How Afresh Enables Distributed Work


How Afresh Enables Distributed Work

At Afresh, we believe that time together in person enables rich, synchronous collaboration. At the same time, the test of working remotely and often asynchronously during the global pandemic has proven we are resilient and that team members have a strong foundation of support from their employer.

Currently, Afresh has over 115 employees distributed across 17 states, 75 of whom live within California. Outside of the Bay Area, Texas is the second-largest hub of Afreshies, followed by a tie between New York and Washington.

While our San Francisco headquarters is open to masked and fully vaccinated folks (including boosters) on a purely voluntary basis, we’re continuing to monitor the ongoing pandemic landscape and thoughtfully consider how to enable effective remote work and genuine team inclusiveness across time zones.

Distributed work on the Engineering team

According to Austin-based Afreshie and Director of Product Engineering Sean Meador, having a distributed team has several upsides, like expanded access to diverse talent with new viewpoints and more focus time without the daily commute. At the same time, given this geographical dispersion, Engineering has also taken extra steps to “over-communicate” as a team, making sure knowledge is shared appropriately and expectations are clear.

As far as building community, Sean says, “In a remote environment, we have to be far more intentional about cultivating a sense of belonging. That means placing a big emphasis on onboarding new hires and making sure they have all of the resources, context, and connections they need to do their job effectively. We do this through a carefully crafted onboarding program that spans multiple departments and points of view. We also have virtual welcome lunches where we can get to know each other on a personal level and set up direct mentorship relationships with more experienced engineers on the team.”

The Engineering team also holds regular office hours and team-wide gatherings to help Afreshies get to know each other, break down silos, and ensure alignment on company goals. 

For an even closer look at how the Engineering team is working together, check out CTO Jeff Kolesky’s Medium post on his first 100 days.

Marketing makes its mark

The Marketing team at Afresh is a small but mighty group distributed between the San Francisco Bay Area, Arkansas, and New York. To support cross-functional collaboration, Director of Marketing Michelle Arguelles has developed 3 principles for distributed work:
1. Communicate, document, repeat
2. Be present for team meetings
3. Flexibility is great; spontaneity isn’t

From being extra thorough with updating the team’s Notion page to staying up to date on project management via, Team Marketing makes it work in different zip codes. 

Say hello to crazy hat day

While we’re getting a lot of things done in different zones, we’re also taking steps to stay connected on a personal level. At Friday Wins, we learn about Afreshies’ personal and professional triumphs, like seeing Hamilton, or sticking with a pottery class. 

We also support flexible schedules, set up water cooler conversations via the Donut app, and encourage joining social Slack channels to talk about pets, pickleball, food, babies, and more. There have also been plenty of team Pictionary games, escape rooms, and crazy hat days on Zoom.

Hiring for remote jobs in sustainability

Afresh currently has over 30 roles open, with more than half of those eligible for remote work. Come join us as we tackle the #1 solution to climate change: reducing food waste.

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