Basecamp: 20+ years of remote work experience

Almost all companies in 2020 are toying with the idea of remote work for a significant time or forever.To help on that journey, we present the top 10 global companies who have aced remote work. To learn more about:

  1. What is remote work?
  2. Twimbit’s e-tact framework
  3. Our selection criteria

Please go here

#3


Twimbit’s top 10 global companies to ace remote work
Company: Basecamp
Industry: Software
51 employees | Hybrid

Ethos

Basecamp is 21-year-old company with 51 people. It offers a private, online space with project management tools to keep all employees on the same page. Basecamp’s vision is to focus on the things that will always be important. Basecamp invests heavily in infrastructure, great design, and customer service.

Amid the chaos created by a forced shift to remote work during COVID’19, Basecamp is disseminating the knowledge they acquired during the past 20 years. If you would like to know how a company entirely new to remote work manages it successfully, check out Microsoft’s story.

  1. Live Q&A sessions to clear ambiguity on remote work
  2. Blogs and quick guides about transition and communication during remote work
  3. Even before the pandemic, Basecamp had published two influential books Remote and Rework which help others adapt to a remote and agile working style.

Talent Strategy

A terrific onboarding process to make people understand the company.

  1. A handbook which is constantly updated
    • Lingos used in the company
    • Answers typical doubts of new joinees

The hiring process and employee perks are custom tailored for a remote company like them.

Hiring philosophy:

Great remote talent from unconventional places (means not from a talent hot spot)- High salaries guard them against poaching

  1. Selection Criteria:
    • Key metric is quality of work not time spent
  2. Selection Process:
    1. Candidates are given a paid mini project for 1/2 weeks based on the current employment status
    2. Quality of this project and past experience are assessed
    3. Check culture fit
      • Selected people are invited to the physical office for a team lunch with co-workers
      • They observe work for a full day
      • Check whether the new people are comfortable working with existing workforce and vice versa

Even though hired for a remote position, the first one or two weeks are spent at the physical office – To ensures a smooth on-boarding for the new hire

Basecamp shows us that a healthy mix of virtual and physical processes gives better results

Employee Perks
  1. More autonomy to take decisions.
  2. Everybody gets a company credit card and is asked to spend wisely
  3. No permission for holidays and duration
    • The only instruction is “Be reasonable”
  4. Financial assistance to pursue hobbies/interests.
    • Sometimes company provides personalized vacation plans too. Both these initiatives act as substitutes to the missing office perks
  5. Additional weekday off during May to September to prevent overwork.
  6. Teams are carefully made such that no two influential employees are at the physical office.
    • To ensures that the voice of every employee is heard
  7. No special announcements for local workers
    • All communications accessible to both remote and local workers
    • Maintain equality in a hybrid model
  8. Automatic check-ins to maintain the social connect.
    • Monday sharing’s of what they did during weekend
    • Choose 5 random employees every month to talk with the CEO
  9. Separate channels for sending messages according to priority
  10. Office hours: dedicated time for queries. So that employees can have uninterrupted worktime

Customer Centricity

Building trust from the very beginning is the key to be customer centric. Steps followed by Basecamp

  1. Clarifying to prospective clients that no weekly face to face meetings possible during pitching itself
  2. Providing references.
    • Connect the new client with a previous client even before they ask
  3. Reducing the client’s uncertainty by showing the progress of their work often
  4. Being very available.
    • Since weekly face to face meetings are not possible, providing fast responses is a way to ensure customer trust like answering the calls, replying to mails.
  5. Involving clients in the process.
    • The clients might have ideas or doubts. So listen to them and take suggestions.

Apart from these, the customer support of Basecamp is also very customer centric.

  1. Response time for a query is around 20 minutes
  2. Easily accessible Tutorials and guides

You can find more ways to stay customer centric from Twilio and HubSpot

Mergers and Acquisitions

Basecamp acquired a 3-lettered .COM domain name, HEY.com, on November 20th, 2019.

Three-letter .COM names represent only 0.014% of all .COM domains.

Owning a three-letter domain name displays a sense of trust to customers or clients.

  1. The deal is on a non-disclosure agreement.
  2. Similar three-lettered .COM domains were acquired in 2019 in the range of $0.15Million to $2Million.
  3. From the CEO’s blog we can assume the deal was closer to the higher end.

Tools Used

  1. Basecamp: Project management tool where group discussions, assigning tasks, setting up schedules, brain storming, sharing and discussing files can be done
  2. Webex /Go to Meeting/ Join Me: For share screen and product demo
  3. Know your Company: A software tool that helps business owners get to know their employees better and overcome company growing pains
  4. Skype: For video calling
  5. Campfire/Hangout: For instant messaging
  6. Liquidspace/Desktime : To book co-working spaces

Curious to know about other top picks by Twimbit?

Appen | Automattic | HubSpot | Lionbridge | Magellan Health | Microsoft | TranscribeMe | Twilio | VIPKid