Night COps: Working Remotely Yet Closely

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The Customer Operations team is committed to bringing you world class customer support, 24/7. To ensure round-the-clock service we have a burgeoning team of “Night COps” who provide support outside of normal working hours. In the third post in our series focusing on the work of our amazing COps team, Dillon Van Auken explores the challenges of working both remotely and overnight.

At 6pm this evening, we’ll be hosting a livestream Q&A with some of the COps team. Hit us up with your questions on @monzo or on Facebook.

If you’ve ever contacted customer support on the late commute home, whilst travelling abroad, or because you felt merry after a few 🍻 and wanted to tell us your feelings towards Monzo, then chances are you have spoken with one of us!

We currently have eight members of the night team, working remotely across the UK, USA and France. Transparency and communication with the wider team are incredibly important in managing a healthy remote working relationship, as frictional correspondence and sparse feedback are the primary disadvantages of working remotely. Writing down all important information is particularly crucial; how one writes it down is equally so. Ensuring everyone gets regular feedback and face time with their coworkers is also vital to maintain a connection to our culture and stay abreast of recent developments.

Since I started at Monzo about a year ago, we have come a long way in establishing a framework for healthy and effective remote working, both in COps and the wider team.

In my first months I’d often miss out on new developments, and there was plenty of “Oh no, we forgot Dillon!” in meetings. Remote workers would watch the weekly company-wide meeting via Hangouts, streamed from a personal laptop. It was often difficult to follow what was going on and basically impossible to actually contribute. Feedback was sparse (if at all) and it was up to me to organise trips over to the London office.

Now, the COps team writes two to three “handovers” each day to capture and communicate any important information as other members sign on. Adapting to shifting procedures and issues is imperative for COps, and handovers provide a convenient primer for the night team. We’ve recently begun video call “stand ups” amongst the Night Cops signing on and any of the Day Cops still in the office. Often these don’t involve much other than a quick hello, but seeing everyone’s face goes a long way in nurturing the connection amongst the team. We recently held the inaugural “Overnight week”, during which the night and day teams effectively switched shifts for a week to allow the overnight team to work from the London office. Though shifting biological clocks posed a bit of a challenge, the week was incredibly useful and we are planning on hosting at least two annually going forward.

There have been improvements across the business as well. Remote workers now watch the weekly company-wide meeting through an incredibly professional live stream with stellar video and audio quality, and there’s a monitored Slack channel to ask questions and engage with the team. All meetings are held over Google Hangouts, with quality cameras in every meeting room so anyone can join from anywhere. An increasing number of the team work remotely, and the whole office has work from home Friday every other Friday, helping to increase awareness of the challenges of remote working throughout the company. #remote-culture is a thriving Slack channel providing both a forum to voice concerns and a space to discuss ideas to further improve the culture.

We still have a long way to go, and there are several areas we would like to improve in the coming months. We want to increase the frequency and emphasis of meetings with coworkers outside the COps team. Whilst our two week training period has worked well for recent joiners, we need to augment this for future remote workers as much of the onboarding process takes place in the weeks after designated training. We are also exploring setting up a perpetual live stream from the office for anyone wishing to dial in and see their coworkers in the office. As with everything at Monzo, we’re constantly trying to improve and we are excited by the opportunity to build out a world class remote culture.

Ideal remote working candidates are self-starters who enjoy working independently and flexibly. Whilst we make an effort to accommodate remote working as much as possible, it is still up to the individual to remain informed, manage time effectively, and actively seek out feedback and opportunities when appropriate. If you’re interested in joining the best overnight support team in the world, we’re always hiring! You can find more on openings here and I'd love to hear your experiences of working remotely on the forum.