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Distributed Culture

Distributed First Approach.

At Netlify, we have a Distributed Culture rather than just being "remote-friendly." Simply put, we strive to be a workplace where team members who work from home have an equal opportunity to influence culture across the org.

Culture is defined by what we do and it is important to have this approach soaked into every system, behavior, and even our company DNA.

How we do it.

It is our values, a clear division of responsibilities, good knowledge sharing practices, and a commitment to meeting Netliquette, paired with our belief that the best idea can come from anywhere, that empowers us to contribute our best work regardless of where we are in the world.

Other ways we are working to level the playing field include:

  • Regular cross-functional meetings to promote thoughtful decision making and prevent teams from working in silos.
  • When considering new hires and potential colleagues, we prioritize their ability to function well in a remote culture as an absolute must.
  • Maximizing video conferencing abilities at scale (because it’s the closest thing to being in-person)
  • Utilizing Donut (via Slack) to help us stay accountable by regularly scheduling social time for us to get to know team members who are new, or we don’t work with as closely.
  • We will return to scheduling in-person, offsite meetings (like the annual Netlify All-Hands, etc.) and encouraging employees who live close to each other to meet up for work and fun.

Being intentional. A joint responsibility.

One thing that stands out to us when trying to build a Distributed Culture is how much more intentional you have to be in your communication. Conversations don’t just happen around the water cooler. You have to explicitly provide the space and opportunity and even encouragement for it to happen.

Being distributed also requires more of our async knowledge sharing and processes. For example, communications have to be even more precise, because you can’t read the reactions in the room quite the same way as in a physical meeting, especially in larger gatherings.

Peer to peer accountability is even more critical in a remote setting, and communicating your status (both work and personal well-being) helps others set you up for success.

Diversity is needed to be successful.

Diversity plays a big part in our Distributed Culture as well. We know that a diverse org is, by definition, a more intelligent org. It gives us an advantage to access a diverse set of viewpoints and new ways to see our work. The Netlify community and customer base expands across nationalities, genders, and ethnicities, so by reflecting that internally, we are better suited to build a product that meets the needs of those customers.

Having a distributed culture and workforce also helps us in reaching one of our organizational goals, which is to make sure we approach things from as many angles as possible.

And while we are always working to improve our representation across gender, nationality, and race, we are proud of what we have accomplished so far. Our team currently includes - four people per nationality and 43% women/non-binary across leadership, engineering, and the org as a whole.

Ever evolving.

We know that for a Distributed Culture to be truly effective, we need all team members to be intentional and to be active; throughout our everyday communications, how we choose to share information, and more. If you have a question, idea, or suggestion on how we can do this better, we want to hear it!