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Hack Remote - the weekly remote working newsletter by Unmeeting.io - Issue #3

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Welcome to this week's edition of Hack Remote. In this issue, we ask Cathrine Andersen what it's like
 

Hack Remote

February 8 · Issue #3 · View online
Hack Remote is a weekly round up of the latest remote/distributed working trends, tips and hacks. This newsletter is curated by Joe Taylor, co-founder at Unmeeting.io, a smart video connection app for remote teams.

Welcome to this week’s edition of Hack Remote. In this issue, we ask Cathrine Andersen what it’s like managing the remote team at Roger.io, and we take a deep dive on building quick remote work experiments with Unmeeting.io’s CTO Andy Payne.
– Joe

Weekly shake down



Interview with a... remote team manager
We hear a lot about the trends and tools around remote working, but how do companies actually make a success of it? Cathrine Andersen – CEO of smart accounting platform Roger.ai – shares her experience and tips.

Hi Cathrine, how many remote workers does Roger have?
Hello! Roger has 16 fully remote workers and 25 on-site workers in our offices in Copenhagen and San Francisco.

Why did you decide that remote is the best thing for Roger?
To attract the best talent from anywhere and allow the company to stay capital efficient while the founders are based in San Francisco (to stay close to partners, customers and investors).

How often do people meet up in person?
We try to get everyone together twice a year but we do have a lot of regular travel activity across the departments if people are working on a project together or need a week in the same room. For onboarding new remote employees we’ve found it really helpful to bring them to one of the on-site offices within their first few weeks.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a remote team manager?
Not having those unplanned, spontaneous interactions with the team on a daily basis in person. You need a lot of structure in place to make sure you have enough contact points with each of your reports. This is especially hard when you’re growing the team quickly as team leaders can quickly get too many reports too quickly without adding structure fast enough.

What’s the secret to a happy distributed team?
Structure and process! It sounds super boring but we have had to be very rigid and deliberate about how we work and collaborate. And of course, getting to know each other in person is unbeatable and absolutely necessary to build a happy remote team culture.

Thanks Cathrine!

Deep dive
When building the technologies necessary to power remote working, it’s tempting to think big and complex. Andy Payne (our very own CTO at Unmeeting.io) challenges that belief in this week’s deep dive article.
7 Ways to Start Small: #WorkingRemoteToday 7 Ways to Start Small: #WorkingRemoteToday
Product of the week: Neat.Bar
Neat is a new video conferencing company based in Norway. Following the established tradition of founders leaving Cisco and setting up something cool (e.g. Zoom and of course Unmeeting.io!), Neat’s founders have vast experience in the video conferencing industry and wanted to distill that into their latest product: Neat.Bar
Neat.Bar integrates with Zoom in a way that works with little effort. The bar attaches to any TV and transforms it into the kind of room conferencing solution usually only found at higher price points. There’s a table-based screen controller and an optional wall-mountable tablet to handle room bookings. Neat promises plenty of smart features coming soon, such as automatic wakeup and sign in when a user enters the room.
Neat.Bar is available now for the comparatively low price of $2,500 (+ $500 for the external booking tablet).

At Unmeeting this week...
Another busy week at Unmeeting as we continue to test and refine our beta app with teams. As an example, a number of users mentioned that their password managers did not work with our Slack authentication window. So we changed the flow and now default to the user’s web browser for sign in, which means password managers are much more likely to work.
Also this week, I attended TechCrunch’s Winter Party in San Francisco and we built a lightweight app – #WorkingRemoteToday – to share out your remote working status on Twitter (we were #4 on ProductHunt for a while!).
If you are a remote worker and need to work more closely with your team, we’d love for you to try out our beta app. Also, if you are a remote team manager, we’d love to hear about your experiences using technology to stay better connected.

That’s everything for this week. Next week’s issue will come from London. Enjoy your weekend!
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