Working Remotely & Benefits
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Working Remotely & Benefits
Omar Kassim & Aamir Kassim

Working Remotely & Benefits

4 min read - Last updated Jan 23, 2018

We’re Remote (Mostly)

Esanjo is primarily a remote organisation with a single HQ location out of Dubai. Our offices are a bit of an overhang from our last venture, and as we like ‘em we’ve decided to leave them as is. Whilst we don’t want to explicitly rule anything out, we don’t see ourselves setting up offices anywhere else anytime soon.

Our Rationale

To explain some of our thinking, I (Omar) posted this on Slack recently:

“Last Thursday (Thursday 11th January 2018) was @colombo’s first day of going fully remote!

After looking at a tonne of different spaces, and a negotiation that went somewhat off the rails, we realised that this may be the perfect opportunity for us to go remote.

“Do we really need to spend a bunch of hours every day to come into a shared space where we all open our machines to do the same thing that we could do just about anywhere?”

We think we can give everyone a better quality of life (e.g. little to no commuting, more benefits) whilst getting more efficient and appealing as an organisation (cut out expensive office space that we don’t really need, hire great people globally). As with most things, we’ll run it as an experiment and aim to make it permanent if all goes well.

I carried out a set of one on ones with the team whilst I was out there last week and we unanimously agreed that we should do at least one weekly meeting where the team comes together at a given venue, grabs coffee, sees each other face to face and ideally spend a few hours working together. Nothing beats regular face to face interaction and a weekly meeting is our first of many counters against some of the biggest challenges of going remote - the lack of deep human interaction and being able to effectively build the right organisational culture. Our first one kicks off this Tuesday.

We’re giving the team a set of one-time and monthly allowances to cover the purchase of equipment and to cover any additional monthly expenses such as internet connections. We’re also putting together options on benefits such as gym memberships. @sushila @aamir and @shihan are continuing to discuss and are aiming to roll out the first set this week. We’ll iterate based on feedback.

Our offices in Dubai will remain our primary and sole hub. Across the organisation, we’ll continue to invest in tooling (audio, video, screensharing) and equipment to increase our communication, drive more collective discussion and ensure that going remote doesn’t mean that you exist solely in your own bubble.

I’m also spending a bunch of time going learning more about what’s working for others and I’ll continue to share pieces as they come up.

Lastly, in terms of future hiring - we’re really pushing hard to be able to hire just about anywhere. If you may know anyone that be a suitable fit for the team (wherever they may be!), @aamir will be ramping up hiring soon and will also be kicking off our internal bounty programme. More from him soon!”

Benefits and Policies for Colombo

The policies below apply primarily to the team in Colombo, but will be added to and evolve as we add team members in other locations.

Furniture

We think it’s important that if you’re serious about working remotely that you invest in a solid desk as well as a comfortable chair. Choose wisely!

The current budget for a desk and chair is USD 210. This is our current limit for Colombo, but you’re more than welcome to spend more or less should you wish to do so. This amount will be sent out with your first / next pay and does not need to be claimed.

We highly recommended that you go out and buy an appropriate set of furniture. It’ll make your work / life balance way better!

Internet Connectivity

We’re providing a budget of USD 100 to cover internet connectivity for Colombo. Please upload your provider’s invoice each month and we’ll process a claim against it. We’ll cover a maximum amount of USD 100 each month.

Keeping Fit, Sports Club and Gym Memberships

It’s important that all of us keep fit and have a solid work, life and play balance!

We’re providing a budget of USD 30 to cover a monthly gym or sports club membership for Colombo. Please upload your provider’s invoice each month and we’ll process a claim against it. We’ll cover a maximum amount of USD 30 each month.

Hot Desks

We understand that sometimes you may want to work out of a space that is remote but isn’t home. In Colombo, you’re more than welcome to go to Likuid Spaces at anytime that you’d like to and use a hot desk for a few hours or for the entire day.