How the Managing Director of Crunchyroll solves for remote work challenges

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After two years of little human interaction, Elena Ivanova was thrilled to be representing Crunchyroll at Web Summit. Elena is the Managing Director at Crunchyroll, a Moldova-based company that champions the art and culture of anime to a global community of fans. Andela stopped to talk with Elena about the pros and cons of remote work and how her team stays connected and productive.

Recognize the challenges of remote work

Elena is always looking for new remote working tips. She identifies that remote work can be complicated because of its impact on mental health and the lack of culture that would otherwise happen in an office. “It’s about getting people together and feeling like a team,” she mourns. “We don’t have the discussions at the coffee machine, and there’s a lack of direct interaction when you need support. If you don’t know something, you have to stay on Slack and wait for the answers.”

Take advantage of the global hiring pool

On the other hand, Elena acknowledges the advantages of taking a global hiring approach. “We are already searching because Moldova is out of talent. We started to research the international market because the business is growing and remote work is acceptable.” Still, being based in Moldova means Crunchyroll has to overcome additional hurdles imposed by legal restrictions involved in hiring international workers.

Always look for new solutions

The Crunchyroll HR team has spearheaded the productivity and teambuilding initiatives for the 99% remote workforce, including scheduling Zoom meetings, team building activities, and online happy hours. To stay productive, staff use top industry tools like Jira, Atlassian, and Github to remain productive, and are constantly researching new tools that will help them connect with each other.

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