Customer Stories 13 min

How Mimo manages a global team of employees and contractors with Remote

Written by Marie Nayaka
Marie Nayaka

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Mimo was founded on a bold idea: anyone, anywhere should be able to learn how to code. And to create a universally inclusive app that could make this idea a reality, Mimo adopted a remote-first approach to building a diverse global team.

Since its launch in 2016, Mimo's app has gone fully global, becoming a coding companion for more than 1.5 million new programmers and generating a staggering 16 million+ downloads. With over 13,000 coding exercises on the platform, Mimo users tackle more than 100,000 coding concepts daily.

This phenomenal success didn't happen by chance, though: Mimo has deliberately scouted and nurtured top talent from all over the world to drive such rapid growth. By taking care of the complexities of international HR, Remote empowers Mimo to hire, onboard, and manage this talent, allowing the company to focus squarely on its mission — becoming the world's largest tech school.

Mimo at a glance

  • Headquarters: Austria

  • Founded: 2016

  • Number of Contractors with Remote: 37

  • Number of Employees with Remote: 17

  • Industry: Elearning

Mimo is laser-focused on providing an excellent experience for its team, and it’s the company’s dedication to giving people the best possible work environment that led it to go remote-first, says Georg Herzog, Mimo’s Head of People.

“We made the conscious decision to create a remote-first, asynchronous culture because it enables people to be more engaged and more productive,” says Herzog. “Our people can decide when and where they want to work, which improves mental and physical health and also helps us attract the best talent in the market.”

Mimo’s first hires were in its native Austria, but the company soon realized it didn’t have to be limited by borders: it had a global talent pool to choose from. To access that talent, however, Mimo needed a partner who could help it hire the best candidates in multiple countries, all while remaining compliant. 

The company wanted to avoid the laborious process of setting up legal entities in multiple countries. Instead it began searching for an employer of record (EOR) provider — which is when Mimo found Remote.

“We followed Remote’s trajectory and the company showed promising signs from early on that it was going to be a professional partner to help us expand outside of Austria,” says Herzog. “Our philosophy is always to pilot, experience, and validate, and if it works, go for it. That’s what we’ve done with Remote.”

Compliance across borders

Mimo uses a mixed team of team members and contractors from all over the world, and it can be a challenge to manage this team while complying with labor laws across dozens of countries. 

“There are a lot of complexities that come with global hiring and there’s a lot of legal issues to understand,” says Herzog. “For example, in some countries you can opt out of health insurance, but in other countries it's mandatory. In other instances, there are some tax benefits to being an independent contractor."

Remote helps us be compliant — but flexible — in what we’re offering our team members.

Herzog has a degree in international labor law but even as an expert, it would not be possible for him to keep up with the laws in every country where Mimo has team members.

“There’s no way a single person, or even a small team of people, can be up to date with 40+ jurisdictions,” said Herzog. “So it's amazing to lean back on the team at Remote, who specialize in specific countries and are able to answer all of the questions regarding any regulation and any singularity, usually within a day. It’s amazing.” 

According to Herzog, Remote’s team has been there whenever Mimo has a legal question, providing quick — and solid — advice.

“Remote gives us amazing legal counsel,” he says. “There are so many legal complexities, but there’s no need to be scared or nervous: we’re confident Remote can help us with any niche legal problem. They are experts you can trust and they’ll answer all your questions quickly.”

The French connection

Herzog highlights a recent example of this support, where Mimo was exploring the possibility of hiring a team member in France. 

Under the country’s RTT (Réduction du temps de travail, or Reduction of working time) provisions, employees are able to trade overtime for more paid leave. And French team members who work more than an average of 44 hours a week for 12 consecutive weeks are entitled to additional time off. 

Remote helped Mimo navigate this provision so that it could pay its employee appropriately without running afoul of French law. 

“Remote was a great help answering all our questions on how the regulation works, and what we should consider in terms of not just the reality for this particular team member, but in terms of future hirings in France,” said Herzog. “It just saved so much time on my end, not having to research everything. All our questions were given clear and succinct answers.”

Managing a large (and changing) team of contractors

Mimo works with a large team of contractors for its curriculum design, which was a conscious choice: the best coders are often freelancers, and it was important that Mimo’s courses be written by skilled coders with up-to-date knowledge.

“Working with contractors gives us the flexibility as a business to respond to changing demands,” said Herzog. “It’s great for our teams because they can have fast access to external help whenever they need it, and they can increase or decrease the hours wherever needed. We can be quick to adapt and quick to deliver.” 

Despite these benefits, managing a large stable of freelancers from different countries comes with its own complexities. When there’s a spike in the workload, for instance, contractors have to be onboarded quickly, which can be tricky when several freelancers are brought onto the team at once. Mimo must also remain compliant with labor laws, manage individuals’ contracts, and deal with currencies and exchange rates when paying invoices.

Thanks to Remote’s contractor management platform, that process has been made much simpler. Having a global platform that covers both employees and contractors has allowed Mimo to easily onboard, pay, and manage global contractors. 

“Everything is compliant," says Herzog. "We can onboard contractors quickly to respond to spikes in demand, and take our curriculum to the next level in user experience.”

The Remote contract management platform makes it super easy to manage contractors, pay in multiple currencies, and arrange everything in one place.

Giving team members the gift of choice

Because Remote’s platform handles both employees and contractors, Mimo is able to offer a rare benefit: team members can choose their type of employment based on their personal situation.

“The Remote platform enables us to provide support to team members, whether they choose to be full-time employees or work as independent contractors,” Herzog explains. “We ensure that they receive all the necessary benefits and address any concerns they may have, so there are no disadvantages regardless of the type of employment."

According to Herzog, Remote makes it far easier to set up new team members, too.

“Remote makes onboarding super simple and it actually takes less than two minutes to set up a new hire,” he says. “We are informed every step of the way via the platform, so it’s very efficient and transparent — which is exactly what we would expect from a global expansion partner. Remote always delivers.”

Crucially, it’s an experience that gets high marks from both Mimo’s people team and the company’s workers. 

“We’ve received great feedback on the Remote platform,” adds Herzog. “Our team members and contractors go through a self-enrollment process which is clear and intuitive. Contracts are received quickly, questions are answered, and the legal team is always on hand to make amendments if required. It’s a great experience for our teams.”

With Remote, it becomes effortless for us to treat everyone fairly, irrespective of their type of employment.

‘An extension of the team’

Herzog was the first member of Mimo’s People team, and working with Remote has allowed him to focus on mission-critical tasks, rather than attempting to parse the labor laws of dozens of countries.

“Our partnership with Remote is great because they have a team of professionals that are experts in multiple countries and jurisdictions,” he says. “It allows me to focus on other things that are important to our business.” 

Remote, he adds, feels like an extension of his team.

“The customer support from Remote is the best I've experienced so far. It's amazing how quick they are to respond and how much they care about also bringing value to our business. It’s brilliant.” 

Building a great company culture

Remote has given Mimo the tools to help create a culture the company can be proud of, while the diversity within the team helps Mimo build a better product that appeals to a wider user base.

“There’s much more talent available when you open up the borders,” says Herzog. “A global market allows us to access the best people and also bring more diversity into the team. Having team members from different cultures and backgrounds, with different experiences and perspectives, enables a better working environment and helps us build a stronger product.”

What’s next for Mimo

The company has big plans to continue its growth, and keep delivering on its educational mission.

“It’s beyond imaginable to see what the company looked like a year ago compared to where we are today,” says Herzog. “We’re continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, so it’s a very exciting time to be at Mimo.” 

Remote will be there to support that growth every step of the way, and help Mimo do what it does best: educate and empower new generations of programmers.

Want to take the stress out of managing an international team? Contact us today to schedule a friendly consultation with one of our global hiring experts.

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