Amir Salihefendic, Doist: Best Practices for the Remote Work Revolution, Ep 126

Although Amir Salihefendic has been an advocate for remote work for over a decade, he never envisioned that the worldwide shift to remote would take place as a result of a pandemic. Amir is the founder and CEO of Doist, a remote-first company that specializes in productivity software and currently offers two products: Todoist and Twist.

Todoist is one of the most popular task management tools in the world, while Twist helps teams balance work with collaborative conversations. As a remote-work pioneer, Doist’s 80-person team is spread across 30 countries and multiple time zones and has an employee retention rate of over 95%. 

This is the second time I sit down with Amir to talk about the future of work. In this episode, Amir talks about how he experiences remote work in a post-COVID world and provides tips to those who have only recently transitioned into this modality. We also discuss the power of asynchronous work and how to build a culture in a remote-first company.

The remote work revolution

While most of the world has shifted to remote work, Amir has been doing it for over 14 years. COVID-19 has forced many companies to switch to remote work, and Amir explains that many are doing it wrong. Poorly designed setups that try to reproduce the office setting could end up creating a traumatic experience for employees. 

Learn more about the do’s and don’ts of remote work in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Doist’s superpower: asynchronous communication

With a fully distributed team spread across several time zones, Amir explains that real-time communication is almost impossible. Doist’s winning strategy has been to combine remote work with asynchronous collaboration. This enables Amir and his team to hire the best from anywhere in the world. An asynchronous setup allows employees to work uninterrupted and yield better results in a less stressful environment.

Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about how asynchronous work encourages productivity.

Understanding the value of work

Amir stresses that companies need to view their employees through a different lens and forget about trying to recreate the office environment when working remotely. One way in which this perspective changes is how work is valued. At Doist, they don’t care about the number of hours people work, they only care about the output. The output speaks for itself, which is why it’s important to hire team leaders that are experts in their field and can assess the quality of a deliverable.

Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more tips from Amir about how to successfully manage a remote team.

Amir Salihefendic has developed numerous guides and blog posts at Doist sharing the best practices for globally distributed teams from his own experience. He’s opened the eyes of many to the enormous benefits and opportunities that can arise from remote work. 

Outline of this episode:

  • [2:50] – About Doist
  • [4:09] – Remote work in 2007 
  • [5:10] – Global shift to remote work
  • [7:06] – Best practices of remote work pre-pandemic
  • [10:44] – Importance of asynchronous work 
  • [16:18] – Building a culture remotely
  • [19:40] – Do’s and don’ts of remote work
  • [23:37] – LatAm’s place in a remote-first world 
  • [29:26] – Advice to Amir’s younger self
  • [31:14] – What’s next for Amir and Doist?

Resources & people mentioned

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