Remote & Async Work — 15 min
With a team of hundreds of people in more than 60 countries all around the world, Remote has tackled every challenge on global compensation and total rewards for distributed teams. In this post, we will outline exactly how we manage total rewards at Remote, including advice from our public handbook.
If you’re looking for a guide on how to create a total rewards program of your own, you may want to check out our post on how to manage global compensation. Think of this article more as an example of what a comprehensive total rewards program should look like. If you are a prospective Remote employee, this article will tell you more about how Remote compensates our global team members and what it’s like to work here!
Remote’s total rewards program has a simple goal: to guarantee fair and unbiased compensation and benefits everywhere we hire. We do not agree with or engage in cheap labor practices, nor do we encourage our customers to do so. We believe people can live their best lives when they are appropriately compensated for the work they do, and our compensation structures are designed with that philosophy in mind.
When we say “total rewards,” we are referring not only to salary, but to the statutory benefits, supplemental benefits, and global perks we offer as a remote-first organization. Understanding total rewards as a more holistic version of global compensation allows us to provide whole-person compensation packages to our international team.
The people team at Remote uses a paid compensation data application called Kamsa to set a salary benchmark for every position at Remote. This compensation review includes an analysis for equity and fair pay, to ensure everyone at Remote earns a good wage. All salary offers from Remote undergo review from both a role perspective and a gender perspective, as we are constantly evaluating and adjusting compensation to eliminate potential gender pay gaps.
For all roles at Remote, we use geo pay to set salaries. Geo pay is more generous than location rates for salaries because geo pay allows us to set a regional target based on numerous factors including cost of living and benchmark salaries in relation to the US global rate. After accounting for a candidate’s experience, alignment to the position, and geo pay region, we also benchmark salaries at the 65th percentile of the market. This allows us to make the most competitive and informed offers in every area where we hire.
Any mandatory allowances — for example, the 13th month’s salary in Mexico or the 8% holiday allowance in the Netherlands — are included within the gross annual compensation amount to ensure parity among teams and remain consistent with our benchmarks.
For directors, VPs, and c-suite executives, salaries are benchmarked at a minimum of 80% of the US global rate. This allows Remote to make highly competitive offers to senior leaders all over the world as we scale our business.
Remote does not publish the salaries of our team members. The data we use to set salaries includes confidential and proprietary information, which means we cannot share exact figures outside Remote. However, we do encourage pay transparency for open roles, so we share pay ranges in job listings where possible. We are exploring further methods to improve compensation transparency for prospective hires around the world.
Remote offers two potential tracks for employees: an individual contributor track and a management track. We further differentiate these tracks between engineering and non-engineering roles.
Individual contributors do not manage any other employees. At Remote, we have eight levels for individual contributors, extending from Role 1 (interns) through Role 8 (senior principals or senior fellows). For engineers, Role 1 includes junior engineers, while Role 8 includes lead principal engineers.
Roles are matched to levels in Kamsa to determine salaries. Role 1 is IC1, Role 2 is IC2, etc.
Managers at Remote are responsible for managing other employees in addition to performing other duties. Manager roles start at the Role 5 level for both engineers and non-engineers. Director roles start at Role 7, with VPs at Role 9 and c-level employees at Role 10.
For more information on levels at Remote, view the corresponding section in our public handbook.
A geo pay range, or geographic pay differential, is a set of ranges used to adjust salary rates for employees based on where they work. Factors including cost of living, cost of labor, and current market rates are all considered when establishing geo pay ranges.
Geo pay ranges tend to be substantially higher than in-country rates or flat cost-of-living adjustments, which means employees at Remote tend to earn more than their local peers for similar positions and experience levels. Remote uses geo pay to ensure fair and equitable pay across regions with similar costs of living.
Remote regularly reviews compensation for all employees to ensure all employees continue to receive fair and equitable compensation. We perform these compensation reviews in two phases.
The first phase is a market check-in. This review is linked to performance and addresses any employees positioned below the minimum of their applicable salary band, our top performers, and any applicable exceptions.
The second phase is our annual review. This review looks at all eligible employees in the company and is also performance based.
Promotions at Remote do not have to occur within a review cycle. A person can be promoted at any time, provided certain criteria are met.
First, the company must require the role be filled. We call this “role readiness.” Anyone seeking a promotion at Remote should be promoted within one of our career tracks, and the new role should come with an increased impact on the team and the business as a whole.
Next the individual must demonstrate readiness for the new responsibilities. Individuals seeking promotion should have shown great performance for at least 9-12 months prior to being promoted.
Any promotion should be to the next level in the individual contributor track or into the management track. Employees should not move more than one level ahead in a single promotion unless extraordinary circumstances are present. Promotions are not retroactive, and all promotions require approval one level up from the promoted employee’s line manager. Promotions normally include an increase in compensation between 5-10%, depending on the employee’s current compensation and benchmarking.
People working at Remote become eligible for promotion after spending 9-12 months in their current role. This does not mean everyone receives a promotion every year, but high performers are eligible to be promoted within this time range.
Performance evaluations at Remote take place prior to both compensation cycles each year. These reviews are not supposed to be surprises but should be transparent feedback sessions between employees and their line managers regarding their growth at Remote.
Remote operates using a simple three-point scale for performance reviews: exceeding role expectations, meeting role expectations, and developing in the role. This simple scale allows us to reduce complexity in the review process and make it easy for employees and managers to understand how they are performing in their roles.
To account for performance in compensation, Remote uses compa-ratios. These ratios help us ensure we reward our best performers well while leaving room for newly promoted employees and new hires to develop in their roles.
When setting salaries, Remote uses 65th percentile positioning instead of 50th percentile. This allows us to base our salaries above the market medians, ensuring people at Remote receive great pay for their work.
Compa-ratios are multipliers applied to the base salary to adjust compensation based on performance. Employees who consistently exceed expectations receive a compa-ratio of 1.00-1.20. Employees who consistently meet role expectations receive a compa-ratio of 0.90-1.00. Employees who are still developing in their roles receive a compa-ratio of 0.80-0.90.
For employees who meet or exceed a compa-ratio of 1.20, we may consider whether a promotion to the next level would be appropriate. Our compa-ratios are designed to provide space within the salary band for future compensation reviews based on employee performance. Most new hires at Remote are onboarded within the lower compa-ratio to allow space for performance-based increases, as are newly promoted employees who have entered a higher salary band.
All employees at Remote receive benefits packages to help them grow with the company and live full lives outside of work. Because our employees are located all over the globe, some benefits may not make sense for employees in certain countries (for example, some benefits could create additional tax obligations for employees). In every case, we strive to provide equitable benefits and choices for employees to opt in or out based on their individual and family needs.
Employees at Remote receive benefits packages that include:
Unlimited paid personal time off, with a minimum of 20 personal days off per year
Sick leave, up to seven consecutive working days without a doctor’s note and up to two months with documentation
Care leave, for Remoters who require more than three weeks off to provide essential care to a family member who is ill or otherwise in critical need
Emergency leave, for Remoters who need two weeks or more to deal with an extraordinary situation
Parental leave, up to 16 weeks during the first year of parenthood, for a minimum of four weeks at a time (maternity, paternity, and adoption leave all eligible)
Extended unpaid leave, with manager and people team approval, of up to four months for leave that does not qualify for any of the other categories
All public holidays in each employee’s local region
Quarterly self-care days, on which the whole company takes the day off
Asynchronous hours, allowing employees to set their own working hours
Health benefits, including health insurance and additional benefits where possible, with 100% of employee healthcare premiums covered in countries without robust national healthcare
Learning budget, up to $1,000 per employee per year to pursue development and growth opportunities
Work equipment, including a laptop, a monitor, and peripherals, to be received by the employee before the first workday
Home office budget, toward the purchase of a chair and/or desk
Oculus Quest 2 headset, for each employee to enjoy and use for team activities
Co-working space allowances, up to $150/month for co-working space costs
Mental health support, through our partner Modern Health
Birthday and work anniversary gifts
Stock options, provided to all employees with the amount depending on the employee’s level
All employees at Remote receive a grant of stock options upon joining. Employees are responsible for their own taxes related to receiving or exercising stock options.
If you are looking for a great remote job at a company filled with kind people, we would love to hear from you — no matter where in the world you might live! Check out our careers page to see all the open roles at Remote.
To view more information about Remote’s total rewards policy, as well as helpful information about our values, working style, interview process, view our full public handbook.
Subscribe to receive the latest
Remote blog posts and updates in your inbox.