Building a Remote-First Team: How We’re Doing It


Liz Gray

Head of Community

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

Building a Remote-First Team: How We’re Doing It

Pagos is merchant centered, data powered, and tech enabled. We’re here to reduce payments complexity, drive better performance and revenue growth, and foster a community of learning across the payments industry. Our core team has 50+ years of collective experience in financial technology, and our mission is driven by what we have learned.

The tools we build are focused on:

  • Awareness: merchants need clear data insights and visualizations across their payment processors and partners so they can make the right decisions for their businesses

  • Advice: merchants need a platform that understands their business environment and offers tailored insights

  • Action: our knowledge and tools should help merchants make decisions which enable their business to thrive

It’s pretty cliché to say that we all need to be aligned in order to meet our goals. Who doesn’t? It’s especially critical in a remote-first environment, though, so as we build our team we need to be focused on how we hire, communicate, create, and maintain relationships.


Payments is a specialized area, and making the complex feel simple is challenging. We value being pushed to develop thoughtful and representational global products, and hiring clever, creative community-builders and connectors—wherever they’re located—is core to our success.

As is often the case, we went to our networks for first hires. Some were people we partnered or interacted with extensively in the past and know to have skills in specific areas of need; others were recommended to us. Next, we’re focusing on building dedicated product and engineering teams to implement Pagos’ vision at greater scale and are seeking out talent who will broaden our skills, perspectives, and approaches. Have suggestions on websites or locations to recruit in, or know someone exceptional who’s looking for a new adventure? Send us a note!

Interested in joining us? Check out our job listings! If you think your skills and experience will help us accomplish our mission but don’t see a role that describes what you do, let us know!


When thinking of communication in a workplace, what first comes to mind? 

Meetings? Anything but meetings? 

Having experienced both meeting-obsessed and meeting-averse cultures, somewhere between those extremes feels ideal.

Choose the Appropriate Channel

Clear and deliberate communication is critical in any workplace and especially in a remote environment. Channels for communication have different fidelity levels. Try to choose the channel—or medium—based on the complexity of the situation or need and its level of urgency.

Make Meetings Efficient

Be selective and efficient with meetings when they’re deemed necessary. Putting a little time into structuring your thoughts before sending a meeting invitation can go a long way. Consider:

  • What’s the purpose of the meeting?

  • Whose attendance is necessary to address that purpose?

  • How will decisions be made?

  • Who will be impacted by that decision?


  • Include your statement of meeting purpose in the invitation’s description so invitees know what’s expected of them during that time. 

  • Invite only those who are necessary to accomplish that.

  • Determine in advance whether the decision will be made by consensus or a particular stakeholder and communicate that to invitees.

  • Take notes during the meeting and share them with impacted parties as close to the time of the decision as possible.

Relationship Building

We’re still working on ways to get to know each other and have fun while being totally remote. To start, we’ve created an #intros Slack channel for new hires to share a brief bio on their background and interests. Tech-focused channels are spaces for collaboration and innovation where people can learn from and share with peers. We also have interest-specific Slack channels for folks to share and geek out together, such as:

  • #bad-puns: share tacky jokes and puns with people who like them rather than—or in addition—to those you live with

  • #listening-to: talk about music or podcasts you’re enjoying

  • #payment-geeks: space to share and learn about all topics fintech, be it crypto, banking, legacy, or new developments; ongoing learning in a space as complex as payments is essential

  • #pets-of-pagos: share photos, videos, and anecdotes about your pets

  • #talk-engines: cars, planes, trains…we geek out on what moves them here

  • #talk-engineering: share, discuss, and learn about engineering specific topics like a github repo with really cool code or Kubernetes coming out with something new

And we have optional 30-minute hangouts scheduled each week for folks to join a video session and talk about random topics (e.g. favorite meal to prepare) together. Our inaugural hangout led to the creation of a number of the Slack channels mentioned above, so it’s a virtuous circle where in-person conversations help us identify meaningful ways to connect asynchronously—and more frequently—going forward.

In Closing

We’re intentionally building a company using a remote-first approach, and we see that as a key advantage. It requires us to define and communicate our vision and goals clearly and regularly. Fostering a community of learning and growth necessarily starts within; through regular conversations across an increasingly diverse, inclusive, and adaptable team we will push ourselves to learn and grow with our changing needs as well as those of our customers. 

Next time, we’ll shift from theory into practice by digging into Pagos’ working values and styles. Have questions you’d like to see addressed or suggestions on what else we should consider? Send us a message!

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