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Nicole Miller

Director of People @ Buffer


A collection of 104 posts by Nicole Miller - Page 2

OpenJan 17, 2017
Our Most Inclusive Family Leave Policy Yet, And Why We Think It’s Part of the Workplace of the Future

What does a family leave policy look like for the workplace of the future? What if your workplace is remote? And global? What about leave types that aren’t related to having children: like bereavement leave, taking care of parents or aging loved ones… How do these fit into the workplace of the future? These were some of the questions we considered as we dove deeper into our old (and fairly standard for most tech companies) family leave policy of 16 weeks paid time off. Part of our company vi

Self-ImprovementDec 26, 2016
Buffer’s Favorite Books of 2016

Here at Buffer, we love to read. A lot. In fact, we gifted 1,366 Kindle books to our team members and their family members this year alone! This is 27% more than our 2015 total of 1074 and 108% more than our 2014 total of 656 ! One of our most avid readers, Amy , is in four book clubs currently, and she cites this Kindle perk as enabling her to do so and also set n

OpenDec 19, 2016
How We Structure Our Days as a Remote Team for Optimal Collaboration, Productivity and Creativity

How do you work best throughout the day? For some of us on the Buffer team, it’s about the right morning routine to set the day right. For others, the right evening routine is what it takes to get ahead for the next day. We’ve found there’s no one way to organize your work day — and that the best fit looks different for every person. Here are a few examples from our team to help inspire some different ideas to arrange your workday for optimal productivity and creativity. Structure doesn’t h

OpenDec 13, 2016
What Would You Make? 6 Salary Calculators From Across the Web

One of the most difficult parts about interviewing with a new company can be negotiating salary. There are tons of tips out there, and one of the most helpful is to know what someone in that position might earn before going into the negotiation. It may seem like a small detail, but negotiating on the front end can have an exponential effect on your earnings over time. One calculation shows that with an average annual pay increase of five percent, an employee whose starting annual salary was $5

OpenNov 22, 2016
Remote Work Must-Haves: Our Team’s Gear, Gadget and Bag Recommendations

The remote work movement is a growing global phenomenon. 79 percent of knowledge workers worldwide said they work from home, and 80-90% of the U.S. workforce would like to work remotely at least part time. And while no two remote work situations are identical, there are some common themes when it comes to the tools and accessories for success. Of course, the most crucial element is wifi. But after that, there’s still plenty to consider: the desk setup, the commuter bag, the headphones, the tr

Creating a ‘Toeless’ Company: How We’re Working to Keep Customers at the Heart of All We Do

A business is nothing without its customers. And yet as businesses grow and team members become more specialized, it’s easy to get further and further from the customer. Buffer is no exception – in the course of our journey, there have been multiple times when we’ve felt a much larger distance than we’d like between us and our customers. What’s interesting is that every time that distance starts to make itself felt, something amazing happens to close the gap. Sometimes it’s a deliberate chang

OpenOct 31, 2016
Team Building Across Six Time Zones: The Tools and Experiments of Buffer

Hi there! This is an older post that we’ve kept around for transparency but that means that sometimes the information is no longer accurate. When I joined the Buffer team, I was employee number 23 or 24, and back then it wasn’t too hard to keep connected to everyone on the team. On top of our go-to communication tools for video conferencing (the now-defunct Sqwiggle) and group instant messaging (HipChat), we had a few systems in place to get to know each other better – including masterminds [

Do the Right Thing: Why We’re Becoming More Mindful in Sharing Swag

We call members of our customer support team “Happiness Heroes,” and positivity is one of our core values. Smiley faces are a key element of our communication. And like many tech companies, we have lots of swag items, like T-shirts, water bottles, stickers, socks and more. So it’s long been our policy to give out lots of swag . We send goodies to anyone, (pretty much) anywhere! Free stuff makes people happy, right? We ask for a mailing address anyti

OpenOct 24, 2016
Building Deliberate Praise Into Remote Culture: 6 Methods We Use at Buffer

Have you ever received a compliment that brightened your day? Your week? As Mother Theresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Creating a culture of praise, positivity and recognition has been a pivotal cornerstone of our Buffer culture. Here’s a bit more about why praise is so important, how we deliver praise and recognition across our remote team of 80 employees, and a few lessons we’ve learned.

OpenOct 13, 2016
Buffer Hack Days: Our Intense Experiment for a Creative Jolt

Do you remember the last time you focused solely on one project — a big personal or work-related task — until it was finished? Recently, our data team tried this with a stretch of two full work days they called “hack days.” Four projects came about as a result, as well as a host of other benefits for the data team (and entire company!) Read on to learn more about the experiment, the process and how you could try an event like this for your business or team. In need of focus time, an idea A ha

OpenOct 11, 2016
Inside the Buffercelerator: How We Built a New Product in 9 Weeks (And Why We Shelved It Afterward)

What is it that the customer wants? What is the problem they face each day? What services are they hiring out for that we could meet with a bit of software? What if we could help people create better social media ads? What if that isn’t quite the problem, but rather tracking and spending ad dollars wisely? What if…? What if….? What if…? Sometimes a series of “what ifs” or “whys” can lead to new and exciting places. For three Buffer teammates, an exploration of “what ifs” created a whole new

OpenSep 20, 2016
I Didn’t Mean to Lean Back: The Unexpected Story of Being a Working Mom at a Startup

I’ve “leaned back.” And I’m okay with it. Sort of. As the first teammate to have a baby while working at Buffer, I was able to create our initial family leave policy before I used it. Even that wasn’t enough to prepare me for the reality of being a working mom. Going into motherhood , I had a lot of grandiose ideas, preconceived notions and expectations. The biggest of which was that I’d be able to jump back into m

OpenSep 14, 2016
Working From Home with Kids: 21 Tips From Our Remote Team

It’s perhaps a daily occurrence for a cat, dog, child or significant other to appear in a meeting between Buffer team members. And we’re okay with that. More than okay. We love these moments and we encourage them. Here is my son, Anthony’s, appearance at his first Buffer all-hands meeting when he was three months old (we’re towards the top left): As a fully distributed team, many of us work from home. For the parents of Buffer, this allows for the opportunity to work from home with their kids

More than Cute Faces: The Pets of Buffer (and How Office Pets Benefit the Workplace)

If the Buffer team wasn’t fully remote, here’s how I’d picture our office looking: wide-open spaces with big tables for collaborating, children and babies hanging out on their parent’s laps; cats and dogs running around merrily with a scattering of pet toys littering the floor. We believe in bringing our whole selves to work, and that means family and furry friends alike! Thus, we all strive to know and celebrate each other’s pets, kids, signific

Connecting Team Members on a Deeper Level through Personal Stories

Hometown. Siblings. Childhood memories. High school activities. Travel, spouses, friends. Life goals. These are things you might know about your significant other, close friends. How about your coworkers? At Buffer, we’ve discovered that sharing more of ourselves — our whole selves — is a key component in bringing team members closer together. At our past in-person retreats, we’ve called these exercises “personal stories,” and it’s become one of our favorite ways to connect. Now, we’re scaling

How Google Sets Goals: Inside Buffer’s Experiment with OKRs

How many goals have you achieved today? Setting goals is key to making progress in any area. We know that those who write down their goals are 95% more likely to achieve them and that two best practices for goal-setting include making them measurable and giving them a deadline. We’ve even explored a variety of formats for setting goals on the blog before. One format that has particularly intrigued us at Buffer is the practice of OKRs, which stands for Objectives and Key Results. A system that

3 Dads On What It’s Really Like To Take Family Leave At a Startup

We believe in bringing your whole selves to work. Many times, that might mean stepping away from work for a bit to celebrate and wholly focus on your family. This is a foundational pillar here at Buffer and we’re committed to supporting our team members in many different ways: perks, flexible time off and a fully-paid family leave. In our experiences as a growing startup, no two individual’s experience is quite the same—especially with family leave. So Buffer has a loose policy that recommends

OpenMay 10, 2016
Transparency, Meet Community: Here’s What’s New for the Open blog

At Buffer, our journey has been full of experiments, pivot points, reflection and transitions, and it is our privilege to share them all with you here. Today, we’re excited to update you on a few changes here on the Open blog! For a while now, Courtney has been the incredible shepherd and heart of the Open blog, reporting on the lessons we’re learning at Buffer and sharing insights on happier, more productive, more creative work from all kinds of smart folks

OpenMay 2, 2016
What Family Leave Really Looks Like at a Tech Startup

Around 8 weeks after giving birth, I began to panic. It was a rough time for us — our little one wasn’t too keen on sleeping at night and endured colic that left him crying for hours at a time. With my return-to-work date only two weeks away, I wondered how it would even be possible — especially because we hoped for me to continue as the baby’s primary caregiver while working full-time. Doubts crept into my mind: * Would I even be capable in my new role? * The team had functioned so well w

BufferchatOct 29, 2015
Writing and Blogging Tips From the Bufferchat Community

The Bufferchat community gathered to share writing and blogging tips at this week’s Bufferchat. What are your favorite tools? How do you get unstuck? and more! Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT/Noon ET/4 pm GMT, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers. Where do you find your writing or blog post ideas? * “When I’m traveling; trying new foods and meeting new people tends to lend i

BufferchatOct 22, 2015
Building a Productive Daily Routine: A Bufferchat Recap

Chris Winfield stopped by #bufferchat to share his expertise and insights on building a productive daily routine. Catch ourweekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT/Noon ET/4 pm GMT, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers. Why is building a daily routine important? From Chris: * A routine with good habits provides you with stru

BufferchatOct 15, 2015
Using Images & Infographics in Social Media: A Bufferchat Recap

Jaqueline and Marta from Piktochart stopped by #bufferchat to share their expertise about the importance of using images and infographics to convey information in social efforts. They shared their important resources and tips as well. Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat , every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT/Noon ET/4 pm GMT, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community

BufferchatOct 8, 2015
Growing Your Twitter Network: A Bufferchat Recap

Founder of the Twitter chat, #Twittersmarter, Madalyn Sklar, stopped by #bufferchat to share her insights on how to grow your Twitter network. Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT/Noon ET/4 pm GMT, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers. What got you started on Twitter? From Madalyn: * I first heard about Twitter during SXSW Interactive back in 2008. Everyone was talking about it. I

BufferchatOct 1, 2015
83 Books and 41 Blogs that Influence Life and Business: A Bufferchat Recap

Books, blogs and podcasts serve as inspiration and enjoyment in so many ways. In this week’s Bufferchat, we chatted about books and blogs that have influenced all walks of life. Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT/Noon ET/4 pm GMT, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers. What book or publication inspired you most as a child? * Around the Worl