Wonder what it is like to work for Made By Munsters? How we coordinate and collaborate as a remote team?
Let’s start with the basics. We want you to be your most productive self while you’re on the Munsters team, and we’ll provide you with the hardware necessary to get you to that level. We all use Macs as our primary machines, so that’s what we recommend for new employees. If you’re more comfortable in Windows or Linux, though, that works as well. You can decide if you want a desktop or a laptop, and we can help you out with accessories.
Each process at Made By Munsters is well defined and documented. Every team member has access to several guideline documents to help them as they get acclimated to their new role. We want to remove as many barriers to entry as possible and one way of doing this is to clearly define what we expect from you and what you can expect from your managers and co-workers. Moreover, each team member is encouraged to add to or suggest edits to our process documentation when holes or areas of need arise.
Keeping In Touch
Of course, even though we’re dispersed across many cities, it’s important we work as a tightly knit group. Slack is by far and away our primary means of accomplishing this task. We have general chat on a company-wide channel, design- and dev-specifc channels, a project management channel for internal project discussions, and each client receives their own channel for client-to-agency communication. We have put a lot of thought into our communication process and we are continuing to refine it every day.
Aside from Slack, we also have daily call-in meetings. Each day we run through a simple stand-up meeting, covering the typical topics for everyone: what’d they accomplish yesterday, what will they do today, and what obstacles stand in their way. We keep these on-topic and efficient, so they’re usually quite short. Mondays and Fridays are a bit longer, as we cover company news and our weekly retrospective, respectively.
Each project you’re working on will also have a regular planning meeting for each sprint. During that time the project team members and the client will join a call to discuss project progress and the upcoming work schedule. Some projects will also have separate sprint demos, where we’ll walk the client through the recent developments on their site or application.
We are a remote team, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have standard business hours. We adhere to a core set of hours to make sure we’re available for team collaboration and client interaction. The hours are roughly 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time Monday to Friday, and a little earlier on the West coast.
We’re pretty flexible within those hours, too, so if you have a doctor’s appointment to make, kids to pick up, or want to hit the gym over lunch, we can accommodate that.
For overall work hours, we try to keep to a standard 40 hour work week. Similar to any other web development agency, sometimes we’ll have to work extra hours to meet hard deadlines. We work hard to keep on top of project management and check in daily to make sure everybody’s making progress, so generally weekly work hours are pretty sane.
We want our team members to be able to fully relax and enjoy their down time, so we restrict client communication to work hours during the week. Outside of work hours, your time is yours and you don’t have to worry about being pinged by a client as you sit down to dinner with your family or on a Saturday afternoon.
Being a remote worker is great for so many reasons we don’t have space to list them here. But it’s also nice to meet up with your coworkers and others in your industry. To that end, we try to meet up at least once every year as a company, and send our teammates out to conferences once or twice per year.
Typically we’ll send a small group of people to a conference, for instance sending our dev team to RailsConf or designers to Squares. It’s a great way to learn something new and get to know your co-workers face to face.
Our culture and process are consistently changing for the better. As new team members join we adapt and grow to accommodate everyone’s needs. To us, company culture is as important us as the work we produce. We hope this post gives you some insight into our company.
If it sounds like a team you are interested in joining shoot us a message at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.