How To Redefine Remote Work Culture?
Akriti Asthana takes a look at the unique virtual/ remote culture Coseer has developed as their competitive advantage. Here is the interview she published on Medium:
A senior executive with a Silicon Valley startup decided to spend part of the summer in Vietnam, and it was no problem. A star coder who wanted to work on cutting edge problems after his graduation in the US, had to move to India closer to his family, and it was no problem. They both work with Coseer, a startup that uses tactical cognitive computing to automate language based workflows at enterprises. It hasn’t been very long since they introduced their products in the market, and they have already begin to gather accolades and recognition in the form of prestigious awards like the Best Workflow Technology, among many others. Catching up with Coseer’s CEO has been most illuminating, as to his thoughts going ‘office-free’ and the evolution of work space trends.
Why the decision of hiring a remote team?
The decision of hiring a remote team for Coseer was not conjured out of thin air. After working at various organizations as employee, CEO, or close advisor, the driving force to start a venture of my own was to build a company I would want to work for. I envision a company that embodies a high octane, success driven culture and ensures the freedom of its employees mobility. What I mean by mobility here is not just the freedom to move in a physical space but that of the mind too. At Coseer, the belief is that humans should focus on creativity and judgment, while technology handles everything routine. So, as a company, we decided to make use of technology for the benefit of our employees too.
“Coseer has a high octane, success driven culture. Mutual trust is supremely important. It’s about creating an environment that empowers people to bring out the best in them and enjoy their lives at the same time.”
How easy do you think is to strike a balance between work and travel?
An ardent supporter of remote working culture will say that the the biggest plus is that it allows you to travel and work, being static is just not an option anymore. At Coseer, working remote isn’t really about traveling the world, although we very much encourage it. So much so, that we don’t even have a vacation policy in place — we trust our team members to take as much time off as needed if they are committed to the success of the company. It’s about creating an environment that empowers people to bring out the best in them and enjoy their lives at the same time. We do not believe in tying down our employees to one place, they work even when on the go.
How would you define the ‘work culture’ at Coseer?
Since we have a global pool of talent, team collaboration and communication forms an important aspect. With enough space for individual growth, sharing a common vision is essential. Mutual trust is supremely important. A very big part of our recruitment process is hiring people who fit this cultural mould perfectly. What we offer is a ton of responsibilities, and complete independence in realizing them, and incredible growth opportunities — tasks that are way beyond what our members were assigned in their previous jobs, or just last year at Coseer. We also follow a very personalized growth plan for everyone, and that keeps us motivated to work round the clock. In return we expect exceptional performance and very strong work ethic. We have set impossible goals for ourselves in all aspects — we are trying to teach a machine to think like humans; we are trying to define industry behavior on cognitive computing; and we are trying to bring cognitive computing to every facet of an enterprise.
“We are trying to teach a machine to think like humans; we are trying to define industry behavior on cognitive computing; and we are trying to bring cognitive computing to every facet of an enterprise.”
How important do you think is communication in such a scenario?
For us, remote is a mindset and we are aware that the kind of working culture we establish now will define us in the future. Establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust in absence of in-person collaboration and time zone troubles is extremely crucial. This, I can assure you, is the differentiator between high performing organizations and the rest. Tools like Slack, Skype and Google Hangouts come in handy. From virtual team meets to watercooler moments, the team has its fun.
Any Final Comments?
We’re serious about making Coseer a place where people can pursue their passion and bring out the best in themselves. And that’s just the reason why I, or anyone we hire for that matter, would love working here. Our culture is our brand.