Workplace of the future - Page 7

3 Ways We’re Encouraging Employees To Read More, Plus The Top 13 Books We’re Reading in 2017

When we think of continued learning and self-improvement, reading naturally comes to mind. That’s why we’re so excited to be celebrating International Literacy Day, a global celebration planned by UNESCO. This celebration is a strong reminder of how digital technology and the internet enables each of us to do more reading, writing, and learning. Source: UNESCO We have more ways than ever to get access to books and reading materials. But how much reading are we doing? One survey reports that “[

Learning Sabbatical: How Existing Employees Are Developing New Skills for Different Roles

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. Head to our homepage to view our most recent posts. We believe in constant experimentation and self-improvement at Buffer. You might know this if you’ve followed along with our trying self-management or making regular changes to our vacation policy [https://buffer.ghost.

The 5 Ways We Build Trust on a Fully Remote Team and Why It’s So Valuable

“How do you know that people are actually working if you’re all at home?” This is a question many of us get asked at Buffer. We’re a fully remote in multiple time zones around the world, and unless you’ve experienced remote work in this way, it can be a bit tricky to wrap your head around. Specifically, this question of how to tell who’s actually working is one of the major curiosities. To put the question another way, perhaps what people are really asking is how trust functions in an environm

The Next Step in Buffer’s Social Media Journey

Can you remember where you were seven years ago? I was in my apartment in Birmingham, UK, coding up the very first version of Buffer as a tool to schedule tweets. So much has changed since then: the Buffer product has evolved, the social networks themselves have matured, and social media managers have grown exponentially in skills and influence. Today, I’m excited to share an early look at what we believe these ch

A Guide To Open Source: How to Empower Engineers to Open Source More Often

Engineers tend to be hardwired for knowledge sharing. Because of our Buffer culture , contributing to the open source community has never been an uphill battle. We’ve never had to “convince” anyone that this a good idea and that we should let engineers spend time on it

The 3 Research-Backed Benefits of Diversity That Guide Our Team Growth

One happy side effect of Buffer’s value of defaulting to transparency and sharing lots of what we’re working on and going through as a company is that you get to have lots of great conversations. Folks from other companies read what we’re up to and share advice about similar situations, or share a challenge they’re going through and ask for advice. And the No. 1 question I get asked is this: How does a company begin to approach the topic of diversity and inclusion for the first time? Folks are

3 Ways We’re Experimenting With More Team Freedom

I’ve always been a person who follows the rules. No coloring outside the lines. Work within the system. At times, this has worked out fine. More often, though, I’ve had to work to retrain myself to take bigger risks, speak up more and be less afraid of “getting in trouble.” Especially at work, rule following can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Getting tough feedback for being out of line or overreaching is hard, but so is missing an opportunity you know y

What Happens When You Take Personal Development Too Far (and How to Rebound)

Finding the right balance between role performance and personal development is not easy, and it’s something that I got very wrong at first and am still trying to perfect. Over the last few months, I’ve had a lot of experience trying to balance my performance as a Happiness Hero (on our customer support team at Buffer) and my passion for learning more about engineering, which allows me to help my team outside of the Happiness inbox.

Why We Decided To Give All Employees $20 per Month for Learning and Development

One of the 10 Buffer values we aspire to is constant self-improvement, which includes learning new skills, new information, new everything. Little did we know how much there was to learn about learning itself! Recently, we’ve specifically sought out even more ways to encourage learning for our whole team at Buffer, with projects spearheaded by our People team and our teammate Deborah. The main question she’s been asking is: How can we help encourage a culture of learning on our team? That’s w

From HR to People Ops: When and Why To Start a People Team

Startups get a lot of advice. And for good reason – there are millions of decisions to be made as you begin the journey of building a company. Some of the advice is clear-cut. More often, you’ll hear a chorus of voices with different experiences and points of view. Perhaps nowhere is the advice more confusing than when it comes to if, when and how a company should add HR or People functions into a team. (For a little taste, read through this Quora thread.) There are a lot of reasons why this

The Buffer Teammate Protection Pledge: How We Protect Our Team When A Customer Is Abusive

Our whole team engages with many people online every day across various platforms. Most of these experiences are happy, positive, thought-provoking, and often quite funny. We have some truly wonderful Buffer customers , and getting their messages throughout the day makes the whole team smile. Sometimes though, things are less happy and positive, and more angry and negative, like with online hate or when a customer might become abusive towards a Buffer teammate.

Batman and Robin: How We Describe Teammate Responsibilities

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. Head to our homepage to view our most recent posts. Have you ever worked on a project where it was unclear who — if anyone — was leading? ✋? I have. And it made me realize that knowing who is responsible for what and who is leading which projects makes a huge difference in really accomplishing work. In one of my 1:1s with

The 6 Exercises We’re Doing to Help With Artificial Harmony

Have you ever walked out of a meeting and messaged someone who had been in that very meeting to say something that you didn’t feel you could say in front of the group? I know I have. A while back, we came across the concept of “Artificial Harmony” which is one way to describe that feeling I just mentioned. In Patrick M. Lencioni’s The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team , Artificial Harmony refers to a team of people who don’t

The 10 Slack Agreements of Buffer

Being spread across 50 different cities, we place a high priority on communication, going so far as to adopt it into our ten values. For us, communication tends to break into two types, asynchronous or synchronous. At most companies, synchronous communication is the norm. Everyone is online at the same time, chatting with the same tool, attending the same meetings and calls, etc. Asynchronous communication becomes more critical for distributed teams. Asynchronous means not everyone needs to b

What A Team Survey Revealed About The Way We Live Our Company Values

Our company values are the foundation upon which our team has grown and our product has developed. They emerged in the early years of Buffer when we were a small team of 10 people, and they have guided us ever since, leading to a number of work culture experiments and lessons along the way. In all, we have 10 values that we aspire toward: To us, these values are motivating and inspiring. We talk about them all the time whenever we see a great example of a value in action or we experience a sit

How We’re Focusing on Diversity and Inclusion Without Growing Our Team

Let’s say you’re a startup or early stage company and you’ve made it a priority to grow in a way that’s diverse, inclusive, and representative of its surroundings. That’s a great decision! Now, how do you make it happen? Do you tell everyone to say something when they see something? Create a committee? Appoint one person to create change? At Buffer, we’ve tried all 3 of these methods and even more mixed combinations between them. In the last few years, we’ve: * Allowed diversity projects t

How We Manage Our Editorial Schedule Remotely

It’s 10:00 a.m. here in England. Alfred and I have just finished our weekly content sync. Alfred is a content crafter here at Buffer and does an amazing job producing most of the content we post on our Social blog and I’m an editor focusing on our content strategy. We catch up for an hour every Tuesday to discuss the various pieces of content and projects we’re working on for Buffer’s Social blog. Alfred is based in Singapore, where it’s 6:00 p.m. for him when it’s 10:00 a.m. for me. He’s about

Step-by-Step: How We Planned A Retreat For a Remote Team of 75

One of the first projects I took on in bootcamp was helping to plan the next Buffer retreat. Along with my mentor, manager, and friend, Rodolphe, we started thinking about that retreat about a week after the Hawaii retreat wrapped up. I’d love to take you through exactly how we planned Buffer’s 8th retreat, from start to finish, from an operations perspective. Let’s dive in! Our Timeline for Buffer’s 8th Retreat in Madrid Here’s a rough timeline of how things unfolded for the Madrid retreat

Transparency in Engineering: Can We Open Source Our Whole Code Base?

As a company that already has all of their employees’ salaries online , we often get asked how far we will go with transparency . On the engineering team, this is challenging because we need to balance our value of transparency, with the security of our product and users, so the “how far” question is a tough one to answer. At our recent Madrid retreat , we aske

Why We’ve Stopped Saying “Culture Fit” and What We’re Saying Instead

The phrase “culture fit” is a bit of an Inkblot test in the world of work—even when we all hear the same two words, we might be thinking entirely different things. There are countless filters and interpretations of the phrase—and a growing amount of interest in figuring out just what it means. When the phrase “culture fit” is thoughtfully and deliberately applied, it can mean a gauge for your company’s essential values. At other companies, it might simply mean, “Is this a person with whom you

The Buffer Retreat App Version 2: Migrating Tech Stacks, New Features and More!

As a globally distributed team at Buffer, our company retreats are a key part of our identity. We’re meeting coworkers for the first time in person, putting our heads together to shape the future of Buffer and making sure we put aside time to laugh and hang out with one another. There’s a lot going on with these retreats, and they’ve only become bigger in both scale and attendance with each one. As we recognized last year, we needed a solution to help us coordinate. That’s when we created the B

There are 5 Points on the Scale of Remote Working. Here’s Where We Fall at Buffer.

I’ve recently found myself reflecting a lot on being a distributed team and the nature of a company where the team works from remote locations to accomplish our work. Scaling remote working has been a challenge as the team has grown. Remote companies are still relatively rare, and therefore all of us who are choosing to have a remote-friendly culture need to do two things: 1. Work through the normal challenges of growing as a company and as a team 2. Put time into figuring out how remote can

The 3 Types of Activities & 1 Gameshow That Helped Our Remote Team Bond on our 8th Retreat

The chance for in-person time is precious for a remote team. It had been over a year — 392 days to be precise — since saw each other at our last retreat in Hawaii . From Thailand to South Africa, Iceland to Australia, each of our company retreats has looked a little different. Our team of 75 around the world has just returned from our most

How I Approach Company Retreats as a CEO

By now we have a fairly long history of doing retreats at Buffer. We’re now a team of 75 who all work remotely, and we just wrapped up our eighth company retreat in Madrid, Spain. Here’s a quick history of retreat locations, timeline, and size over time: It’s been a wild ride for us at Buffer, and the regular company retreat is a very clear part of our culture. Each retreat has felt a little different, and the nature of the retreat evolves as the company grows