Redspark is a digital transformation and software development company with team members across 14 states in Brazil. With 110 employees, Redspark’s remote-first, distributed team works daily in their virtual office on Gather. We visited the Redspark office to chat with Isabella (“Isa”) Sales, the People Area Manager overseeing culture strategy at Redspark. Isa shared how Gather has upgraded and transformed Redspark’s remote work culture, productivity, and ability to source talent all across Brazil. Let’s hear from Isa!
Hello Isa! Tell us about Redspark as well as who you are and what you do at the company.
Redspark is a software development company. We have digital DNA pulsing in our veins! We use Agile Squads, AI, UX and Design Thinking to transform ideas into effective and personalized digital journeys for national and multinational companies. Today we work with companies such as B3, Embraer, Ben Visa Vale and RNP. We have become a benchmark for quality in all the projects we create, positively impacting people's lives and promoting significant results.
At Redspark, I am the People Area Manager. I've worked here for three years. I am responsible for the entire human resources area.
I see you’ve decorated the office just in time for Halloween! So cool! Did you do the decorating?
Yes, I did, thank you! We decorate the office for each season. It’s a lot of fun and gets people in the holiday spirit.
How did you and the team get started on Gather?
Before the pandemic, our teams worked in person in an office in São Paulo most of the time, but Redspark had also been trying out work from home a few times a week. Like many companies, we started working in a totally virtual way during COVID. We decided to expand hiring throughout Brazil and move to a “work from anywhere” model. For that, we needed to ensure that our plan was compatible with our project governance model, and we also needed communication processes that replicated the face-to-face model. Gather was fundamental to our expansion plan in Brazil and Latin America.
Of course, we tried Google Hangouts and other virtual meeting tools. But we did not have a shared space. Our management team heard about Gather and we worked together to test it at Redspark. We did a test with ten employees from one team. We quickly discovered that it would be fantastic for the entire company. In December 2021, we had the entire company on Gather. We have been using Gather for work ever since.
What convinced you that Gather was a great option for your remote team?
Many things! It was quickly apparent that on Gather, it is easy to facilitate human connection among people even if you are remote. You can converse with someone next to you in the office. You see each other while you are working. It is easy to have all of our meetings in this digital space.
Being in a space where you can express your imagination is fun. We created and customized our Gather space together as a company. Every person at Redspark feels ownership of the place.
Also, compared to a physical office, we get to enjoy things we never could do in person. We can have a chat at our pool, play in the game room, go out to the green leisure area, and decorate easily. We can put in anything we want!
Because we are a remote company, our Gather office IS our shared space. It is very much OUR office.
How has Gather helped your hiring strategy?
It is incredible for us and has completely increased our possibilities for people. We used to only have employees in São Paolo, but now we have employees across fourteen states in Brazil. Our talent base is more diverse. We have a remote culture that we are proud of thanks to our Gather space. Our culture also helps with hiring, mainly because we use our space to interview candidates and welcome them through onboarding.
How has Gather helped collaboration at Redspark?
Leadership finds that it is much easier to build a culture of collaboration because of Gather. This is especially true because we are a fully remote company. Teams can all see each other. They can see who is chatting with whom. They know where to find each other. Also, as we are an innovation project development company that uses agile methodologies, we use Scrum methods (Planning, Dailys, Retro, Demos, Refinement, etc.). Gather is perfect for this model because it mimics being in a physical environment.
On Gather, we are closer and more agile in communication among employees. Proximity in our digital space has made it easy to work together.
What kinds of traditions have you built on Gather for your company?
Time on Gather is special because it is a place where we have memories together. There are funny moments in our shared space, like putting items down with anonymous notes or seeing karts moving around the office as if it were something normal in everyday life.
We love hosting social events on Gather. On Fridays, we have a happy hour with our CEO where you get together in groups of five or six people. We sit at the tables together in our leisure area and have a picnic together. Team members get a stipend for beverages for the happy hour. It is very important that we have these opportunities to connect with each other.
Last December, we hosted a big event on Gather for the year-end and built a new Gather space specifically for the event. First, we had a company business review together. Then, we brought in a band who performed on video in our space for all of our teams. They played rock, axé, funk, and pagoda music in celebration. It was so cool! Employees received gifts at home, and many shared the experience on social media because they liked it. It was an especially important event because it brought together all of our employees no matter where they were in Brazil.
How did you choose to design Redspark’s Gather office?
We built it out to have two areas: the working area and the recreation area.
When you come to Redspark’s virtual office, you are greeted at the entrance by our receptionist who will make sure you get to where you need to go in the working area. Teams all sit together in labeled areas. Individuals decorate their desks however they like which is a lot of fun because you see how people express themselves. We also have a dedicated auditorium for our all-company meetings.
We included a lot of fun things in the recreation area! We have our area for games. We also have a pool. Of course, we do our weekly Friday happy hours in this space with a picnic at the tables full of food.
What advice would you give to other remote teams who are trying to build and scale their culture?
Whatever tools you decide to use, make sure that you are close with your employees. The best tools will help the process of building relationships with your teams. If you make sure to take care of people, you will be able to create a successful remote culture.