So first… let us introduce ourselves. We are Helptail. A bootstrapped, remote and async company with our HQ in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. We operate Helptail from anywhere in the world. From Queenstown to Bangkok to Amsterdam to Mexico City. We have been working remote for a cumulative 10 years. Working remote (and async!) has allowed us to all the beauty this world has to offer us and learn a tremendous amount along the way.
Where we discover we were unto something
As past consultants for many different remote companies (small and big), we saw a recurring theme amongst remote managers: how is my team really doing? For all the amazing upsides remote works brings, it comes with the downside of feeling out of touch. A sigh, that one quick chat in the kitchen about something that is bothering you, seeing them with their heads in their hands isn’t get heard or seen now. Sure, you might deal with it individually, but to keep a happy and coherent team, emotions (good and bad) should be expressed and heard.
With that realisation we started talking to our diverse network to test our hypothesis. Asking questions and mostly just listening.
Some of the answers:
- yes, I use something for that (it’s not great);
- yes, I ask my team at bi-annual 1-on-1s (they forget most);
- no, can’t find something that works for us (existing tools are not for us).
After adding all answers in an old-fashioned spreadsheet, we saw a recurring theme and thus we started to play with possible solutions. After some time we came up with something that would check off all items on our wish list for a tool that helps make better remote managers.
What is a good (remote) manager?
Good remote managers:
- get their team unstuck;
- empower their team to do their best work;
- create a save environment so every voice can be heard.
That’s our goal, that’s our bigger vision for Helptail. And it’s not one that can be tackled overnight. But we believe with the elegant solution we have built right now, we have solved the foundational issue.
Remote, async work is here to stay. But in order to make it great for everyone involved, we need to acknowledge the downsides and improve it how we can.
If you read this, you are probably an early adopter and we would love for you to give Helptail a try and to hear from you.
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