When Shane and Peter started Modern Tribe, their workdays were built around surfing when the tide was low and the swell was high.
Two surfers using tide tables to set their business hours?
Sounds about right.
Seriously, though, they just wanted to make their own schedules and, ultimately, create a company that prioritizes living over working. And they knew not being tethered to any one office or city would go a long way toward doing that, so Modern Tribe has been fully remote since they hung out their shingle in 2006.
In the early days, our setup led to some wildly inaccurate assumptions: that we’d be hard to get a hold of, that we didn’t have employees and outsourced all our work, or that we weren’t even a legit business. But as remote work became more common, prospective clients were less concerned.
And as many businesses have learned firsthand these last few years, the freedom and flexibility that come with working wherever you want are invaluable–not to mention the time and money savings.
For employers, remote work also widens the talent pool since hiring isn’t limited by geography.
“To make sure we aren’t only recruiting U.S. candidates, we’re using job boards with global reach, targeted local job boards, and industry-specific newsletters in countries where we’re able to work with candidates,” says Daniella, our recruiting consultant. “We’re also making targeted sourcing efforts to specific locations outside of the U.S.”
That said, the majority of Modern Tribe’s team is U.S.-based, so we do consider working hours during the screening process. But as long as a candidate can work about four hours that overlap with U.S. core business hours, some of which extend into Pacific Standard Time, they’re good to go.
On Land and Sea
Today, our team is more than 70-strong and scattered across the globe—from Greensboro to Gran Canaria—and that’s hugely influential. A variety of lived experiences and perspectives, which are majorly impacted by location, make our company culture that much richer.
“Modern Tribe has some of the most kind, fun, and talented people I’ve ever worked with,” says Miranda, one of our project managers. “I love the distributed teams because they mean we get to work with people who have different backgrounds, viewpoints, and cultures, and I strongly believe that’s part of what contributes to the great work Modern Tribe does.”
For a little over two years now, Miranda has lived aboard a sailboat and traveled “most of the length of the U.S. East Coast.”
The main difficulty in working at sea is ensuring she has sufficient internet for video calls and the tasks she needs to complete, but SIM cards and hotspots for at least two cell network carriers usually get the job done.
Another challenge is traveling between destinations since that’s not really possible on weekdays unless Miranda takes time off. She says the trick is not being in a rush or having an arrival deadline, which is a general sailing rule anyway.
“On days when I want to get off the boat, it’s easy to find a nearby coffee shop or restaurant to work from and take in the local sights,” she says. “Just last week, I took a two-hour lunch break to head over and dive on a nearby reef. I remember thinking it was the best lunch break I’ve ever had.”
Miranda credits the routine of a regular workday with keeping her grounded and productive versus falling into permanent vacation mode and taking her life for granted.
Having to be thoughtful about internet usage and travel time is, to us, a small price to pay for the work-life balance Miranda has achieved thanks, in part, to remote work.
To learn more about Miranda’s lifestyle (and see pics of her sweet boat), check out this companion post, On the Water: What It’s Like To Live and Work on a Sailboat.
If joining a globally distributed team and working with ambitious clients sounds right up your alley, take a look at our open positions.