Connecting with teammates when you’re working remotely

Man standing outside - Elias Westlake


At Shopify, we work remotely, and that means we use a number of ways to stay in touch. Here's how we keep those communication lines open.

By Elias Westlake, Revenue School Associate, Canada

Working in a remote environment means that you have to find other ways of connecting with your co-workers. Since Shopify is primarily remote and our employees are all over the world, we have many different ways to connect with our colleagues to share information and learn more about what’s going on in the organization. From digital one-on-one meetings to traveling for in-person Bursts, Shopify’s internal communication systems are top tier. Here’s how to connect and meet others. 

Communicate online  

Slack is your everyday internal communication platform and is used in two main ways: 1) as an instant messenger to coordinate meetings, ask quick questions, and discuss ideas and 2) as a group channel to interact with others across the company. These Slack channels are organized by team, subject or area of interest, and geographic location. There is a group for any and all.

Meet 1-on-1 digitally

Coffee chats are 1-on-1 conversations with other Shopifolk. You are strongly encouraged to take time to connect with different people across the organization. While common courtesy applies, you can reach out to almost anyone through Slack and coordinate a time to chat. These chats can be used to learn more about someone's role, problem-solve, connect, and much, much more. 

Get your questions answered 

Ask me Anything meetings can vary from company-wide to department-specific. These are usually larger meetings where you can send in questions in advance for the meeting hosts to answer. And, it’s right there in the name - you can ask anything.

Participate in Town Halls 

Town Hall meetings are regular company-wide update meetings where the CEO - Tobi Lükte - and other leaders talk about goings-on at Shopify. Some of the larger departments also hold their own Town Halls. The information shared is strictly confidential and they are a great way to bust departmental silos and ensure that the organization receives a holistic view. No topic is off the table at Town Hall. 

Travel to meet up in real life

Shopify came up with the concept of Bursts so Shopifolk could meet in person to brainstorm, problem solve, and team build. These gatherings are typically two days long and can be in a number of Burst locations including San Francisco, Toronto, and London. Bursts are a blast and are a great way to build relationships and communication between team members.

Shopify thrives on open and meaningful interactions and has a great work culture. If you’d like to learn more about working here, check out Life at Shopify