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Cover image for Eight Ways We Connect Remotely at Glitch
Glitch

Eight Ways We Connect Remotely at Glitch

Melissa McEwen
Developer Advocate at Skypack
・3 min read

About half of the developers at Glitch are remote. I'm one of them, working from Chicago, so we've gotten a lot of practice trying to make sure everyone feels like they're a part of the team. As more and more companies move to working from home, we'd love to share how we connect and collaborate remotely.

πŸ₯ Kiwihouse

Named after our mascot from back when we were Fog Creek, Kiwihouse is a remote meetup over Zoom for small talk. You might see Esteban's adorable new puppy. Or cute babies! Chat about weekend plans or fun baking experiments. Kiwihouse happens twice a week because we have employees across so many time zones.

🐠 #Aquarium channel

We use Slack as both an important collaboration tool and a virtual watercooler. #Aquarium is Slack channel for casual chat but there is also a tradition of sharing status emoji. Like a hamburger if you're having one for lunch or a rain cloud if you're starting work on a rainy day. It's not mandatory but it's a simple a fun way to stay connected in each other's daily lives.

β˜•οΈ Coffeetime

Coffeetime is an app that pairs co-workers for weekly remote video chats. It was originally a Ruby app but now is a Slack bot hosted on Glitch. I love how it pairs me with people on different teams that I don't always work with so I can get to know them.

πŸ“š Reading clubs

We've had several remote reading clubs where we read a chapter every few weeks and discuss on Google Hangouts.

Sometimes we don't finish a book, but that's OK. Plus there are fiction book clubs too. I'm in the sci-fi one where we read The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin and Kindred by Octavia E. Butler.

πŸ“– Library hour

Do you feel like you get more work done if you're at a library or coffeeshop? Our library hour is like a virtual library where you can work quietly on Google Hangouts and see your other coworkers doing the same.

🧣 Conference Hygge

A biweekly Google Hangout where we watch a conference talk and discuss it online. Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates to "coziness and comfortable conviviality". Some talks we watched include:

It's almost as good as going to a real conference together.

🎁 Remote care packages

Our office admin Hosanna Tolman puts together cute and fun care packages that she sends to us. You never know what you'll get. Will it be a Glitch mug or a gummy heart Krabby Patty? We often post our reactions in Slack.

gummy heart Krabby Pattys!

🍡 Tea club

Glitch is a rare software company because we have more tea lovers than coffee lovers! The leader of the tea club creates random pairings and we send each other our favorite tea. It's like a year round Secret Santa.

tea club teas in envelope

Having options helps!

All these options are well, optional. Whether you prefer to connect via Slack or over video, at Glitch you chose what's right for you. And there is always the option to "remix" any of these and create your own. For example, the Javascript reading club was created based on the SRE one.

Check out our handbook for more info on how we work remotely and our new Glitch for Remote hub!

How do you connect with your colleagues remotely? Let us know in the comments.

We're launching some exciting new features on Glitch real soon. Be the first to know.

Discussion (4)

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

These traditions are so great πŸ‘ I work remotely for about 4 years now and never saw anything like that πŸ˜• It’s funny that many employees themselves don’t need it (I tried to promote something similar) so it depends both on a company and on a team

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Jeremy Bauer ✨

This is awesome! Wow. These are all such cozy, warm ways to make sure a remote team feels connected. Lots of great thought put into all of these. I wanted to name my favorites, but it ended up being the whole list πŸ˜….

Thanks for sharing this!

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Dmitry Kan • Edited

awesome post πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ and esp now, when many teams need to learn how to be remote.

@petrovalex and I are working on a simple slack bot Wowwlr that allows recognizing your colleagues (on-site or remote) for anything you like: for help in some specific issue, hour at a gym, for an inspiration to others. Been using this at AlphaSense for a few months and seeing engagement growing + bits of useful info are shared and can be read in a weekly digest. Feel free to try it out and let us know what you think!

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Stephanie Morillo

This is amazing. Remote care packages cannot be underestimated; I absolutely loved working at startups with a strong remote culture that did this. :) (And the tea clubβ€”YES.)