Over the past few years the tech world has seen an influx of notable startups emerging from Estonia, many of which believe that remote is the way to go. Toggl, a time tracking tool, is certainly one of the names to watch. Not only does their product help remote workers all over the world to be more productive, but also their cool company culture is worth following.
More on how Toggl see remote, community nurturing and flexible working from their Media Manager Dunja Lazic.
According to your company blog, being remote started as an experiment. How do you see this decision after a couple of years?
Toggl was founded in Estonia, a rather small European country with big ambitions. We found it harder and harder to find great people to join our team locally so we decided to try remote work and hire people from all over the world. Today we have people working from 5 continents and it's worked out great for Toggl.
If you had to describe Toggl’s company culture with one sentence, what would it be?
Great people do great work everywhere.
And a bit more broadly - what does company culture look like in Toggl?
We have four key principles, flexibility, execution, communication and constant improvement. If you’re a talented individual, you don’t need to sit in an office to do amazing work. Ideas are nice – but execution is a thousand times better! Communication is super important – especially in a remote team. Consequently, we believe there are no dumb questions – nor is there such a thing as “over-communication”. No dogmas. No know-it-alls. We want to keep an open mind and always be willing to experiment.
What does autonomy at work mean at Toggl and how is it reflected in your daily job?
Everyone chooses their own schedule at Toggl, we enjoy a flexible, results-only work environment. If you’re independent and have GTD mindset, it’s perfect for you. When only results matter, people don’t bother with vanity work and successfully avoid the busy trap.
How do you use Slack and other online tools to nurture community at your company?
Slack is a must-have, it's our office, water cooler and conference room. We also use Teamweek for planning, Trello for project management, Github for all things web development and Room for meetings.
Could you tell us about your company retreats?
Once in a while we do something fun with the team to learn a new skill or try something we have never done before. This includes the summer retreat, where we go with families to have fun and get to know the wider Toggl family.
Also, once a year the whole team travels to a new country to get inspiration for product development and do some fun team building exercises. It’s called Toggl challenge and the latest one was in Philadelphia.
Retreats are for the team getting to know each other, have fun together and discover new ways of working on great things. We always set clear goals such as shooting new homepage videos in Philadelphia but keep it flexible too so we can have fun.
What about your ‘Meet the Toggler’ meetings? What are these about?
Every year, we fly out to different places and meet the people who use Toggl. People use Toggl in many different ways and for many different things. Meeting them in person helps us better understand how Toggl is used and what sort of specific problems it solves. On top of that, it’s just nice to see the real people behind their accounts. The whole idea behind Toggl was to build a time management app that places the human experience at the center. That’s an important thing to keep in mind – and to keep it in mind, you’ve got to mingle.
How do you personally stay productive when working remotely?
When at home, I try to separate my work space from my home space, set a routine and keep myself organized. When traveling, I look for new, inspiring places to work from, make the most out of flight mode to get things done and make more breaks to recharge willpower.
I also try to experiment with my productivity as much as possible. Lately I’ve been using Pomodoro with Toggl button, and it’s working out great.