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Getmyboat Sails to Success with Globally Distributed Remote Work Culture


Getmyboat boat on water

In today's digital age, where boundaries blur and teams span continents, mastering globally distributed, remote work culture is a strategic advantage.


Getmyboat, the leader in online boat rentals, has boldly embraced the challenge of globally distributed remote work and emerged as a shining example of success. In a discussion with Sholeh Esmaili-Montoya, their Chief Human Resources Officer, I learned about the unique elements fueling their thriving global team.


Here's a peek into their winning formula:


Global Team, Local Impact


One of the defining features of Getmyboat's success story is its diverse and distributed team spanning 15 countries and 5 continents. Getmyboat team members bring diverse perspectives to build a high-quality product and support their millions of customers around the world. By embracing asynchronous work, Getmyboat ensures seamless collaboration across time zones, promoting inclusive teamwork and a diversity of global viewpoints. 


Sholeh shares, “We've learned to leverage technology to facilitate seamless communication and collaboration. The timezone overlaps we intentionally designed when hiring allow for synchronous connections where needed. One example where synchronous work comes into play for us is for retrospectives. It is here where teams come together to reflect on the work completed, allowing everyone to openly share, and discuss specific learning and outcomes for future work and collaboration. 


In a recent project, our team spread across different countries rallied together quickly. Members from various corners of the globe brought their linguistic expertise and cultural insights to ensure accuracy and clarity during a company translation project. This collaborative effort not only enhanced the quality of our content but also strengthened the bond among team members, showcasing the power of diversity in delivering an excellent product.”


Empowering Rewards & Joy


Boat on water

One of the standout aspects of Getmyboat's culture is its commitment to bringing joy not only to customers but also to their team members. Their company value, "Do Right, Bring Joy," shines through in everything they do. Each team member gets an "Experience Joy" credit to personally experience their platform, service, and the joy that being on the water provides. They then bring back feedback and ideas they have from their boat day to help the company improve, all while being able to have a little fun on the water. I love this example of employees  "dogfooding"  their own product!


By encouraging feedback through product experiences and infusing joy into everyday work, they create an environment where creativity thrives, and employees find fulfillment beyond tasks.





Focus and Productivity


Their focus on productivity is also impressive. Minimizing distractions and recurring meetings allows the team to stay focused on what truly matters, delivering meaningful results without drowning in unnecessary meetings. 


Sholeh shares, “Since our company's inception, we've held uninterrupted focus time in high regard, recognizing its importance for our most impactful work. As our company scaled and evolved, we've continued to commit to preserving these deep work periods, knowing they fuel productivity, creativity, and effective communication in our globally distributed team. To safeguard this, we've established clear meeting best practices which include questioning if a meeting is truly necessary and if any regularly scheduled meetings are still relevant. We empower people to change or cancel any meetings that do not have a set purpose or outcome. These efforts ensure that as we grow, our ability to harness focused time remains a cornerstone of our culture.


Giving people dedicated work time so they can make an impact on building a high-quality product aligned with the company's priorities and goals is one of the many reasons team members love working at Getmyboat based on our team promoter score (TPS) surveys. Other reasons include the people, working with a supportive team, and our transparent communication. Over the last three years, our average TPS has been 4.8 out of 5.0.”


Customized Learning Paths with AI


Getmyboat doesn't just stop at accomplishing tasks; they prioritize continuous growth and development. They empower team members to own their learning journeys through hands-on experiences and tailored educational resources, recognizing the global nature of their team with flexible learning opportunities. They have an annual L&D allowance to support people's learning and development journey.


The HR team recently experimented with using generative AI to help them analyze their team's development goals to create a Learning and Development Toolkit, tailored to the skills requested by their team. You can read more about the steps they took, the tools they used, and lessons learned here.


Sailing to Success


Reflecting on Getmyboat's success, it's evident that their approach isn't just about luck—it's about deliberate decision-making, rooted in values like trust and creativity. Imagine if other companies embraced these principles too, empowering teams with personalized rewards and celebrating diversity. Let's draw inspiration from Getmyboat's journey.


As we navigate the world of remote work, let's do so with intention and innovation, ensuring that our teams not only survive but thrive. 


Smooth sailing ahead!


Are you inspired by Getmyboat's approach? If you’re looking to implement a successful globally distributed, remote work model at your company, I'm here to help!


  • Schedule an "Ask Me Anything" micro consulting session to get personalized advice

  • Purchase a Remote Work Playbook to accelerate your progress

  • Advisor to your leadership and people team to build a strong people operations foundation and best-in-class employee experiences

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