How Lobsters Are Redefining What It Means To Work Remotely

At Lob, remote work is not defined by separation. Built In spoke with three Lobsters to learn how they’re cultivating a connected, community-driven workplace.

Written by Mia Goulart
Published on Jun. 28, 2024
How Lobsters Are Redefining What It Means To Work Remotely
Photo: Lob
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Even Lobsters send holiday cards. 

Since the pandemic-driven surge in remote work, workplace isolation has become prevalent, making interpersonal connection more valuable than ever. Lobsters, or the employees of the direct mail platform Lob, make an intentional effort to socialize and stay connected in their remote environment. They rarely feel distant, thanks to structures and policies that support their values, culture and mission.

Take, for example, the company’s employee holiday card program. Employees, regardless of location, participate in workshops to learn about the company’s direct-mail products and are encouraged to send out up to 50 holiday cards, with expenses covered. 

“My family is always happy to receive them, and it exemplifies the impact a tangible piece of mail can have,” said Senior Business Operations Analyst Alex Maguire. 

While staying connected as a distributed workforce presents challenges, Lob believes that connection is crucial for sustainable success, and leaders intentionally set aside time and space for team members to connect and socialize. 

“Remote work allows for great work-life balance, but connection is necessary,” Maguire said. “Lob prioritizes flexibility and empowers employees with the tools to be successful.”

 

What Does Lob Do?

Connecting the world one mailbox at a time, Lob transforms yesterday’s junk mail into intelligent, personalized and scalable communication, empowering marketers to create expansive growth opportunities in record time. 

 

Working Together, Separately 

Without the ingenuity, ambition and grit of its employees, Lob’s work wouldn’t be what it is today. 

“Lob is made up of an incredible team dedicated to doing their best work day in and day out,” Employee Experience Specialist Dolly Slinker said. “Our current position is a testament to a culture defined by care, commitment and curiosity, constantly asking ourselves, ‘Where can we improve?’”

Over the past year, this ethos has taken on new dimensions as Lob has defined itself as a fully remote company. Its employees believe flexible working environments don’t sacrifice success; in fact, they admit to doing their best work when they feel trusted and empowered to tackle projects together. 
 

Lob’s employees believe flexible working environments don’t sacrifice success; in fact, they admit to doing their best work when they feel trusted and empowered to tackle projects together. 

 

This is where Lob’s Future of Work initiative comes into play. It intertwines the company's vision with practical methods to ensure Lobsters stay connected with their team members — regardless of location. This is facilitated through its ambassador program, diverse communication channels and extensive coworking resources, fostering a sense of connectivity akin to working together in a shared office space.

 

Lob team members at a restaurant, sitting around a table of food.
Photo: Lob

 

The community ambassador program is the cornerstone of these efforts. With a dedicated focus on facilitating in-person connections within local hubs, community ambassadors play a pivotal role in orchestrating gatherings, maintaining lively Slack channels and embodying the company’s culture. 

By empowering one or two Lobsters in each hub to spearhead these efforts, Lob ensures that its culture thrives beyond the digital realm. 

 

LobTalks

Lob hosts a special event called LobTalks, a TED Talk-style presentation where any Lobster can share a topic they are passionate about, such as barbequing, wine tasting or candle making. One such event, “LobTalks x Community Ambassador,” kicked off the regional tour-guide style presentations and got Lobsters excited about the community ambassador program.


 

“When we launched the program, we weren’t sure how successful it would be,” People Business Partner Natasha Kashi said. “Within the first few days, leaders stepped up, and folks were planning their first local gatherings, which made the work we put into the program worthwhile.”

In Maguire’s hub of Denver, ambassadors recently hosted a meetup where more than 10 team members gathered for a day of cohesion and camaraderie.

“In-person events are hugely impactful,” Maguire shared. “Through these events, I’ve met a ton of Lobsters face to face.”
 

Lob hosts a special event called LobTalks, a TED Talk-style presentation where any Lobster can share a topic they are passionate about, such as barbequing, wine tasting or candle making. One such event, “LobTalks x Community Ambassador,” kicked off the regional tour-guide style presentations and got Lobsters excited about the community ambassador program.
Photo: Lob

 

Kashi attributed the success of the program to the genuine enjoyment Lobsters find in spending time together. There’s no need to convince them — they just want to. 

“We genuinely enjoy spending time together,” Kashi said.

Slinker shared the same sentiment, emphasizing the positive impact it’s had on the company. 

“My vision is that when people join Lob, they feel connected, cared for and comfortable being themselves,” she said. “If I could, I would encourage all remote employees to grab a virtual coffee with a coworker and make the time to show up to the seemingly silly company events. Those are the moments and building blocks that add to your company culture.”
 

“Grab a virtual coffee with a coworker and make the time to show up to the seemingly silly company events. Those are the moments and building blocks that add to your company culture.”

 

And through virtual avenues like the #lob-in-real-life Slack channel, regardless of location, everyone gets to share in it. 

 

 

#lob-in-real-life

Another method for remote individuals to maintain connectivity is via platforms like Slack.

Dubbed the #lob-in-real-life Slack channel, it embodies a microcosm of Lob’s finest attributes: community, connectedness and camaraderie. The channel serves as a conduit for Lobsters to exchange their experiences, whether they are physically together or not.

 

Lob team members at a sporting event.
Photo: Lob

 

Whether it’s utilized for sharing snapshots of shared moments or the small victories like showcasing one’s favorite coffee mug, the channel serves as a platform for commemorating the minutiae of daily life and bonding with one’s team.
 

Connecting Lobsters Nationwide

Lobsters also receive a Deskpass stipend, allowing them to work from coworking spaces across the country. No matter where their work takes them, they have a place to work — perhaps even with a familiar face.

 

United in Purpose

Regardless of their role, location or background, Lob employees agree that the best aspect of the company is its people. This sentiment is evident in the deliberate effort behind every initiative aimed at fostering connections, in a world where such efforts could easily be deprioritized.

 

Four Portland-based Lob team members sitting around a table with food and wine.
Lob

 

“Our virtual world does not limit the connections we can make with our coworkers,” Slinker said. “When we are all invested in creating a meaningful culture, we are designing a new future of remote work that is not isolated or defined by separation but by the strength in our connection.” 

 

“We are designing a new future of remote work that is not isolated or defined by separation.” 

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Lob.

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