The Move to a 100% Distributed Team at Linchpin

Distributed Team

Let’s get the big announcement out of the way – Linchpin has fully transitioned to 100% of our team working remotely. Our HQ in Pawtucket has been packed up and as I write this post from our empty office, it’s given me a chance to have a bit of reflection and nostalgia over our process for remote work past and present, the team in general, events, moving on and this historic city.

Outside of a few hiccups… last 4+ months have, for the most part, been a very smooth transition

I believe it is important to preface that none of the team at Linchpin has been let go or furloughed in making this transition or due to COVID-19.

So when did this come about?

A fully distributed team is something that I have weighed the pros and cons of for quite some time. In our industry, it is not uncommon for agencies large and small to have their staff work remotely. Some of the biggest companies in the WordPress space have been doing it for years or even from the beginning. When COVID-19 fully engulfed the planet, it changed how we all live and work as a society not just at Linchpin. The pandemic obviously had a huge impact on this decision.

Outside of a few hiccups in changing over our outdated landlines to VOIP, I can say that the last 4+ months have, for the most part, been a very smooth transition to remote life.

Some History About Remote Work at Linchpin

The team at Linchpin has always had the ability to work remotely. This allowed for flexibility in schedules, whether it’s just needing to focus, a sick child, a plumber needing to fix something, or waiting for a new couch. Whatever the circumstance, the tools we use at Linchpin lend themselves well to distributed collaboration.

With everyone being thrown into the deep end, it comes with a bit of growth and empathy from reflecting on the past.

The one thing that we lacked regarding remote work was good internal communication. It sounds strange considering how well we all work together, hang out after work, organize local WordPress events, and use Slack (and before that HipChat, and before that Google Talk…). By “we”, and mainly I mean “I”, was terrible at checking in on the few awesome remote team members we previously had. It was a terrible disservice to them and pretty bad leadership on my part.

I think we just failed at being inclusive to people who were remote. It wasn’t a purposeful ostracizing, just a general lack of consideration, which is inexcusable and is something I regret. Those individuals didn’t deserve feeling like outsiders, especially with such a tight-knit team as we generally are.
It’s due to that specific challenge that I was incredibly apprehensive to make the switch to everyone working remotely.

With everyone being thrown into the deep end, it comes with a bit of growth and empathy from reflecting on the past.

How does this affect Linchpin getting stuff done for our clients?

Overall, our clients should see zero negative impact regarding this transition. If anything, I would expect even better communication, better reporting, and the same excellent service we have always strived to provide.

I will also say, if you are a client of ours and you feel as though our service has faltered, please do not hesitate to reach out. This is new for everyone and we’re always looking for ways to improve.

How does this affect WordPress meetups?

If you are still reading this you may have noticed a huge drop off in the number of WordPress meetups we have been able to run in the last 6 months. This is still something we are trying to figure out as we regularly held the WordPress Rhode Island meetup from our office location. If you are interested in hosting and/or being involved please hit up @WordPressRI on Twitter.

Saying Goodbye to Pawtucket

I will say that I am a bit sad to leave Pawtucket. In the last 6 years, we have seen a revitalization in some areas close to our office which is great to see. From the smaller agencies in our own building to the coffee shops that have sprouted up; To the distilleries, breweries, and more. I know that Fountain Street and the surrounding areas will continue to flourish as new businesses make Linchpin’s old home their own.

Onto the next chapter.



Aaron Ware

For nearly 20 years Aaron Ware has worked with leading brands, start-ups and everyone in between to develop innovative, highly interactive, feature-rich websites, and online apps.

| @aaronware