Our Team at Smile: How We Work

Every company’s culture is unique and if you have ever wondered what it’s like working at TextExpander, this is the post for you.

Whether you’re simply interested in hearing more about us or you would like to join our team, we hope you like hearing about the way that we work. We’re an international, time-zone crossing team with a love for everything remote work can achieve.

We are asynchronous workers

Asynchronous work might sound complex, but it is actually a simple concept and is a vital aspect of our approach. If you haven’t come across the term yet, asynchronous workers are part of the same team or organization, but each has their own working hours. In our case, most of us work remotely, with team members across multiple time zones within the US and internationally, so asynchronous work is an essential part of how we run. It helps us do our best work and collaborate with each other wherever we are in the world.

We set our own schedules

Asynchronous work means that we carry out group projects and personal responsibilities like most organizations, but that our team members are able to set their own schedules. There’s still a set amount of hours we all do each week and we share deadlines and meetings, but the schedules we choose to carry out our tasks are totally unique. That offers flexibility, not just for a team working in a number of different time zones, but also for us as individuals to pick the hours that we want to work. Night owls, morning larks, and third birds are all welcome.

We respect each other’s work-life balance by giving notice on our deadlines

As we are based internationally and want to accommodate each other’s schedules, our deadlines are set with enough lead time to suit all our team members. Even during our hiring process, we ensure that we never set deadlines that favor one candidate over another and it’s now a natural part of how we work. We always seek to respect when people are switched off or at their desks, so we set timescales that are clear and practical and suit all of our team. We make sure that we don’t spring things upon each other because we are mindful that not everyone is online at the same time.

Our team works all over the world using Slack and video calls

We love Slack and it is a mainstay of how we communicate. In case you’ve not used it before, Slack is an app developed for workspaces to message each other; you can DM anybody or post in themed “channels” where multiple team members can respond. We have long used video calls for meetings and they are great for when we decide to hold a meeting for team members who are online at the same time, or for catch-up calls throughout our working hours.

We share calendars so that we can easily find time to schedule with another team member

Because part of the team is online while part of the team is offline, sharing our work calendars is a major aid in our day-to-day. Sharing them makes it so much easier to schedule time with one another, in a way that is quick to do whenever we happen to be online. Instead of back and forth messages, or any confusion about who will be working when, our calendars let us stay connected and see when each one of us will be online next.

We are always “obvious” with our discussions and comments for ease of understanding

With lots of our conversations taking place in messaging, we encourage “obvious” communication. That means that we aim to leave as little room for interpretation as possible, something that quickly becomes second nature throughout our working days. If you’ve ever been confused by an email or message that made sense in multiple ways, you will know just what we mean and we like to think we have become pros.

Our goal for creating our workspace is to look for a long partnership together, building on our close-knit, geographically diverse team. We love starting with honesty and transparency and since TextExpander’s beginning, we’ve had the chance to hone our approach to our work. As a heads-up, whenever we open up new roles they are posted on our jobs page here, and we hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know how we work!

Takeaways

  • We work across multiple time zones, and we structure our work to accommodate our remote team
  • We have our own schedules, with flexibility for different times of day as well as the hours that suit us as individuals
  • When we set a deadline, we make sure that it is set far enough ahead to suit all of our team members and to honor their work-life balance too
  • We use the communication app Slack to DM and share posts that we want multiple team members to see
  • We use open calendars to let us know who is online when so that we can match up our schedules when needed
  • We love really clear communication and aim to be “obvious”

Learn more about working for Smile:

What to Expect from Smile’s 7-Step Hiring Process
What to Expect in Your First 30 Days at Smile
Smile’s Company Values: What They Are and How We Live Them