This is the first article in our “Hopin Vibes” series, which will explore how Hopin is building a world-class culture as a fully remote, global company. Watch this space to follow how we are thinking about and making our culture, and for strategies and practical tools and tips.
A year ago, the world changed forever—and with it, so did everything we thought we knew about organizational culture.
As workforces shifted abruptly from in-person to virtual work environments, experts, business leaders, and workers alike grappled with the same questions:
How will teams collaborate? How will they stay aligned around and make progress on core objectives? How will they keep employees engaged and inspired?
At Hopin, these questions have been with us since the very beginning.
When our CEO, Johnny Boufarhat, founded Hopin in fall 2019, he made the consequential decision to build a fully remote company.
That choice was as much a result of Johnny’s personal story as it was an articulation of Hopin’s broader vision to connect people regardless of physical distance.
Over the last year, Hopin has grown from around 20 employees to more than 500 today, spread across 44 countries. As we have grown, the challenge has been to preserve and amplify what made us special in the first place.
More than a year into the pandemic, organizations have fared much better than we might have expected. But as the ubiquitous discussion around the future of work proves, hybrid and remote work aren’t going anywhere soon.
Given that new normal, we want to share how Hopin—a fully remote company since day one—approaches culture. It all starts with our Vibe Team.
Why we have a Vibe Team
We have learned a lot from the process of building and scaling a culture remotely from day one, especially the following:
- In a remote environment, we have to be even more deliberate about crafting and cultivating organizational culture because we can’t rely on the serendipity of conversations at a water cooler, the rapport building at a ping pong table, or the good feelings engendered by free lunches.
- Our leaders must prioritize making team members feel integrated and empowered if we are to inspire employees to do the best work of their lives.
- And, crucially, one person working on culture in a silo is simply not enough.
To build a vibrant, productive culture—to do it thoughtfully and with intention—takes a team. At Hopin, that is our Vibe Team.
The Vibe Team comprises eight people (at the time of writing), who drive initiatives to define, amplify, and champion Hopin’s culture.
The team is purpose-built to create a remote-first culture that is sustainable and scalable.
Simply put, our job is to bring good vibes.
We serve Hopin by actively listening to what Hopineers are saying and delivering the tools, programs, and moments that make it easy, edifying, and inspiring to work at Hopin.
What makes the Vibe Team unique
In the first place, what is remarkable about our team is the mere fact that we exist.
The Vibe Team is a testament to how our company leadership views culture—as something that is fundamental to organizational health and growth, rather than a nice-to-have.
In other words, our leadership understands that how we work together is as critical to Hopin’s success as the work we do.
Where our team sits within the organization underscores that culture is a priority. We report to our CEO’s Chief of Staff, Lily Chang, and sit in what at any other company would be called the Office of the CEO.
This is by design. Our proximity to the CEO and leadership team means organizational culture figures into the highest-level thinking and discussions happening at the company.
Additionally, it provides a perch that gives the Vibe Team greater insight into the cultural, management, and work styles and trends within each team—while allowing us to remain agnostic and accessible to all. We serve everyone equally, and we don’t have a proximity bias.
Strategically, this also allows our work to be closely aligned with our leadership’s evolving priorities and thinking—such that our culture accurately reflects and amplifies their POV and ideas.
How the Vibe Team is structured
The architecture of the team is core to the success of our efforts.
The Vibe Team has two main branches, led by our Head of Remote and our Head of Internal Communications and Culture.
These teams aren’t always grouped together. In other companies, Remote—and Workplace, its physical world analogue—often lives in the People org, while Internal Comms is often found in the Marketing/Comms org.
However, these teams share a clear common purpose: cultivating a vibrant, positive culture. While they leverage different means, the end is the same—such that grouping and aligning their efforts can unlock real, synergistic value.
On the Vibe Team, our Head of Remote oversees all elements of remote work and remote life, including internal events. Meanwhile, the Head of Internal Comms and Culture manages how we communicate and spearheads our company values.
Under the same umbrella, our two teams working together produce a sum greater than the parts.
Hopin Mainstage: The Vibe Team in action
Here is an example of what the collaboration between our Remote and Internal Comms Teams looks like.
“Hopin Mainstage” is our quarterly kickoff event.
Delivered by the Vibe Team, the agenda includes presentations from executives reviewing our performance and charting the course ahead, fireside chats with partners and customers, Q&A with team leaders, values sessions, Hopin Hero Awards, team videos, entertainment, and more.
The Remote Team owns the agenda and logistics of the event, while also determining the thematic, engagement, and entertainment elements that make the event, an event.
Meanwhile, the Internal Comms Team manages the content, taking a holistic view of the program to ensure all teams are represented as well as creating the presentation outlines and talk tracks for speakers.
By working in lockstep from day one when organizing an event like Mainstage, the Vibe Team is able to deliver an experience that is unified and seamless, highly informative and engaging, and, yes, a lot of fun.
Conclusion: The Vibe Team is an investment in Hopin’s remote culture
Hopin is a remote-first forever company—so cultivating a thriving remote culture will remain integral to our success.
Great culture is how you attract and retain talent, how you build effective teams, and how you get the best out of each team member.
For a global company, that means sourcing and hiring top talent from around the world, building cohesive teams across disparate cultures and time zones, and helping each employee to feel invested in and inspired by a singular vision.
The Vibe Team is one of the ways Hopin is investing in our remote culture.
By hiring experienced, forward-thinking professionals and putting them at the very center of the company, we are endeavoring to create a world-class organizational culture that can help to sustain and drive growth in the months and years ahead.
For many organizations, remote and hybrid work are here to stay. With our "Hopin Vibes" series, our aim will be to share the specifics of how a fully remote, global company like Hopin is thinking about and building culture. Stay tuned!