There are distinct advantages to going remote from the very beginning, as many startup founding teams have shared with us at Remote.co.
A decade ago, starting out as a partially or even fully remote company represented a daunting prospect. What has transpired to enable the movement toward distributed teams? An evolution in tech tools for remote teams, a culture shift toward focusing on greater work-life balance, and an increasingly competitive environment where the very best teams win.
Companies like Attentiv, Chargify, Groove, CrossOver, Hubstaff, GitLab and WooThemes have been remote since day one—or, as NodeSource puts it, “distributed by design”—and note that it has benefited them in several ways.
Below, we list three of the commonly experienced benefits remote work can provide startup companies. And then five company leaders share their thoughts on either starting companies as virtual from day one, or transitioning to remote work over time.
3 Benefits for Startups Going Remote
1. Highly Competitive Hiring
When you’re not limited to hiring developers, marketers, or other staff within a certain radius, you’re able to recruit and choose from among the very best hires globally for your company.
As many venture capitalists and startup advisors have stated, people are the most important aspect of any budding company. Being able to form a diverse all-star team from day one could almost be considered an unfair advantage for remote companies.
2. Building a Healthy Culture
Showing up early and staying late, eating lunch day after day hunched over your desk, or wasting company money on in-office “perks” like foosball tables and nerf guns are startup relics of the past. (Or should be.)
Remote companies enable people to work wherever—and often whenever—they’re most comfortable. Engagement, motivation, and retention increase. When employee satisfaction is given a core focus, the business stands to benefit today and in the long term.
3. Emphasizing Productivity over Politics
There’s no need for posturing when professional visibility is reduced to team calls, shared documents, and project output. Instead, remote companies lend themselves to being natural meritocracies, where the most effective players are noticed and rewarded.
Your most significant impact will be felt through the work you accomplish, and greater transparency into team processes shows your accomplishments in ways beyond in-office, face-to-face collaborations.
Remote Company Leaders Talk Startups and Going Remote
Two founders of companies that have been virtual from day one share their thoughts:
“From the past experience at Skype (where we had our first 200 people spread across 10 locations), I know that it is way easier to build location independence into the DNA of your company very early on. Most of the failure stories you hear are about how tough it is to embed the first remote guy or girl on your team where 20 people already sit in the same office somewhere.
As European immigrants starting a company in Silicon Valley, but having most of our networks of best people back in the Old World, we knew that we’ll never have the single office luxury anyway. So let’s get it right from the start for everyone.”
– Sten Tamkivi,Co-founder and CEO of Teleport