The Fundamentals of Equality in Remote Teams with Bhagyashree Pancholy

Bhagyashree Pancholy heads Operations at, a fully remote startup serving 10,000+ businesses worldwide. She’s also a Marketing Consultant for Work2Flow and has a passion for SaaS and remote work.

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Luis Magalhaes: Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the DistantJob Podcast. I am your host, Luis, and this a podcast about building and leading remote teams, awesome remote teams. And today with me, I have Bhagyashree. Did I get that right?

Bhagyashree: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: Thank you. I try so hard to get people’s names. So, you are a marketer, you manage marketing operations remotely. Can you tell me a bit more about yourself, about what you do, about the company you work on?

Bhagyashree: Sure. Thank you so much for having me on the podcast and-

Luis Magalhaes: My pleasure.

Bhagyashree: Big hello to everyone who’s listening to me. I’m actually a graduate in marketing and sales, and I started my career as a marketing professional for one of my friend’s company and then, quickly I realized that although I did enjoy marketing to a certain level, it was basically operations that I loved more. Then, with some sort of experience and some sort of tips that I have actually got from other people, I switched over to operations. And now I manage two remote teams, for two different size startups. One is called Purple Rain, that’s the company. We are a bootstrap startup. Got full for that side right now, and we’ve got 68 team members spread over all continents.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow.

Bhagyashree: Out of which, 21 work in-house from our Bangalore office, while the rest are working remotely. So we actually have people working every day, 24 hours. Somebody’s living in South America and somebody’s in Australia, and somebody’s in Fiji, and somebody is actually in Kiribati, imagine. I don’t anybody who lives in Kiribati works remotely but we do have one. We have a team working 24 hours a day.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow.

Bhagyashree: And the other company that I recently joined as a marketing consultant is again a bootstrap [inaudible 00:02:09] startup called Gotoflow and right now I’m purely doing marketing side for Gotoflow. We are here to build a team which we will very soon and would be again a very diverse remote team.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, well, you know we are recruiters at DistantJob, so if you need any help with that, you know where to find us.

Bhagyashree: Sure do, yes. Will do.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, you know it is very interesting that you mention that the part of the team… So this was Purple…?

Bhagyashree: Rain.

Luis Magalhaes: Purple Rain.

Bhagyashree: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: Purple Rain, so that’s a great song.

Bhagyashree: Yes. So, yes.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, so in Purple Rain you mentioned that chunk of the team is working in an office located in India and then the rest is spread worldwide and this is very interesting, because this tends to be a different challenge, right? It usually feels like one hand of the company has the advantage, you know. Some companies, it feels like the people working remotely are left behind in relation to the people working in the office and in other companies it feels like it’s the people that are working in the officer that are a bit isolated, while the remote people are all networking with each other on the [crosstalk 00:03:32]. I guess that’s the first question is how do you fight that, how does the company keep a balance of equal treatment and of equal consideration with regard to these two situations?

Bhagyashree: Well, it’s very challenging. It’s actually enormous challenge managing [inaudible 00:03:54] hybrid team because you have to balance not only the [associan 00:41:04] and the work part of it, but also salaries which is very, very important. And given the currency differences, so what we have is we based our salaries of what an average in that job would get in San Francisco because we take it as the base.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow.

Bhagyashree: And, yeah, so whether you are in India, you are in Nepal, you are in… We have somebody from Portugal as well.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice.

Bhagyashree: So wherever you are, your salary will be calculated on what the [inaudible 00:04:30] is called based salary. We have come up… With one of the most exciting challenge that I faced was there are definitely some loops and some delays in getting the work done, because with somebody who’s in Australia is already [inaudible 00:04:48]. Somebody who’s actually in Hawaii, for him it’s the previous day that is still there. So we do have a lot of delays and that is something that we’ve been trying to work on. So, one thing that we’ve come up with is having everybody come for regularly standup calls, every week. So, we all know that we all are on the same page and what is happening in the company.

I don’t think that any of our team members would feel that they’re being discriminated if they’re working in the office or remote team, because we encourage the remote team also to come and join us at our Bangalore office for a few days in a year. Likewise, we encourage our in-house team also to take few days off and work from home. So everybody gets a share in the pie and then we have annual retreats where we meet at some exotic location. This year we’re planning to meet in Spain in-

Luis Magalhaes: Wow, can I go?

Bhagyashree: Yes, please. Come along.

Luis Magalhaes: Sure.

Bhagyashree: So, we have annual retreats, teams actually attend a lot of conferences and hackathons across the world, so I think only two weeks back a couple of the [inaudible 00:05:58] met in Ukraine for one of the hackathons and then the [inaudible 00:06:02]. So they keep meeting very often, so I don’t think they can be [inaudible 00:06:09] anywhere.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh wow, that’s really cool. So there’re a couple of things that I’ll guess I’ll start by asking a question about the meet-ups, the standup meetings. That where everyone get [crosstalk 00:06:20]. You have people in Australia, you have people in India, you have people in the US. You know, someone will need to wake up at the middle of the night.

Bhagyashree: Yes. So, what we try to do is we don’t have a specific time like other companies do for a standup, so we try to rotate. So, maybe this week the Indian team and these South Asia teams waking up at two in the night, next week it will be the European team, so everybody wakes up at night.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay.

Bhagyashree: So, that is how we rotate because we just… So, we have couple of people who are new parents, we don’t want to disturb them because I had just had a daughter two months ago, and I know how difficult it is to get up at middle of night to attend a call. So, in that case, people who are unable to make it, we have a lot of tools that we use, to maintain instant communication slag then we’ve got couple of other boards and of course emails there, so they can just send us whatever they’ve done.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay.

Bhagyashree: And whatever they’re planning to do, blockers for the week and yes, somebody else reads it out to us in the meeting and then of course, whatever the solution is we send the reply to them.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. So, I was very interested about what you said about salaries, because it seems like a very… It’s a very different approach from what we’re used to. Usually people [inaudible 00:07:45] people in India, but even in Portugal, people try to hire from other countries so they can pay salaries that are typical to those countries. Those salaries that are typical to those countries are usually way less than the average salary in San Francisco. That’s part of the reason. So, how did your company come to this conclusion? What was the thought process? Why did they feel they needed to do this? Because I have the feeling that someone, let’s say, let’s take Portugal as an example. Because I’m not going to pretend I know the reality in India, so I’m going to use Portugal as an example. Some Portuguese people can earn a lot less than an average salary in San Francisco and still be way above the average in Portugal, because the difference is just enormous. So, why did you decide to take this route?

Bhagyashree: So, one thing we definitely did not want was pay disparity between our employees. We know that everybody puts in equal amount of hard work, everybody works the equal hours. So this pay disparity? So, going by this logic if we were to base our salaries in India, then due to the currency conversion rates, somebody who’s living in, let’s say, rest of Europe or in Australia or in the US. If the salaries were based in India they would be actually earning much lower and perhaps it won’t be enough for them to have a decent life. So that is the reason we based it on the US and then distributed for our other countries, because maybe, yes there are time when a team in England is actually losing out money when they’re being paid in dollars, but then that’s something that we just cannot satisfy everybody. So we based it in San Francisco being we have the founder thought that maybe this was the better idea, that you base it in one city and then give it to everybody, wherever they are.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, well, yeah and it makes sense to base it on San Francisco, obviously because if you were basing on, let’s say, salaries from where I live, we’re a nice beach town near Lisbon. If you were to base on that, no one in the US would be able to live on what people in Portugal live on.

Bhagyashree: Yes and then the company is actually registered in California, so it makes all the more sense.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. So, let’s talk about your team. So what number of people do you manage directly?

Bhagyashree: As the head of operations, I actually manage a team of 21 people directly and practically everybody else.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow, that’s a lot. Why don’t you take me through your usual day? How do you start or if you don’t have a usual day, your usual week. What do you start, what do you finish on, what do you do in between?

Bhagyashree: So one thing that I feel that gives [inaudible 00:10:58] distinct edge, is that we don’t have fixed working hours. We can work at 2:00 at night, 5:00 in the morning, we just don’t care as long as the work’s done and you have put in your number of hours every week. You can just do it over the weekend, that’s fine with us. So, generally, because I’ve just had a daughter, it’s all crammed up. I’m working in parts, four hours now, four hours then. And generally what happens with every Monday we have a standup meeting call [inaudible 00:11:28] has a meeting call with me and then I… All we heads have it with our founder and CEO, who lives in London, UK.

After that we go through our tools. We use Trello, we use Basecamp, we use Slack. Slack is actually our lifeline, yes. And we use [inaudible 00:11:49] boards for all the double-up or in technical side of it. So we take a look at our boards, see what is done. We have a standup call with the project coordinators as to what is happening, what the team misreporting. We analyze, so Monday basically something like board meet. Spend the entire day analyzing what happened in previous week and what we need to focus in the coming week, along with the blockers. So that takes care of Monday and then by Tuesday we all-

Luis Magalhaes: Sorry, can I pause you a bit there, just to go into a bit more details. So, you have that Monday meeting, is it with the 21-

Bhagyashree: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: Answer you at the same time, okay. So, I mean, that’s a lot of people for a meeting. How do you organize it so that it doesn’t take forever and how long does it usually take?

Bhagyashree: So, luckily the 21 people that I manage of them 12 are based in India, so we are in the same… So basically it’s all of us are in the same time zone plus and minus four hours. So, for me it’s kind of a relieve that I don’t have to coordinate much for the time differences. It’s an easy call, we just get on Zoom, like we’re doing right now and the heads of the respective departments, they would just give me a report. And then we’ll discuss and we always have the member, team members present there because sometimes what has happened that, okay, I have given you a report but then oh, I have forgot that point. Now what do I do? You can always say when we have the standup calls, because that is the reason why were are there. To solve issues and to know what blockers we are facing and to remove them. So everybody’s there. We keep it very, very short, it’s just 40 minutes because we don’t want to spend the entire day in long conversations.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow, that takes some real organization. 20 people in 40 minutes, I mean.

Bhagyashree: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: I guess that you have… How many people actually talk and then I guess some other are just paying attention and be [inaudible 00:13:53] when needed, okay.

Bhagyashree: Yes, so what happens is we want what you’re going to discuss on Monday by Friday. By previous weekend you should give us the report as to what are the points that are going to be discussed because none of us want to be taken by surprise. Okay, this is an issue, what do we do? Because over the weekend we would actually come up with solution if there is some serious issue with our team or how we work or whatever is happening in the company. Not many people speak, it’s just four people who are speaking, because they are the heads of the respective teams, but we want everybody to be there to listen and if you have that they want to share, contribute, they are more than welcome to do it. But then we have a very strick time limit, it never crosses 40 minutes no matter what.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, so you basically get the reports from the team leads and the rest of the team is listening, may ask something like that.

Bhagyashree: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, so that’s good. So, thank you for clarifying that for me. You were going onto Tuesday.

Bhagyashree: Yes, so Tuesday is back to working. I always keep one hour towards the beginning of the day to speak to the team leads and know what is happening because as you can understand with such a huge team there are bound to be issues every day. Sometimes there are technical glitches, Basecamp’s not working, this project is not opening, this, that. So we have to coordinate with the tech team which would take some time because the tech team is the more diverse team that we have.

There are who are, some of the job lapper and the tech team members are working with us on [inaudible 00:15:28] for our bases. Some of them are full-time, some of them are part-time. We’ve got all sort of mix in the tech team. Some of them are freelancers, students who just want to gain some experience and are working with us. So that takes a lot of time, sometimes it could take a day to get a reply or a solution from them. So I always keep that in the beginning so that I have next seven hours to focus as to which the solution has come to me or not.

And then we usually go by our normal routine, whatever task I have been assigned. I look whatever task I have to assign, I assign on Tuesdays. So one thing that is actually very, very, helpful in getting our things done seamlessly in our company, is the fact that we always, always stick to our deadlines. If you are going to miss a deadline, you have to tell us 24 hours in advance. Of course there could be sudden emergencies which we always schedule for and we don’t mind, but all our tasks come up with a specific time and date that it has to be submitted by this time on this date.

Luis Magalhaes: How do you decide on those times and dates? Is it you, as the team leader decide?

Bhagyashree: No. It’s the project coordinator who does, so once I assign a task to a particular person it’s the responsibility of the project coordinator to see how much time that this task would take. Ideally I give them, everybody does, so I can just say, okay it would take them four days to get it done. So, then the project coordinator speaks to the person whom the task is assigned to, learn their schedule, see if they can do it in four days. If not, then of course extend the days. It is all up to the coordinator.

Luis Magalhaes: And I assume that the rest of the week is more or less like that until Friday when you decide what you’re going to talk about Monday. Yeah.

Bhagyashree: Yes, so I work till Friday, but then our in-house team, the 21 people who work out of our Bangalore office, they work on Saturdays as well and then of course our customer support team is our champions, weekend champions. They are working all through the week. They have different days off. So, it’s basically we all are working. The company is actually functioning 365 days a year.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, well, wow. It never stops. Never stops.

Bhagyashree: Never stops, no Christmas, no Diwali, nothing.

Luis Magalhaes: So, you mentioned that Slack is your lifeline, but you also use Basecamp and you also use Trello and [crosstalk 00:17:57]. Wow. Actually for sometime DistanceJob worked a bit like that, but we ended up stopping with Slack. Just because we felt that there were too many windows, dividing our [crosstalk 00:18:09]. Most of the company now runs on Basecamp. I personally, because as part of head of marketing we used to do… You do Trello, Basecamp and Slack, but we felt like it was our attention was too divided, so are now mostly a Basecamp company, because as head of marketing I still produce and edit and coordinate a lot of content. And I find that Trello is much nicer than Basecamp for that, because it’s nicer to set up a flow in Trello. So a part of [inaudible 00:18:41] still uses Trello, but we mostly moved to Basecamp. My question to you is what kind of tasks do you use each tool for and how do you keep track, I guess, of everything across all three without overwhelming you?

Bhagyashree: Slack is basically for communication and yes, I agree that it could be a bit distracting with all the channels and all the windows popping up every now and then. It’s like [inaudible 00:19:07] so Slack is a necessary evil for us. It’s the most important tool that we have. We use Trello specifically for content task. Editing our blog post, everything that’s related content goes on Trello. Basecamp is for everything else. Digital marketing, sales, operations, website double-upment, everything. Then we also use [Giro 00:19:35] for specific codes and double-upment.

So, we have six project coordinators. Basically Purple Rain has four products, which are companies within itself and Purple Rain is the umbrella company. The master company, so the specific products have specific project coordinator who keep an eye on all these three tools. It is their task to manage what’s been done, what is not being done, and the beauty of this things is that no one person is on two products. So we have specific team for a product and then for second product, we have a second specific team. And there’s no… They can of course because they are employees of the same company, they have social interaction [inaudible 00:20:22] but professionally they have no connection whatsoever.

Luis Magalhaes: Hey there, it’s Luis. Welcome to the intermission of the DistantJob podcasts. If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a very big change that you’re interested in building a great remote team. And to build a great remote team you need great remote employees. That’s where DistantJob comes in. So here’s how it works. You tell us the kind of position that you need to fill. We talk to you, we try to figure out not only what are the exact requirements that person should have, but also we try to figure out who would be a perfect fit for your company culture. Because we really believe that that matters.

Then, once we have an exact picture of what we’re looking for, we off to the races. Our recruiters tap into their global network and we filter people very well so that you don’t waste your time interviewing people that are never going to of interest to you. We make sure, because we are techies and our recruiters are techies as well. So, when people get to you, they are already pre-selected and you just have to decide between the cream of the crop. And once you make your selection, we handle all the paperwork. We handle HR for you, we handle payments and you get a full-time remote employee that’s among the best of the world and managed entirely by you, by your processes and following your culture.

If this sounds good, visit us at And without further ado, let’s get back with the show. Thank you for listening.

All right, so you mentioned that you thought that Slack was a necessary evil. What does it make Slack so essential?

Bhagyashree: The fact that everything is stored on Slack, whatever we do and we’ve integrated it with all of the other tools that we use. So all of a sudden, if I have an emergency task being assigned to me on, let’s say Basecamp and I’m not on my computer, I don’t see my email. I receive an instant notification from Slack saying that it’s an emergency task that you need to look at. That is something that I do truly like.  And also for the fact that since we have such a diverse team, Slack is something that keeps us together. It actually binds us together. And you know, sometimes what happens is you have people in the team who are not very comfortable with getting on a call with you every now and then. There are all sorts of personalities, then you need to cater to everybody. So, Slack as a tool, a texting tool is wonderful. They could just text what they want and you could reply.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, that makes sense, that makes sense. I guess, I do miss Slack a bit. I do miss Slack a bit but I don’t miss the distractions and I guess I’m still trying to figure out what is the good balance. The good balance-

Bhagyashree: Yes, I’ve actually heard a lot of people have moved out of Slack and then adopted different tools. But for us Slack has been working wonderfully. We’ve got a lot of channels. We have a lot of fun of Slack so this is something that… At least for us we want to stick by Slack.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, sure. We try to simulate the Slack experience with Basecamp Campfires, but it’s just not the same thing because it takes too many clicks to get anywhere in Base-

Bhagyashree: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: And the notification are not… I guess that’s the point that they shouldn’t be as intrusive as Slack. But it’s very easy to miss stuff in Basecamp chat. So anyway, you as someone who started working remotely some years ago, you’ve had some good experiences and some bad experiences. And I thought that I ask you, now that you’re in a leadership position, what do you think, what would you advise, based on your experience as an employee. What would you advise that companies should do to make sure to keep their remote workers happy? I guess motivated in their work.

Bhagyashree: When I started as a remote employee five years ago, it was sheer out of necessity, because I had studies so much, I have a MBA in marketing and sales and I was working with a very good foreign investment bank. I married my love who was in the military and you’re of course in a far flung area where there was nothing to do. We were surrounded by creeks and forests and jungles and elephants.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow.

Bhagyashree: So I had no source of employment. So I started-

Luis Magalhaes: You mean elephants don’t need marking?

Bhagyashree: I wish. I would have been a leader in that sort of marketing had they needed one. So, I just starting writing for a friend’s company. It was internet trend analogies company, I still remember. And the pay was meager, I mean, I was not even earning enough to pay my internet bill.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow.

Bhagyashree: But that was a start because I knew that I needed the experience. And then of course I told Erica my story. I moved to different jobs, then basically I started working as a marketing manager for a localization translation company based in Ireland where they actually opened the doors wide for me. And ever since then I’ve been working remotely and now here I am. What I would actually like to advise is don’t ever work for pay. My husband used to joked that when I first started remotely, he used to joked that, “You know, more than you are earning, actually it’s me who’s paying you to work”. Because it was him who pay my phone and internet bills because is was start earning enough.

For remote work the most important trait is how open you are to communication. And that has been said many, many, many times. Actually you’re not trying to send back remote working it’s a trend, it’s the cool thing to do. It’s something that we ought to do. It’s not meant for everybody, to be very honest. We’ve had people who have worked remotely and then they decided to go back to the office, because it was just not working out for them.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, for sure, I’ve had people like that as well.

Bhagyashree: Yes, so what I would suggest for remote companies is just don’t go for a specific geographic region. Just don’t come, I mean, interview a candidate with prejudice in your head saying that oh, the person is from South Asia. He would be only good in coding and development but can’t do marketing or content writing. Well, that’s not [inaudible 00:27:26]. Interview and analyze every individual as an individual and not from where he comes, what he speaks, what he looks like and this is something that I’ve actually faced, a lot of discrimination in the remote work, have been discriminated against for being everything from being an Indian, for not holding an European passport. For being pregnant I was told that no, we cannot take you because they assume you have a child and it will be too distracting so you should do the ad hoc responsibilities, and I was-

Luis Magalhaes: Oh yeah. Yeah, that’s something that actually happens in Portugal a lot, even though it’s against the law. People don’t talk about it, they just ask are you planning on having children and if you say yes, they make a note and then you don’t get the job because you didn’t have enough experience or some other reason. But the fact is that you don’t the job.

Bhagyashree: Yes, so I’ve had my fair share of discrimination and as somebody who now hires remotely, I never judge my candidate on anything except his skills. We don’t even you require you to have a formal degree. We have people who are just graduates from high school, but then they are doing such beautiful work, developing apps and developing our products. We just don’t care whether you have a university degree or not, as long as you know how to get your job done.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, okay.

Bhagyashree: So, yes, just interview the candidate as the person he is based on his skills, experience, and expertise and not on anything else.

Luis Magalhaes: What are somethings that you deeply value when you’re interviewing?

Bhagyashree: Definitely the expertise of the subject is something that is very, very important. For certain roles we do take fresh years, and we generally absorb the interns who are working with us. But for certain other roles we just don’t have the time to train them on the job, so we would definitely look for experience, depending on what role you’re applying for. Another thing is communication skills, that is very important, be it verbal, be it written. I have actually hired somebody who was very good at speaking but not so great at writing as we’ve had so much of miscommunication that we had to eventually ask the person to leave. So that is something that I’ve learned from my mistake. Communication is the number one thing I look when I’m interviewing somebody. And of course the fact that whether had experience working remotely in the past or not, because remote working is a challenge in itself.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, how do you usually evaluate those communications? Is it just through the way they communicate during the interview process or do go and look for stuff that they have written before? How do you try to get a sense-

Bhagyashree: It’s everything. I do ask for references, the team, the recruiting team does a fair share of their back ground checks. It’s also how you speak. But for me you know the most important is how you write your first email to me. I would love it if you were my friend but not right now, dude, because I’m your interviewer.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Bhagyashree: So, how you write your first mail to me is very, very important for me. That how I evaluate.

Luis Magalhaes: Sometimes it’s also people err on the other side, where they are so formal, that they look like robots and it doesn’t seem like it’s a human being. So it’s important to balance.

Bhagyashree: It is, because it’s not like I want [inaudible 00:30:59] British era emails, but it’s something that… I actually pay a lot of attention to the grammar, to the phrases, to the sentence and the word they’ve used. I have done this no, I don’t know and you don’t use phrase you know when you’re righting an email for job. So, it has to be little formal, some funny one-liners or jokes in it, but it has be a little formal. You have maintain the dignity of the person who’s reading. That’s something that even I follow when I apply for jobs and then of course if you pass on the test, we do have test for every role. So you have to pass on the test and then there’s the final stage where you are being interviewed, and we gauge a lot how you speak, how you write on the tests.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay, so, I guess I’d like to move on, because I want to be respectful of your time and I want to move on to some rapid fire questions. You don’t need to be rapid fire in answering them though, feel free take as long as you like. Since you started working remotely and you’ve made the whole journey and I actually sympathize a lot with that because it’s very similar with mine. I started my remote work career writing at 5 cents a word for a video game website. So it wasn’t, but it was very close to free. And-

Bhagyashree: Yes, I know what you mean.

Luis Magalhaes: Yes, I ended up eventually becoming a director of marketing. So, you have a similar trajectory. What’s the best lesson this journey taught you?

Bhagyashree: Being persistent. I never gave up. You don’t even know, Luis, on what else shitty reasons, sorry to use the word, I was discriminated. There was a time I was not invited for a retreat, which was essential to the core values of the company as per their rosy page on the website, because I was in India and flights from India to Malta are expensive.

Luis Magalhaes: No, wow. Yeah.

Bhagyashree: Who, what?

Luis Magalhaes: It’s a global company, right?

Bhagyashree: Yes. There were nights when I used to feel what have I done, just because I have married somebody who doesn’t stay in the city and I want to be with my husband. I have actually given up on my career. I actually wrote long, long post on Facebook groups related to digital nomads. And one thing I must say that I actually received so much of support and so many advices from many, many people out there on Facebook whom I don’t even know personally in my life. And they backed to me, being my support in this entire journey. So being persistent is something that I would actually say that is most important thing in being a remote worker or if you’re looking to become one, of course you have to be persistent.

Luis Magalhaes: Good advice. So, if you had $100 or euros or equivalent to spend with each person working for you, what would you buy them and I mean a tool to help their work life be easier? Now, of course you can use software tools, you can use apps, you can use physical tools, whatever. But within like 100 euros or dollars.

Bhagyashree: Good question. I would actually buy them an email tracking tool.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh?

Bhagyashree: Because it’s the marketing team, remember, I had and a lot of the times we don’t know if people who we had sent the email have actually read our email or not.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay.

Bhagyashree: Yeah, that’s going to very valuable for just to check your open reads.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, so do you have any favorites?

Bhagyashree: Personally I use a lot of them. I use MailTracker, that’s my favorite as of now.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay.

Bhagyashree: And Streak is something I’d really, really like using. It is a CRN though, but then they have an inbuilt tracker.

Luis Magalhaes: All right, you can say your email tracking tool anymore, but apart from that, what purchase has made your work life easier or more productive in the past six months or the past year?

Bhagyashree: We’ve upgraded our plan on Slack, like I said I love Slack. So we were on the standard plan for sometime. And then we’ve upgraded the plan and some say there are a few features, video calling and stuff. It has actually made it simpler because previously we used everything with either on Google Hangouts or Zoom and that’s another app in all together, so Slack and their video calling feature is sometime that we really, really love.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. Cool, so one more for Slack. So, what book or books have you gifted the most?

Bhagyashree: When I was in school I used to read a lot of Chicken Soup for the Souls.

Luis Magalhaes: Ah, [crosstalk 00:36:11].

Bhagyashree: Yes, so even at our company I actually recommend people do either read that or any of the other management books that they’d really like. But Chicken Soup for the Soul is something that I really advise everybody at our workplace to read. For me it’s not always about learning more about your job or how more efficient you can become. I firmly believe that if you are calm and happy in the inside, that will automatically come out for your job as well. You will be happy at your workplace and do your work more diligently, more happy-

Luis Magalhaes: I fully agree with that and that’s a nice recommendation. Chicken soup for the Soul. It’s just such a great title also, that’s titling.

Bhagyashree: I know, chicken soup is such comfort food.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, final question.

Bhagyashree: Yes.

Luis Magalhaes: Let’s say that you’re hosting the dinner in the Chinese restaurant where a lot of the top execs of technology companies go to have a round table on remote work. What’s the Chinese fortune cookie message that comes inside the Chinese fortune cookies?

Bhagyashree: Love your employees people, you won’t grow if you won’t.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow, nice. Nice, good fortune message. So, thank you so much and for this interview. Thank you so much for talking to me and I would to ask to tell our listeners where they can find you, where can they continue the conversation and where can they find your company, if you think that important. Please, let everyone that’s listening know about you and what you do and how they can continue the conversation.

Bhagyashree: Thank you so much, Luis, for having me. In case you are interested in working with Purple Rain we will have couple of positions open in a couple of months. We are looking by the end of this year. Especially for [inaudible 00:38:21]. So please feel free to apply, my company website is and my full name is [Hajish 00:38:32] [Repansjolee 00:38:32] so you can find me this name on Facebook with are linked in. Feel free to email me at [email protected] or at [email protected] because that’s the other company that I work part-time for. And I hope that all of you have liked my journey so far, what I had to speak about. For all the remote employers out there, please love your employees and please treat every candidate with the respect they deserve. You’ll be surprised what hidden jewels you reveal in the interview. Thank you, Luis.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, that’s a beautiful parting message. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Bhagyashree: Thank you.

Luis Magalhaes: It was my pleasure and take care. And so we close another episode of the DistantJob podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That will be great, it’s how we reach more listeners and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy for have for me and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well. You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast gets to more listeners.

Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to, click on your favorite episode, then any episode really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episode up so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form. And of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally. Not just look to hire in your country. Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent.

And to help you with that again, is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate 20% faster than the industry standard. And with that I bid you adieu. See you next week on the next episode.

For further inquiries regarding podcasts, eBooks, blog posts, or general information about remote recruitment don’t hesitate to send us an email at [email protected]

More ways to listen:

In this podcast episode, Bhagyashree shares how she’s able to successfully manage a hybrid team across different time zones and shares the basics of equality in remote hiring practices. One step her company decided to implement was to pay their remote employees equally, regardless of their country of residence. Whether they’re in India, Hawai, or Portugal, their employees’ salary is calculated on the base San Francisco salary for that position. The reason? Everyone is doing quality work and putting the extra effort.

She advises all remote companies to hire based on skills, experience, and expertise; try to avoid stereotypes when looking to fill a specific role.


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