Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

21st Century Work Life and leading remote teams

Brought to you by Virtual not Distant, the 21st Century Work Life podcast looks at leading remote teams, online collaboration and working in distributed organisations.

Join Pilar Orti, guests & co-hosts as they shine the spotlight on the most relevant themes and news relevant to the modern knowledge worker.

For more on our services, check out

Jan 11, 2018

Laura Roeder, founder of Meet Edgar, talks about how her company is structured and the role that clarity and transparency play in ensuring the right culture-employee fit.


What is Meet Edgar, why it was set up and how.
Bootstrapping it, decisions around funding in the company. How Meet Edgar was/is funded and why Laura decided not to raise any venture capital for the business.
How this funding model influences how people make decisions in the company.
Apart from salaries, the company's financials are shared throughout the company, so that employees can understand why profit margins need to be high, where the money is coming from and where it's going.
Company make-up and structure; the need for manageable timezones. Mainly working with others synchronously, but working from home. Products, Customer experience, Marketing, Operations.
The company has set working hours, there is some flexibility but you're expected to be "at work" during core hours in the normal workday.
You know when you're online, you know when you can schedule meetings with them.
Slack is main hub, or use Zoom or Slack's call feature for video calls.
Have a rule: You should be on video as much as possible, seeing someone just adds a strong extra layer of communication, seeing facial expressions, and whether someone is paying attention or not.
"If we're not typing, we want to be talking on video."
Regular meeting rhythms. Every Monday, company wide meeting; each department has a Monday planning meeting and Fridays are for retrospectives.
Set up early in this way from the beginning to be able to scale.
Ideal is that developers, writers can spend their time doing what they love to do, not managing or being part of other structural roles.
The online employee handbook is a great tool for recruitment, letting prospects know if the fit is right, especially for a remote company when people can't come and visit.

What does "we're really collaborative, etc,we have free beer" what does that mean for the day to day?
Clarity around what it's like there.
Shares so that it can help others.

Documenting the handbook is time consuming, but small details are very helpful for people. Eg if you are offering to cover learning, what expenses are appropriate?
Non-believer in Unlimited Vacations, because it can be unclear.
Clarity and transparency and what values mean to employees. What does following values mean for my behaviour?
The Culture Guide:

"Advocates", the managers. What are their responsibilities in Meet Edgar? The manager should be at the bottom supporting their team. They are advocate for their area, their team and team members.
What does having a great conversation look like?
Learning hands on and training for managers.
Studying books together as a company.
"We don't have to do it like everyone else does, let's just use our common sense, let's think about how we want to work together, how we want to be treated at work and let's base our policies around that."

Laura's own journey as CEO and how fascinated she is with the way in which companies can be structured.

Connect with Laura:

Laura Roeder on Twitter: