When most people think about 'remote-first', people tend to have this idea of someone sitting alone in a dark room, checking their Slack and Microsoft Teams every hour, with little to no social interaction and connection. With TradeLink, this couldn't be more wrong. We are challenging this stereotype.
For us, remote-first is building a new kind of global society - sharing similar experiences and connectedness as common office-only companies, while offering more flexibility and trust to its people.
Choosing to turn completely remote early on implies many positive opportunities: We have the option to hire the best talents in the world and without limits in market depth, we are creating an extremely efficient and fast-moving organization where our TradeLinkers have personal flexibility on where they live, and we are creating an environment where only impact counts. And then it came down to one crucial question - DOES or CAN culture have the ability to scale digitally? Our biggest learning - YES it can!
Over the past 2 years, we've tried our fair share of communication video tools to enable us to create a socially engaging working environment, ranging from Mattermost to 8x8, and Spatial. However, we found that none of these tools really empowered our people to be digitally involved. And then we found Gather, a platform solution promising a virtual office.
So what exactly is Gather? Gather helps remote teams build digital spaces that make virtual interactions more human. From collaborating in meetings to stopping by someone's digital desk to say "hi," Gather brings authenticity, spontaneity, and human-first collaboration to distributed teams.
We believe the best thing to have is a radical decision-making process when implementing a company-wide communication tool, so we tested Gather with our TradeLinkers over 3 full days. The verdict? Our TradeLinkers were 110% sure this was the tool we wanted to work with!
"Gather was a complete game-changer for us " - Frederic Krahforst, CEO & Co-Founder
If you're thinking about changing your internal communication internally, don't do it with a trial period and transition phase. Do it straight away! People love and can adapt easily and faster! We were able to take this approach as part of our radical implementation plan and decided to replace every internal meeting we had to be in Gather from one day to another.
We started off with just 1 administrator, who helped to build and manage the workspace. As we scaled quickly, we sought more administrators and 'builders' to personalize our office space. Each team received their own 'office space' and took responsibility for designing this space.
In addition to team spaces, we introduced shared spaces for socializing and coming together, such as our TradeLink Restaurant and sofas for our weekly 'coffee connection' catch-ups', our TradeLink Lounge Bar, which we use for hosting our weekly company-wide meetings, a co-working space where everyone can sit in regardless of what team they're in, and our 'call islands', where we can sit on a deck chair or towel and take a call!
Gather not only enabled us to build and develop these different company and team spaces, but also helped to establish shared common guidelines and boundaries with one another at work. For example, we use our 'call islands' to take calls with external clients. When on an island, all other TradeLinkers know not to disturb you, which is our version of 'do not disturb mode', which Gather also allows us to implement. Another space we built in our Gather town is our 'stage' area, where TradeLinkers can speak on a megaphone and broadcast to the whole company at once. Such simple established town rules we have helped us to work proactively, productively, and collaboratively.
Gather is our home and our way to feel connected. We believe that communication is key to the success of our remote-first company. We consistently work on clear and regular communication enabled by Gather to ensure everyone is on the same page, understands their roles, and has a path for further growth and development.
We use Gather for:
We're creating a world of frictionless collaboration and that starts in our team. One of the most important reasons why we chose Gather, was that it enabled us to implement and see our values demonstrated live in action! With our TradeLink value of 'Trusted Team', Gather supports us to deliver timely feedback, reviews decisions together, shares information, and ensures everybody feels heard.
"Gather is perfect for all of us as it enables us to onboard a new joiner quickly. They quickly learn who is working in which team and can build these connections within a matter of a few days! Easy and efficient onboarding processes. It's uncomplicated" - Mareike Knappe, Head of People & Culture
All our communication, tools, processes, and events are deliberately designed and chosen to make work enjoyable and effective, no matter where our TradeLinkers are in the world. Embracing our value of 'A Borderless World', Gather helps us to connect with our international TradeLinkers, sharing a single remote-first work environment and sense of belonging with a close collaborative culture driven by impact. Today we are proud to have 60 TradeLinkers, 9 nationalities, spread over 3 continents!
Gather has changed and enhanced the way that we break borders and empower an entirely international company. We have felt the positive impact of Gather on the way we work from Day 1.
Are you interested in experiencing what a strong remote-first culture feels like? Head over to our career page Jobs at TradeLink and check out our open roles today!
Do you want to know even more about our collaboration with Gather? Check out their blog article as well.
About TradeLink :
TradeLink was founded in 2020 by Frederic Krahforst and Tobias Nendel in Munich and works remote-first with 60 employees from 7 countries. The team pursues the goal of frictionless supply chains by developing the easiest way to collaborate within B2B logistics.
Already more than 1,000 companies successfully use TradeLink for delivery coordination. With its platform, TradeLink radically simplifies supply chain collaboration between all involved supply partners for efficient and predictive logistics. TradeLink connects all parties with a few clicks within one platform, delivers automation around the warehouse, and enables detailed KPI and performance insights for optimization.
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