There’s no easy way to put this. Starting a startup is hard. On day one, you have little more than a vision. And turning that vision into a reality takes superhuman effort. To anyone who’s on this journey, we salute you. To anyone on this journey while working remotely… We salute you ten-fold.
Because the Geekbot team has tried to climb the startup mountain three times while working remotely. One of our most memorable growing pains was transitioning from a tight-knit group of five into a scale-up of sixteen: cue havoc with communication, problems with team alignment, and drama at every turn.
It was only on startup three that we had our ‘Aha’ moment. We devised a way to operate in a more self-managed way, finding tools that helped us communicate more effectively and work more productively — no matter where we sat or when we chose to work.
These tools ultimately evolved into Geekbot. And recently, Geekbot turned five.
Today, we want to pass our learnings on to you. And to celebrate the occasion, we’re going to offer you a gift. Because the future of work could well be remote-first, and we know you’ll grow more effectively if you have our knowledge— and Geekbot — in your hands.
If you’re sitting comfortably, let’s begin.
Many Startups Already Choose To Go Remote
If you’ve chosen to work remotely, and you’re now questioning the choice, stop. Thousands of people have taken the same path; for a thousand good reasons.
When you decide to turn an idea into a business, you need to minimize costs. There’s no better starting point than to avoid that pricey downtown office or the upmarket hot-desk. You’ll fare better using your funds to attract the skilled team who can make your product a success; where they live or work is neither here nor there.
But while cost-savings and targeted hiring are two key reasons that startups choose remote — or, at least, decide to work from several locations — the setup delivers more than financial and human resource benefits. It’s also just super flexible, which is great for your people.
And with the increasing number of collaboration tools on the market, transitioning from an office to a virtual space is getting more straightforward as well.
Our Birthday Gift To You: Geekbot — For Free — Forever.
The Geekbot team believes remote work is the future of work. And we want to ensure remote work can work for all. Our startup experience has helped us make every mistake in the book. We know the common pitfalls and how to overcome them. And we’ve created a tool that all-but-eliminates the obstacles of working asynchronously. Now, we’re making this tool free for teams of up to ten.
In doing so, we hope you’ll show other teams how well you can function when given the right tools. And if you sign up today, you’ll get free Geekbot access for as long as your business has fewer than ten employees.
We can think of no better way to celebrate this momentous occasion!
Remote Work Is The Future of Work
At Geekbot, we speak to startups, scale-ups, and established businesses every day. And it’s become clear that remote work really is the future of work. Several factors drive this — cost, regulations, technology — but for many, it’s a simple shift in personal preferences. More people want a more flexible work-life balance. And that means changing how we work and live.
And there are so many benefits if we do.
Suppose we shift our workflows from in-person interactions to digital workspaces. In this context, we can not only maintain the quality of communications (with colleagues, clients, and partners). We can improve how we store, process, and use information.
In the startup world, where the landscape changes daily: there’s so much value in reflecting on why you made one decision so that you can make the next one with confidence.
From ‘Managed Chaos’ To A ‘Self-Managing Team’
Despite the many benefits of remote work, many businesses struggle with the inevitable sense of chaos, managed or otherwise.
If you can’t talk to people face-to-face, even a small issue can feel like a catastrophe. And when a startup is just ‘starting up,’ a lot is going on, and a lot will go wrong.
It’s the nature of the beast. New hires are taking on new roles with an uncertain path forward. With expansion comes administration: and with administration comes the need for much more active management.
Take your eye off the ball for a second; things will descend into chaos. Add in a bug, downtime, an irate customer, and you could be left wishing you’d never started up at all.
On the other hand, if you find tools that let your team self-manage, there’s much less need for active management or administration. You can simply focus on your task, knowing others are focused on theirs. And when something goes wrong, you’ll know your people can work out how to fix it. This is where tools like Geekbot help.
They enable remote teams to transition from managed chaos to a self-managed symphony by collecting, storing, and distributing information asynchronously, letting teams replicate the office environment online.
These smart bots use artificial intelligence to take some of the strain, freeing your people to collaborate across time-zones, always aligned and always content — as team leads rejoice at the absence of daily managerial overhead.
With a tool like Geekbot, anyone can automate typical recurring tasks — like daily standups, retrospectives, even feedback surveys — and if you do, you’ll get a log of everything said, meaning nobody ever feels out-the-loop. But don’t be fooled. Self-management doesn’t translate to an absence of reports.
It simply means automated updates generated by whatever tool you choose. In the context of Geekbot, self-management means:
- Smart analytics revealing favorite team topics and activities
- Clarity around progress blockers before a key product launch
- Insights into how everyone’s feeling at any point in the week
As you can see, remote work doesn’t have to mean any chaos. We can raise the bar by seeking to become a self-managing team. Use a tool like Geekbot, and you’ll keep people moving to the sound of the same beat.
Smooth Communication Is Key To Success
Remote work is easy when numbers are limited. But the more people you add to your team, the more problematic communication gets.
Add in the time-zone barrier, and it can get near-impossible for teammates to interact as they become literal ships passing in the night. Even the simplest status update saps energy if half the team struggles to dial-in, someone misses a point — or it’s noon for some, night for the rest.
But if you shift all comms to a chat app and get a bot to manage the workspace, smooth communication can make your team productive once again.
Truth be told, that’s how Geekbot began: it was our way to move ‘short’ catch-ups online. We created it to prevent in-person meetings from dragging. Instead, replacing them with a way for teammates to:
- Update on progress asynchronously
- Share reports at a time and pace that suits
- Keep everyone on the same page
…and this all happens in Slack. Smooth communication is the foundation on which our team’s most successful startup is built. And that’s why, on Geekbot’s fifth birthday, we want to help your startup establish the same footings.
Note: In addition to Slack, Geekbot will soon be integrating with MS Teams. If you’re interested in using MS Teams to run asynchronous daily standups, request early access on our website and we’ll notify you when it’s live!
How Geekbot Can Help Your Startup?
We believe our product can help you because it helped us. And it’s helping many of our favorite remote businesses as well. We’re giving away free access because, in helping your team be more communicative and more productive, we can help you succeed — and your success will promote the future of remote work for all.
As our final plea, here’s a rundown of what we think Geekbot does well:
Keeps Teams Alligned
Geekbot helps teams work as a unit using standups, reports, and (if you so choose) anonymous surveys:
- Coordinate remote teams using asynchronous daily standups
- Supercharge productivity by substituting team meetings with Slack-based reports
- Automate communication and boost transparency
- Work across time-zones and without a fixed schedule
Protects Your Time
Geekbot knows time is nearly always tight, so it takes some of the strain to help you focus on what you need to do:
- Get Geekbot to manage meetings and take notes
- Use Geekbot to remove distractions and focus on key tasks
- Eliminate notifications by using scheduled updates
- Track daily tasks with itemized Geekbot lists
Fits Every Workflow
Geekbot knows when to offer help, and when to blend into the background: it’s there to get your team working in unison, let the momentum build:
- Pinpoint hurdles and blockers, then prioritize the important
- Bury your head in the detail or step back for a broader view
- Maintain team engagement with transparent workflows
- Keep communication on point, even in globally distributed teams
Knows What You Need To know
Geekbot knows what’s important (and what’s less so), collecting data on team progress before sharing it in a way that’s easy to understand:
- Collate feedback on team progress
- Use the data as an input for AI-enabled analysis
- Store standup summaries in one place
- Access the detail you need to lead effectively
With team communication running on auto-pilot running, work can happen more effectively. And your company has a greater chance of success.
Even as your company grows and new challenges emerge — bug fixes, software upgrades, security alerts — you can rely on Geekbot to keep your startup running in a smooth, asynchronous way.
As the hero of your startup story, you want to be able to enjoy it. You can do that by reducing administration, automating daily tasks, and finding more time to dream up the kind of features that will keep you ahead of the competition.
Here’s To Many More Shared Birthdays
If you share our beliefs, you can help shape the future. You can commit to working remotely for the long-term by downloading the tools — and adopting the techniques — that will make remote work the dominant force.
If you do, then remote work will become nothing more than work. After all, technology makes it easier than ever to start a remote-first company. Minds are connecting from all corners of the globe, and geography is no longer a limiting factor in innovation.
We believe remote work can be part of everyone’s weekly routine. But each of us is responsible for making this belief a reality, which brings us to our final point. If you’re building a tool that helps remote companies: please, please, tell us about it.
We’d love to try it, to promote it — and to celebrate your milestones as well.