To want to belong is to be human.

As people, we crave connections with one another through sports, family, shared interests, religion, and other identifiers. Count the workplace as an environment that can cultivate a sense of belonging, especially when you consider that adults reportedly spend about one-third of their lives at work.

Work looks a little different these days, however, as more companies are either experimenting with or fully transitioning to remote setups. The look and feel of the modern workplace have evolved, but so have the realities of daily capacity — and burnout.

Flexible, out-of-office work setups are redefining the traditional 9-to-5 workday and disrupting any existing work-life balance. Remote workers experience more burnout than their in-office counterparts — and exhausted workers are more likely to call in sick, be anxious about their performance, and even experience emergency health scares.

No matter where employees are, their mental and physical well-being is paramount to a company's prospects. In this climate, it's paramount to do whatever is necessary to keep remote employees engaged and energized.

At X-Team, one way we do that is through something we call "bounties."

Bounties Inspire Belonging

Technology can make a big world just a little bit smaller. Solutions like Zoom, Slack, and other collaborative tools provide human connection across city, state, and international borders.

These technologies don't create a sense of belonging on their own, however. Bringing co-workers together digitally can be a daunting task when all anyone has is a screen, an internet connection, and some collaborative tools. Intent must work in conjunction with these solutions to build a system that makes remote employees feel connected to their company and colleagues.

What does all this have to do with our bounties program? First and foremost, these bounties are based on an in-house platform we built that encourages our remote developer team to reenergize themselves by doing more of the things that make them feel alive.

The platform issues challenges (i.e., bounties) that are as ambitious as hiking to the town's tallest peak or as simple as trying a new trail or dish or finishing the latest video game. With each completed task, employees accumulate currency that they can spend on collectible swag or decorative items for their desks.

We release high-value bounties every three months that tie into a particular theme the encourages team members to explore our company values. Developers can also create their own bounties at any time, which anyone in the company can then complete. It fosters new relationships and allows everyone to energize and inspire one another.

What's the value of the bounties system? Sure, achievements are nice. And gifts do bring some sense of validation. But more than that, bounties give our remote development team members that shot of dopamine they might not consistently get from a long day of fixing bugs.

Gamification within company culture can be a failed experiment for most organizations because they don't gamify enjoyable and fulfilling activities. When you focus on motivating people to do the things they already love (thus leading to greater energy levels and productivity), gamification can be a powerful tool — especially among younger people.

Empowering them to take on new challenges in their downtime illustrates that X-Team is invested in its developers' personal well-being instead of just their professional contributions. Bounties incentivize outside pursuits, helping remote workers feel invested in and ready to take on big-picture initiatives.

Bring on an Engaged Remote Development Team

X-Team developers belong to a knowledgeable and experienced group of remote developers ready to bring your projects to life.

Interested in learning what else we have to offer? Visit our website at