Let’s cut to the chase. At first glance, we may seem weird. We let people take as many holidays as they want and work remotely from anywhere in the world, give away our gateway for free, and have a cute green alien plastered across our website.
We do things a bit differently, but more importantly, purposefully. Our goal is to show that you can be a company like Tyk – decent to its staff beyond what’s required.
We do these things because they work for our clients and for us. So, here are five top tips on how to optimise flexible and remote working.
1. Feed your culture
Our culture is our pride and joy, and we regularly reaffirm our business values to get everybody in the same direction.
Here’s how we preserve our culture (and grow it) whilst working flexibly:
- Create a Library of Me. Something we’re passionate about keeping up to date is the Library of Me, a repository for everyone at Tyk to write their small “user manual” so others at the company know how to best work with them.
- Arrange social events. Our marketing team enjoys a ‘Zoom cake call’ every six weeks where they get together to catch up and… eat cake! (which they can expense). We also sprinkle the Tyk calendar with global cafes – which our founders regularly attend – a space for anyone to jump on for a break from work to get to know other members of the Tyk team.
- Organise work retreats. Being a remote-first company doesn’t mean we don’t see each other. We make sure to supercharge productivity with an annual seven-day retreat and regular team hideaways to connect, brainstorm, reflect, and plan our priorities.
- Foster balance and encourage boundaries. We have unlimited annual leave at Tyk, and our employees have regular check-ins from HR and managers to ensure their team is taking time off regularly.
When you get it right, you’ll nourish your culture and build a happy, flexible workplace.
2. Champion ‘radical responsibility’
Flexible working is an excellent opportunity to empower your staff to become more proactive and productive.
- Trust your team to get the job done and let them occasionally fail. If managers are unhappy with the impact of remote working, there is a management problem. Trust that you have the right people on your team doing what’s right for the business.
- Include everyone in goal setting and planning so everyone can ‘buy in’ to their work and get fired up to hit their own and company-wide goals. Creating cross-functional OKRs and a streamlined shared company plan offers employees a real-time view of overall company performance.
This freedom and trust empowers talented people to create their best work.
3. Provide tools for remote work
Here are the tools and apps we recommend to make flexible working a success for your organisation.
- Tools like Slack make it easy for your staff to chat with each other and collaborate on projects – our Tyklings regularly use the huddle feature for informal chats.
- Asynchronous communication is our priority to ensure people have a voice no matter where they are. We use video software such as Loom to help get the message across.
- Use business dashboards to track KPIs related to your business performance. Plan your activities based on the real-time visibility of your data.
- Project management software keeps track of your work and who’s in charge. Check out Monday.com.
- Don’t ignore the power of the cloud. Use cloud-based productivity suites like G Suite to work collaboratively in a fluid online environment.
4. Secure your business
Unfortunately, remote working can create security issues that you can’t ignore. You don’t need security that rivals Mi5, but you must get the fundamentals right. These are:
- Setting up firewalls and antivirus software on all devices.
- Training staff to use effective passwords and password management software and watch out for phishing emails.
- Encouraging your teams to upgrade their software to the latest version supported under the company’s security policy.
5. Build diverse and inclusive teams
Based on Tyk’s experience operating a global business with a remote-first model, thoughts on building a diverse, inclusive organisation are front and centre.
Flexible working means that everyone works in their context, whoever they are, and wherever they are. From an engineering and product point of view, ensuring diversity in teams offers diversity in thinking and collaboration practices that go beyond the boundaries of traditional enterprises.
Fit your work-life around your life-life
We are delighted to win an award for being one of the world’s most flexible employers. But remote and flexible working is a win-win for everyone.
Flexible working opens new opportunities for better collaboration and building a motivated, inclusive, diverse team. Any business can succeed with the right tools and methods to support employees in their ‘life-life’ and ‘work-life’.