The Joy of Presence: Reflections On My First Remote Work Retreat

The Buffer team has just returned from our 7th all-team retreat in Hawaii, during which more than half of the team was meeting face-to-face for the very first time. One of our first-timers, Ross Parmly, shares this reflection of the week.

Celebration has followed so much of my Buffer journey.

Celebrating the moment Carolyn‘s name showed up in my inbox for the first time. Celebrating the beginning of bootcamp. Celebrating the moment I was permanently united with this wonderful team.

And of course, …

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7 Tough Lessons I’ve Learned on Giving and Receiving Feedback at our Startup

It’s one of the biggest pieces that will make or break us as we try to become a great company, and I only recently realized it.

We’ve been back and forth a number of times about the topic of feedback, and it’s an area where we still have a lot of work to do to get right.

People often say, “You have this value of positivity and no complaining, and you also have a value of clarity and sharing things early. How that could …

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The Simple Way I Strengthened My Personal Relationships (Without Leaving Work)

A few years ago, my girlfriend proposed an interesting thought: How well do I really know my friends and family?

My initial thought was that of course I knew these people. We all get along and things are great. I’m friendly, they’re friendly. What more is there?

However, it wasn’t as simple as I thought. This simple question started a reflection over the past few years on how I really interact in my relationships.

Was I really curious and deeply invested in the people who I …

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How I Became a Morning Person, Learned a New Language, and Read 5x More Books in 2015

You’ll notice that I made the title of this post sound quite impressive (at least I hope I did!).

But the great thing about this story is that anyone can have such an impressive outcome, and it’s not at all as daunting as it might sound.

In fact, all these outcomes came from doing small things every day over a long period.

I’m a big fan of working smarter, not harder and finding small ways to make my work more efficient. As Buffer’s first Content Crafter about …

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The 4 Key Things That Went Wrong When We Launched A New Product and How We Learned From Them

As a social media startup, Buffer is constantly learning about what it takes to build great products.

Whether it’s giving a unique role to our Product Creators or evolving the structure of our teams, we try to treat everything as an experiment with opportunities to continually learn and improve.

One of our more recent sources of learning has been the launch of Pablo, our social media image creation app. Building Pablo has been a unique experiment that equipped us with some great product lessons.

In fact, some of …

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Hello From Hawaii! How We Planned a Weeklong Meetup for 90+ Teammates, Partners and Kids

Imagine getting off a plane in a new state or country, heading to a place you’ve never seen, to spend a week with 70-plus coworkers you’ve never met (plus some of their partners and kids).

That’s what happened to more than half of the Buffer team over the weekend.

This week, our fully distributed team is all in one place—Honolulu, Hawaii—for our 7th all-team retreat.

We’ll spend a full week of work together (and a weekend of fun activities) before going back to our …

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Why We Believe in Saying ‘I’m Sorry’ at Work (At Least At Our Startup)

A lot of people want to help women succeed in the business world lately, which is an awesome trend to see.

There are an ever-growing number of programs and initiatives focusing on everything from getting girls interested in coding to getting professional women into leadership roles.

One interesting offshoot of this trend has been an emphasis on language and speech—it feels like more and more well-meaning people are giving thought to the words women should say (and not say), and how they should say them.

I’ve been …

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We Don’t Have Performance Reviews at Our Startup: Here’s What We Do Instead

I remember the feeling—the sleepless night beforehand, the nervousness in the pit of my stomach.

I was waiting for the results of my annual performance review.

Performance reviews—most often yearly—are how many companies provide feedback to their employees. They often involve a numeric rating and maybe an hour or so of conversation about what’s gone right throughout the past year and what could use improvement.

There are a few flaws in the system:

It’s hard to remember what you did (or didn’t do) in a …

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What Do People Really Think About Diversity in Tech? Here are 63 Anonymous Perspectives

First college graduate from my family.

Vegan.

Working mom.

Cherokee.

Mormon.

Queer.

There are so many beautiful forms of diversity, and we’ve had an amazing crash course.

In spring of 2015 we opened up Buffer’s Diversity Dashboard, a passion project for me and many other Buffer teammates focused on creating an inclusive team.

The dashboard shares real-time data on the demographic diversity of the Buffer team, as well as those who’ve expressed interest in joining our team.

We gather this information from candidates by asking them if they’d like to fill out a voluntary form after their …

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Why We Support Teammates with Dependents (and Why it’s No Longer Part of our Salary Formula)

One of the things we’ve always been interested in doing at Buffer is looking at compensation differently and transparently.

In the latest update of our transparent salaries formula, one key change was that we began to pay teammates more money if they had dependents, or family members who depended on their income.

The formula that we originally came up with offers an extra $3,000 a year for every family member that immediately relies on your income. This can be quite broad—for example, …

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