Impala started as a remote company and to this day our entire wonderful engineering team is still distributed across Europe.
These days, remote working is often an option, packaged along with other “benefits” that sit at around line fifty of a job description. While we love the spread of something we really believe in, the time we’ve put in as a remote company has taught us something. Remote isn’t just a benefit you throw out to attract talent, it’s an extremely significant part of your company fabric and has to be treated as such.
When you spend more waking hours with these people in the average week than your friends, spouse or pets, they inevitably serve as much more than just co-workers. They provide a support network. For many people moving to new industries, surroundings or cities, they act as a surrogate family, particularly in a tight-knit start-up looking to build and grow together as a unit.
We want to combine the best parts of that colocated community and support network with the “no-one’s microwaving broccoli in your beautiful country cottage” advantages of working remotely.
I am delighted to announce that we are hiring for a brand new role. Introducing: the Remote Experience Manager.
This person will come into the fold as, among other things, a cultural ambassador across the world, traveling and liaising with each remote member of our team to support them however they can and build their own collective team culture.
We are literally hiring someone who will professionally travel Europe keeping people happy.
From arranging meet-ups for staff settling into new cities to writing and sharing internal content to build camaraderie, their responsibility is to ensure that every member of staff feels like an Impalan, wherever they may be.
We’ll only reach our potential with everyone feeling happy, healthy and together. That’s where this person comes in.
So who are we looking for? HR experience? Yep. Copywriting prowess? Sure.
But, quite honestly, the main thing is someone who loves people and whom people love. As far as we can find (and our Head of People Ops has done enough R&D to sink a business plan), there are very few jobs like this in the world, let alone Europe.
‘Culture’, like ‘innovation’ and ‘disruption’, is a word liberally bandied around the start-up world. Companies, often very interesting ones, impress the importance of their ‘unique company culture’ before proceeding to list a very familiar set of features. Ping-Pong, monthly socials; you know the drill.
And while all those things are great, true culture is so much more than this. Culture is about shared values and outlook, yes, but it is as much about shared experience as anything else.
This is a 360-degree thing.
A remote member of the team is a member of the team like any other. They deserve to share in the same highs and lows, to access the same support network whether they work from Barcelona or Balham, Derby or Dresden.
Not simply because we think they warrant as much time and attention from our People Operations team as anyone else, but also because we feel like we are building something special.
Ultimately, what we really want is for people to want to work at Impala.
We can talk about our benefits scheme all day long, but at our core we are a business who wants good people to join, thrive and enhance the team for all concerned.
That shared experience is a thread that weaves through everything we do, internally, externally, in the cloud and in the room.
Because working remotely should never be a trade-off.