Have you ever had a water cooler conversation where you exchanged recipes for cauliflower pizza with someone in Spain, while receiving music recommendations from someone in Nigeria, followed by a breakdown of the best distilleries in Tennessee from someone in St. Louis?
For a growing number of workers in the “post”-pandemic world, this is becoming an increasingly common kind of chat. But for one startup, Mission, they’re far more than a passing pleasantry.
While having a remote and dispersed workforce has some major pros — a fast and flexible means to get things built, shortening time to market, saving tons of time vetting, hiring, and managing, just to name a few — it has one obvious drawback: feelings of isolation and a lack of camaraderie.
…the goal has always been to have the talent in the community feel proud of being members.
At Mission, a company who’s already earned praise for creating an on-ramp to the remote future of work, solving this depressing cut-off quality of WFH is central to their platform.
Virtual events may be a staple of startups, especially post-COVID, but they’re often pretty passive affairs. You log-in, usually invisible, and listen to someone speak about the state of the company. Maybe you get a shot to be heard during the Q&A at the end, if time allows.
Mission’s Operations Manager Robin Westhaver is spearheading a new approach which could provide a means to alleviate the mental health burden of remote work.
When Westhaver first kicked the initiative off, the Mission (called “GSquad” at the time) network had around 200 members. The size of that community is now over 1,000. However, the goal has always been to have the talent in the community “feel proud of being members,” as Westhaver puts it.
“Everything I work on at Mission has the goal of connecting members and to help make us the best place for product builders and software engineers to grow and learn.”
Experimenting with different virtual platforms, Westhaver organizes online events specifically designed to bring colleagues together for casual convo. While in others, such as round tables and Town Hall style gatherings, the goal is to dig into more professional topics and give community members a real voice in the direction of the developing community.
While the internet is seeing more “labor marketplaces” that tend to treat freelancers as statistics, Mission is going above and beyond to spotlight their remote workforce with the kind of care and attention that even the best in-house teams rarely enjoy.
CEO and co-founder Stephane Rossi affirmed this at Mission’s latest All-Hands event, “Community has always been very important to us. Creating a software engineering environment where developers can really be happy with the whole experience is our goal.”
With community events, mentorship opportunities, a newly launched Discord server, and friendships forming online and in-person, Mission is on their way to making the future of work a lot less lonely.