End Point Corporation, a full-service e-commerce consultancy, was founded in New York City in 1995 by Richard Peltzman and Ben Goldstein. End Point's services range from front and back-end development, database design and operation, and DevOps tooling, to developing, deploying, and supporting Liquid Galaxy systems.
We had the opportunity to chat with Jon Jensen, End Point's Chief Technical Officer, and this is what he had to say about End Point's remote working culture.
How many employees work from the office versus work from home?
Of our current 60 employees, 7 work from our New York City headquarters, 6 from our Tennessee office, and the other 47 work from home.
Where are your remote employees based?
Most of our employees are in the United States, with one in Canada, 9 in Europe, and a few in Asia and South America.
Do you prefer that remote employees work specified hours of the day or within a specific time zone?
Above all we need each employee, whether working from home or an office, to have a fairly predictable regular working time. Most of us work fairly standard office hours in the time zone where we live. This can be adjusted depending on current projects and the customers and co-workers we need to collaborate with. Our employees in Europe and Asia tend to work partly during their daytime and partly during their nighttime to provide overlap to communicate with the rest of us.
Which tools do you use internally for communication and collaboration?
Our primary tools are; Email, IRC, Flowdock, MediaWiki, our internal time-tracking tool, Google Calendar, Trello, GitHub, Google Hangouts, Skype, Google Docs, and various other ticket- and project-tracking tools our customers prefer.
Is there a particular tool that all employees are plugged into throughout the day?
Throughout the day employees are using IRC, email, and Trello.
Do you provide remote employees with equipment or a budget to purchase equipment?
We don't have a set equipment budget, but we do provide equipment as needed.
Do you have company-wide off-site events and / or encourage remote employees to visit HQ periodically?
Yes we do. Every few years we have had a company-wide gathering for three days at our New York City headquarters. There we all get to meet each other in person, show each other recent work and technology tips, discuss projects, and enjoy meals and some diversions in the city together.
Is there anything else that you would like to highlight for potential remote employees?
Good communication is extremely important. This is more obvious when working remotely, but is every bit as relevant in an office environment. Being proactive, writing clearly, asking questions to check assumptions, recording how you spend your work time, knowing when to use various tools (chat vs. email vs. voice) and taking responsibility to see a project succeeds. These are all good practices we look for in people and try to foster in ourselves. Remote work has been very productive for most of us, but it's not a good fit for everyone. You have to be honest with yourself about your ability to focus on what matters, communicate well, and have the discipline to work hard by your own motivation but also keep the rest of your life going so you don't burn out on overwork or become a recluse.
This is excellent advice from Jon, and his experience and understanding of remote working clearly explains how End Point has nearly 80% of their 60 strong workforce working remotely.
Interested in learning more? End Point's blog, a technical deep dive into the wide spectrum of technologies that End Point specialises in, is a great place to start.