Working remotely: Living Armory’s remote-first culture
Sep 24, 2020 by DROdio
The future of work looks very different than it did just a year ago, pre-COVID. Armory has embraced and extended our strong remote culture to become a remote-first company, which means that although we have a physical HQ in San Mateo, CA, we don’t require anyone to be in a physical office, and that HQ serves more as a collaborative space.
I believe this trend is just beginning to ramp, and that within a few years, with 5G connectivity (and even high speed, low latency satellite-based internet on the near-term horizon), people will truly be able to work from anywhere — it won’t be uncommon for people to literally live their dreams, like working from a treehouse in the jungle of Costa Rica. People do their best work when they are happiest and most fulfilled, and where we each choose to live plays a huge part in that. At Armory, we’re not just supportive of remote work, but we actively encourage our crew to find the best place to work for each of their personal family situations — one that maximizes the work/life balance. At our size & scale today, we can allow our crew to work from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada that they can get their work done productively, and by being a remote-first company, we’ll be able to can find the best talent for any role globally as we scale the company, and we’ll also build a much more diverse and inclusive company, which is personally very important to me as the CEO.
The best part is that our crew is already doing it. In the video above, I did a “Between a Shield and a Fern” CEO interview to hear all about how the Armory crew is pushing the boundaries of remote work and living the future of what many of us will be trying:
- Zak lives and works from a 41 foot sailboat in Marina del Rey
- Evan works from Seattle — and across the entire US — in an Airstream for weeks at a time
- Gino finds cafes in South Florida to get quiet time from the kids
- Jason works from a farmhouse in Missouri
- Ryan works from his rooftop in San Francisco
Our crew has also shared a number of pro-tips about working remotely — whether it’s from a home office, or a boat.
- David: Make human connections with the crew remotely.
- Margaret: Turning video on is a great way to connect — but we also want to make culturally it OK for our crew to have their video turned off. It can be draining to feel like you need to be in “presentation mode” all day, every day.
- DROdio: Using Zoom’s “call me” feature to connect to audio can give you more stability, esp when you’re in an iffy internet situation. Using your phone for Zoom’s audio will ensure that even if your screen freezes, you can still participate in the conversation
- DROdio: Zoom virtual backgrounds are really useful! With a virtual background on, you can truly work from anywhere and nobody will even realize where you are. (In the video above, I was outside on my back deck, for example, because I had a child still sleeping within earshot of my home office area). Ther are many sites with high quality free stock photos for virtual backgrounds, like this one.
Zak in Marina Del Rey (on a 41′ sailboat)
- If you choose to live and work on a boat, I recommend you get a solid fixed monitor stand that you can bolt to a table, and secure the rest of your setup as well. This removes the friction from actually using your boat to go sailing as well as working, because you don’t have to spend time stowing your work setup.
- My primary goal with my setup is to be as mobile as possible. With the exception of the monitor, webcam, and headphone stand everything is designed to travel well. Being mobile means that even inside the house you can move throughout the day and maintain a consistent work environment.
Kit in Cupertino: