dmarcian’s Operations Coordinator, Kayla Bott, reflects on the company’s structure and values and how they promote a balanced, productive, healthy organizational culture.

At dmarcian, we’re a remote-first, asynchronous sociocracy by design. This unique structure gives us the ability to directly support and advocate for widespread DMARC adoption, while continuously innovating in the pursuit of making email safer. 

Usually when I tell people this, they’ll get stuck on one or two words. Asynchronous? Remote? What does that mean? Do you ever see your coworkers?? How does that even work??? I thought I’d use this opportunity to share my experience and insights working in this experimental structure.

We’re interested in trying new things because we recognize that the traditional ways don’t work for us, a remote company specializing in a niche email technology. I think the world is starting to learn that conventional ways aren’t working for the greater good in many aspects. By embracing a horizontal organizational structure like sociocracy at dmarcian, we’ve set a foundation for  creating a healthy work environment that recognizes the dignity of the individual, their work and their voice.

Traditional business structures are reminiscent of Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,” which gets at an unspoken cultural belief that no one can thrive unless someone is suffering. Because orthodox structures assume a certain level of misery, unhappiness, or exploitation is simply the cost of doing business–the consequences for the people and the environment remain unaddressed.

Hierarchical job structures and top-down managerial systems inherently belittle and have the capacity to dehumanize a person, especially those placed at the bottom of that structure. This point was illustrated by the Stanford prison experiment, where the psychological effects of perceived power can be detrimental to those with and without power. There is a natural propensity for traditional vertical structures to foster oppression that must be constantly guarded against. 

For me, dignity is a value of utmost importance.  I believe that people (and nature) should be respected and left to live their own lives under their own volition. At dmarcian, we strive to work in ways that respect all people, both internally and outside of our company. That throughline extends to the email ecosystem with our support of initiatives and nonprofits dedicated to making email better, to the environment by working green, supporting organizations like 1% for the Planet, and obtaining B Corp certification.

I hope our example can inspire other organizations to be more receptive to embracing processes and structures that have the potential to benefit everyone. One of the obstacles is the opinion that workers have to be directly monitored in order for them to be productive. In the past, there has been hesitancy to allow employees to work from home, but it seems  COVID has brought remote work more into the mainstream.

While it is true that much work can’t be done remotely, I think most working environments could benefit from overcoming the conditioned reliance on constant supervision and feedback. It can be a refreshing change, when combined with a horizontal structure, as everyone becomes a stakeholder and that affinity is a positive, healthy, productive motivation.

If you’re interested in working for dmarcian, I encourage you to regularly check our Careers Page as we continue to grow.