Out Of Office: Building Community for Remote Workers

About: Out Of Office builds apps for remote work. Their mission is to give remote workers a great place to work, so they can better balance their lives. The company has built two apps: Work Club, an off-screen community of remote workers, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and side hustlers, and Work Space, where you can discover work-friendly places, visited and verified by experts.

Location: 100% Remote

Co-founder & CEO, Kyle Ladewig, and co-founder & CTO Steve Flory.

How would you describe your company culture?

First and foremost, we’re a team of self-starters. When you work at any startup, and especially a remote one like Out Of Office, you have to be comfortable with uncertainty and a lack of structure.

Oftentimes that means figuring out what needs to be done and tackling a project without explicit direction. Philosophically, our culture is about challenging the status quo.

We’re constantly questioning both how the world works and how we operate as a team, including the apps we use, the frequency of meetings, and how we best serve our customers.

Work-life balance at Out Of Office

We are all about work-life balance – you can see it in our team and in our products. We believe employees should be free to choose when and where they work, so they have more time for everything else.

That’s why we have unlimited PTO, and why we don’t micromanage or monitor employees every hour of the day. Personally, I’m concerned with the growing number of employee tracking apps, born out of managers’ fears that employees won’t be productive if they’re not being watched.

It’s basically corporate spyware, and it sends a pretty clear message that you don’t trust your team. But unfortunately these apps are growing in popularity as more and more companies adopt remote work.

Disagree & commit: Imperfect decision-making at Out Of Office

Our work style is pretty simple: speak your mind, listen to others, and at the end of the day be ready to disagree and commit.

On speaking your mind, we tell every new employee that we don’t just allow opinions – we require them. The best ideas could come from anywhere, so it’s important that no one feels like they’re talking “out of school,” no matter the topic. Disagreement is inevitable, but judgment is a creativity killer.

As for decision making, there’s a common saying in the tech world that “every startup’s job is to predict the future.” That means we rarely have an easy, clear-cut decision. There’s always uncertainty, urgency, and a lack of data. So in those situations, we value imperfect decision-making over no decision-making.

We hire domain experts with 8+ years experience who are comfortable with the ambiguity and unpredictability of a startup. That means I spend very little time worrying if mistakes are being made, and almost no time worrying if everyone is being productive.

Balancing the Grind With Kyle Ladewig, Founder & CEO of Out Of Office

Employee benefits

  • Distributed team: As an Out Of Office employee, you’re empowered to create a schedule that balances productivity and everything else in your life.
  • Vacation: Our vacation policy is “take vacation.” We don’t have any rules for how much PTO is allowed per year.
  • Equipment: Every employee is provided with whatever equipment is necessary to do their best work. Our investors trust us to manage their money and we trust you to manage the company’s money.
  • Stock & health Insurance: Every employee is offered stock in the company and health benefits, comparable to startups of similar stage and funding.

Career opportunities

Currently no open positions, but we love hearing from talented people and hiring opportunistically. Send a note to [email protected].

If you’d like to showcase your unique company culture on Balance the Grind, get in touch with us today!

Every company approaches culture and work-life balance in their own unique way. Company Cultures is a project by Balance the Grind to showcase different workplaces and cultures from around the world.