We’re nearing 2022, and unfortunately, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around ease of movement and restrictions. The world has fully embraced remote and hybrid working to keep up with the uncertain situation.
However, this isn’t something new for Thorgate which has always had a hybrid work culture, providing team members with flexibility in choosing where they work from. We have carefully engineered an onboarding process and work culture that allows us to hire people for remote positions like our developers, Akshaya and Mansur from India and Turkey respectively. Here’s in their own words how they experienced remote work culture at Thorgate.
Akshaya’s experience onboarding being fully-remote
I was already very interested in job opportunities in Estonia when I found Thorgate. My first impression was that the company has a great tech stack, and fun work culture. I wanted to relocate but due to ongoing restrictions I chose to start working remotely.
The onboarding process was very well-organised as my team was in constant contact with me. I found my team to be very supportive from the get-go. For instance, some of the technologies were new for me but everyone was quick to run me through the basics during the onboarding weeks. We kicked off with 1-on-1’s and team events that helped me set the foundation for upcoming tasks and also immerse myself into the everyday office culture while being fully remote. It was never really a challenge as my team members based in Estonia were also working in hybrid mode, which means they were often remote. So all calls were held online and everyone was available via slack when needed. I felt that I was able to communicate very effectively from the start and Thorgate culture really did centre smooth communication at its center.
Also, the time difference for me is 2.5 hours, but this never seemed to affect the team’s productivity. Thorgate prides itself on being very flexible and saying no to constant micro-managing, which means we are able to independently work through our week. Personally, I like to start early to get things for my weekly sprint done in my time except the regular meetings, of course that are agreed with others.
It is important to have different meetings like team retros and daily stand-ups where we discuss our progress, plans and problems, ensuring that the whole team is always aligned. It also helps with making the remote culture something that doesn’t leave anyone out of loop or isolated.
I have found the personal development opportunities at Thorgate to be a great personal incentive. I have a plan with my team lead about how to develop my skills on the topics I am not too strong on. We work together on work free learning days, during pair programming and through client projects to make sure that I am able to use the company knowledge base and help of my team members to further my development skills.
Why Mansur enjoys being fully remote
Working remotely from another country isn’t anything new for me, as I was already working for a Polish company for 2.5 years before joining Thorgate. The only difference is that I have found Thorgate’s culture to be much more positive and conducive.
From the hiring process, I was already very happy that the meetings were more casual and relaxed. I remember being picky and asking a lot of questions and the team was very happy to answer everything to make sure we can find the right culture fit. Even after joining the team, I was very happy how everyone was ready to help and just a slack message or a quick chat away to answer questions about ongoing projects..
I had joined an ongoing work project and I could really appreciate how everything felt to be on the right track. Something that personally stood out for me was the fact that while there’s always room for improvement, at Thorgate everyone is focused on solving the problem as efficiently as possible. We have a great setup for team communication with regular planning meetings, end of sprint retros, stand-ups and 1-on-1s. We have a very quick feedback system: for instance, I had some feedback about workflow and project instructions for the engineering manager and he was quick to act. This makes working remotely much easier and comfortable for me.
I already enjoy how international our team is, and would definitely love to see more international people soon as we continue working with a hybrid team and improving our remote work culture. Something that I have felt to be a more personal yet extremely important aspect of the diversity in the team is that Thorgate respects different cultures making integration easy. When I joined the team I was keen to ensure that it will not be a problem that I have specific requirements being a practicing muslim. My team was not only very accepting of those requirements but also happy to learn more about my culture to accommodate me.