Bootstrapped from a side-product to a remote team in 10 countries
Toggl Plan is a remote company headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia – a city in Europe that has a lot of development talent in spite of it’s small size.
Estonia has a strong IT sector, and has been mentioned as the most advanced country in Europe in the terms of e-Government of Estonia. Also known for it’s e-Residency program that enables digital entrepreneurs to start and manage an EU-based company online, Estonia is quite well-known throughout the world.
Fun fact: Estonia is also the birthplace of RemoteHub.
Access the larger talent pool
Toggl Plan started to hire for remote positions to access the larger talent pool. “Going remote was the only real option,” they say as while there are a lot of development talent in Estonia, there’s also a lot of IT companies who need the talent. After testing remote work with one of their teams, they knew it was a perfect solution and today their distibuted team works from 10 countries, all in different timezones, including Brazil, Kenya and Canada among others.
Toggl Plan in Tallinn!
Started as a bootstrapped side-product
Bootstrapped and started as a side-product for internal use for the time tracking tool Toggl (also a remote company, obviously), they’ve been an independent company since 2017 with now more than 4,000 companies who trust their project planning for their tool. List of clients has some famous names too – it’s used by Airbnb, Netflix, The New York Times, Disney, Microsoft and Adobe.
It’s a web-based solution for task scheduling, project planning, and team management. Users create and schedule tasks using a drag-and-drop interface, producing a color-coded timeline of the work to be completed.
Biggest benefit to remote work is flexibility
Flexibility is often mentioned as the most important benefit of remote work. It’s quite obvious that happy people produce the most efficient and creative results and people are happier when they can live their life more flexibly:
“Life is messy, dogs need to be walked during the day and there are so many places to see in the world,” illustrates Toggl Plan this beautifully. This is why they offer flexibility, a results-driven working environment and opportunities for personal growth.
Planning is much easier when you’re surrounded by a jungle vibe
They skip CV-s
“It’s no secret a CV doesn’t really say anything about a person,” explains Toggl Plan why they skip that step. Instead, they use short skills tests to find the best candidates without skimming through piles of paper.
They have also learned that remote work environment doesn’t suit everyone, so they interview candidates and offer top prospects a paid test assignment which let’s potention new team members to show off their skills and already collaborate with their team. This helps also to understand how motivated the person is to work in the team and how well they communicate in a remote workplace.
No instant reply is expected
Toggl Plan understands the importance of deep focus time and no one is expected to reply instantly in Slack where they also start and end the day with greetings and goodbyes. Like for a lot of remote companies, it’s their virtual office where a lot of useful talk is happening throughout the day. And GIF-s.
They also do weekly team meetings, and campfires where the whole company comes together and learns something new together.
Toggl Plan meeting up at their Tallinn office and spending a week working and having fun together
Ownership, trust and communication are the keys to successful remote team
“First, we make sure people can and do take ownership of their work,” emphasises Toggl Plan the importance of people being responsible for their tasks. They discuss everything openly and honestly and expect team members to share plans, favorite memes, successes, failures, lessons learned and anything in between.
Because they trust their people to do their jobs, they don’t need to micromanage or impose hard rules and guidelines. “Trust is earned when actions meet words,” explains Toggl Plan well how they can be sure that their people are doing their best work.
Work anywhere you want
Toggl Plan will continue building their project planning app from co-working spaces, cafes and homes from all over the world. People work from the places they feel the most comfortable and meet in real life twice a year to have some quality face-to-face time, get to know each other better and make memories.
Toggl Plan relaxing on a remote team retreat