Director of Design Operations

| Remote
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Upwork ($UPWK) is the leading tech solution for companies looking to hire the best talent, maintain flexibility, and get more done. We’re passionate about our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Every year, more than $2 billion of work is done through Upwork by skilled professionals who want the freedom of working anytime, anywhere. Top companies connecting with extraordinary talent around the globe? Upwork is how.

As a Director of UX/Design Operations, you will lead a small team of program managers to help designers, researchers, and writers work more efficiently and effectively and to have more impact. We are a highly distributed team. Your area of focus will fall into three buckets: how we work together, how we get our work done, and how our work delivers impact. You’ll help us get organized and collaborate more effectively. You’ll help humanize internal workflows like our onboarding and career path planning. You’ll help us standardize our guiding principles, identify and improve key processes and toolsets. You especially go deep in the agile team practices, helping us understand where we are, and where we need to go. You’ll line up our operating and communication calendars, making sure we have the right steps in place to show up effectively when we need to. You’ll manage our Playbook of methods, codifying how we do our work. And, you’ll help us determine our skills by subject area, identify skill gaps, and work with our L&D business partners to line up skills training and development. Ultimately, you’ll help us nurture a hard-working studio culture and a balanced product delivery lifecycle.

Your Responsibilities
  • Identify and evaluate our agile practices and how work flows through our team.
  • Help define how we partner with Product Managers and Engineers to take in, prioritize, and execute work.
  • Keep us in synch with forwarding looking prompts on upcoming events or deadlines.
  • Drive our career ladder definitions and the practices we need, to make it a useful tool for growing careers.
  • Coordinate and drive vendor contract conversations, and help coordinate our use of tools, outside agencies, and freelancers.
  • Establish and maintain a strong meeting and communication cadence.
  • Drive recognition and reward practices, and surfacing how to improve it.
  • Standardize our on/off-boarding practices, tools, and templates.
  • Lead all aspects of our research operations.
  • Be responsible for the flow of work as it moves from Discover to Launch.
  • Partner with IT, making sure our team has access to the tools and systems they need to do their job.
  • Surface burn-out or where designers, researchers or writers may be experiencing undue stress.
  • Help amplify a disciplined culture, including driving follow-through on commitments, principles, agreed upon practices.
What it takes to catch our eye:
  • 10+ years of proven experience as a leader in a cross-functional UX team
  • A creative, self-starter, "tinker" attitude that proactively drives explorations
  • Ability to work seamlessly with product, research, engineers, operations, and customers
  • Architect system wide design solutions that satisfy both product and engineering requirements
  • Strong work ethic with the drive and willingness to go above and beyond
How to really knock our socks off:
  • Experience in standing up agile practices in UX Teams
  • Deep knowledge of digital design processes and practices
  • Driving influence in large organizations, supporting multiple business units
  • Designing products for online marketplaces
  • Experience designing native mobile applications and current working knowledge of native iOS and Android design languages
  • Demonstrated high bar for quality and attention to detail
  • Any form of entrepreneurship such as side projects, design experiments, and start-ups

Come change how the world works.

At Upwork, you’ll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We’re a remote-first organization supported by offices in Santa Clara and Chicago, working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals. 

Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We build amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. Oh yeah, we’ve also got amazing benefits.

Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about the employee experience.

Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.  

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
  • Sales & Marketing
    • JavaLanguages
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • RLanguages
    • RubyLanguages
    • SqlLanguages
    • AngularJSFrameworks
    • VueJSFrameworks
    • Nuxt.js Frameworks
    • PostgreSQLDatabases
    • GreenplumDatabases
    • redshiftDatabases
    • SalesforceCRM
    • Oracle ResponsysEmail
    • MarketoLead Gen

Location

Our San Francisco office is located in SOMA. We are close to public transportation, restaurants, and Oracle Park.

An Insider's view of Upwork

What are some social events your company does?

I love how excited Upwork gets for the holidays. In December, we set up a Giving Tree for low-income households. On Thanksgiving, the leadership team serves employees lunch from the buffet table. My favorite event of the year, though, is Halloween. From in-office haunted houses to costume contests (dogs welcome!), it’s always a spooktacular time!

Elisabeth

Communications Manager

What's the biggest problem your team is solving?

My teams and I are challenged with the tasks of building our native applications across Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. Integrating delightful user experiences into the apps requires heavy collaboration across the company and in the end, it’s rewarding to know that we are further enabling others to work from anywhere in the world.

Mike

Engineering Manager

How does the company support your career growth?

I've joined a companywide Leadership Program that includes weekly check-ins with a leadership/executive coach. If you express the interest and show that you have the drive, work ethic, and dedication; Upwork will support your growth. They really do put their money where their mouth is.

Akilah

Operations Manager, Talent Acquisition

How do you empower your team to be more creative?

My team works on the matching systems that connect talent with jobs. One fun thing we do is come up with names for all the different kinds of work that are done on Upwork. Are you a designer or an illustrator? Is that a framework or a library? We write the catalog of what’s possible on Upwork and it’s always growing.

Zack

VP, Engineering

How has your career grown since starting at the company?

I started out working on mostly tactical features to address minor, well-understood issues to improve the user experience. Over time I’ve had the opportunity to drive solutions for increasingly more complicated and ambiguous problems, learning a lot about how to better lead and work more effectively with cross-functional teams along the way.

Cary

Lead Product Manager, Match

What are Upwork Perks + Benefits

Upwork Benefits Overview

Upwork proudly offers a comprehensive set of benefits to ensure employees are able to bring their whole selves to work. To allow for that, we aim to deliver world-class offerings and perks that cover your medical, dental, vision, emotional and family well-being. If you are an active, regular, full-time employee working a minimum of 20 hours per week you are eligible for all lines of coverage.

Culture
Volunteer in local community
In addition to company organized opportunities, we offer paid time off for volunteering at your favorite local organizations.
Partners with Nonprofits
The Upwork Foundation is Upwork's social impact arm–our goal is to make sure the future of work is inclusive, especially for communities at risk of being left behind by changing technology.
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
Open door policy
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Dedicated Diversity/Inclusion Staff
Highly diverse management team
Unconscious bias training
Diversity manifesto
Someone's primary function is managing the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Upwork employees can contribute up to $2,750 annually to their healthcare FSA and up to $5,000 annually for Dependent Care FSA for single or married filing jointly.
Disability Insurance
Disability insurance covers 66.7% of annual salary up to $10,000 monthly maximum payout.
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Pet Insurance
Wellness Programs
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
401(K) Matching
Company Equity
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
Performance Bonus
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Child Care Benefits
Acme Co. provides Backup child care assistance.
Generous Parental Leave
We provide 12 weeks of parental leave for all parents.
Remote Work Program
Our remote work program includes work from home on Wednesdays.
Family Medical Leave
Adoption Assistance
Company sponsored family events
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Paid Volunteer Time
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Free Daily Meals
We provide free breakfast and lunch every day of the week.
Game Room
Stocked Kitchen
Happy Hours
Pet Friendly
Acme Co.'s pet policy is dog friendly daily.
Fitness Subsidies
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Acme Co. offers employees professional development opportunities like Onsite training courses, The ability to attend job related conferences and seminars.
Diversity Program
Lunch and learns
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Continuing Education stipend
Time allotted for learning
Online course subscriptions available
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