At Destinus, we are developing near-space vehicles and infrastructure to power the world’s fastest and cleanest transportation system. These vehicles will be a hybrid between airplanes and rockets – we call them Hyperplanes – capable of moving cargo between continents in 1-2 hours. They are unmanned and powered by green hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources.
What is it that makes Destinus so BOLD?
We are developing complex engineering products in a nearly 100% remote environment! With a team of almost 60 experts, offices in 4 countries (Switzerland, Spain, Germany, and France), and more than 14 nationalities, Destinus is integrating a remote working culture at the core that is effective for a diverse engineering team.
As a pioneer in an engineering-heavy industry, Destinus is frequently met with new challenges that require innovative solutions and inventive technologies. These new concepts are difficult to imagine and design, and even more difficult to advance in a remote-working environment. To accomplish this multifaceted technical feat, we’ve assembled a stellar team that includes experts in rocket engines, turbojets, system design, autopilot systems, materials, cryogenic technologies, and aerostructure design. We also recognize the challenge in implementation of designs and are bringing seasoned industry program managers, manufacturing and production staff that will allow us to scale up in size and quantity effectively and efficiently.
To realise our vision, we need to access the world-class talent pool in each of these fields. This requires us to embrace flexibility, which means that we need to offer the ability to work at different locations, integrating remote work over different time zones, and adapting to the different nationalities, languages, and cultures within the team. We currently have people based in several countries, both within Europe and outside. Our team relies on various platforms that support remote work and optimise collaboration and productivity.
How does Destinus ensure productivity in a remote working environment?
What we are developing is extremely complex, and we’re doing this primarily remotely! It requires us to use our imagination as we are developing new technologies and systems. This results in lots of opinions and discussions. Therefore, effective communication is essential and we make sure to integrate platforms and resources that support this in a remote environment. Our meetings are virtual and we schedule project team meetings, progress updates, full company meetings, reviews, and socials on a frequent and per-need cadence. We take a data-driven approach where ideas and statements need to be backed by evidence, and we meet up in-person when larger decisions or reviews need to be made. As well as to strengthen our culture with full company events a few times per year.
What organisational structure supports remote work at Destinus’?
Within Destinus, the technological developments are conducted according to the following core values, reflecting the approach taken by the company to push the technological envelope:
- Quiet resolve: research, discuss and take actions
- Balance: look far into the future, with practicality
- Responsibility: making and keeping our promise of a new level of express delivery
These values are implemented by means of an agile working mode, based loosely on the Spotify model (a type of matrix structure) to efficiently tackle this multifaceted challenge. The work at the company is assigned to squads and each engineer of the workforce is assigned to a chapter. A squad works on an artefact, managed by a squad lead and project manager, consisting of no more than 10 members. A chapter is a community of practice, managed by a chapter lead with a group of individuals sharing similar skills. The squads are split into four categories: product development, vehicle design, enabling technologies, and capital infrastructures. This structure allows for sharing of skilled resources between projects (squads) and functional units (chapters), and it fosters better communication and collaboration across the organisation.
How does Destinus envision the future of remote work in the company?
The amount of people working remotely will continue to increase. Even after the pandemic, team members are expected to be working flexibly from their homes with occasional visits to our offices. Thus, we will continue to assess our remote working culture and further improve it with time as we grow.
Follow our journey into the future of remote work in an engineering-heavy company!