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Remote Culture 9 min read

Overcoming Remote Work Roadblocks, The Galactic Fed Way

Dallin Porter photo

Dallin Porter

Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed

Published 27 Nov 2020

It’s safe to say that the Galactic Fed galaxy operates in the remote world universe - it’s been like that since our Big Bang. Whether you’re in the middle of a transition to remote or have been in the remote world for some time, there are common roadblocks that companies face when working remotely. Thankfully, we know how to make remote work, well, work. 

Adapting to remote work is a marathon, not a sprint. We will examine some of the challenges companies face and provide what we call “The Galactic Fed Way” as a solution to overcome these hurdles to keep your business running. 

Interview &  Onboarding

Roadblock: Employers can struggle to gain a genuine feel for a candidate and struggle with adequately onboarding a new employee in a remote setting. 

The Galactic Fed Way: Productivity is at the core of what we do at Galactic Fed, starting with the interview process. We recruit independent, self-starter, proactive type of people. During the recruitment process, we view it as a red flag when people say they want to work with us “because they can work remotely.” This often correlates with people who are searching for an easy job. 

Remember, remote work is work. Interview questions may also vary from the traditional sense, digging in to find more about the candidate’s daily routine, how they organize their week, and what remote tools they are familiar with. Don’t be cheap when it comes to employee education and learning. We spend months onboarding new hires to make sure they’re at the top of their game before throwing them in the deep end. 

When it comes to the onboarding process, we set key performance indicators or KPIs and weekly targets from day one at Galactic Fed. Setting clear expectations and regular KPI reporting helps ensure that the organization moves toward common goals and that everyone is on the same page. 

We can’t emphasize the importance of setting up performance analytics from day one and setting goals and strategies to ensure they are met. We also create an “Employee Scorecard” for each new team member that gives us something to measure against and to quantify progress. 

Video call between two women.

Daily communication

Roadblock: Without the ease of walking over to a colleague’s desk and no face to face contact and body language, how can I ensure individuals and teams are effectively communicating and, consequently, not slowing down projects? 

The Galactic Fed Way: If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from being a remote company with (almost) no internal calls, over-communication is vital. With this, we use different media to adapt to various learning styles. 

Working remotely brings with it the challenges of productive collaboration without a physical office. We need to be mindful that people learn and absorb knowledge in ways unique to them, and there are endless tools at our disposal to manage this. Where Zoom is ideal for one person, Slack may be more useful for others. 

At Galactic Fed, we emphasize different learning styles by encouraging clear, written, and frequent communication. We are sure to remain organized by creating specific communication channels for every team, project, and campaign. We even create one for each new member being onboarded and their managers. This is extremely valuable as it saves staff from digging through endless messaging threads and makes finding necessary information painless.

We use this over communication to set expectations and build trust. Galactic Fed Co-Founder Irina Papuc touched on this in an interview called “5 Things You Need To Know To Manage a Remote Team Successfully. “With a remote environment, building trust is largely about setting and living up to expectations with your team. Make sure to maintain clarity around the core areas that matter to your teams, such as project expectations, pay rates, payment timelines, and status updates on projects. Make sure your team has a platform to voice their concerns and have them addressed.

A red-haired woman sitting on a blue-green couch using her Macbook with a lot of cute stickers

Source: Unsplash

Documentation & Processes 

Roadblock: Going from in-person training to online/virtual presents unique challenges with documenting internal processes to ensure quality and consistency, and the ability to scale. 

The Galactic Fed Way: We have rigorously documented our internal systems and protocols and kept them updated. Internally, we refer to this as “The Galactic Fed Way,” and this blueprint is the backbone of our company. Much of this documentation serves a purpose in our onboarding and training. Still, it also acts as a reference guide for everything we do - from the Galactic Fed Way of setting up a Facebook Ads Campaign to our social media guidelines to interview questions for specific roles. 

In the past, remote work has had a reputation of being less organized or leaving more room for error, but GalacticFed proves that with the organization of systems and documentation of processes, everything has a place - and doing so has allowed us to grow quickly. 

This is not a task that needs to be carried out by leadership alone. Treat staff as experts in their respective roles (because that’s what they should be) and have them document their daily duties, protocols they follow, and the steps in which they carry out tasks. If this is being kept updated, the ability to onboard new members and get them up to speed efficiently and thoroughly is a breeze.

And it’s not just us who thinks so. Check out a recent LinkedIn post from one of our newest team members following her onboarding and training process. In the end, the purpose of this rigorous documentation is to have your team feel entirely supported and empowered to succeed.

Aine Fatima's written feedback about the Galactic Fed company.

Team connection & Collaboration

Roadblock: When teams are not face to face or given the opportunity to cross-collaborate, they can feel siloed and lack a sense of company culture. 

The Galactic Fed Way: We like to think we know a thing or two about creating a distinct company culture while working remotely. We have been remote since our inception; it’s all we’ve ever known. Operating within a remote infrastructure is baked into our DNA. Here are some of the best ways we elevate our company culture and foster healthy (and fun) collaboration between teams. 

  • Cross-department competitions: This past summer, we held a walk-a-thon, where international staff were divided into teams with colleagues they don’t typically work with and had a friendly competition to see who could out-walk the other teams from the previous month. The winners were awarded a bonus on their paycheque. We also had a Photo Battle, where staff shared photos that fit that weeks’ theme - from “Best Work From Home Setup” to “Hometown Pride.” It was a hit with staff and an effortless way to learn more about the team on a personal level. 
  • Get-to-know-you calls: when a new team member joins, it’s Galactic Fed policy to have calls with the individuals they will be working with, but a focus is placed on NOT talking about work-related items. It’s a great way to have a virtual coffee chat with new team members and emphasizes the importance of getting to know each other outside of work duties. We also assign each new member an “Onboarding Buddy,” which is a designated colleague they can approach with questions, big or small. This direct support system can seriously ease any anxiety of starting at a new company.
  • Team celebrations: our team members are always staying up to date with industry qualifications and certifications. Whenever a colleague passes an industry exam or receives a certification, it is shared and celebrated with the entire team so their hard work can be recognized. This typically leads to a thread of “Congrats!” and “Welcome to the club!” type messages that increase everyone’s morale, not just the person being celebrated. Remember, people will often go above and beyond when they feel appreciated. 

The team celebrating on the Slack channel.

Over the last year, companies have tried to take the remote work transition in stride, but we recognize that it can be a nuanced and complex task. This is why we wanted to share some of the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve built and grown Galactic Fed. We’re a remote company at heart; this has been our ethos.  

With the unique roadblocks that come with remote work are unique solutions. These practices and tools are tried and tested and have been critical to our success. Applying the Galactic Fed Way to the way your own company operates will allow you to be a shining star in the remote work universe, too.

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Dallin Porter photo

Dallin Porter

Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed

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