Mangrove is made up of people who love to work hard. We also love our ability to work remotely and independently, which affords us the freedom to travel, live in interesting places, and work on the schedules that best support our lives.
Some might see the distances that separate us as a tough challenge to overcome. But our geographically diverse team is actually something we consider a strength.
WHERE WE LIVE
Maiya, our founder, is based in Oakland, California (and sometimes in Australia where her husband is from). Other team members live in Los Angeles, California; Austin, Texas; New York; and Maine. Overseas, we’re also in Germany, Ukraine, and New Zealand.
HOW OUR GLOBAL TEAM HAPPENED
Over time, we found the right people to work with as Mangrove Web has grown, through serendipitous connections or active recruiting. Maiya puts out the intention to attract the right people, and as the saying goes, “seek and you shall find.” She often works in Bay Area coffee shops and co-working spaces where it’s common to find like-minded creative-techie types. She met one of our partner designers that way, and who knows who she may happen upon next. Others have been referred to Mangrove by satisfied clients or sometimes by colleagues or friends.
OUR PRETTY COOL TALENT POOL
Since location isn’t a restriction, we’re able to hire and partner with the best of the best, rather than limiting ourselves by a person’s home address. Plus, by widening our sights in this way, we’ve been able to collaborate with experts who have a diversity of perspectives, influenced by our different cities and cultures. Location is rarely an issue if the team culture and motivation is right. Even though we’re not in the same place, we have a damn good time together. We motivate each other, make each other laugh, and support each other to keep learning and improving upon our collective skills. We push each other to build more creatively and more efficiently.
THE TOOLS WE USE
Being spread out is no problem, since we use a number of apps and tools to communicate and stay organized. We love Slack—it’s our life-force (and in a rare moment when it’s down, yes there is momentary panic)! And we have a weekly face-to-face team meeting on Google Hangouts. Think of it like our water cooler moment. We use that time to bond as a team, align expectations, and catch up on projects for the week ahead.
TIME ZONES ARE OUR FRIEND
The range of time zones we have on our team is actually an advantage for us. The design and development process usually relies on one person handing off an in-progress project to another teammate, so our workflow can look like an international relay race. When one of us is winding down for the day or getting tired, someone else is picking up the baton since their “shift” is just getting started. For clients, that can often mean an almost continuous approach to working on their site. Internally, we often wake up to things that have been “magically” updated overnight by one of our colleagues. The variation in time zones can also be handy in other ways—like our developer in Germany can launch a site and have breathing room to review how everything is working, while most of the intended user audience in the US is asleep.
Our different schedules are great for our clients. There’s almost always someone available to offer support if someone else needs a break or is offline for a bit. And when there’s work to be done, we make sure we fulfill our promises to our clients. Part of what makes us so effective as a crew is our commitment to life balance. Our staff includes night owls, nap takers, parents of young kids, owners of silly dogs, outdoor enthusiasts and of course, travelers. When people have the flexibility to work the best schedules for their situation, it means they come to work rested and energetic, ready to make great websites for our clients.