I used to talk about my status as a BlueCat remote employee in terms of addiction. “I’m hooked. I can never go back.”
After four years of remote work for multiple employers, I now realize that it goes a little deeper than that. It’s actually closer to a religious conversion. Remote work isn’t just a habit that I’ve fallen into. It’s a way of life that’s completely changed how I conceive of employment in the first place.
That’s how important remote work is to me now. It’s not just that I’m never going back to the slog of commuting into a physical office. A commitment to remote work is the baseline that I’ll use to evaluate every employer from here on out.
Every analysis of remote workers indicates that I’m not alone. Remote work is here to stay – employees demand it, and employers clearly benefit from it.
What BlueCat gets right about remote work
Not all remote workplaces are the same. It is possible to do remote work the wrong way. Thankfully, BlueCat is one of those companies that does remote work the right way. Through a conscious effort to engage remote employees, BlueCat’s culture code builds up employees, wherever they happen to reside. Here’s what that means to the folks at BlueCat who work from home full time, have a flexible schedule, or are remote part time:
We use video, every time: Every company has its particular videoconference culture. At BlueCat, it’s standard to turn on your video for every meeting. It seems like a small step, but I’ve noticed that makes a huge difference. It’s just more humanizing to engage with someone whose face appears before you. It also helps with understanding someone’s intent when you can see facial expressions and gestures. It’s part of being truly present.
Equal swag opportunity: Like most tech companies, BlueCat gives out plenty of branded clothing and other swag. BlueCat makes a conscious effort to distribute that swag out to remote employees. Random boxes are constantly appearing at my door with t-shirts, socks, hoodies, and other BlueCat paraphernalia. Is it all necessary? Not exactly. But it is a concrete acknowledgment that I’m not forgotten.
Celebrations: When birthdays or holidays roll around, more boxes tend to arrive. The gift cards roll in. There are handwritten notes. It’s a small gesture, but one that says, “BlueCat cares”.
Regular in-person meetings: Remote work at BlueCat doesn’t mean that you never make it into the office. I’m constantly jetting off to meet with my colleagues in Toronto and DC, representing BlueCat at industry events, and attending customer meetings. I was told early on that I need to be in the office at least once a quarter. That certainly hasn’t been an issue – I see my colleagues in person at least once a month, usually more.
Getting to know you: It seems counterintuitive, but I know a ton about my colleagues precisely because I work remotely. The business dinners we have on the road veer off into far more intimate discussions than I would ever have in a professional setting. I know my colleagues’ pets, and they see mine in frequent Zoom cameos. We don’t socialize at arm’s length. We really know each other. That’s an invaluable part of team building.
Remote work and the BlueCat culture
Technology companies like to talk about culture. Sometimes that’s just checking a box, sometimes it’s real. At BlueCat, it’s real. The BlueCat culture code really shines in everything we do, not only as individual employees but also as a company.
The culture code isn’t just something that the People team came up with on a whim. It’s the product of BlueCat employees themselves – an organic expression of who we are and who we aspire to be. Using a ton of feedback gathered from employees, the People team produced the culture code and road tested it to make sure they got it right.
Speaking for myself, I’m not the kind of person who clings to such things or places a lot of value on statements of corporate policy. At the same time, my extreme, undying satisfaction of being a BlueCat remote employee is a testament to the fact that our culture code is relevant to everyone, regardless of the role they play or the place they work.
I get the occasional raised eyebrow when I tell people that I work for a company headquartered in Canada, as if that’s somehow exotic or unusual. But in a sense, this is how we know that the future has finally arrived. The reality of remote work is that the location of a company (and even the nationality of a company) is increasingly irrelevant. You really can work from anywhere in the world. My blood sugar level may increase more than average through the occasional infusion of maple syrup, but otherwise you’d never know.
So if you’re looking for remote positions – ones that actually fulfills the promise of remote work – BlueCat is definitely the place to be. Check out BlueCat’s open jobs and join us!