You're All Doing Remote Work Culture Wrong. Here's How to Do It Right W/ Darcy Boles

Every company believes they have amazing company culture but almost none do. This is a masterclass on how to build a world-class remote culture.



2/6/202351 min read

Here's the recap...Welcome to Season 4 of Leading from Afar. Today's episode can only be thought of as a masterclass. There's a reason Darcy is one of the most sought-after remote leaders and thinkers. Every minute of conversation was priceless and filled with takeaways. Very few companies do culture well (though they all think they do). If you want to know what real world-class culture pieces are for remote teams this is your episode. We spoke about topics like when culture officially begins & ends, why documentation is so crucial to remote teams, who owns company culture, what can individual managers and company leaders do to create better employee experiences, and so much more..

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Remote requires intentionality. Without it, there's nothing

I've spoken many times about the intentionality of how you onboard, engage, mentor, and more in a remote organization. But it's so much more. For example, why are you a remote organization, and are you truly one? I've seen so many companies say they're remote-first hybrid companies. That simply doesn't exist. No remote-first company is hybrid. Yes, you can be a hybrid company that operates as remote-first (exactly what should happen). But are you a remote company because of cost savings or fear you'll lose your best talent? Or are you remote-first because you want to access the best talent anywhere? You want better DE&I. And all the real benefits offered by remote. Guess which one is intentional.

It may also mean the little moments. What does the company do when someone has a baby? Besides parental leave, does the company intentionally purchase a present? And what type of present? A gift card to Amazon (yes, diapers are expensive) or a custom-designed baby blanket with the baby's name embroidered on it. I received one for one of my kiddos while at InVision. We used it for years, the next baby, and spoke about it for years. What about the other way around? If someone has a loss, is there a policy for leave? Do you provide access for someone to speak with? Flowers. Etc. Each of these moments and there are a million of them can significantly strengthen relationships between the employee to the company or simply miss out.

Document everything!!

Yep, we've spoken about this one before too. With remote organizations, everything should be documented. Whether writing or video it should be centrally located, easily accessible, and regularly updated. Again, documenting includes both major and minor things. Some major things are obviously around the company mission and policies. But they can also be everyone creating a 'how to do my job.' Which is a blueprint for how to work, collaborate, and engage with colleagues. It also details the important details for when they're out of office. If I create a doc with what you'd contact me for (docs, approvals, etc) and how to get them yourself or who to speak with in my absence you're less reliant on me. It means I'm not a blocker in getting your work done and thus means I'm freer to take off time.

Other things like cultural norms. For remote orgs this can be extremely wide-ranging. Someone who's lived in NYC with access to all kinds of cultures, languages, etc they have a different experience and access to other cultural norms vs someone who lives in a more isolated area. Then expand that across countries. In a previous episode, the question came up from a Gen-Z'er whether it was acceptable to use emojis in Slack with your boss.

People should always have access to these types of documents to do their job better. In addition, to how to better work with and build relationships with colleagues.

Employee experience design teams are the future.

In 2021-2022 the 'Head of Remote' was one of the hottest job titles available. Companies were trying to hire someone who could teach them how to do remote. In reality, few understood what they needed, why they needed it, and who they really needed. The companies that hired mainly hired someone with a few years of work experience and focused on HR. That's not what this role is about. See my episode about the Head of Remote is the new COO. Once we get past this recession employees will already win the remote vs RTO argument. The next argument will be around async vs sync and great remote cultures vs the 70% of current remote companies. Teams will be forced (once again vs embracing it) to go all in on remote cultures to attract and retain talent. They'll need this Head of Remote or employee experience designers. It won't be a single person and won't be a team of People Ops people. It will be a group of Support people, Product people, Finance, Legal, HR, and everyone. Everyone is passionate about great culture, with experience in building even micro-cultures within their teams and moving away from a People Ops role.

Scott - [04:14 - 04:19]

Hey Darcy, how you doing? How's everything in, sunny San Diego.

Darcy - [04:19 - 04:26]

Hi, Scott. It's good. It's actually not very sunny right now, which is very odd for us. We're getting a ton of rain, but we need it.

Scott - [04:26 - 04:34]

Is that, is that possible? I thought, I thought in like San Diego it's 365 days of just sun and like mid seventies, just every day.

Darcy - [04:34 - 04:41]

No, I did too when I moved here and I think I might have brought some Oregon rain with me, so it might be my fault.

Scott - [04:41 - 05:11]

Aha. Haha. So I guess the, the neighbors aren't, overly excited that you moved into town. Amazing. so usually the way we start off these episodes is, you know, pretty simple. maybe just tell everyone a little bit more about yourself. I don't think you necessarily need so much of an introduction introduction, but it's always good to have one. And tell us a little bit more about your experience leading remote teams and organizations. Cause I remember, I think when we first connected years ago, you're working with Tax Jar and then to what you're doing these days.

Darcy - [05:11 - 06:56]

Yeah, so, I'm really stoked to be here, Scott. I know we've been friends online for a long time and this has been kind of in the works to have this podcast. I'm really happy it's happening. Absolutely. So I'm Darcy. I live in, Southern California and San Diego. It's my home base, but I do something that you may have heard the term slow mad, so it's kind of going someplace for a month and working and kind of integrating into the culture. So I spend a lot of time in Mexico, just being so close and I love the language and the food. So I'm, I'm there a lot as well. so leading remote teams. I've been leading remote teams since about 2016. And before that I was working for Airbnb. So I was working kind of globally across global cultures and doing some remote work pilots because believe it or not, remote work had yet been brought to the world, even to an incredibly forward-thinking tech company, at the time. And yeah, so I joined Techstar in 2017 and was their director of culture and innovation for four years until we went through a very large acquisition into Stripe, into Stripe Tax, which was super cool. but it was really interesting to have been in the remote space and been connected with people like you kind of pre pandemic. So I've kind of been through that journey of how does successfully set up a profitable remote company without any concept of having an office like remote first from inception. How do you scale that and that rhythm as well as kind of, especially moving into Stripe and what I do now, seeing kind of reaction to remote, how are companies adapting to the demands of flexibility from workers, but also going through that mindset shift of could we be working better remotely?

Darcy - [06:56 - 07:35]

Like what does the future of work look like for us? And so now I'm doing some consult in the consulting realm and I'm helping companies really with remote culture. So companies already have a culture. their culture already exists, but a lot of times when you go remote that culture isn't written down and culture's a feeling. And so what I do now from a fractional head of remote capacity as well, just to consult culture coaching and consulting, is helping companies identify what their culture is and put language around it so then they can hold themselves accountable to it as well as help people assimilate to the environment faster.

Scott - [07:35 - 08:05]

That, that's super exciting. I think number one for, from Mexico City, I I've heard that's like the next up and coming remote hub. I think, you know, Lisbon kind of gets, know all the, yeah, the, the accolades these days are being the remote capital. But I think from, at least what I've heard, especially from people in the States, because obviously Mexico's so close, similar to Europe, Lisbon being so close, the Mexico city is becoming a, becoming the hot place, for remote that's, very interesting. And there's, there's tacos at every corner and like how, how much better could you get? That's like a dream.

Darcy - [08:05 - 08:21]

There's tacos on every corner, it's incredible restaurants, the culture's amazing. And not just Mexico City. Mexico in and of itself is just this incredible land and there's so much to explore and I've, I've just really fallen in love with the country.

Scott - [08:21 - 09:44]

That's, that's so cool. I, I've been there I think twice and it was a great time when I was there and, and definitely need to, to get back, especially for the top codes. but that's not what this episode is about today. And at least I, I'm super excited, today to be doing a, to be geeking out doing a deep dive on culture. very much passionate about company culture. I'm very much a believer in, I've spoken to 1300 plus founders over the years and I every, I don't think I've ever met one who says, oh yeah, we don't, we have a great company culture. We do the, I could probably in theory count on two hands how many companies truly, truly, truly have great company culture, with all the things that are out there. Again, most companies aren't doing it right. So I'm, I'm excited to really kind of just really dig into this topic today with you. cause I know you've spent so much time, focusing on this as well. So the first kind of question I'm gonna lead off is, this culture is obviously very unique to each company. I know especially during the, the pandemic hit and everyone was trying to figure out how to do, and everyone's like, ah, let's just kind of copy what GitLab does. And the GitLab's done some amazing things, but only GitLab's, GitLab and everyone needs to kind of, right, do take okay, some of the things they've done and obviously do what's best for them. But when you look at remote companies, are there some specific fundamentals that are at the heart of great remote companies and, and great remote culture? And if there are, why is each one of them so important?

Darcy - [09:45 - 11:04]

Yeah, I mean, I'll, I'll get a little theoretical with this if that's okay. Yes. You know, I think that any, any remote company can be thought of like a three-legged stool and it needs three things to really thrive. And it's how these three things intersect. And that's culture, communication, and technology. And I'm actually gonna define each one of these as well to just go a little deeper. So culture is the collective consciousness of what a group of people says, feels, thinks and does together. It's really how a team works together. There's communication is how that culture is communicated, both synchronously and asynchronously. And then there's technology where that culture and communication is held. It's the container in which that's held. And so I think really starting to think about those three things as the pillars of how remote companies can be successful. And they can say, okay, what is our culture? Have we defined our culture? Do we know what it is? How do we communicate it? And where do we communicate it? And are those three things always in alignment with one another? And really thinking of it like a ven diagram can be really, really helpful in thinking about, okay, these are the three things we really need to focus on on a macro level.

Scott - [11:04 - 11:50]

Okay. I can definitely hear that and definitely make sense. so one of the things that I think about a lot when it comes to company culture and I like to argue with with companies that I come across is the idea of when is there a begin date and an end date to company culture? Like is it company start, the culture starts on the first day of onboarding and it ends on let's say the last day that they are with the company. So is there a specific start date, end date? And if there's different kind of milestones, if there's certain kind of items, is there, or maybe can you define a couple of culture pieces or culture items in each one of, let's say those milestones that really differentiate the world-class remote cultures from basically what everyone else is doing?

Darcy - [11:50 - 13:34]

Yeah, so I mean, I would say culture starts at the start date that the founder has an idea to start a company, right? Like culture is truly the, it's the expression of the way a founding team sees the world and it's the way they think things should work in an environment. And ideally with a lot of founding teams, those things are aligned, right? And so that's where it really starts. It's at the breadth of that moment of we're going to start a company. What is this gonna look like? How do we wanna work? And then really starting to express that through action. So that's where I would say it starts. I don't think it ever ends. Culture is a living organism. It's really kind of like a, an ecosystem. It's an ecosystem that needs to survive in different weather patterns. And you know, a culture that's made for a small to medium sized business market is probably not gonna be a successful in an enterprise market because that culture has learned and functioned how to survive the weathers of the storm of the small to business, small to medium size business market. So I think that's one thing to really note that culture is you can have an incredible culture, but if it doesn't align with the market you're in, it doesn't really matter for business success. So that's just number one thing I'll say. Really thinking about the moments, right? These, these really important cultural moments. I, I'd encourage just to start defining those as pieces of culture. What's the language that people use? Do people use a lot of slang? Is English the, the language that people use primarily, is it a different language? Are there these certain cultural words that companies use, starting to define that language, starting to think about rituals.

Darcy - [13:34 - 14:31]

So if there's a birthday or anniversary or a celebration, especially onboarding, right? What are the rituals that happen in those moments? And I really think this goes all the way. If you, you kind of asked the question like, what are these moments that happen? I would say, you know, expressing culture really happens at the moment that your employer brand is out there attracting candidates and attracting customers. So really that messaging is very similar. And then it goes all the way to retire. So from hire to retire and these moments, these really important moments, welcoming. So onboarding, learning and development, connecting with people, celebrations, hard, going through hard times, how you have rituals around hard times. How do you communicate as a company culture when those moments happen, is really important part of seeing that culture red thread through the entire employee experience from hire to retire.

Scott - [14:31 - 16:01]

Interesting. So I, I think maybe I'll, I'll pivot or re-ask kind the question a little bit in a different way. Cause I think you gave some great examples and I actually wanna maybe deep dive in a couple of these moments. Yeah. Of, of the culture lifetime of the company. I think maybe what I was thinking of had in mind, so I'll kind of, rephrase of the, the lifetime of the employee things again that I've thought about. When I see companies, again, they talk about culture, blah, blah, blah. But on the job rec now unless you're in California or New York, you don't have a salary band on there. or you go through multiple, rounds of interviews and all of a sudden radio silence. so like the follow up. So kind of like in that experience, like where does that company culture for let's say the individual person who potentially, I guess in theory let's say is joining the company start and end again. Is it all the way back in the job rec itself? There are certain items that are in the job rec that are, should be there in the interview process. Cause should be a good or bad when they're onboarding like buddy systems when they have those moments. And again, I want to deep dive into those moments of if something, you know, God forbids, somebody goes through something like what does that again, experience look like? Or maybe examples that you've had, again, know shouldn't happen to anybody, but some examples that you may have come to in your career where something has happened to somebody and what you and the company have done for them to help them get through whatever they're experiencing and to the end, okay, now they're moving on and like, what does that look like? Scott - [16:01 - 16:15]

Are they moving on because they've kind of hit a glass wall because they, whatever the reason is and kind of what pieces, again, make a great culture of even when somebody's leaving, what does a company try to do to make sure that they have a better culture?

Darcy - [16:15 - 18:06]

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think we can probably define this, I, I'll reiterate it absolutely goes from the moment somebody sees that employer brand sees that job description and then it, it's really important that what they read and that job description and then the experience they have matches when they actually get into the company. You know, you hear a lot of people say, oh, I applied, they said I was remote, now I have to be in the office. Like that's actually cultural misalignment and that creates distrust in the culture in the company. So again, coming down to, you know, you kind of asked what's a better culture than another? I mean I think it def defines on the culture you wanna be, if you're a people first culture, I would say that's really how I would define a better type of culture. Are we putting our people first? Are we focusing on being really honest about the experience they're coming into? Is the culture we've said we have is are the values we state that we have are those living and breathing? And really by writing your culture down in remote, you're then able to hold yourself and your teams accountable to who we say we are and who we want to be. I think that's a, that's a really essential part here. And coming back to your question around like hard times with people, I mean the reality of remote is really in remote culture is that every employee is in a similar storm but in a very, very different lifeboat. And so I think as a company, people have to decide, are we going to be a culture of care? Are we going to be a people first culture? And if you are then strategizing how to support those people in those moments, like I think that's probably one of the most important things I will remember.

Darcy - [18:06 - 19:14]

You know, I had just joined tax charts was a really long time ago and I was going through a horrible breakup. I had to take some time off the next day. There were flowers on my doorstep from my team and it was meant the world to me. And part of that was because we had a culture, part of our business plan was to have a budget for when these things happened to our employees. To have a team that focused on these moments that was always checking in. Not everybody's gonna share that they have a breakup, but just knowing that we have resources, we have a budget, we are a culture that cares and we're gonna put our money where our mouth is. And I think that's the difference between just saying your, your one culture or another. You're actually proving to do it and you're giving your teammates permission that it's a culture of care. And that's another thing that's really important because a lot of people haven't experienced cultures of care. And so it's a new concept for a lot of individuals. And so it really needs to be exemplified by the leadership for that to be culturally relevant and for people to trust the culture.

Scott - [19:14 - 20:49]

I love that. And I wanna kind of bring out one point of what you said. I I, I absolutely love speaking to other leaders, remote other leaders for the opportunity for, for me right to learn, kind of change my mindset. I've forever had been a believer in every company should be a people first company, right? Simple, if you break down a success of a company all the way to the bottom, it's make your employees happy, right? Employee happy, employees make happy customers, right? The other way works around, so everything you should do be should be employee first. And but having that mindset of yes, we are a people first or if the founders, hey, hey, is the business first? Okay? That maybe, maybe that's right. Maybe that's wrong. I guess maybe who am I to argue, ma? I can argue certainly for one side maybe that's wrong, but another side it's not. Yeah. But but being able to set up, hey, this is what we believe in, right? Elon Musk, hey, we believe that we're an office-based company, right, wrong or bonus, great, whatever it is. That's right. Right. Twitter or whatever, you know, company for Tesla, being an office-based company is what works for them and leave it that. And that's, and putting that through and what I like kind of the second point is when, let's say you are going to be a people first company. And the things that, again, the hope from the podcast is really for like these small little takeaways is saying, Hey, because we're a people first, we know people are going to go through moments both Yeah. Happy and wonderful moments. And unfortunately maybe the other side of moments, so there should be a budget, a moment budget, right?

Scott - [20:49 - 20:59]

When somebody runs a, some a moment, an anniversary, a birthday, a wedding, or on the other side, hey, there's a budget that we, I Love a booing budget. Yes, A wooing budget. I love it.

Scott - [21:00 - 22:23]

I love it. I love it. But having, again, that's part of the culture of hey, we're people first and we want to celebrate or be comforting honor being supporting and honoring these moments. And like those little things are kind of know what counts. And again, I I just love these little ideas cuz for me, again, it's people first, right? That's the only type of company you could run if you're not a people first company. Like you shouldn't be in business. But again, maybe that's ne not necessarily true. That's, I mean, that's the kind of business I wanna run and I wanna be in. But on the other side, it may not be. And I, I saw a great post from, from Valentina Thorner the other day. I have a call For this afternoon, Yeah, great. so you can, you can know, tell her we spoke about her today. Yeah. And she had a post the other day saying, I've always personally been against the idea of hiring regionally, right? That's just, just terrible remote culture. No, you have to hire everywhere, whatever. That's what we did envision we hired the best anywhere. But you had a specific point that if you're hiring locally or regionally, because the fact is, hey, we would like to actually get the team together three, four times a year and we only have a certain amount of budget. So if you're hiring anywhere and globally, maybe once a year would be too expensive for the company to get together. But if you're doing, you're sending up for right, the right intention, right? We want everybody in the US East coast or in central Europe, not because we want synchronous work or not because it's a cost, whatever.

Scott - [22:23 - 22:41]

It's because hey, we wanna get together and the only way we're gonna be able to forward to get everyone together cause we understand how important it is, is by being in one space. And, and at first I saw that, I'm like, no, no, no. And afterwards I'm like, that's that's very interesting.

Darcy - [22:41 - 24:27]

It's smart, right? And I, I think that that's, it's like, you know, I'm in the same camp of view. I've always been a a people first person. my background isn't in hospitality and I believe in nothing other than a hospital, a hospitality standard culture. Like I run cultures I on based on high end Michelin star hospitality like Danny Meyers. Setting the table is literally my culture book Like, so using that hospitality mindset to come in, again, that's not for everybody. Yeah. But what the thing we're really talking about here, which I think is important is that why writing your culture down and defining the culture you wanna be early on is so important is that it will magnetize the right people and it will, it will detract the right people. But if you just say we wanna be remote first or we wanna be people first, but we don't actually know what that means, we haven't made a decision to define what that means for us. That leads to massive confusion. It's incredibly expensive. Turnover is incredibly high. You go through this mismatching of values. Whereas a lot of these problems that companies are dealing with at the moment, they can solve them beforehand. And I would encourage anybody who's out there, especially in a small team, 50 or under people op leaders who are listening to this, one of the best things you can do right now is to start putting definitions to the words that you have on your employer brand, on your job descriptions and on your employee journey. Like defining what that means. We're going through a rebrand of work right now and it allows everyone to be a culture architect, to be a people operations designer. And that is a liberty that we did not have on a social scale before the pandemic.

Darcy - [24:27 - 24:47]

And it really, really, the more that you can define those things, it's like a dating app. The more that you say what you're looking for and who you are, and the more vulnerable and honest you are in a follow through, the more you're gonna attract those people into your life. And it's the exact same thing with the job description and the employee journey.

Scott - [24:47 - 26:16]

Love it. I couldn't agree more. I wanna now focus on something that I think unfortunately we've seen quite a bit in the last six plus months on this kind of, this let's say employee journey of the offboarding, right? We went through six months of those useless c e o emails of, I'm so sorry, I had to put the company and the investors first and like all that kind of stuff. And like, just those things may be sick. but focusing on the offboarding of whether it's, you know, the company's downsizing, or come maybe employees are leaving, are there can specifics in there that are like those best practices that companies should invest in when people are leaving again, hopefully for good reasons or even cases where they're not. So things like ideas of exit interviews, especially when people are maybe leaving on their own, like, what did we get wrong and what did we miss and how could we improve? And, and ob obviously those things around that, things around like severance and references and not for me the idea of, oh, here's like some air table list of all these awesome employees who I highly recommend versus Hey, I'm the founder, I know these couple companies are still hiring. I'm going to personally reach out to that c e o and say, Hey, I see you're looking for this and this they role. Here's, here's the people you want. and like maybe what that looks like and, and like similar things like that. Are there keeping equipment, whatever, what have you, are there like those best practices that remote companies should be embracing on the offboarding piece of the, the lifecycle of an employee?

Darcy - [26:16 - 28:07]

Absolutely. And I will quote Patty McCord, who was the VP of people at Netflix for 14 years. When I say this, think about your offboarding in a way that you are a great place to be from. You want people speaking highly about your organization because you might be going through another hiring screen in a few years once things calm down. Like you wanna keep that longevity and not burn bridges. And so I think that's number one, right? Like how are you creating an experience that is a great place to be from? I think also consistently throughout the employee journey, not just at the end talking about that nothing is ever wonderful all the time and really helping your employees become resilient in change. And I think that's, that's part of the process, not just in offboarding, but consistently. I see a lot of cultures like, this is great, this is great, this is great. And not acknowledging, we've just been through an insane pandemic. Parents are having a really hard time. Like focus is an all-time low at the moment. I see you pointing at yourself. Yeah, like acknowledging that consistently and cons and like having book clubs on here. One of my favorite books is by Dr. Edith Eger and she wrote the Choice. She was in a holocaust camp in a detain camp for years and she's a psychologist now. And reading those books as a group in different situations saying when things come up we can do hard things. And building that resilience muscle, I think that's part of life and something that a company can choose to do to offer their employees. Now back to kind of the offboarding piece. Yes, exit interviews. If you're doing exit interviews, you should be doing stay interviews as well once a year, right?

Darcy - [28:07 - 29:44]

Like why do you stay, why would you recommend this place to a friend? Then you can start really building on those things before the problem, before it becomes a problem. I think two, really having a package of resources. I would even go as far to say hiring somebody kind of before or no, like even middle of the learning and development journey to help people understand LinkedIn better to help beef up their LinkedIn profile. Not just because they might be doing a layoff, but because it's just good social practice to have it, it's a great thing for the company to have their employees doing. If you do that as part of the journey, those people are already way more set up for success at the end of this than they would've been if you hadn't integrated something like that. I would also say having a package and just saying having templates to help people apply for jobs. Here are some best practices. I think that's the thing that people get stuck with most. They feel at the end of this like, oh my gosh, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I I feel like I'm not worthy. And giving people a lot of resources to here's what's worked here, what hasn't for, well people who applied here at the beginning would be really, really, really helpful and really supportive. So I think versus just having kind of all this volunteer stuff thrown on, really having that kind of offboarding package tied up with a bow while also thinking about someday we might have to do layoffs. Are there things that we can integrate into our l and d into our employee experience as part of the journey that would benefit us now? And also support employees later if they choose to leave is a really smart way to think about it.

Scott - [29:44 - 31:10]

That is just so fantastic, especially the point, it's something that I've argued and people have debated with me of the thought of what happens when someone leaves, or again, that's not what happens one day if we need to cut staff. Like you should be thinking about these things way early on. Right? I remember one of the first things I ever did in my career was my first job, I had to create this document called the OSS document, basically, or I'm gonna throw a curse out here so you feel free to note it was called the, oh shit, it was the oh shit scenario that in the event that I think this was like after nine 11, I think it was right after the time in the northeast there was like a blackout that lasted for whatever it was like in this event. What happened in that event? Like all these different kind of crazy scenario scenarios that will likely probably never happen, but we are thinking about them long ahead of time. And this is something that I've tried to push on companies, Hey, you should, should be thinking about this in the, in the event you need to fire somebody or people need to leave or there's downsize, right? You should know what an optimal setup looks like and amazingly what you said start investing in it during the time, right? Get an expert for LinkedIn profile, get in learning development, like start investing in them. So at the times that they leave with hopefully voluntarily versus not, right? They're set up, they're much more in a place of being set up for success versus, oh, what do we do now? let's try to figure out and scramble together, trying be ni as nice as we can, and hopefully not get a negative rating on Glassdoor.

Darcy - [31:10 - 31:48]

Yeah, exactly. I love the oh shit document. I totally agree with that. I think it's so important to just be thinking about that employee journey for such a long time. I mean, the opening and closing of any meeting of any experience is the most, basically the most memorable, right? Like you're gonna remember how you were treated and how, what your experience was the moment you joined that company. And the moment you leave so much more than the moment in between. And the way you bookend that is so telling of your culture and how much you do or don't care, frankly, in the employee experience.

Scott - [31:48 - 32:31]

Hundred percent. wanna again, dive into something that you had mentioned before and which seems to be a very commonplace idea with remote companies and the idea of documentation, right? Many remote leaders like yourself, myself, everybody out there is documentation is crucial, right? And culture and everything else that you do is so foundational to the success of remote companies. Why is that? And like how much, how much and what should companies be documenting and when, like when they launched the company, did they need to be documenting all these policies and procedures or is something again, at different stages and milestones of the company, hey, now we should start focusing on documenting whatever it may be.

Darcy - [32:31 - 34:22]

Everything should be documented, whether it be video documentation or written documentation. And I say that from the aspect of if you're really wanting to be a remote first company and truly honor people, being able to design their lives around their work versus the other way around documentation is the only way to really set those intentions. And part of that as well is assimilation. You know, if you have an employee who's in New York and is very well versed in kind of culture and they've, they have a lot of like multicultural experiences and they've traveled a lot, like they may have a little bit more worldly view of how people operate and interact with one another. Whereas you may have somebody in a tiny town in South America who has never been outside of their town, they've never been on a plane before, they don't, may not interact in the same way as that person in New York does. And you've got, and those two people work on the same team. So what are your cultural standards? How do you treat one another? What is permitted at the company? Because those people actually won't know how to work well together to deliver the product, to deliver the profit. Unless as a company you define what that shared cultural experience is when they log in together. And I'm gonna give an example. I mean Techstar was a tax company, right? A lot of people had been coming from very rigid state organizations, clocking clock out someone on your shoulder the whole time, like very micromanagement, not everybody, just a few. I had a, a teammate come to me their first week via Zoom and ask me what they needed to do if they had to go to the bathroom.

Darcy - [34:22 - 35:50]

They were in their forties, they were at home. Mm-hmm That tells us everything, right? That tells us you have to give the people permission to actually live their lives because a subset of employees have never actually had that type of freedom at work. And it sounds so simple and it sounds so kind of Sesame Street, but we are literally relearning how to work and we have to write down what that operating system is and what is implicit needs to be made explicit. So if I ask a team that I'm consulting, Hey, how do you, if you, if you are on product and you are collaborating with somebody in marketing, walk me through how that happens. Where does it happen? What's the flow? And if you can't give me an answer, that means it's not documented. And that means that process is taking 10 times as long as it would need to take wasting 10 times as much of the company's money and employee's energy if you took the time to write down that process. So it's referenceable standardized for everybody. Doesn't mean it can't evolve, doesn't mean you can't change it. But unless people take what's out of their brains and are able to write it down or record a loom or create some sort of ecosystem where that behavior lives, it is all up to the assumption of how that person's past experience has been at work.

Scott - [35:50 - 36:55]

Yeah. I, I love the case. I won't wanna say I love it, but love the, I know appreciate the case of the, of the 40 year old person from, from the state tax departments and asking, you know, what the process of, of getting permission to go to the bathroom was, I had a, an earlier episode this season, kind of the opposite side of during the pandemic, they were hiring Gen Zs and one person, I guess a Gen Z person asked is like, what's the policy around including emojis when I speak to my boss? Right? I guess that's when you're talking with your friends, it's emojis and no acronyms and things like that. Is that acceptable business behavior? And like, who would think these things, but somebody's experiencing this and the idea of right here's a best practice here, it's written accessible to everybody and it's not just stuck in one person as sitting on their own island thinking, can I do this? Can I not do this? Because they're probably not the only one and future, right? If you hire, maybe in that case more Gen Zs that ca, that question's probably gonna come up over and over again as you continue to hire.

Darcy - [36:55 - 38:35]

Absolutely. And then I'll give an example from my own experience too. Working in tech in San Francisco, I came from bars and restaurants I came from, so I came from like high end bartending in hospitality and in our office in many tech Silicon Valley offices, there's a beer fridge, there are wine taps, right? Like it's part, it was, it's part of the environment. I remember my first week I was pretty young. I grabbed a beer at lunch, like it, that was from my background. That was a very, very normal thing to do in my industry. And I got reprimanded very publicly and shamed that that wasn't something we do here, but there's a beer fridge that's open 24 hours a day. What's telling me that that's not okay? So again, that person, I'm sure they didn't mean to shame me in any way, shape or form. And I, I learned that lesson very quickly that it was an appropriate till after 5:00 PM but because of my background in years in an industry that that was very normal, that I, I I was embarrassed. And so a lot of this is really just realizing that when we hire remotely, specifically the difference in prior experience and work life and city life is not shared in hardly any capacity. And so those nuances become even more essential to helping people feel comfortable, feel like they belong, and help them navigate the environment that you've decided that you wanna run and they've decided to join.

Scott - [38:35 - 39:04]

That's absolutely priceless. One of the first things that companies tend to put down in documentation, whether it's remote or not, our company values or virtues that are supposed to align, know the team and the grand mission for we'll call remote companies. What should those, let's say, remote focused values be focused on and how can companies really help align their team and connect their team to those values on a, a day-to-day or regular basis?

Darcy - [39:04 - 40:58]

Well, number one, the values should be intrinsically held by the founders and leadership tra team. If those value, if those, you know, founding teams and leaders I see often will create values of who they want to be, not who they actually are, and then they actually end up not recognizing themselves in the culture and they aren't able to champion on it. And I, I think that's number one the most important thing to think about. Whatever your values are, whatever they choose to be, they need to be intrinsically mo you, you need to be intrinsically motivated by them if you are part of a founding team, part of a leadership team. So that's just number one. I think any value that is surrounded around trust is massive. So, one thing I would really encourage companies to do is, Shalom Schwartz, he's a researcher, did an incredible paper on the theory of universal human values. And there's basically 10 different kind of umbrellas of values that everybody shares across any culture and any belief system. And starting to see what values do you feel like resonate with your team there? Like, are you a team that really likes to build relationships? Are you a team that likes to work really on your own very autonomously? Are you a team that really wants to create a space of belonging? And so again, I think it comes back to who are we and who do we want to grow up as? And then crafting those values around that. And again, importantly is remote doesn't kill culture, it reveals it. And the only thing holding companies together as a compass, I would say is the values and the behaviors that are attached to them. And one more thing I will say around values is when companies are either going through a values exercise or elevating their values or deciding what their values are, whatever that might be, they need to be co-created.

Darcy - [40:58 - 41:29]

Because again, you can't just say, here are our values, but then no one recognizes themselves in them. And then writing about three to four sentences underneath each values of defining what that value means. Because again, values can be interpreted and you wanna do your best as a company or as a people leader to make sure the values are as defined as possible to the nature of your company to really scale within that frame because you don't want values to be misinterpreted.

Scott - [41:29 - 42:21]

I I love that idea that you mentioned towards the end of three or four sentences and even kind of potentially the collaboration. Like if one of your values is consistently learning, just throw some kind of wild idea out there. Sure. And giving everyone the opportunity, what exactly does continually learning mean for you? And for one person means how do I, right, how do I get better at the job that I'm doing? Or another person, how do I get better job for the, that I want within the same company? Or how do I want to go for the next thing and everyone puts in And based on that, like defining truly what it means to continually grow based on let's say all those sentences or answers that everyone gives. I I I think that's actually fa quite fascinating. Here's my favorite Question again, one of the cool things Oh no, no, no, no, please, no, no, no, no. Go, go, go.

Darcy - [42:21 - 43:07]

Awesome. One thing I can say to folks out there who might, might be going through a values reevaluation process, which I think happens pretty often for a lot of companies, especially now that people are, are, are really honing in on remote, is take the values you already have and ask people to define them for you. Ask your team to define what does it mean here? Like literally your people have all of the answers already. And if you have somebody who can honor that process and kind of project manage that research process and aggregate the data to start finding the commonalities, you'll have no problem value or evolving the values in a way that people intrinsically act within them. And that's a thing I don't think that we do enough. We don't ask our people who already have the answers.

Scott - [43:07 - 43:28]

Well that's, that gets me into my next question, which is probably my favorite question about culture and when again, you tend to hear some rigid answers and which not who owns company culture is the people ops everybody. Is it the C-suite or is the correct answer like the one that I would also give? It's everybody.

Darcy - [43:28 - 44:15]

Excellent culture is co-created, culture is co-created. It is the responsibility of every single person in a company to honor, stay accountable to and evolve the culture. And every seven people that you add to a company, the culture will shift. So I think one thing to note in kind of the ownership piece is the importance of cultural alignment in leadership. Because those leaders, they don't own it, everybody owns it, but in a lot of ways leaders need to shepherd and model it. And so that's why really hiring leaders who are super culturally aligned is so important to then be able to scale that culture, that dominant culture. And you don't have these subcultures that start to break off and to really start to look very different than the rest of the company.

Scott - [44:15 - 44:49]

Beautifully said. Next, interrelated to that, I would love to cut you your insight of what do you think is the real differentiating factor or factors between the world class remote cultures, doist, GitLab and company. And what I'd probably guesstimate is the 70 plus percent of remote companies who are just doing remote these days, Intention I mean like I it's one word, right?

Darcy - [44:49 - 46:16]

Like I really, it really is intention. It's what I see in every one of those 70% of companies that I've spoken to or consulted on, is there is very little intention in how they want to do remote. And many companies are stuck in a cycle of just lifting and shifting what they've experienced in the office. And they say, now we're remote. Versus saying, okay, do we need to hire somebody or a team specifically to intentionally redesign our operating system, redesign the way we work, help shift our mindset into a new operating rhythm. And we're just, I think we're gonna be stuck in this kind of push and pull. I am gonna give us another two to five years probably is my, is my, my gut there. thank you. But I, you know, I think that's really the difference. It's intention and it's intentional hiring for a work experience team who is fully focused on the re architecture. You wanna build a new office, so you wanna do a, a re a remodel on your office. You hire a team, you hire a contractor, you hire interior designers, you hire people to build those rooms and then people will walk through them in the way they're designed. It is the exact same thing with remote.

Scott - [46:16 - 47:45]

That's, that's so awesome. Again, these are things I've been saying for God knows how long, it's, I think in three, this is the third season I guess towards the end of the third season. The, again, obviously No, no, no surprise, the number one word that's come up when it comes to remote work isn't intentionality right? On every single episode intentionality. Yes. 70% of those companies who are doing remote are obviously not doing it the right way, right way because yes, they're notin intentional and exactly what you said, and I've been preaching this for like three damn years now that you're remote or you're gonna be hybrid or whatever you were thinking, you're going to be, you need to completely redesign how your company operates, how you hire and onboard and mentor and learning development and engagement and all those different things for a remote environment. Cuz it's totally different and it doesn't work the same way. It's not going to work the same way. And almost nobody's done that. And it kind of for me aligns into obviously a hiring of, no, I had an episode, it was either early this season or last season with with Tyler Sell Horn. on the topic of no, the head of remote, I'm the big believer, the head of remote is the new coo, right? The person who's coming in, and I've interviewed for a bunch of these roles, I've talked a lot of recruiters and founders and things and it, and seemingly what most companies had hired was someone with three to four years of total experience all tend to be within people ops. And really what they're looking for was, hey, what tools do we use? And I'm like, that's not what you want.

Scott - [47:45 - 49:22]

Really what you need is, right. A coo, someone who's had that experience obviously long before the pandemic, who's built and scaled remote teams, who has that cross organizational experience who can understand the interconnectedness of finance and IT and legal and, and HR and people and culture and all those different things. Someone who, who's experienced and understands how all those things are connected, right? If you have an IT person, IT security person saying, hey, we need to be more secure and we're now that we're not within the company network, no we're potentially at risk so we need to put no better security software in there. And all of a sudden like okay, that made sense. But if someone included, hey we should be like monitoring our employees in some capacity. Someone who has that maybe IT experience would say, ah, yes, no, that makes sense, right? Could do monitor employees to make sure they're not putting the company at risk. But you need the person who also has the culture and, and people op experience. Who says That? How will that affect Exactly the like company Exactly. Company culture wise. Like that's terrible. Or my favorite, my favorite argument is, salary, right? Global salary or local salary. And for me it's right, I'm a big believer in global compensation. You pay for the contribution that the company gets. So if you are doing the same exact job, contributing the same exact thing, it shouldn't matter where the hell in the world you're sitting I the company getting the same thing out of Darcy. I'm same getting the same thing from Scott. Both of you should get paid the same thing versus versus different. Cause I said, Hey, I mean how would I feel knowing that Darcy gets paid twice as much cuz she lives in California, but I'm doing the same exact job.

Scott - [49:22 - 50:26]

But culturally, so from a finance perspective, ah yeah, of course we wanna pay Scott half as much cuz he lives wherever. But again, from that culture piece, it's like culturally how does that work? And not so many people have that experience. And I think again, part of where we're gonna come out, and I've I've said multiple times and I think we're actually gonna get maybe that in one of my next questions. It's, we have at least another 18 to 24 months of quite a bumpy ride, right? Pandemic, thankfully has, has pushed us into remote, okay, the world understands a remote, we've done remote, but again, most companies not doing remote the right way and it's going to be kind of trudging through this experience. And I think the, the companies are going unfortunately to have the upper hand for part of that time because of just what the economy is in. But once like the economy starts turning around, then for me it's right. The whole argument of return to office that we're still unfortunately happening, right? 18 to 24 months from now, that's done. Nobody talks about that anymore. The next thing is going to be like, right? What? There's synchronous meetings, they're synchronous communication. Like, I can't live my life and be happy and just get the work I need to get done. Like thanks, but no thanks.

Darcy - [50:26 - 50:47]

Right. Yeah, I totally agree with you. And I think we're also in this interesting space right now, a fractional, so I'm currently serving as a fractional head of remote for a client for on a six month contract. And part of I've seen a lot of demand for it. I know there's a few, a lot of what's happening is a lot of people in our space, Scott, and I think you've done this, haven't you?

Darcy - [50:49 - 52:24]

Yeah. A lot of people in our space who've been in the remote space for longer than the pandemic and have kind of that muscle built on what it can be like, how amazing it can absolutely be if it's done, and I don't wanna say right, I wanna say done in a way that's supportive to so many different people's lives, so many different experiences. Like how do we create that cohesive experience where people can desi define, sorry, design their lives around their work versus the other way around. And you know, this fractional gig is interesting. It, it's interesting because there aren't enough people I would say that I know of. I could be totally wrong. Maybe I'm missing a hundreds of thousands of people out there that have this skillset and I put my foot in my mouth if I am. But there's almost this need to have fractional folks in the space to help people realize what they actually need. Like that's what I'm seeing the appetite from companies, they're saying, oh my gosh, they have a champion on their people ops team. They have a champion on their leadership team that's like, we need this. And headcounts like, nah, we don't, we're doing fine. We're working well remotely. Don't worry about it because it, the the noise isn't there yet. Like yeah, it's the office talk right now. Like the noise isn't there yet. And so it's been really interesting to be in this space and to, to talk to other fractional executives. I think they're all sa we're all seeing the same thing. It's like, oh wow, okay, now you showed me that I need this, now we know we need it now we can get headcount for it. And so that's been a really, really fascinating kind of trajectory and I think we're gonna stay in that fractional space for a while as companies, they just want a little taste.

Darcy - [52:24 - 52:31]

They, they wanna know what's it gonna be like, what do we actually need? Can we test this out? And it brings some really interesting things to the surface.

Scott - [52:31 - 54:24]

Yeah, I I, I definitely agree and I again, I think one of an episodes ahead, the season two with a fellow J Poag, was on this kind of connection between the crypto oh mentor and the future of work and like that was one of the points of these fractional people who would like, you have your core team, but you have the fractional people that come in and come out. And I definitely agree with the sense of, hey, maybe somebody's been a mentor or kind of a consultant here and there and has brought something to light where it's come internally, Hey, we need this. And I believe like the remote head of remote is probably that perfect example. Cause I say for myself, right? I was the first hire in a vision. Yeah, literally the first hire there back in 2012. I helped build and scale the company eventually grew to like a thousand people, 2 billion. Yeah. Know I scared the ear, I scaled the early years of it. How many people in the world exist with that amount of experience, Right? Maybe two hands like your ceo, your first operations hire like in a company back then and aren't so many of them. So I think that, I mean that person who has that much experience building, scaling remote companies and, and all those bit bits pieces, I think that's, I think companies are going to get there. And to that point of, hey, I said that was my question with this hetero remote, are companies looking maybe for these people more junior with less strategy, more transaction because they don't think that unicorn exists. They don't think people have actually built and scaled remote companies before the pandemic when there obviously people are like us and maybe when they realize, hey, there are some people who've done it, and that becomes like that unicorn hire, Hey, okay, we now need to embrace this again more outta necessity because we're being forced to versus we want to, so we need this person to kind of come in, lay the groundwork, lay the foundation, like lay the, you know the plumbing and then okay, and then be then bring in a bigger team of maybe more transactional people, but at least having that structure talking about the future.

Darcy - [54:27 - 56:07]

You said that that actually exists. No, no, no. I mean, was that the question? Like I think that that's what people are looking for at the moment. And I think, but the other, the other layer to that is the, the bumpy waters and kinda the bumpy road that we're talking about is the 70% percent companies you mentioned are, I would say are mostly in that camp of reactionary remote. So there's actually a layer of deep change behavioral management that needs to happen versus this, we're starting as a remote first company. We know what that means. We've defined that, which frankly I think you could probably hire a more junior person in because you get, you've blue ocean space, you're not dealing with kind of all of this different behavioral change. Everybody's behaving within the same sort of, ideally if you've hired right? And you're, you've started to write your culture down within the same ecosystem and you don't have all of these different interpretations of what does remote mean here? What did it mean before? What is like, so there's, there's that muddy road of the companies that are already in it and then there's like this amazing, like, I can't wait to work with these people. Yep. This like train that's about to come down the track of these amazing founders and hopefully from a lot of these tech layoffs, like there are brilliant people who have been laid off from a lot of these companies and small companies too, that I really hope start remote first companies. And I say, we're gonna do this and we're gonna do it because we knew it sucked this other way and we're gonna do it right. And that's where I think in the next 18 to 24 months, we're gonna see like some seriously cool stuff come, come down the road.

Scott - [56:07 - 56:31]

Yeah. You're so right. I mean, would any company founder is launching a company today? Would they really be decide from now, Hey, I wanna be a hybrid company. Oh, you never knew what I wanted to do that. Okay, so 18 to 24 months, let's, let's look into the crystal ball. Let, let me tell us what you're thinking you're, we're going to be seeing culture-wise, remote wise, whatever you think in the next 18, 18 to 24 months.

Darcy - [56:31 - 57:58]

I think we are going to have employee experience design teams. I think like that would be a dream of mine. I saw a role the other day that was, that popped up around that. I think that that's gonna be really fascinating. I think we're gonna start seeing a lot more investment in employee journey mapping. So as it mirrors kind of the customer experience, what does that look like? which I would love to see again, that hospitality lens like to be a competitive employer in this market, especially with the data that's come out for Gen Z. You know, you see in your remote company, you see, you know, many, and I can't speak for all of Gen Z, I'm not Gen Z, but you know, what I read is, oh well we're not getting enough connection at work. Well that's probably because it's not designed for you to have connection. Like it's not about that. You're not getting it. It's that the company culture actually wasn't designed for you to have it. And so a comeback to that design process, like I wanna see employee experience, design teams, head of people and culture should not be doing all of the compliance all of the HR stuff, everything. Like this is a solely focused role of work experience and what is that experience that we are creating cohesively and collectively as a holistic experience, whether you're hybrid or remote first, it doesn't matter. But that focus I, I think, is going to just boom in the next 18 to 24 months.

Scott - [57:58 - 58:13]

Totally on board. So I'll ask you a question re relate to that for this team, or let's say if it's an individual person head or remote or remote experience, where does that person sit in the organization chart? Cause I'm gonna go through an experience that I had, but I would love to hear your answer first.

Darcy - [58:13 - 59:04]

Yeah. it depends, and I think it depends on the size of the organization. and it depends on what, at what point they hire that person. I, it's a highly cross-functional role and unless there's a design team that already exists, I say it's usually I like to see it under operations. So reporting to the c e o. So really, really, so it needs to have a lot of, lot of influence on executive team. So reporting between C E O and C H R O or C P O. So really that cross-functional, you're the bridge between the C E O and the people ops team. And then I see a lot of buildout within that team itself. So people analytics a lot of times will report to that team. So you can have the analytics to really understand, how to make the changes that this company needs to change. So, again, operations, but with a heavy, like 60% operations, 40% people.

Scott - [59:04 - 01:00:43]

That was my answer. again, I ask you Yeah, yeah. I mean, which tends to be not the answer I always get. So I, I was interviewing for head of remote role and they weren't sure they, at the same time they had just hired a new VP of, of, of HR or people ops and they weren't sure was this head of remote going to report into the C O O or the new head of, of people of people. And so I was speaking with the CEO multiple times, I said, okay, regardless of this works between us, I said, that role, that person needs to report directly to you. And I kept in the answer like multiple times I spoke with this person. I said, because there's going to be times and you have to be prepared. Now what's going to be happen when you have a conflict between, on one side scaling a company, right? The person, like maybe the HR person has more experience there versus building a worldclass remote culture, right? That was their, their big drive. We wanna, we wanna be, be the next GitLab, we wanna be the next doist, we wanna build the best world class culture, this and that. I said, there's going to be times, especially this, this VP of HR came from the office space world where there's gonna be a conflict. And again, I, the example I kept bringing up was this, salary difference, right? This, yes, now you wanna hire globally whatever the HR person in theory had experience at whatever companies they were with of hiring, let's say in hub this in London and, wherever. So they paid localized salary based on whatever hub and they hired in hubs specifically. And that's great when you're trying to scale a company, but if you're now looking on the other side, having to build a, a worldclass remote culture, a the hub thing really may not work.

Scott - [01:00:43 - 01:01:26]

Again, outside of the reason we spoke at the end of the beginning, but the pay now comes into play. If you, now you're hiring in South America or BU is because you can pay a designer or whatever it is, you know, half that when you can pay them. Well, that's not a world class remote culture. Like that's a pretty crappy culture. So I said to the ceo, like, what happens then? Right? If this person reports into the, the head of hr, most likely then you're going to hire in hubs. So what happens then? Like they need to come directly to you, the, the, the c because you're the one that has to understand like what the impact is on finance, on hr, on all these other pieces. They get the big picture of what if you're Going to make these decisions?

Darcy - [01:01:26 - 01:02:16]

Yeah, if you're gonna make these decisions, here are the consequences. Make whatever decisions you want. And I think that's what it's coming back to. And it comes back down to writing your culture down, right? Like and defining who you wanna be if you are going to make these decisions and your goal is going to be a is your goal, is to be a world class remote culture. You need to know how these de decisions are going to affect that. And you need a voice of reason and a voice to help guide the cohesive leadership team to make those decisions in alignment, but also to bring the data to the table and to bring the insight to the table to fine, do whatever you want. But if you make these decisions, it is going to take you from the world class remote culture you think you may have down a few notches. Are you okay with that?

Scott - [01:02:16 - 01:03:15]

Yeah, yeah. So the last question I have is kind of like a two-sided or two-part question. I wanna kind of leave the listeners off with, again, I always try to have specific action steps that they can take. So for company executives that are, again, part of this 70% of remote companies just doing remote, what are the three most important things that they should be thinking about or working on to improve their company and company culture in 2023 kind of part one? And similarly for let's say the individual managers, middle managers, lower managers at these same companies who they themselves embracing, they think, hey, async makes sense at Four Day Workweek. And they wouldn't em embrace, embrace the best that the future work has to offer. But again, the company isn't there yet. What are, let's say three easy wins that they can implement themselves as individual managers, you know, wherever they are that can have an impact on let's say just their individual teams.

Darcy - [01:03:15 - 01:03:20]

Okay, I'm gonna, there are two questions here, so I'm gonna start with the founder.

Scott - [01:03:20 - 01:03:27]

Go for it. Go for it. Yes, I, it was really two questions I wanted to molded into one, but yes, let's pull it back up two.

Darcy - [01:03:27 - 01:05:09]

That's okay. I might have you repeat the second one. so for founders, number one, manage your psychology. I mean, I think that's the number one thing. Ben Horowitz talks about this, it's the number one thing a founder needs to do when working remotely. It's managing your psychology and always checking yourself. And I think number two is getting in alignment with the rest of your leadership team on what type of remote culture you want and what are you putting out there and does it match the behaviors in which you are behaving and does it align with your future plans? And again, I think that's the other thing, like there's no right or wrong remote culture. It's what you decide as a company you wanna offer and then advertising it that way and honoring it. So those are two huge things. And I think number three is leading by example. Once you've made those decisions, really, really working hard to challenge yourself to live within those bounds and to exemplify that behavior. Because if you say, okay, kids are, we are a very family friendly remote culture, we don't mind when kids come into the room, it's no problem if your baby's on your lap, fine, this is just an example. But then you start saying, sorry, the second your kid walks into a room, you are now not honoring the culture that you said you have and that you wanna exemplify. So I think that's a very small thing, but can actually make a massive behavioral difference if you pay attention to those moments, especially in imagery and in videos. So those are the top three things I would say for a founder, for kind of the individual manager that knows this is the future of work. And can you repeat the question just one more time, so make sure I hit, hit the points?

Scott - [01:05:12 - 01:06:13]

Absolutely. So for those managers who are working for the 70% of companies just doing remote, again, not doing it the right way. Yes. And they themselves say, Hey, this future of work thing like this, this is totally it. Like we totally get async, we totally get the four day work week. We totally get the idea of deep work and, and being focused on contribution, whatever, all no ils. And so what the best that the future of work has to offer, what are like three easy things that those individual managers can implement within their, their specific teams? Again, the whole company may not yet be changing. So the com, the whole company may not, let's say be embracing the four-day work week, but an individual manager understands, Hey, for four day work week actually possible we need to be async by default. So maybe I don't have the ability for cross-team meetings to do async, but hey, you know what, my team meetings or my one-on-ones, like the work portion of those, like I've done with my teams, we're moving async to those so I can embrace the best within my specific team. So we'd love maybe like three easy wins for those individual managers.

Darcy - [01:06:13 - 01:07:45]

Yeah, I'd say number one, get on a call with your team and ask your team the type of culture that your team wants, right? Like if, if you have a team that really wants to be highly asynchronous, like again, your people have the answers and I think that we know that culture is co-created and you can have subcultures on teams. And so there's no problem. Number one, ask your team, ask your individual team members are there certain hours of day they love to work and certain hours they hate to work, could you maybe schedule the one synchronous meeting that needs to happen within those overlap hours? So I think again, just mind for information, mind for information, number one. Number two, create a space where different people can belong. And so again, that's really, really important. If you notice that people aren't talking up in meetings, maybe they're more introverted. So again, have these conversations with your teammates and say, how do you work best? And how can I shepherd you to work best remotely? So I think those are two, again, very simple things to just ask people what they like. And then you may not be able to give them everything they like, but you can help. Again, you're a designer and I think people don't realize that as a leader, you are a people-experience designer. No, I don't care if you're in engineering, I don't care if you're in marketing. You design the experience of your team and you have a lot of power and you have a lot of people with the answers. So those are two quick things. I would say number three, again, is very simple. Have an auto check-in with your team every week that just says, what did you do for yourself this week?

Darcy - [01:07:45 - 01:07:56]

Give people permission to just live their lives. And the more that you do that, I guarantee you, the more connected you will probably see them be to you and the culture.

Scott - [01:07:56 - 01:08:25]

They're just so much goodness in, in this past hour plus that, that we've recorded. it's, it's been fantastic. I, I can't thank you enough for coming on the show today and sharing the amazing wisdom, that you've been already sharing, you know, and social media and other places. So thank you so much for joining today. For people who are listening, wanted to get in touch with you wanna learn more about you, learn about more the coaching work that you're doing, what's the best way for people listening to get in touch with you and, and learn more about, what you're doing?

Darcy - [01:08:25 - 01:09:09]

Yeah, absolutely. So please find me on LinkedIn. That's the best place to find me. So just search Darcy Bowles. I'm sure Scott will. I'm sure you'll put some, notes in the show notes, and then, feel free to join my email list. So just go to my website, and sign up for my email list there. There's some cool stuff coming out this year just in terms of cultural development and kind of tips and tricks to really keep your teams connected, as we navigate these really muddy waters. You've got some people out there like me and Scott and a lot of our network who really wanna help and, would love to connect with you. So thank you so much, Scott. This was really fun and I'm really stoked we're finally able to record this podcast through the crazy holidays and all of this. And it's, it's awesome to see you A absolutely.

Scott - [01:09:09 - 01:09:16]

Yeah. Thank you again, thank you so much for the time. It was fantastic, fantastic conversation and for everybody listening, until next time, have a wonderful day.