Starting at a Remote Start-Up: My First Month at Process Street

Starting at a Remote Start-Up My First Month at Process Street

Process Street is growing like crazy. Every day I open up Slack, there’s someone new to welcome to the team. It’s like a mini virtual party every day with less cake. 🍰

Starting at a remote start-up can be tough – especially if it’s your first time working remotely, or at a start-up, or at a remote start-up. All those first-day jitters are magnified by the fact that you don’t even have a friendly work-buddy in the next office to walk you through it.

Well, you do have the friendly work-buddy; they’re just not in the next office. Or even the same country.

With this in mind, I thought it’d be fun to interrogate our newest teammates. There’s nothing that’ll make you feel like part of the team like getting interrogated by someone you just met so they can publish your innermost thoughts for all of the internet to see. Right? 😉

In this post, I talk to Process Street’s newbies about their first month with us. Please give a round of applause for my lovely volunteers:

Let’s meet the team!

Schutte (Mike)

Senior Front-End Software Engineer

Mike Schutte I was drawn to the unification of engineering, product, and design (EPD) as one team at Process Street, as well as their commitment to Shape Up as a product development strategy.

Process Street leans into using great tools to make remote work successful and fun. I appreciate how we emphasize over-communication and the social aspect of work via “Donut” [virtual coffee breaks via Zoom] meetings and hangouts.

EPD also has a social call every Friday. In my first one, I gave a tour of my house, but we play games or just riff on various conversation prompts. Personally, I love to go big on GIFs and emojis in Slack to add some personality and liveliness to our communication.

The company as a whole has a very warm energy. Most of my interactions are with the EPD team, but I always enjoy the random social meetings arranged via Donut. As someone from the US, it’s also really cool to work on a team that is not US-centric. I’m always learning about other parts of the world and reflecting on the relativity of my reality (all the cool accents are pretty great, too 😉).

During recruitment, I had an initial conversation with our then director (current VP) of engineering. That was followed by a technical pairing session and a technical conversation with a couple of engineers, a product conversation with a designer, and then finally meeting with the CEO. I also had touchpoints with the hiring manager after each meeting.

Once I joined the team, I’d say my onboarding was two weeks long. During that time, I spent two hours per day working on customer support, like all new employees. It was a great way to learn the product quickly and build empathy for our customers and how they use the app.

In terms of software, I was just getting acquainted with our various projects, fixing bugs, and improving user experience details in the app. The last formal aspect of my onboarding was meeting individually with each member of the EPD team – which is another thing all new hires do with their respective teams.

Our engineers are all very experienced and competent, so I’m still definitely getting fresh waves of imposter syndrome. 😉

“Act like an owner” is one of Process Street’s core values. When you’re working remotely, you’ve gotta be jazzed about what you’re working on and believe in where it’s going as if it’s your own business.

Watch the video below to get a peek at Schutte’s day!

Karolina Lasocki

Marketing Coordinator

Karolina Lasocki To be honest, I was intrigued by the product and the idea of a completely remote company. It’s important for me to work for a company I value, and that provides value for others. Process Street checks off both boxes!

The recruitment process started with a phone screening interview with someone from HR. My first impression was that I was speaking with someone who not only listened to my answers but also engaged in conversation, which for me, was a positive sign.

Following the first interview, I had three more interviews with management and department executives. In each interview, I learned something new about the work and company culture, and I genuinely enjoyed speaking with each interviewer. I’ve worked in the recruitment industry in the past, so I feel confident saying that Process Street has a smooth and efficient recruitment process.

I had a clear understanding of the onboarding process, thanks to a checklist that laid out all the different tasks, training, and resources. I regularly connected with team members, and there was always someone willing to jump on a call to answer any questions or just to chat! The onboarding process went on for about a month or two, although I feel like working with a start-up company, the learning never really stops!

Overall, the onboarding process was a positive experience. I feel like most of my challenges were a result of my own fears and doubts of whether or not I was progressing at a reasonable pace.

This is the first remote start-up I’ve worked at. The biggest challenge for me was adjusting to working remotely full-time. I’ve worked remotely in the past, but I also had the option to work from the company office.

Onboarding remotely was also a very different experience! At previous companies, I normally had someone close by to answer all my questions, show me around the office, meet new people in the break room, and so on. However, Process Street proved to be at the top of their league in terms of remote onboarding. I find that working at a start-up company gives me the opportunity to contribute in a more meaningful way.

It’s been a challenge learning to use many new different tools and software. Finding a consistent workflow groove was also challenging because each week was very different in terms of tasks and projects.

We use Slack to keep in consistent communication with each other – my team and also the whole company – which really facilitates building relationships. Especially because we have casual chats, too; it’s not all just about work.

Being at Process Street, I appreciate the trust in my ability to get things done, and the openness to share new ideas. There is a heightened sense of authority and responsibility when working with a remote team, and I find that quite gratifying.

If you’re considering working with a remote start-up, make sure to get a clear understanding of the onboarding process before you consider joining the company. You want to feel confident that the company has an organized structure for onboarding remotely.

Be open to change and adjustment! Start-up companies are constantly evolving and improving, so it’s important to go with the flow and trust the driving force of your team and the company!

I never considered myself to be very tech-savvy, but since working at Process Street, I consider myself a tech guru. These days, I find myself talking with friends and family about Zaps [on the workflow automation app, Zapier], processes, and workflows – a nice change from topics around the global pandemic!

Dyra Manangan

Illustrator

Dyra Manangan I applied to Process Street partly because of the ability to have a flexible work-from-home setup, but also because it’s just a cool company.

The recruitment process was very well-organized, and my onboarding has been great. Adam [Mousa, Visual Content Designer] has been guiding me through the process, and he’s amazing. My training only lasted about a week, and then I was creating images for the content team.

We communicate very well, so establishing rapport hasn’t been that difficult. The biggest challenge has been adjusting to the work process, but overall it’s been a really good experience.

I’ve been a home-based employee for years now. The difference with Process Street is that it’s very flexible and comfortable. The people are all very kind, and I really appreciate being able to set my own schedule. Process Street is definitely the company I’ve liked working at the most. In one word, it’s amazing!

I would highly recommend working at a remote start-up, especially given the worldwide situation with the pandemic.

Brian Ralston

Customer Success/Account Manager

Brian Ralston Process Street offers a great, disruptive product, which really appeals to me. I also like the ability to wear multiple hats, and being able to work anywhere in the world is a definite plus.

Every start-up is different, and this is the first fully remote start-up I’ve worked at. It’s also the first one where I haven’t really felt remote, or on an island. There’s a lot of daily communication with the team so I never feel as if I’m alone. That’s an important consideration when considering if a remote company – or even remote work in general – is right for you.

Everyone is very welcoming, though. It’s a very hardworking team, but they still go out of their way to check in, offer help, and see how I’m doing. Building relationships with the team has been easy because we have a lot of Zoom meetings and team activities. It’s been great!

The onboarding process takes about 3-6 months to get fully ramped up. I think it could use some more structure; for example, pre-populating the new employee’s calendar with onboarding tasks so they’re not left wondering what they should be doing. They could assign additional sample projects to bring more structure to the day and accelerate the learning curve.

I’ve really been enjoying my time at Process Street and I can’t wait to see where we go from here!

Logan Herzog

Demand Generation Manager

Logan Herzog Two things really sold me about Process Street:

  1. An executive team with tons of experience;
  2. A product that has an infinite amount of use cases (ideal for the channels I love to run).

Initially, I reached out to Vinay [Patankar, CEO] directly, and had my first interview with him. I then met with the leaders of the sales and marketing teams, and met with an outside consultant for my technical interview. It was about two weeks jam-packed with interviews, but overall it went very fast.

My onboarding process was actually a paid trial period. This meant I dove right into building campaigns, which is what I prefer. Immediately contributing to the company was a critical part of my experience.

This is the second remote start-up I’ve worked at – not including my years as a remote freelancer. Process Street has an awesome balance of flexibility and resources. I feel like I get lots of face time with the executive team, even though we’re apart, but I never feel like we have too many meetings.

I’m very comfortable with remote teams, so building relationships and integrating with the team wasn’t an obstacle for me. For me, the most difficult part of remote work is making sure I’m meeting expectations at a new role, but the face time I get with the executive team took care of that for me.

Now my challenge is figuring out how to position the product with urgency to cold prospects!

I think this is one of the smallest companies I’ve been a part of where there is this much experience at the executive level. I truly get the sense that my leaders have “been there” and have a vision of where to go and tackle specific challenges. It’s really fun to tackle the challenges of an early-stage start-up with people who know their stuff.

Leadership is incredibly responsive and supportive, and the whole team is super kind. I’m very happy with the team here.

To work in a remote start-up, you need to be 100% focused on execution and performance as it relates to your job description. It’s not quite as easy to hear about other projects and raise your hand to help out.

The opportunity to shine really comes from doing your job well in a measurable way. If that’s something you’re used to, remote work is relatively simple.

No newbies were harmed in the writing of this blog post

Joining a remote start-up is, in some ways, a leap of faith. It can also be extremely rewarding.

Working at a start-up offers not just the chance to improve something that already exists, but to build something completely new. You get to be involved at a level not always possible at larger, more established companies. This sometimes means you have to wear a hat you didn’t anticipate, but it also means a lot of trust and confidence is put in you to make the right call.

That doesn’t mean you’re on your own or flying blind, though.

Process Street’s culture revolves around team-building, over-communication, and ensuring a constant feedback loop. Our open-door policy means that any of us can hop on a call with any member of leadership – in addition to any of our teammates – and discuss a problem, a suggestion, or even just a quick chat if we feel the need to reconnect. That accessibility is an incredibly valuable thing.

What have been some of your greatest lessons while working remotely? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below!

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Leks Drakos

Leks is a rogue academic with a PhD in contemporary fiction from the University of Kent (Paris and Canterbury). Hobbies include post-apocalyptica, street photography, and monster studies. Twitter: @leksikality [he/him]


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