able to hire, pay, provide benefits to people all over the world and make it really. Easy and do it in a matter of days instead of weeks or months. And so I think it’s really incredible just to be able to really close the talent gap worldwide and make sure it really. Awesome. Intelligent people are getting very challenging, exciting jobs.
And then it also had a company called Cohana. And my mission there is to just educate and advocate for remote work and what that can look like. So having opportunities like this is really exciting for that. And through that company, I am currently writing a book with a coauthor who lives in Boston and it’s meant to be for. The everyday team that’s working remotely and be a fun, fresh kind of honest look at what you can do to make that remote experience work better for everybody.
Lots to dig into there. Just to quickly check. So duck taco is, are they fully remote or no?
So Dr. Goh has been fully remote from the very beginning and they do have a small office. It’s quite funny. It’s in this little town outside of Philadelphia. And at any given time, it’s more like a coworking space. And so people that are local that might want to just get a change of scenery would pop in and out.
Anytime that I visited the office during my time being there, there’d be like equal number of humans and dogs. So there’s always go to the office. But when I was Working at duct deco, I lived and traveled to Asia, South America, Europe, Canada, where we had employees living, but also I traveled as a digital nomad and worked from all of those places.
And so it was remote in terms of the culture, how things got done, how people looked at the work there just happened to also be. An office with a very cute duck. And it looked like a castle. Yeah, no, I actually grew up in Philly, so yeah, I never actually met a Gabriel or that kind of thing, but I kinda know that no, the area Philly has a special place in my heart.
I lived there for a year. It was a great year and I love going back. My family’s from the area. Whenever I get home sick for the U S I think of Philadelphia.
Just to clarify terms, so what exactly do you mean by people ops?
Yeah. So this is a fun question. I think that the people ops terminology has. Had a little bit of a facelift and it’s evolved throughout the years. And so I very much look at people operations from a wider perspective than maybe some people were, I think, through not just traditional human resources.
So things like, entrance checklist, onboarding, hiring benefits, but also any strategic decision, a company’s making anything that they’re going to start to then operationalize. How are they? Going to roll out that process, those frameworks and teach employees at accompany, how to work effectively with each other and how to manage that change and how to understand what the standard operating behaviors of a company are.
Which is a term I like to use to describe just what are the formal and informal norms. How do people work really well together and things of that nature.
I guess that lens is quite useful, particularly in the context of a pandemic starting. So what have you seen in terms of, the companies that you’ve spoken with, or, how they’ve dealt with the changes that were happening quite rapidly.
I think the biggest. Area that was struggling for people, leaders of teams, people, operations was not knowing how long this would last and the sheer impact it would have on everybody’s day-to-day life. And so if you think back to last year, I know for myself, I was in France when they announced the lockdown and it was supposed to be two weeks.
And I think any company that. Is looking at a situation where it might just be a two week situation can say okay, how do I approach my employees working from home for two days? What do they need to take from the office to be productive and successful? What happens if just some people take that time off and use their holidays, or if they don’t have access to everything they need, can they still get most of their job done?
And. Finish up certain projects when they returned to office. And I think this was really unique and industries like the legal field, where a lot of stuff is still being printed out and facts and not everyone was going to take like a fax machine home with them. And so like most immediately I think just that initial shock of okay, we can prepare for two weeks, but I don’t think anybody knew to prepare for a year.
And so from that perspective, Looking through the lens of tech and security, I think was surprising to most people because long-term, how do you make sure that you’re teaching your team how to be secure and use VPNs and have policies around that? And then I think from a behavioral standpoint, it was, Oh, we can just recreate what we do in the office, because this is a very temporary thing.
And it hasn’t been temporary because we’re now a year into it. And so somewhere. In this past year, I think that smart leaders realized it’s not temporary and they were treating it like a temporary situation and they want to just start to learn and educate themselves around how to evolve, to make remote working, be more sustainable for their company.
And so I think that’s what we’re seeing today. Is a lot of leaders there. They’re talking about what does a return to an office look like? What is the goal of the office? If we go back there and if we don’t go back, what do we want the remote lived experience for our team to be? Because it likely shouldn’t be what it was in March, April, may of 2020.
So in terms of the cultural changes in the way things work in teams. How have these managers have caught on that? It’s more of a longer term thing. what changes they introduced that you’ve heard of, or that you’ve come across.
Yeah. So one interesting project that I worked on last year for a client of mine was looking at their harassment and code of conduct policy. And that might not be interesting for most people. I am, a little bit of an HR geek after all, but what was interesting about this policy is so much of it was written to be about what happens at after work events and in person, and so questioning the what is the scope of this going to be if employees choose to get together? Outside of what is working hours? Are you going to be the type of remote company that has standard working hours or core working hours or a work whenever, wherever policy and depending on your answer to that, what if people get on a zoom call and are just, hanging out and they work together and somebody says something that offends someone else, how does a manager step in and know how to handle that situation?
So I think that’s a really A really interesting thing to think about in terms of. Before you even get there, like that’s the worst case scenario is that something’s happening. That’s going to go against the code of conduct, but in writing a code of conduct, you learn, this is what we want to promote as healthy, good behavior for our company.
And now how do managers lead by example, maybe they need to learn a little bit more about, using Slack and talking about talking in Slack in a way that’s both professional and fun. So people can feel like vulnerable to just be authentic and be themselves and have conversations and carry on getting to know their coworkers, which is a huge benefit for a lot of people at work. And so that was quite an interesting project that I worked on, where I had the lens of a company that felt very confident in the office. And then didn’t know what scope to consider when moving remotely.
it sounds analogous to my whole rabbit hole of searching, what productivity means. In an office it’s somehow. Was more obvious, but as soon as you get everyone remote and only remote, then it’s suddenly, there’s all of these things, which you assume were true, which actually aren’t.
Yeah, I think about it in the way that remote is a magnifying glass and anything that the company has been doing becomes more obvious in a remote setting.
So if they’re very good at developing KPIs and goals, It’s obvious when someone’s reaching those goals, even if they’re not in an office and I’ve been advocating for remote work while before the pandemic hit. And I remember two or three years ago, having conversations about remote work and how amazing remote work is, and people would always push back to me.
Then the first question I would always get asked by people is if you’re a manager managing a remote team, how do you know if they’re working? It just made me laugh and also get frustrated at the same time. Cause I was like if I was a manager and an office, how do you truly know if your employees are working?
They might be sitting at their desk behind a computer, but they could be online shopping, like taking a. A news article and like catching up on information, trying to buy a plane ticket for their vacation. Cause they’re so frustrated at work. Like you see them typing and you see their face, but those things don’t equal productivity.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. One of, one of your insights that you’ve had being in this space for awhile, while is the importance of leader self-awareness in a remote context. Why is that so important in your opinion?
Yeah. So this is a big focal point of the book that I’m working on and we’re starting with self-awareness because everything stems from that.
And it’s this idea of know thyself and. Once you learn more about yourself as a leader, you’ll be able to do a few things. One you’ll be able to better communicate that. And in doing so, you’re leading by example for your employees to have self-awareness and share things that they might need in order to work more efficiently or effectively.
An example of that is, do you know when you’re most productive during the day? And if you don’t know that about yourself, how can you help your team? Especially if they’re transitioning to remote work for the first time, understand what activities, give them energy, what activities drain energy and how they should structure their day since they don’t physically need to be in an office from nine to five anymore.
And so having self-awareness can help lead by example, it can help build trust and grow relationships. And I think it also identifies. Leaders gaps. And so it can help even with things like hiring, like what type of person do you need on your team in order to. Support or fill in any holes that you might have in terms of behaviors that, that the leader has to be successful.
So something like that might look like if you’re a leader and you’re quite introverted, and now you’re working remotely with your team, are you going to feel confident and comfortable? Bringing them together to have a space that’s a shared virtual space for people to get to know each other as a means to build trust and build a relationship.
If you’re not, is there somebody that you can hire on your team that loves that stuff and really wants to champion bringing people together and be more of the cultural leader within the team. And so when I think of manager self-awareness, I really also break down managers by types so they can start to understand like what their persona is.
What about the role of self-awareness and defining effective boundaries for yourself and with the team? How does that play out?
I love that question. I love boundaries also. This is something I talk about quite often. I think some of the core components of working successfully remotely are clear expectations and boundary setting.
And so I think boundary setting comes after words. You really need in order to create clear expectations? This was a mistake I made when I was a manager for the first time I remember having. In intern on my team. And I would give that intern in assignments and, I said, okay, this needs to be back to me by Friday it’s Tuesday today.
And this is what information it should have. And then I would get upset because on Wednesday, I didn’t know how far along this person was in the process. I assumed that. That person would get the project back earlier than the deadline, not on the deadline. And then I realized that’s not fair. And that’s an expectation that I subconsciously had and never shared with somebody else.
And so in that experience, I learned my own self-awareness and was able to put down effective boundaries with myself that if I give someone a deadline, I respect that deadline. And if I mean something different than I need to set new expectations and respect that. And so I think what. That means for self-awareness self-awareness will help you create expectations.
Once expectations are created, then you can draw a line in terms of boundaries and understand what that looks like where’s the limit. And then you can have a clear idea of when that’s being broken or not broken. And also self-awareness helps with understanding what to do if a boundary is being tested and how you want to handle that conflict.
Okay. And where you’re flexible and where you’re not flexible.
So do you have an example of that?
Time zones? I think time zones is going to be huge for companies that choose to not just be remote friendly, but also fully distributed and really respecting and understanding. If people have things going on in their life where they cannot work in the evenings even if it’s daytime for the majority of their team and like, how do you handle that situation?
And as a manager, what norms are you going to create on your team to respect someone’s boundary of. I can’t physically work at this hour or attend a meeting. Nothing’s going to stick in my brain. I’m going to be tired. It’s going to ruin my next day in terms of my mental health and my physical health and understanding what that means for work and drawing healthy, clear and effective boundaries on when people can turn off for the day and pick up the next day.
Yeah. Yeah. What I found that was interesting was that when when I was running a pretty distributed team, I think in the people who are more in Asia, they were used to in those offices or in their locations, they were used to working in the evening because everyone there works in the evening almost.
I don’t know, to what extent it was just the office or literally pretty much the whole the whole industry. Just because people are used to it. Does that mean that it’s right?
Yeah, exactly. That’s true. That’s absolutely true. Yeah. Then conversely, like with people working in Latin America I feel bad asking them to get up, and I know before the sun is up in this particular case, if it’s close to the equator it’s always 6:00 AM anyway. Maybe I’m just justifying myself into it. What do you think this, but
I think this is where awareness comes into play. So I learned And I was lucky enough to travel around the world for four and a half years. And so I learned this because I was thrown into different times zones that I am solidly an afternoon person. I don’t function well and want to get up and do work right away.
I feel my best if I can get up and do some sort of physical activity to get my blood pumping, to get it out of the way, whatever. That’s my strong suit. I also am a daytime social person. So during the day I like to meet with friends for coffee. I get my energy from being out and about in the daytime.
And I don’t mind working later into the evening because after I feel that personal sense of reward, I’m super excited to jump into my work. So today, for example I woke up, I did yoga. I went for a very long walk. I think I hit my 10,000 steps. I had a picnic lunch with a friend and then I came home and I started to do a little bit of work.
And now we’re chatting. And that was true of my routine anywhere in the world that I personally was. So even when I went back to the U S even though, then all of the stakeholders and my teammates might be there, I still wanted to start working around two or 3:00 PM and work later into the evening.
Because I knew that was what was going to produce the highest quality work. So where I’m going with the story. And besides that, being a daytime person can be fun is that this is where self-awareness comes in. And so if that’s true about yourself and you can share that with your team and then ask your team questions.
Like when do you feel like you have the most energy to sit and not do uninterrupted work? When do you like. To be the most engaged in conversations. How many conversations can you have back to back before you feel like you’re drained or getting zoom fatigue? And if you can start asking yourself and asking others, these questions, you can start to understand what works best for some people, and you don’t have to make assumptions that certain people prefer working in the day, or don’t mind getting up early or find staying late because it’s.
Culturally like more acceptable in the country they’re working from. And from there, there’s this idea that I love instead of like business hours for meetings and people at ham at home, can’t see me doing that. Like air quote thing. You change it from business hour meetings or the majority not inconvenienced is another method that I see a lot of remote companies go to an idea that I like to call like the most respectful meeting time.
And if you think about that, it’s like, when is everybody most productive? Who are the key decision makers on this meeting? Let’s prioritize a time that works for them. And maybe it means someone in the U S is waking up for a 7:30 AM call and that’s 7:30 PM in Asia. Those aren’t really normal. Business working hours or meeting hours for either person, but maybe both of them are happy to talk at that time.
And so it works.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think the most complicated was being in Europe, trying to organize a call with both the U S and Asia at the same time. Yeah, personal preferences start to become the question. You have to get really good at asynchronous communication.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s true. Going back to the topic of boundaries, what about work-life boundaries from a, from an individual and a team perspective? How have you seen people navigate that? Or now during the pandemic, what’s what seems to be working or not working in that area?
I feel for people that have kids home during this pandemic, I think that’s been something that even the most seasoned leader in people, ops person is still struggling with to figure out.
And I think. Even though it’s been a year still understanding that is an ongoing challenge and we’re working in the midst of circumstances that are not normal and haven’t been normal for a long time. And to maybe change the expectations accordingly first and foremost, I think is hugely important when it comes to work-life boundaries.
You can’t control if you’re on. A zoom call and your child fell down the steps and you have to go take care of them. And so what I do love about this is this idea of having empathy again in the workplace and really thinking about introducing like your whole life into your work and through that vulnerability, having your team understand that sometimes things are going to have to take priority.
That is not work-related. And. Having that team camaraderie to have people pick up the Slack maybe one day, because the next day they’re going to need some time away from work as well. This might sound idealistic, but I really do love seeing that in teams. I’ve seen companies that have Slack channels for like parents to chat and to like share resources and things like that.
Other ways in terms of work, life boundaries And that I think are great, especially during the pandemic is using your voice and Slack to carve out intentionally your boundaries. And so something that people do at oyster is when they start their day, they’ll say, Hey and Slack, and share a gift or a picture or something that’s been like, on their mind to start off their day, their cup of coffee, whatnot.
And at the end of the day Sign off. So people know Hey, I’m not here today. That might work for some companies that might not work for other ways that I’ve seen happen is setting expectations every Monday of what. Your week looks like, and when you’re available to do heads down work, and then on Friday, revisit those points and every week just say Hey, today, Monday, Tuesday, I’m available from this time to this time, Wednesday, Thursday, this and this.
And people can just pin that note wherever they’re communicating and go back and see when people are available. Blocking calendars as well as a way to set boundaries. I. Was it for it’s so weird. Sometimes as someone who’s so deeply involved in tech, the tech that I’ve only started using during the pandemic.
And one of them is like Calendly. I love Calendly. And I very much block off times. Not because I’m not available, but because I know I’m not going to want calls. And I also, you can limit by type how many calls you have a day. So you can say Oh, virtual coffee, Versus internal calls versus external calls and limit it to two or three a day.
And I think that’s a perfect example of using a tool to not only make something easier, like scheduling a meeting, but also to protect your boundaries.
Yeah. Yeah. I think one thing that works we use something called Microsoft planner to indicate, so it and I think some people, some teams also use outlooks at a separate shared calendar to, to do that.
And that kind of seemed to help a lot, but yeah, it’s tough. It’s not easy.
Tell me a little bit more about the book.
Yeah. So the book I’m really excited for working title is remote works and I’m writing it with a good friend of mine who I met while we were both working remotely from Cape town. And we actually like. It’s so funny because we wouldn’t have even been friends or co-authors if it wasn’t for remote work.
And so remote work is such a cornerstone of our relationship, but we actually met because our. Where are our coworkers at two different remote companies were married to each other. And through the great vine realized that we were both going to be in Cape town, working remotely at the same time. And so they introduced us and we had coffee and we walked on the beach and we chatted about remote work and all the places we’ve traveled to.
And I was like, one of those feelings of Oh, this person I’m going to collaborate with on a cool project at some point. We planned a coworking retreat. And now we’re writing a book and the book for us is really like we have been working remotely for many years before the pandemic happen.
And both of us happen to do it while traveling full-time, which adds a whole layer of complexity. When you’re working a full-time job for a company that’s fully distributed and has serious growth goals and productivity goals. And through that experience, we really just wanted to share. A more down to earth, relatable and fun business book around.
What are things that managers should know about working remotely and bringing remote work to their teams specifically. And so I think managers like everyday managers, the ones that are helping push forward projects, the ones that are coaching individuals that are struggling, especially right now.
They’re the heartbeat of the organization through the pandemic, I haven’t noticed a ton of resources available specifically for that group of people. I think there’s a lot for individual contributors around how to be more productive, how to set up your remote work routine, how to turn off at the end of the night.
I think there’s a good amount of conversations happening for leaders. How do you create a remote work strategy? What are some of your remote policies that you should put in place? But. It’s the people that you work with and communicate every day, that’s going to make your experience positive or negative.
And so giving people one, a wide variety of perspectives, because we’re bringing in case studies and other people to share their experiences, to share our own stories and what we wish we knew when we started working remotely and three providing interactive. Written workshops that they can then bring back to their team and make decisions together is going to be the power behind the book that we’re working on.
Yeah. That’s that sounds great. Yeah, I totally agree. I just made the connection. Since you were at a high growth startup, you said, serious work. So in terms of the The actual hiring processes of people when they’re remote. You’ve done it before the pandemic. I guess you have some insight into how it, how things are going on now. How have things changed if at all?
And yeah. Yeah. So I think the biggest changes with hiring remotely now is that. Everybody has some sort of remote work experience.
And so that’s interesting in a hiring process for a couple of reasons, one is, I think candidates are starting to really question remote work culture at certain companies. Either the candidate loves it or hates it, who knows, but they probably have a point of comparison where before they didn’t. And I think that is putting a lot more good responsibility on hiring teams to be able to articulate.
What the expectations are at a certain company in terms of working remotely. I think things like, do they have standard core hours or can people just get worked on whenever they want? How many meetings should they expect to be in a week? What tools they use and do people have certain tool preferences?
Is that enough to walk away from a really cool job that remains to be unseen. But I do think you’re starting to get like the Assan and camp, the Monday camp, the, like the notion camp. And when it comes to onboarding, that’s going to be huge too. So you have to help people unlearn behaviors that were quite common in an office.
If you’re not getting a response from someone like casually going past their desk and like stopping to say hi, and then throwing in your ask about work, that they were meant to get back to you. Which is something I did when I worked in an office and people weren’t getting back to me fast enough, like what is fast enough mean?
So it’s about, teaching people it’s not about. Sending multiple pings to someone it’s about setting proper expectations. The first time of when do you need this by, in what time zone, how is it going to impact the success of a project if they don’t get it and help everyone learn things like prioritization skills, which I think are going to be huge skills that we’ll be hired for.
So that’s like candidate looking into to accompany company, looking outwards. Awesome. Like people are starting to really realize they don’t have to rely on local talent to build out their team. They can hire from all over the world underserved communities and countries where people might have had to move in order to get successful jobs.
Now, can I have access to really challenging jobs and the money that they’re making can then go back into their local community. And it has this huge social impact mission, which is a huge focus of oyster. And I think that’s incredible because people. Once interesting, exciting jobs. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the world.
If you have the skills to do a job, you deserve a chance to do it in a way that’s going to bring you joy. And so I love that aspect of remote hiring. The whole world is your candidate pool.
Yeah. Let’s dig in on that a little bit. In terms of job markets converging, is that happening or in terms of things like salary ranges across countries for let’s say similar roles or not really now that everyone’s remote.
I think this is something that we’re going to see play out in the next couple of years. I think right now there’s a lot of healthy debate coming up around what this means. Ultimately, I think that eventually it’ll be a global market rate that people are looking at in order to justify salaries, but I don’t think we’re there yet.
And so the common ways that companies will choose their salary strategies as one, a market rate for everyone in the company, this is the one, this is one of the things at DuckDuckGo that I was just so proud of to be part of their team because they pay. Everybody the same salary for the same level of the company, regardless of, not only like where they were located in the world, but what their functional area was.
So someone in marketing or people ops that was junior level, we get the same as the junior level engineer, senior level people would get the same. Across the board. And I thought that was just like extremely unique. I’d never had seen that anywhere else, but what that did was send signals that it was about how they were driving forward the business in terms of impact and in terms of how much oversight that person needed to be successful.
And that was what the company valued. And so that’s what they paid against. So that’s one strategy that I just love. I think there’s. Other people that are very articulate about explaining other types of strategies, such as paying on local market rates. That make sense for them. For me, this has been a year of exploration on the topic.
And I’m still learning a lot about how, what the trickle down effect is on. Local economies. What does it mean? And depending on the day, I have a different opinion. So am I the best person to like, very adamantly take a side where I feel like a few years ago I would have adamantly taken aside, but what I do hope from all of these conversations, these debates, these sharing of facts and perceptions is that companies will start to ask themselves.
And I think this is the most important question when it comes to salary. How do we want our salary strategy to back up our culture, our values, and what we as a company think is going to help make the company the most successful and what is the impact of this person going to be? And I think that’s going to be an interesting.
Series of questions that leaders are going to ask to have to ask themselves is if we choose this strategy, what does it say about our values? If we choose the strategy, what does it say in terms of like how we value our people? And if they can answer those questions in a way that feels. Good and honest and true and does gel with their culture and their values.
Then I think that’s a sign that it’s the right thing to do. And if there’s out of her point where they have a salary strategy and they ask themselves those questions and people feel uncomfortable, or can’t confidently say that publicly, then maybe they need to reevaluate their salary strategy.
It is somewhat, industry dependent. I was listening to a podcast actually talking about Amazon where it’s it’s very different on the AWS side where everyone’s basically a technical type person versus people working in the warehouses where, the whole business model on the e-commerce side is just, it’s about thin margins and trying to get as much as they can out of everything, including the people. So it’s not a thing against the people. That’s how that whole industry works. It’s just something that’s constantly top of mind also, being here being here in Poland. Historically it was more of a low-cost country and now things are changing a little and
What I would hope for the future is as more people have opportunities to work remotely and have more choice on what type of team they want to join that. Those market rates will fluctuate and hopefully like maybe money will be distributed more equally across the world.
And that might mean that in certain areas, the cost of living goes up, but the salary and earnings potential goes up. And in other places it goes down. But if we start to give people more free movement, because they’re not attached to a city because of a job, how will that reset an equilibrium for the whole economy?
I don’t think I did well enough in economics and university to like, know the answer from a super like rational or mathematical point of view. But I imagine that places like San Francisco and New York housing is out of control expensive there, but how many people had to move there in order to get these really interesting high paying jobs.
And if those people choose to leave. How many people are going to leave. What’s the impact of that going to be on rent? What’s the trickle down effect. If all, if those people choose to move to new places and more people are moving into those places and you have to build amenities there, I can imagine that those places rents would increase.
So I do think we’re at a beginning where lots of people can make predictions, but nobody knows for sure how this is all going to shake out.
absolutely. Absolutely. With oyster, how so you’re saying that you’re trying to create something where people can be hired regardless of where they are. What’s at a high level, what’s the approach? Is it like a service, is it a piece of software? What is it that you’re doing?
Yeah. So is there as software as a service company and. What’s really great about what they’re doing is one of my biggest challenges when I was working in people ops is this idea of okay, we want to hire somebody and they live in this country.
One are they an employee? Are they a contractor? Is there employee? How do we set up a business there? What does that look like? If they’re a contractor, how do we give them benefits? What is the compliance of this country? It’s confusing. It’s challenging. It takes a long time to figure out. And so what oyster does is remove a lot of those headaches from the people ops person.
Bye. Then themselves being an expert in different countries and collaborating in ways that help people, ops people be able to make that decision. And so one of the things they offer is like contractor risk assessment. Should, what is the risk of hiring this person? As a contractor also goes back to.
Like, why should someone just because they live in another country, have the burden of figuring out things like benefits for themselves. Why can’t we offer benefits for these people and treat them as if they were, full-time workers in our country. And so thinking through things like, what does benefits look like in Greece versus Lebanon versus the U S and how can we make sure that people are being treated fairly and then finding ways to systemize that and offer that for people asked to hire people more effectively around the world.
Okay. Yeah. Yeah, no I do remember this thing, things similar to this coming up. Yeah, I think was, it was, I think it was vacation times have a strange way of a cruise. Clearly, it was very specific to that. Regulatory environment within that country. And even though it’s nice to think in terms of, in terms of global and lots of countries, he does have a slightly different reality that you need to somehow adjust to.
until there’s internet country or all countries decide to agree on certain things, which I don’t think is going to happen in my lifetime. Just having the resources and the expertise and the knowledge to be able to navigate the rules everywhere and then treat people better than fair, I think is going to be really important in terms of cultivating a great remote work experience in the future.
Yeah, absolutely. Great. This has been a blast. Thank you very much for hopping on and yeah, all the best with the book. Thanks so much. There are some interesting questions in there that got me thinking as well. So it’s fun. Yeah. That’s great.
Luke Szyrmer March 16, 2021
Why improv’s “Yes, And” is the essence of “individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. You can use this simple technique to improve teamwork.