Distributed by 90% with staff in 30 countries of the world



1.Distributed by 90% with staff in 30 countries of the world: why is it possible? Anastasia Raspopina, Marketing Specialist (Percona)

2. Why am I speaking about going remote? - 4+ years of remote work experience - 2 different companies (+ interactions with MANY more as both companies hold IT conferences) - 2+ years of work for a virtual global company (Percona, HQ in Raleigh, NC) - 150 Perconians reside in 30 countries of the world 2

3. Why am I speaking about going remote? Percona is 90% distributed (people work from home, only 10% of them have desks at HQ, but these desks are not always used - so everyone is remote!) - Percona got media coverage and industry recognition for going remote the ‘right’ way (see links on slide 34) - Corporate book and newsletter brought me enough information to share 3

4. Statistics from Bitrix24 & J’son & Partners Consulting Agency (2015) - A remote employee can help a corporation save up to 170,000 rubles/year - In the next 5 years remote staff will become a common practice in Russia - 20% of employees in Russia will work remotely by 2020 - Now less than 1% Russians work remotely (in comparison with 34-36% in the US, according to McKinsey) - Find more interesting facts here: http://bit.ly/2msTiF9 4

5. Freelancer and Remote Staff Member: What’s Different (And Why Bother?) Freelancer Remote Staff Member - One-time interaction - Long-term - ‘Sink or swim’ relationship attitude (very often) - Company is - Relatively easy to interested in his/her find a replacement professional (one task / no regular growth responsibilities) - Harder to find a replacement (series of tasks / regular responsibilities) 5

6.Team: who are they and where do we find them?

7. Team: who are they Who: self-motivated guys able to organize working environment for themselves with a ‘can-do’ attitude and long-term plans for personal and professional development. 1. Tech or other work-related skills (i.e. sales) go first. 2. Ability to collaborate with the team remotely goes second (experience of remote work is not required, but desired). 3. Personal ‘compatibility’ with our culture goes third. 7

8. Team: where we find them 1. We’re hiring globally 2. We have an internal referral program 3. We launched “Friends of Percona” program in late 2016 4. Our recruiter works with IT job boards 5. Blog posts and conference appearances 8

9. Team: how we hire them 1. We’re hiring constantly (candidates have 3-8 interviews) 2. We do background checks 3. We conduct Onboarding Calls 4. We assign an Onboarding Buddy to each new hire. 5. We encourage email self-intros. 9

10.Tools: what helps 150 Perconians collaborate across different timezones?

11. Tools: Engineering & Task Tracking 1. Git for Engineering, JIRA for task tracking (not just in Development, for HR, internal IT Helpdesk and Web Team as well), Confluence for Documentation 2. Slack for quick questions and water cooler replacement (team channels, channels by region / event / language / hobby) 11

12. Tools: Process Automation 1. ZendDesk for Support Team, 2. Hubspot for Marketing, 3. BambooHR for HR, 4. Jobvite for Recruiting 5. etc. 12

13. Tools: Timezones & Synchronization 1. Google Calendar for planned calls/online ‘meetings’ (personal time can be ‘locked’ there and nobody will put a meeting on your midnight!) 2. WorldTimeBuddy.com for ‘what’s the time in X now’ checks 3. Skype and Hangouts for calls (video can help with tracking emotional reactions) 13

14. Tools: Timezones & Synchronization Synchronization with management (calls via GoToMeeting) 1. All-Company Calls (Monthly Practice) + recordings 2. CEO Weekly Chat + recordings 3. CEO Anonymous Feedback Form 14

15.Cases & Stories from a Remote Staff Member

16. Case 1. Repeat Important Things...Thrice! Somebody will ALWAYS be sick, on vacation, in a different timezone, filtering your messages etc. So… REPEAT IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS! Three times is very often not enough :) 16

17. Case 2. Document Everything ● If something isn’t documented, it doesn’t exist for your remote team. Even if you mentioned it on a call. ● Now imagine that you are going to reproduce something and need advice from someone based in Australia and sleeping right now. 17

18. Case 3. No Time Is Good for Everyone 1. We try not to make one and the same person to go to bed too late or get up too early 2. We have certain activities planned so as to accommodate people in APAC 3. We do recordings for important calls 18

19.Case 4. Encourage In-Person Gatherings 1. We do have team meetings ‘by function’ held once or twice a year 2. Percona sponsored End of Year Parties in 2016 (team meetings ‘by region’ rather than ‘by function’) 19

20. Case 5. Be Specific If people have the same names, find a way to let people know whom exactly you mean by saying ‘Alexey’ or ‘John’ (we usually go with the first letter of the last name like ‘AlexeyZ’). Specify the deadlines and priorities for tasks. Use detailed descriptions (too much is better than too little if you are remote). 20

21.How-to for Cross-cultural Differences

22. Mind The Most Sensitive Topics 1. Religion (Happy Holidays, not Merry Xmas!) 2. Families / sexual orientation (partner/spouse - neutral terms) 3. Avoid stereotypes (no bears and balalaikas, please!) 4. Respect to women (use he/she and -person as needed) 5. War conflicts and politics are never discussed 6. Have in mind a list of categories you may potentially offend by saying this or that thing (people of certain race, weight etc.) 7. Never hesitate to say ‘sorry, I’m ill-bred, it’s my bad’. 22

23.Concentrate on What’s Common for All 1. Family changes (positive or negative) need congrats and sometimes condolences. 2. Health issues and special needs. 3. Professional growth should be encouraged. 4. External accomplishments (hobbies) should get a portion of virtual applause too (this keeps people motivated). 23

24.Corporate Culture in a Virtual Environment: What to Do Without a Water Cooler

25. Corporate Newsletter and… Book! - We have a monthly newsletter (‘The Percona Insider’) to repeat the most important announcements, spotlight Perconians of the Month and congratulate staff members on important family changes - For Percona’s 10th Anniversary (2016), we have started the Percona Book 25 project

26.Something Physical to Keep - Company Souvenirs - Happy Holidays postcards - Corporate T-shirts - High Performance MySQL Book (signed by authors) - Branded souvenirs - Stickers 26

27. Training, Courses and Books - Certifications and trainings are picked by staff members and then sent to managers for approval - Internal Trainings / Mentoring by Percona Experts (if requested) - Book of the Month Practice 27

28.Transforming Newcomers into Experts - All staff members with technical roles are encouraged to blog in Percona Database Performance Blog (100+K readers) - Speaking at meetups and conferences is available for everyone if approved by the manager (Events Team coordinates this and 28 offers speaking opportunities)

29. If Home isn’t the Best Place to Work from... - Co-working rooms are paid for some staff members who have small babies or other reasons to work from a co-working space - Changing regular schedule for the time of family 29 changes