People don’t thrive from happy hours, ping pong tables, or perks. People thrive when they are supported by their team to do meaningful work, and find harmony between their career and personal lives.

Traits of people first companies:

Remote friendly

Remote friendly companies may have an office, but they act like the entire team is spread around the globe. They hire based on the person, not the location, and work hard to make everyone on the team feel connected.

Asynchronous communication

These companies create a culture where communication happens on your time, not everyone else’s. Asynchronous channels are the norm, and live chat and urgent requests are the exceptions.

Deep work

A strong team recognizes the value that uninterrupted work brings to their bottom line. They take every measure to ensure team members can get heads down, tackling the problems that matter most to the company and its customers. A culture that emphasizes focus promotes meaningful work over busy work.

Sensible hours

Healthy companies understand that willpower and mental energy are limited resources. Rest is required for people to do their best work, so long hours and long weeks are counter-productive to team goals.


The health of the company’s business is directly tied to the success of its customers. Good teams understand this idea and live it out — they make decisions and design processes with the customer in mind.


The best teams aren’t worried about how many hours your butt is in your chair — they focus on whether the team’s efforts are getting results. They set goals with clear measurements, review results, and make necessary changes along the way.

Commitment to Craft

A company is made up of its people and is stronger when team members focus on improving their craft. No matter the role, the best teams encourage each other to constantly improve their skills.

Personal development

Team members stick around when provided with opportunities to continue their education. The best companies to work at offer ways to improve your skills and knowledge (book and conference allowance, online courses, and even Sabbaticals).


Helping team members to grow is a characteristic of a strong team. Regular 1-on-1’s, career plans, and peer reviews ensure their team is supported and encouraged.