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Join us as we share what we’re learning as we build a company that approaches work from a fresh perspective. We write about workplace culture, our finances, and our business decisions and strategies.

OpenSep 2, 2019
Our ‘Growth Mindset’ Fund Gives Every Teammate $800/Year – Here’s How and Why

One of our values at Buffer is to improve consistently, so we focus a lot on learning. Up until recently, a Buffer perk we were pretty proud of was our learning and development stipend . This fund gave each teammate $20 per month, or $240 a year, to invest in learning from mediums like tutorials, online classes, or real-life courses. Budget-wise, this worked out to about $20,000 for the year (assuming everyone uses th

OpenAug 26, 2019
Behind the Scenes of Buffer’s 10th Retreat in San Diego, CA

We held our 10th company retreat this past April and it was a big one! 83 teammates flew or drove to sunny San Diego for a week of work with plenty of team bonding and activities thrown in. We treat everything like an experiment at Buffer, so each team retreat is an opportunity for us to reflect and decide what to keep, what to discard, what to introduce, and what to iterate on. Here are some highlights

OpenAug 19, 2019
We Launched a Mastermind Partnership Program To Connect Teammates – Here’s How We Did it

Isolation can be a persistent challenge for distributed teams. In our most recent State of Remote Work report , we found that loneliness was the second most common problem remote workers share. At Buffer, we’ve tried to counter this challenge in many different ways , like rotating weekly chats, online team events, and encouraging local meetups. Some initiatives have made a dent, but as we’ve grown the

OpenAug 13, 2019
Buffer’s Evolution and Expansion

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote this blog post about the next step in Buffer’s social media journey . I described Buffer’s multi-product vision of the future, which included Reply and Analyze . This idea was such a huge vision and change for us as a company, and it’s taken a few years to fulfill it. But now, looking back the vision in that blog post, it’s our current reality at Buffer. W

OpenAug 5, 2019
How We Think About Time Off As a Global Team

When we first started out building Buffer, time off seemed pretty simple. We offered unlimited vacation time to use as teammates saw fit. And since we were distributed across the world, teammates could simply decide which holidays they cared about and take them off. Easy, right? Turns out humans are a bit more complex than that. Over time, we learned that unlimited vacation policies statistically see employees take less [http://nymag.

OpenJul 29, 2019
What Happened When Our Team Switched to Only Asynchronous Meetings

With any team, there’s usually the need to sync up. This usually takes the form of a meeting – or a video call, for those of us on remote team. On the mobile team at Buffer, this is what it looked like for us for a long time. We had a video meeting of about 45 minutes every week where we got face-time as a team, got on the same page about work, talked though blockers and challenges, made decisions, and updated one another. While the format of the meetings changed and adapted over time, we

OpenJul 22, 2019
Taming the ‘Fear of Missing Out’: How We Create a Retreat-From-Home Experience For Those Who Can’t Make It

Our annual in-person working retreats are a highlight of the year for many on our team. It’s the one time of year our fully remote team gets to be all together in one spot. Well, most of us. We usually have anywhere from 3-6 teammates who can’t make it to retreat due to pre-existing plans, family obligations, health issues, or other reasons. For those folks, the retreat can be a disheartening time full of FOMO (fear of missing out). Personally, I missed one of our largest team retreats — a

OpenJul 16, 2019
Two Years Ago, We Started Building a Product that Now Earns Over $500,000. Here’s How We Did it.

Editor’s note: We’ve just launched Buffer Analyze, Buffer’s Facebook and Instagram analytics tool for online consumer brands that want to make better decisions about their social media strategy and measure their results without feeling overwhelmed. Here’s the inside story of its creation: It took seven months of development and hundreds of emails and calls to make our first $25. But today, two years afte

OpenJul 1, 2019
A People Leader’s Guide to Active Listening

Communication is the most important tool we have when it comes to team work – especially in remote work . But as an engineer, in the past I’ve focused more on code than communication. Although I talked to people, my output was writing code and solving problems. So when I became a manager , I realized that I needed to listen a lot more. Learning to Listen Listening sounds so simple, right? Well, for me it

OpenJun 24, 2019
We Gave $473,996 to Teammates and Non-Profits: Here’s Our Profit-Sharing and Charitable Contributions Formula

When Buffer succeeds, we believe everyone on the team should benefit. One of the ways we make this happen is by sharing some of our profits based on our annual financial results. We haven’t always been profitable – here’s a look at our net profit numbers from the last four years: * 2015: $17K * 2016: Loss * 2017: $2.41M * 2018: $3.29M Over these last two years of profitability, we’ve put in place a profit-sharing plan for the whole team, as well as set aside a chunk of money for charitab

OpenJun 17, 2019
10 Reflections on Buffer’s 10th Team Retreat

It’s hard to believe that the Buffer team has been on 10 team retreats already, in locations all around the world. I was lucky enough to start at Buffer in 2012, back before our first retreat, so I’ve attended all 10! These gatherings have taken many different shapes since our first back in 2013 , where a handful of us went to Lake Tahoe. Up until 2016, we had retreats twice a year. But our team grew so large over time that it made a lot more sense to

OpenJun 10, 2019
50+ Resources For LGBTQIA Allies

Learning about the experiences and history of LGBTQ+ people shouldn’t stop after June, which is why we wanted to share an updated list of resources to help us all learn how to be the best allies we can be! First, a brief history of Pride Although Pride might seem like a month of parades and glitter these days, its origins are far from celebratory. The first Pride rally occurred a month after the Stonewall riots in 1969. A well-known gay bar, Stonewall was a safe space for drag queens, tr

OpenJun 3, 2019
My First 2 Months of Practicing the Buffer Values

Anxious to make a good impression on my first day at Buffer, I asked my role buddy: “What’s the best way to start the day? Should I ping someone when I’m online?” “Feel free to start the day at your leisure,” Nicole said. Mind. Blown. I already knew Buffer was an amazing company. I wasn’t shocked that I could make my own schedule. But for the first time, I wasn’t just reading about and admiring the culture from afar. I was actually experiencing it for myself. It’s a level of trust I’ve never

OpenMay 27, 2019
The 6 Lessons We’ve Learned About Product Marketing at a Startup

Product marketing can seem like a catch-all for the many various skills, tasks, and activities that help people discover and love a product . Because of this, product marketing can have few bounds. It can feel loose yet vital. Abstract yet essential. Fuzzy yet powerful. And because of this juxtaposition, there’s a risk that you won’t get the full impact of proper product marketing if you don’t have things figured out for your team. This is

OpenMay 20, 2019
The ‘Traffic Light’ Exercise, Tweeting About Therapy, and 5 More Ways To Support Mental Health at Work

There’s been a lot of crying in my career – tears of frustration, sadness, and also joy. As a newspaper editor, reporters would sometimes come into my office, close the door and break down in sobs. Doing social media for an open-office tech startup, I had to leave the building and walk around the block to cry. No job has normalized tears for me more than Buffer, and I’m so grateful for it. At Buffer, we try to bring ourselves authentically to work. We delight in the joys of life – new babi

OpenMay 13, 2019
10 Org Chart Styles We Admire (And the One We Use at Buffer)

Within any company, the organizational chart lives a complicated, contradictory experience. At times, the org chart represents beloved clarity and organization. Other times, it represents rigidity and the tyranny of top-down, hierarchical systems. Organizations often phase out their org charts only to resurrect them again when they find themselves looking for an answer on organization and structure. While some may come back in original form, many companies are looking for new and improved ways

OpenMay 6, 2019
The Power of the Pause: Introducing Sabbaticals at Buffer

Imagine no longer being able to enjoy time with friends and family, because work is constantly on your mind and your phone is constantly in your hand – and the more you stress, the worse you feel. Or imagine the job you once loved suddenly feeling hollow and pointless, leaving you depressed and constantly fatigued. For a lot of us who feel deeply connected to our work, this is almost unthinkable. But these are some classic signs of burnout, which can lead to serious physical, mental, and s

OpenApr 10, 2019
My Experience with Burnout as a Startup Founder

In mid-2017, I hit burnout in a really big way and wound up taking a 6-week break to recharge. I want to fully share my story here and include some things I wish I’d done differently in the hope that this can help anyone else experiencing burnout. How it began: A year of change, stress, and loss Looking back, the lead-up to my burnout goes back to the end of 2015. My co-founder and I were growing apart on our vision for Buffer’s future, which continued throughout 2016 despite several in-perso

OpenMar 29, 2019
Our Latest Pay Analysis: Examining Buffer’s Gender Pay Gap in 2019

Thanks for reading our equal pay report. See our updated 2021 pay analysis here.  Progress seldom looks like the straight line we all wish it might. Real life is much messier, filled with false starts, mistakes, and backtracks. That’s an especially tough truth when it comes to issues like the gender pay gap that affect real people’s lives so deeply. But in advance of this year’s Equal Pay Day, Buffer has a progress story to tell – and it looks nothing like a straight upward line. What is E

OpenFeb 28, 2019
I Used to Call My Coworkers “Family.” Here’s Why I Stopped.

There was a time where I wholly embraced calling our team — our company — a family. I’ve written cards to our community members and called them part of our Buffer family. I’ve sent custom packages to welcome our new teammates to the Buffer family (and we’ve grown from 25 teammates to nearly 90 in about four years.) I relished how the term “family” made everyone feel so welcomed, accepted, and appreciated. There’s nothi

OpenFeb 25, 2019
Continuing to Improve on Pay: Our Latest Changes to the Salary Formula and How Much it Costs

Hi there! This is an out of date post that we’ve kept around for transparency purposes. Go here to view the latest version of this post or view our salaries page . We live in a world where things are constantly changing, and Buffer is no exception, especially when it comes to how we pay our team! It’s been over five years since we first introduced transparent salaries and a salary formula [https://buffer.com/resou

OpenJan 27, 2019
How Individuals Advance at Buffer, Without Becoming Managers

The concept of a career path at Buffer has changed a lot over the past seven years. We’ve gone through various phases as an organization: beginning as an early-stage startup where everyone did a bit of everything, then to a period when we decided against having managers and leaned into a flat structure , and now to a lean level of management

OpenJan 7, 2019
Remote Team Meetups: Here’s What Works For Us

Experimentation and iteration lie at the heart of a lot of things we do at Buffer. If you’ve been following the Open Blog for some time, or even if you’ve just popped by (hey there!), you might notice that we reflect on remote work–a lot . Our remote setup enables our distributed team to work wherever they’re happiest and that freedom is a much-valued perk that Buffer teammates enjoy. Our employees feel trusted to be in control of their job, and for us, we

OpenDec 28, 2018
Best of 2018: Our Top Articles and Experiments from the Open blog

We hope you’ve had a great year. We’ve had a lot of fun here at Buffer , and have learned a lot while serving our customers and building our business this year. And, as always, we’ve done our best to capture all these learnings here on the Open blog to share with you. Thinking about all that’s happened here over the last year, several key moments stand out. We’d love to look back with you on some of the biggest Open blog posts from 2018