How India's Premium Software Company Established A Remote-First Culture

Sowmya Sankaran / Reading Time: 5 mins

Incubyte, India's premium software company, underwent a remarkable transformation by going remote. But, it wasn't something new. They decided to break free from the shackles of the traditional office setup and embark on a journey toward becoming a remote-first organization several years ago. What makes Incubyte's journey even more intriguing is that they were a remote company long before the pandemic forced many to adapt. While others were just starting their remote experiments, Incubyte had already perfected their approach over five years.

Shyam, Founder & CEO of GoFloaters recently interacted with Arohi Parikh, the Head of Operations at Incubyte to understand the transition and other key approaches that helped them scale a remote-first culture. This post details the same with several examples to let you transition effortlessly.

Remote Working at Incubyte: What Is It Like?

The interview process at Incubyte is far from conventional. With an emphasis on trust and values, they take a unique approach. They start with HR interviews that delve into situational questions, aiming to understand a candidate's core values and reactions to challenging situations. There are no off-the-shelf testing tools or psychometric assessments involved. Instead, their HR recruiters, who have honed their instincts through countless interviews, identify candidates who align with Incubyte's culture.

This stringent process results in a high standard of recruitment, aligning candidates not only in terms of technical skills but also culturally. It's a meticulous approach that ensures that every team member shares the same values and can thrive in Incubyte's remote-first environment.

Moving on to a day in the life of an "Incubyter," communication is key. Being a remote company, Incubyte's DNA is built around over-communication. Video meetings, chats, and emails are constant tools for staying in touch. The absence of physical presence necessitates a higher level of interaction.

Arohi emphasizes the importance of over-communication to avoid working in silos. Incubyte has a culture of involving everyone, and that means attending sprint ceremonies and meetings with videos on. It's about being fully engaged in discussions, as if you were physically present in the office.

Work assignment at Incubyte is unique too. Instead of being assigned tasks, team members sign up for work during ceremonies and meetings. This collaborative approach encourages self-motivation and teamwork. Pair programming is a core practice, where two individuals work together on shared screens to solve problems, exchange ideas, and bond.

Arohi also addresses the common misconceptions about remote work, such as productivity losses, a lack of team bonding, and diminished innovation. Incubyte's commitment to open communication, collaboration, and creative problem-solving dispels these myths. Their remote-first culture has not only proven effective but also fosters a strong sense of trust and shared values among team members.

Collaboration & Asynchronous Communication

Let's take a closer look at one of the cornerstones of Incubyte's remote-first culture: its mastery of collaboration through asynchronous communication.

In their journey towards remote work excellence, Incubyte recognized the importance of choosing the right tools and techniques to enable seamless communication without the constraints of time zones or fixed working hours.

Tools : Incubyte primarily relies on Microsoft Teams for their day-to-day communication needs. But they've also explored various other tools and even dabbled in developing their own solutions to enhance collaboration. This diverse toolkit allows them to adapt to different situations and tailor their communication to the task at hand. So, whether it's a quick chat, a virtual meeting, or a deep dive into a complex project, they have the right tool in their arsenal.

Micro Meets & Water Cooler Chats: Incubyte's commitment to fostering a sense of togetherness goes beyond scheduled meetings. They have a practice known as "Micro Meets'' where team members can informally plan to work from a co-working space, inviting others to join them. It's an excellent way to replicate the spontaneous water cooler conversations that often spark creative ideas or lead to innovative solutions. These unscripted interactions can be just as important as formal meetings, and Incubyte embraces them wholeheartedly.

Customized Career Paths: Recognizing that every employee is unique, Incubyte goes the extra mile by offering customized career paths. If someone on the team wishes to specialize in a particular area, they curate a personalized career plan to help them achieve their goals. This not only empowers employees to shape their careers but also contributes to their overall engagement.

Flexibility & Ownership: Incubyte believes in giving employees the autonomy to sign up for tasks they're passionate about. It's not about tasks being assigned; it's about team members choosing the work they want to take ownership of. This culture of autonomy encourages a sense of belonging and responsibility that drives engagement.

There's no doubt that Incubyte has taken advantage of its tools and simplified processes to maximize engagement and overall communication which are possibly areas that remote teams struggle.

How To Scale Remote Work?

How To Scale Remote Work?

As you begin to scale remote work, a new set of challenges looms on the horizon. Let's dive into some of the insights from Incubyte's journey that can guide you through this scaling process.

Percolating Culture: As your organization expands, maintaining a cohesive and thriving culture becomes a top priority. In a remote setting, this becomes even more crucial. You must find ways to ensure that your core values, work ethic, and shared mission are embraced by every team member, regardless of their location.

Leaders as Multipliers: At the heart of scaling your remote-first culture are your leaders. Just like Incubyte's founders, you need leaders who can not only manage but multiply the cultural and operational aspects of your organization. These leaders are the conduits of your culture, and they play a pivotal role in ensuring that everyone in their teams remains aligned and engaged.

Decentralized Decision-Making: Traditional command-and-control hierarchies might not serve you well in a remote environment. Incubyte's approach to decision-making involves inclusivity right from the beginning. When team members are part of the decision-making process, they are more likely to take ownership and see it through to successful implementation. This prevents bottlenecks and ensures faster execution.

Transparency Is Key: In the world of remote work, transparency is your best friend. Incubyte has found that open and honest communication is essential for maintaining trust within the team. Whether it's sharing the company's strategic direction, new policies, or even discussing setbacks, being transparent helps everyone stay on the same page.

Scaling remote work means offering flexibility, trust, and freedom to your team members. It's not just about allowing them to work from home; it's about enabling them to work from anywhere. Trust your employees to manage their time and tasks efficiently. The freedom to choose their work environment empowers them to be more productive and creative.

Watch the discussion here:

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So, as you embark on the path to scaling remote work within your organization, keep these valuable lessons from Incubyte in mind.

So, is your organization ready to go remote?

Category: Interviews

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