I think most people would be happier if they had more flexibility to choose when and where they work. Sometimes that just means coming in late or leaving early without the hassle or guilt. For some, it means being able to work remotely for short periods of times.
In tech, it's common for companies to support flexible work arrangements, but it's definitely a spectrum. From flexible start times to fully remote companies, see how different engineering teams have built their culture around flexible working arrangements.
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Lincoln, NE or Remote (US)
Most of our team is based in Lincoln and works 9-5, but we also have two fully-remote workers (one in Argentina and another in California) with more on the way. To stay connected and keep communication open, we use Notion, GitHub, Google Apps, Slack, and Zoom. Our Lincoln office also has designated meeting rooms with high-quality video equipment that are remote worker-friendly. So no matter where you are, you’ll be able to join in on any conversation you need to be a part of.
If you are based in Lincoln, and working from home a day or two per week helps you focus, that’s totally fine. Kevin, one of our Senior Software Engineers, helped us grow in this direction, which led to Tuesdays and Thursdays being our general work remote days. That being said, we are pretty flexible if something else works better with your schedule, just clear it with your manager!
1 Open Positions
We are very results-oriented and empower teammates to be fully responsible for their own work. Currently we have three teams based in San Francisco, Barcelona, and Lahore. However, we also have a few employees in L.A., our mobile lead is in Spain (but not Barcelona) and another Android developer works from Berlin. At the end of the day, we don’t have strict rules for when or where you get your work done, as long as goals are met.
That’s why we make sure to coordinate with one another (over Slack and Zoom) so that we’re all on the same page. Engineers in each office have a daily 15-minute standup. There’s a lead and point person at each of our locations who helps communicate important messages to teammates at the other offices. We also have three 1-hour company meetings per week where all offices participate. These include an engineering-wide standup, a technical team meeting, and an implementation meeting (where we focus on customer-facing issues and updates).
Ultimately, having offices around the world is a huge benefit. As our chief of staff Ben explains, "our distributed offices allow us to serve and react to our customers on a more global level. Apto's engineering teams are able to work collaboratively so development can happen 24/7."
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Colorado Springs, Denver, or Remote in CO, NY, PA, WI
Our standard work hours are between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. Given that we have remote team members, we are flexible about where you work, so long as you can still participate in daily standups, meetings, and can collaborate effectively with our in-office team members.
Everyone at BombBomb is asked to stretch themselves, take on new challenges, and pivot into new projects when our business demands it. (This can be frustrating at times for those who get emotionally attached to their work, which is why we look for folks who are comfortable with ambiguity.) Our ability to adapt quickly is what sets us apart in our market, so we are constantly optimizing our working styles and approach so that everyone on our team can have the autonomy and freedom they need to be most productive.
Most of our team works out of our headquarters in Colorado Springs (where we just got some of the best office space in the whole city for our product and engineering teams!), and we have a small team working out of a WeWork in Denver.
1 Open Positions
At Hash, you are free to work at any time in any place. We believe this is a factor that helps people reach their peak performance.
We think that we shouldn't push the work onto people, so we don't organize "sprints" or any sort of "periodical synchronous team ceremony." Instead, we coordinate the work asynchronously so people can always pull a task to do any time they want, and we do our best to maintain development organic and organized.
People collaborate organically (two people will decide how they work best whether that’s via email, Slack, or ad hoc meetings), but we also have minimal structure to keep everyone on the same page.
We support flexible working hours. Everyone has the freedom to create their own schedule (though most people tend to hover around a “10am - 6pm” workday) and we don’t have any strict in-office hours – doing good work is independent of which hours you choose to do it in. We currently have a somewhat distributed engineering team (with members in San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Ohio), but we’re focusing on growing our team in San Francisco where our HQ is. We’ve recently expanded into a new office and we want to fill it!
People take advantage of flexible working in many different ways: being at home to wait for a package; going to a doctors appointment or haircut; or if you just wake up early and want to finish early, that’s okay too! We always make sure to celebrate together, no matter where people are.
You can meet our whole team here!
And after all: one of the core pillars of Minerva as an educational system is that high-quality collaboration and deep intellectual contribution and growth can happen even when we are separated by great distances.
Our team is distributed across geographies and timezones. We are roughly 50% in the San Francisco Bay Area and 50% across the US and Europe. Thus our collaborative activities like meetings, pairing, and code reviews are designed to be remote by default. We try to keep the bigger team meetings in the Pacific Time mornings (usually 9am-11am), so that folks in the eastern US and in Europe can comfortably attend. Finally, we make sure to all meet in person at least once per year at an all company gathering, called Unitas. In addition, remote employees come through SF on as needed basis.
Everyone sets their own hours while ensuring they can attend scheduled team meetings and respond to requests from their teammates for questions and code review. Some folks start earlier or later to accommodate child care in the morning or afternoon, and others take an extra hour before or after lunch for the gym. Other members of the team travel for a few months during the year. Provided we've communicated this with the rest of the team in advance, we enjoy quite a bit of flexibility here.
Students and staff at an event in Berlin, one of the Minerva Schools global rotation cities.
1 Open Positions
Engineers typically work from 9am or 10am to 6pm, but that varies. Our main focus is on productivity and availability to engage with the rest of the team. Our headquarters are in NYC, but we have a distributed team with core members across the world. The majority of our engineering team works fully remotely, but some operational roles are based in NYC.
We work hard to accommodate the different lifestyles of our team members so that everyone is set up for success. One of our engineers commutes from New Jersey, so he comes in mid-morning and dials-in to our team stand-up. One of our co-founders leaves early sometime in order to pick his daughter up from daycare. We want to ensure that everyone is empowered to do their best work.
On any given weekday, you’ll find engineers who are at the office at 9am and occasionally, some that stay until 9pm. Alex and Oliver (co-founders and engineers themselves) set the example by having different schedules and working from different places within the office or sometimes, from home. If you want to stake out in a private office one day and work from couch to couch the next, you’re more than welcome to. We purposefully do not have many scheduled, regular meetings so you don’t need to schedule too much around those. The best engineering work comes from providing some structure and some freedom so that you can decide what works best for you.
12 Open Positions
While we embrace the home office and give you ample tools to set up one that works for you, we also recognize that working at home can leave some feeling isolated or in need of social interactions. (Or sometimes those who live with you need a break. 😉) That’s why we support multiple ways of working remote, including reimbursing coworking fees and covering the currency of working in cafes (go ahead and expense your favorite latte).
You can also break up your day however you like. Want to go to the gym at 10 a.m.? Go for it. Whether you prefer to work early mornings or evenings, we’re flexible.
As a distributed team, we constantly assess and share what we learn with each other about our routines and managing time zones. We summarize our outcomes in biweekly P2 updates and talk about our non-work goals and how we balance it all. If you can’t get enough on the future of work, and how we’re living it, check out Matt’s podcast at Distributed.Blog.
Oh, btw, we also believe in taking a break. Haven’t been AFK (Away from Keyboard) for a while? Please go now. Been here 5 years? Take a sabbatical!
Below are photos from our team members working all over the world. From left to right, top to bottom, we have South Africa, Peru, Greece, Mexico, France, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Portugal!
While there is a slight bias towards having people at the office to take advantage of high-bandwidth face-to-face meetings, it’s certainly not a requirement. Some engineering team members are exclusively remote. This level of flexibility and diversity prove to be effective and a win-win.
People are generally expected to be available 10am-5pm in their respective time zones and in practice, this holds true. Some remote folks work at odd hours, but so long as they are communicative about their whereabouts and make required meetings, there’s not much issue.
Additionally, team members have an on-call rotation to handle any platform issues that may come up in off-hours.
We’re not focused on when people clock in and out. Instead, we concentrate on ensuring tight communication within and between squads—daily standups, weekly one-on-ones with people leads and teammates, and monthly engineering all-hands meetings to go over squad and product updates. Our priority is creating an environment in which our engineers can do their best work possible, so we’re less concerned with where or when they do it.
We’re 100% confident in the people we hire and trust our engineers to manage their time as they see fit. If someone needs to work from home to take care of an apartment issue or watch their kids, we want them to feel empowered to make the right decision for both their productivity and personal priorities.
Our remote philosophy is about more than being office-less. We want our team members to have flexibility and autonomy, stop spending so much time commuting, and be able to live wherever they want to. Not only do we have flexibility in where we work, we also have flexible working hours instead of set working hours. So pick up your kids when you want to, sleep in, and walk your dog during lunch if that’s what you choose. We only care about the results of your work, not the number of hours you put in or when you put them in.
As a remote company, we always choose asynchronous communication over synchronous communication and default to sharing information publicly rather than giving need-to-know access. We work with engineers in Pakistan, designers in Uruguay, and new parents in London who can't leave the house all day, and are open to hiring anyone living in any country. In many ways, we spend all of our energy to foster trust, belonging, learning, fun, and psychological safety in digital space – both for our digital classrooms and our own digital office.
We also have company-wide retreats to make sure we get to spend time with one another face-to-face. (Our last one was in Bath, England!)
1 Open Positions
While pairing partners should try to overlap as much as possible, there is no set schedule for everyone to work together. The only times that people are expected to work are for our agile meetings. Everyone should attend our StandUp, Review, Retrospective and Planning Meetings. Apart from that, we start and end as we please! While most people work between 8am and 10pm, there are no rules for when people do their work.
If people who don’t want to work full-time hours, we are open to signing 50% or 80% contracts. We want everyone to have flexibility to meet their individual needs. We recently started experimenting with fully-remote engineers as one of our colleagues is moving to Florida. This is the first time we’ve had someone work 100% remotely.
As we mentioned above under Work/Life Balance, we are also flexible on where people work. Team members often times work from home, from a cafe, or from the betahaus downstairs.
1 Open Positions
Distributed Revision Control and Source Code Management
San Francisco, CA (HQ); Boulder, CO; Amsterdam; Tokyo; Remote (65%)
We have offices in San Francisco, Boulder, Amsterdam, and Tokyo, plus a handful of designated co-working spaces in cities including London, Melbourne, New York City, Portland, and New Orleans. However, we are still a largely remote team. There are no requirements to come to an office on a regular basis, which means you can merge code from your farm in Indiana, or from GitHub’s rooftop in downtown San Francisco - wherever is more your style!
To help us stay on the same page, teams have two ‘mini-summits’ every year. Each team gets together, sometimes inviting partner teams, in order to roadmap and realign, set goals, reflect on the previous six months, and get in some good, old-fashioned face-to-face team bonding time. Whether your team is skiing, doing a ropes course, taking a cooking class, or volunteering together, the summits are a great way to connect with your distributed coworkers on a new level and get to know the people behind the GitHub handles even better.
23 Open Positions
We work across every time zone in the United States – most people work online between 9am and 6pm in their local time zone. Ultimately, we care more about the impact we make than the number of hours we put in.
At Aptible, we praise focus and seek leverage and plan our work to make the biggest impact with the least amount of precious time. Sleep is leverage: We believe in getting enough of it. Health is leverage: We take pride in our physical and mental health benefits. It will take years to reach our most ambitious goals, so we aim to perform at a high level over a long period of time.
Think about something that you've wanted to accomplish but simply haven't found the time for. Working remote adds a few more hours into the "life" part of the equation, whether its being able to learn a new language, take your dog for a midday stroll or have more quality time with loved ones.
Left: Aptible Team Member, Mia Lopez, on a recent trip to Italy. Right: Tasia Johnson, with her youngest.
The office tends to have the most people in from 10:00am until around 6pm. Some folks come later, others earlier. Some others will work from home on occasion. We use Slack as our main communication tool, with the pro’s and con’s of asynchronous communication. Flexibility is important, as some team members have family or care-giving responsibilities requiring them to work from home. We have team members in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. We also have developers who do short to medium-term remote work when they need to get away. Some play recreational ice hockey, and those rink times have exacting start times. Others still have evening classes they attend.
To ensure everyone is informed and included regardless of their personal work situation, we favor written communication and asynchronous deliberation (see our section above on communication), and we both videoconference and record many of our meetings for remote or later viewing.
We encourage asynchronous work and online collaboration whenever possible. That said, we also support employees’ preferences for where and when they do their individual and collaborative work.
Many of our senior engineering staff, including our CTO Emmett and our lead architect Alex, have young children. We believe people should be able to spend time with their loved ones, whether that means leaving early every day to pick up a child from daycare, or working remotely for a while to spend time with extended family and friends. Some of our commuter employees simply WFH on a semi-regular cadence to avoid the hassle of commuting. We refuse to measure work by “hours in seat,” and we try hard to schedule meetings and other events at times that are compatible with the preferred schedules of all involved.
Furthermore, at our physical spaces in San Francisco and New York, we've thoughtfully built an office culture that supports both focus and collaboration. We ensure desks are adequately sized and spaced; we have sound-isolated meeting rooms and booths for calls and conversation; and we default to quiet interaction in desk areas. Visitors to our SF office are often surprised at how peaceful our workspace is. And we give all employees, including remote ones, equal freedom to expense office equipment necessary to do their jobs. Offering flexibility doesn’t mean we skimp on the best physical infrastructure.
15 Open Positions
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