Many companies have had to shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure their teams stay safe and healthy—but it’s a massive undertaking.
In the case of software company monday.com, this was certainly the case. Before the pandemic, only 10% of the company’s 550 total team members worked remotely on a full-time basis.
But with the arrival of the coronavirus crisis, suddenly, 100% of the company was forced to begin working remotely. The process happened nearly overnight.
On top of this, they also managed to recruit an additional 150 new employees (a 27% increase in staff) over the past three months while the team adjusted amid the new work-from-home arrangement.
How did the team manage to do so? I spoke with a few members from the company to find out.
Successfully shifting to 100% remote work
Going 100% remote so quickly required intense work from the company’s operations team. They worked to ensure all employees had updated and accurate information at their fingertips, adjusted their business plan to maintain continuity, and made certain each team member had exactly what they needed to effectively work from home.
To this last point, the ops team focused on providing the right technology (like extra chargers, headphones, and videoconferencing software), and in some cases, even basic necessities like desks to those who needed them and mobile hotspots for people with internet connectivity issues.
The company was also able to leverage its own software to empower successful remote work, which allows them to make Zoom calls, collaborate on virtual whiteboards, review and approve workflows, and view status updates for each employee all within their work operating system.
“We use Slack as our virtual watercooler for office chit-chat, which is embedded directly into the software,” said Yael Miller, monday.com’s content team lead. “Our leadership felt it was important to keep our daily rituals and routines, so we still hold our start and end-of-week all-hands meetings, and every team has kept up their regular meetings as well.”
Moreover, training and continued employee engagement were two other essential elements. To accomplish this, they held dedicated training for managers on how to manage the newly remote teams, as well as gave employees access to lectures on healthy work habits, virtual workout sessions, and daily activities for children.
Recruitment and expansion
When it came to rapidly expanding their workforce, the monday.com human resources department shifted into high gear, including launching several new processes at once.
Virtual recruitment. Aside from working with sourcing companies and adjusting their applicant-facing messaging, the HR team launched both external campaigns (using mainly social media) and internal campaigns to recruit applicants. For the internal campaign, the team members incorporated a referral program for current monday.com employees.
Remote interviewing. With face-to-face interviewing no longer an option, they established a remote interviewing process leveraging tools like videoconferencing, updated training for interviewers, and created a Slack channel for regular, ongoing feedback collection around the process to fine-tune it along the way.
Online onboarding. To ensure new hires picked up a feel for the company and general culture, monday.com implemented an onboarding process that included several videos from its archives, including presentations from the cofounders, tours of office spaces, leadership content, sales insights, policy information, and more.
Furthermore, the team implemented a “buddy program” where new joiners were matched with a veteran team member to act as a support system. To kick off the program, senior team members sent out care packages as a warm welcome.
Advice for going remote
If you ask the team at monday.com what their single best tip is for rapidly going remote-first, their biggest answer was, “deploy radical transparency.”
From giving employees and investors a larger view of company’s data and business goals, to keeping customers in the loop about what’s happening behind the scenes, companies who adopt this open approach can more smoothly build trust, respect, and rapport across every aspect of the organization.
Miller says this technique has paid off, so far. “We haven’t let COVID-19 disrupt anything that we had plans to execute. The business continues to grow and our customers continue to see success in using our platform for remote work.”
Kaleigh Moore is a writer and consultant for companies in the SaaS industry.