The pandemic has changed the way people work. This opens up remote work, allowing each of us to work across borders. It never crossed my mind to work for a Singaporean startup without having to relocate to the Lion City. But with Movel AI and its remote-first culture, things are starting to happen. Movel AI is a deep tech, robotics startup based in Singapore, with clients based around the world. We have remote teams in multiple countries; Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and plans to open a team in Europe soon. This becomes a challenge for us at Movel AI, to build committed team work with the scarcity of face-to-face opportunities, while still providing the best service for clients.
The stories started in March 2022 when I took the role as Content Marketing Manager for the startup. There were so many things going through my head on the first day. What if I have difficulty adapting, how am I supposed to work in a team with coworkers in different countries, or how is it possible to learn a new industry with a direct supervisor residing overseas?
Clear communication to overcome language barrier
The diversity among team members makes language undeniably a barrier, as English may not be the first language for some of us. The challenges get even more exciting, especially when fellow engineers have to service clients who are also based in different countries such as Portugal, Turkey, Poland, Taiwan, and other places.
It is undeniable that clear communication is key. Hence, all communication between all team members is often simple yet straightforward in order to minimise miscommunication. This way everyone can communicate easily and effectively during online meetings or emails. We also have daily morning check-ins to align with each other.
Make it transparent for everyone
Working remotely makes us obligated to consistently pay attention to each other every online meeting. To overcome this, discussion recap is always made in order to find progress, as well as to address misunderstandings. To ensure everyone's project runs as planned, we utilise project management tools, such as Google Workspace, Notion, Trello, or as simple as Google Chat. By doing so, everyone will be able to keep track of each other's progress and share reviews/feedback.
Internal collaboration is vital
Movel AI believes team collaboration is vital, and that a great employee experience leads to a better customer experience. At Movel AI, regular progress updates are made through daily stand-ups and weekly check-ins. By doing so, each employee is aware of what the other is working on. Check-ins are useful for reporting and getting insightful feedback, have an internal discussion about certain tasks/problems, and arrange task management to prioritise from the most to least important task.
One thing that excites me is Movel AI hosts an annual regional meeting every once a year. This opportunity allows us to meet physically in Singapore. Our last meeting was held in April 2022, that was my first time meeting other colleagues who only communicated online. This moment was also used to hold outbound events, to strengthen the bond.
Despite the fact that remote working in a diverse environment can be challenging, it turns out it is less scary than I expected. Adaptability and the courage to face awkwardness have become valuable traits in a remote-first working environment where face-to-face interaction is limited.
Looking for remote work opportunities in the robotics industry like Finley? Good news is, Movel AI opens up global opportunities for a wide range of vocations. Drop a ‘hello’ to email@example.com
Written by Finley Susanto - Content Marketing Manager at Movel AI