Welcome to Toptal’s Rise of Remote podcast series. In just a few short weeks, the shift to remote work catapulted forward 10 years. The pandemic forced companies around the world to suddenly go remote, not out of a desire to experiment with a new way of working, but out of a necessity to keep their businesses afloat.
Prior to the pandemic, we sat down for a conversation with Toptal’s VP of People, Michelle Labbe. Michelle is accountable for Toptal’s People and Recruiting teams, creating and maintaining a world-class experience for all Toptal team members through hiring, developing, and retaining top talent. Previously, she served as chief people officer at ICR. Her 20+ year career has included senior talent leadership roles across both the startup and agency worlds, spanning multiple industries.
In this episode, Michelle offers key advice on how to adjust to and thrive in a remote work environment. We discuss her experience transitioning to a fully distributed organization, how a remote environment can allow for more personal connections within the team, and we deep dive into Toptal’s culture. Michelle says, “at Toptal, your life and your location fit into your work, and not vice versa - your work doesn’t dictate where you live or how you live your life.”
Some questions asked:
- How do you help people think about trust as they move from a traditional to a remote environment?
- What advice do you offer to companies that are not remote-first but want to help their business implement remote policies?
- What are the key tenets of Toptal’s culture and how does the culture root the organization into accomplishing the mission?
- How, in your experience, is coaching and employee development different in a fully distributed model?
In this episode, you will learn:
- Why Michelle made the choice to work remotely and why Toptal.
- About the tools that can help organizations structure a successful, collaborative, and productive remote environment.
- How to identify when things aren’t working.
- How organizations without robust remote programs can get started.