What do you consider the biggest benefits of a remote workforce?
Bar none, a massive talent pool to explore for great culture and skill fit.
A big secondary benefit is that, with the right team, you have a grassroots marketing campaign in cities and towns all around the country, and world. Many of our employees are active in their local meetup groups and communities, which spreads organic awareness of our brand outside of a single city.
We are able to have people join our team who are passionate about building and supporting great software. There are huge advantages for customers, since they can get support in their timezone—they don’t have to worry that the person they’re talking with is sleeping when they send an email asking for help with something.
Having a remote workforce allows us a much deeper talent pool to select from as we look for world-class people to deliver our unique brand of world-class service. It also provides us with more flexibility in terms of managing the volume across our servicing network. We’ve been able to offer more part-time and even split-shift options because those flexible work arrangements appeal to many of the employees who work virtually.
The biggest benefit is one that’s bigger than a few individuals or an entire company: reduced carbon emissions. Though not all jobs can be done remotely, if everyone who could cut their commute did so, the climate change conversation would be much different. That said, we have seen better employee retention, higher reports of job satisfaction, savings on infrastructure costs that are no longer needed with this model and the ability to encourage other companies and individuals to try this themselves.
This goes back to flexibility. With our remote work we also offer flexibility within schedules. For our employees, flexibility is the biggest benefit. Working remotely makes it easier to have work-life balance. Starting with the lack of commuting, all the way to being able to pick up your kids from school.
Remote work saves time and money, plain and simple. No more scrambling in the mornings to get dressed, fumbling for car keys, and getting stuck in traffic. So long as you’re disciplined and have set up an effective home office, it’s natural to remove commuting (and all the hassle that comes with it) from the equation.
But besides that, remote work builds morale. If you’re not a morning person, getting ready for work and getting caught in traffic can start to build some frustration or even resentment. To top it all off, the afternoon traffic keeping you from finally getting home to your family can only make matters worse. Taking out this largely unnecessary step of your day can make you like your job that much more.
By far the largest benefit of the remote structure is the ability to bring the very best talent to the position we’re looking for at the time. Instead of being constrained to a single location, we’re able to scan candidates across the country for the best fit for the specific role at hand.
It allows us to find talent wherever they live, and this can open a company up to a lot of possibilities. As most technology companies know, finding and hiring talent is one of the biggest problems they face. It also allows for a truly flexible work environment. We don’t have set office hours because we have people working in all time zones. People can work the hours that work best for them.
There are so many benefits that mean something different to each individual. Here are a few we see and hear about frequently at BELAY:
- Flexibility with schedule
- Avoid long commutes to the “office”
- Better work-life integration (present parent/spouse)
- Organization cost savings (office overhead/expenses)
- Employee cost savings (attire, gas, meals, attire, after-school care, etc.)
The greatest benefit is being able to hire without being constrained by location. It’s also a fantastic draw for good employees who might crave more flexibility in how they work. Not everyone works well in a 9-5 office environment. Younger employees, or those with families, find the ability to work from home or when traveling immensely helpful. It allows them to work when and where they’re most effective, so you get their best work.
We find the following are great bonuses of a remote workforce:
- Talent – A remote workforce makes it possible to connect and work with the best talent from around the world.
- Flexibility –
- With our clients: We can resource our projects to match clients time zones when possible and stagger team member work hours so clients have maximum support.
- For ourselves: Working remotely allows you to work from wherever you choose in an environment and location that is best suited to each individual. We’ve had team members travel to Europe or India without having to take one day of PTO.
- More time – There are no commutes, dress codes, or mandated reasons to shower every day (I half kid about this last one!), which means more time to spend on things that matter to each individual whether it’s work or personal.
- Employee happiness – Remote work enables employees to work and live wherever and however they choose. This puts each individual in a position to make the work/life choices that line up best with their lifestyle and goals.
I think the different work culture is the biggest benefit, at least for us at Blossom. It’s awesome to be able to just go for a run in the middle of the day if the weather is right. Sure, you still need to get your hours in, but you can choose when to be more flexible. As we don’t have any specific working hours we must work, everybody can just work as they see fit.
In our hiring model it has become evident that remote work, if done well, can be extremely successful for both employers, and employees. The talent pool is significantly expanded, time, energy (and money) is not wasted traveling long distances, infrastructure costs for offices and equipment are reduced to almost nil and employees value the freedom and flexibility. In order to make this shift, company cultures, hiring and training methods and attitudes will all have to change.
- Our team is super productive: The thing about hiring people for a distributed team is that they need to be self-motivated and productive working at home, coffee shops, or a coworking space.
- Team members have incredible amounts of freedom: Have a family event coming up and need to travel on Friday? No problem. Want to take off to Bali or Gran Canaria for a few weeks and work from there? Awesome—please share photos! These things have all happened and are regular occurrences within our distributed team. It’s the little things too, like being able to avoid a commute and spend more time with family. We don’t have working hours and we don’t measure hours at all. We’re all excited about our vision and we focus on results, balance, and sustained productivity.
- It feels like the future: We genuinely believe that how we’re set up will be very normal in a few years. There are certainly challenges and we’re still figuring a lot of it out. It’s fun and a huge privilege to be able to be part of this innovation and experiment and share our learnings.
- Time zones make you awesome: You can look at time zones as an inconvenience, or you can embrace them and discover the magic of the time difference. A key part of our vision is to set the bar for customer support. We obsessively track the happiness of our customers and our speed to respond to them. We couldn’t achieve such a high level of service without being spread across multiple time zones. Time zones are a huge help for our development cycle too—with engineers in the U.S., UK, and Asia, we never stop coding.
Not being limited by Visa’s / office space. A melting pot of different cultures and ways of approaching work allows Canonical to benefit from diversity and variety in everything we do. Employees can undertake their work free of stressful commutes and comfortable in their own environment.
One of the biggest benefits of a remote team is being able to attract and retain top talent anywhere in the world. We have Chargify employees in Brazil, Australia, and all across the United States. Being able to collaborate with team members from different geographical locations and cultures is something many of our employees tout as a benefit as well. Chargify employees enjoy what they do and the perks of working remotely is an important part of our culture and success.
You are more mindful about the people you recruit and the team you build, which I think is a huge benefit. Remote work suits a certain kind of autonomous individual who is comfortable managing and motivating themselves. Many workers aren’t used to this freedom or level of trust – and take a while to adjust. Some other big benefits are that it makes workers happier, healthier and more productive – while also distributing congestion from high-traffic hubs and regions.
Too many to name, but briefly, remote workers bring cultural diversity, a wider range of experiences, and different viewpoints. When different viewpoints come together, that helps find new solutions that wouldn’t be possible if everyone was coming at a problem from the same background.
Having people who can work at a moment’s notice, and on weekends. When you develop a large network of remote people who work different hours, it almost guarantees that you will ALWAYS have someone available to get last minute work requests done. And in this industry, last minute is a frequent thing.
- Access to talent, regardless of geography. In the past, companies were restricted to a talent pool in the immediate vicinity of their office building. For companies based in densely-populated areas such as San Francisco and New York, this was fine. But now we can hire anyone from anywhere. We find the best talent, they find the best jobs. It no longer matters where you live. It’s very liberating for everyone involved.
- Increased productivity. Offices are arguably one of the most distracting places to work. There’s noise, office drama and politics, and employees tend to be interrupted throughout the day. Finding a good workflow is nearly impossible, Remote workers, on the other hand, don’t have to deal with the same amount or frequency of distractions. It’s much easier for an employee to hit their stride if they’re comfortable and happy, and for most people that’s in a home office or another working space.
Work flexibility allows team members options for how, where, and when to do their work. These options create a collaborative work environment between the needs of the company and the team member. A flexible workforce is just as productive (if not more so) as the traditional office model—reducing the global carbon footprint, and helping individuals balance their work life and their personal life. Bottom line: it’s an advantage and a benefit that helps Dell be successful.
Lack of wasted time commuting back and forth every single day, ability to work flexible hours, hiring talent across the world, more flexible hiring alternatives. Employees can spend more time with family or work from their home office or favorite coffee shop, or the beach even as long as they are happy, productive and tackle their backlog accordingly.
Getting to choose from a wider, more diverse pool of candidates is an obvious benefit – we get to focus on what makes a candidate a good fit for the job and for our company, rather than just hoping the right person lives within a certain geographic radius. We also benefit from significantly lower overhead, because we’re not paying to maintain a physical office that our company simply doesn’t need.
Ultimately, the benefits of working remotely extend to our employees as individuals, too – not just the company itself. Everyone enjoys a level of freedom that would be significantly more difficult to maintain otherwise, whether that means they can travel, take care of a family, move, or just work in the comfort of their favorite onesie. The work/life balance benefits are huge, and being able to offer those benefits is important to us.
We have a huge pool from which to find our amazing talent here at Envato! If we find someone great and they work on the other side of the world, they don’t have to move. They can still be a productive member of the team without having to uproot their lives. As much as we love Melbourne, we understand not everyone is in a position to move here. It also gives people choices and options who can’t or don’t want to be in the office all the time.
There are many! One of the biggest benefits is the fact that we increase the talent pool we can pull from. We’re able to give employees a really awesome and interesting work opportunity while they live in an environment that makes them most happy. It may be a nomadic lifestyle or living outside of a major city where very the best companies are located.
The fact that we can hire the most talented people, no matter where they’re located, has contributed dramatically to our success. We’re not asking people to take a chance and move to Philadelphia; it’s a big decision to relocate. In addition, we’ve hired many of our teammates through referrals; our team members have been great at recommending people that fit our culture.
The biggest benefit of a remote workforce is that it gives you the ability to bring on and retain a higher level of talent. In the end, your business is only as good as the people you hire to carry out your mission and model. So who you hire is probably the most important decision you make.
The ability to hire the best talent with no geographical boundaries. The efficiency, productivity, and loyalty that comes from giving professionals the room to build better work life fit. And let’s be honest–the lack of office politics is refreshing.
It’s important to not overlook the benefits that come from treating your workforce like professional adults and giving them the freedom to develop the best possible work life integration possible–at any given time. We’ve had people working from the beaches in Hawaii, on summer-long road trips across the United States, and the mountains of Germany. We really encourage people to take advantage of the fact that they can work from any location with internet access.
Recruiting top talent is an obvious benefit to remote working. New hires don’t have to leave their cities or uproot their families, which makes us a more attractive employer. And current employees have the flexibility to move if desired.
Additionally, remote working results in a more flexible schedule for our employees. Instead of taking time off to wait for the cable guy or go to a doctor’s appointment, our team members can put in a full day’s work from home.
At GitHub, we’ve seen a number of benefits to being a distributed company:
- Hiring. If you want the best talent, limiting yourself to the talent that’s available in a single city (let alone a single country) is shooting yourself in the foot.
- Diversity. Monocultures are dangerous, and hiring people from different locations naturally helps you avoid them by giving you a huge injection of diversity. When your teams have a wide range of cultural perspectives to draw from when approaching problems, your company will do a much better job of navigating challenges.
- Satisfaction. Being able to choose your own working environment means people can surround themselves with things that make them happy, trade the commute for more time with family and loved ones, and generally have more control over their work/life balance. If you’re building a business to be sustainable in the long-run, then you have to make sure people’s day-to-day is rewarding and enjoyable.
- Productivity. Having to get into the office extra-early or stay late just to get a solid block of time to work without interruptions is silly. When you work remotely, you control when you allow distractions and communication with coworkers into your day, which leaves more time for getting into the zone. Your ability to focus also improves significantly when you aren’t exhausted from energy-sapping twice-daily commutes.
- Community. At GitHub, engaging with and supporting our community has always been a high priority. There is no better way to give our company a face than for our employees to be involved in the local meetups and events that are already happening all around the world, and that’s easy when people are already highly distributed.
You get the best and brightest people when hiring, not the closest to you. Employees are also a lot happier because they can balance their personal lives much better by not having to worry about commuting. And, as I mentioned, our talent pool for hiring grows exponentially.
There is definitely a transition period that happens for people who haven’t worked remotely before. It can be tricky at first when you are home all day and your spouse or kids think that means you can do whatever you want at any time. We encourage flexibility, but there has to be a balance with getting work done.
One of the biggest benefits of a remote workforce is knowing that we have team members in India, in Australia, in Germany, in the UK, etc., that can pick up work for clients in their country or timezone, establish a deeper rapport with those clients, and then build compelling digital experiences for them. We also gain insights into the spread of global trends in our industry, which allows us to stay on the top of those trends.
As an all-remote workforce, Goodway is able to get more done in a traditional workday. None of our employees spend time getting ready for work, sitting in traffic or “settling in” at their desk once they arrive. They’re already here. The time we gain for productivity is built in.
The biggest benefits are for our customers! With our ability to hire the best talent from around the world, our customers get the highest level of expertise and the very best expat tax advice available. That allows us to exceed our customers’ expectations, which has been the key to our rapid growth.
People assume that timezones might be a major problem for a remote team, but we actually find them to be a huge advantage. When we work with a client, we’re able to build teams of designers who leverage timezones to give more coverage on projects and actually achieve more. But the biggest advantage of all is that we’re able to build a company which works around the lifestyles that our team wants to create. The flexibility and freedom that comes with being a remote team is incredibly desirable to potential new teammates and gives us a huge advantage when it comes to finding great talent in a very competitive industry.
We believe that a remote workforce may actually be better for startups (especially for SaaS businesses) than the traditional office because you get access to a larger pool of talent, it’s surprisingly cost efficient, and onboarding new employees is easier.
Here’s a list from a blog post we did recently.
- Larger pool of talent – hire a marketing genius from India or Peru
- Cost efficiency – eliminate overhead costs of an office
- Flexibility – you can assign work as needed
- Freedom – work when and where you want (our team loves this perk)
- Easier hiring – freelancers can hit the ground running w/ their own tools, no office orientation needed
We don’t waste time – our remote team is well-trained and efficient. We do not waste time b/c it’s our time that we’re spending on the company, not time that we’re forced to be in an office.
The improved access to talented colleagues. If we were all in the same city, we’d be very constrained to hire only those who already live there or who’d be willing to move.
From the perspective of an employee, it’s certainly the gain in flexibility. We have only very few regular meetings scheduled, so if we need to take a break for an hour because of a spontaneous visit to the dentist, that’s not a problem.
Remote work focuses everyone not on time spent at work, but on the results achieved. If someone delivers these results despite deviating from their 9 to 5, nobody will complain.
The biggest benefit would be that we have the freedom to hire the best candidate for positions regardless of their location. I personally consider the flexibility of working remotely as our greatest perk. Not only are we remote, but we have flexibility in our daily schedules, vacation time, etc. Many of us have taken months-long trips around Europe, for example, while keeping up with work responsibilities. Being remote has been great for striking that work-life balance.
We have found there to be three key benefits of working remotely. The first is client service. By adopting a remote model, we are able to work with our clients when they need us. This not only improves client relationships and satisfaction, but it allows for our team to improve their work-life balance. The second important benefit of remote workforce is retention. Since we have transitioned to a remote workforce our retention is 100%. This is most likely a result of customer satisfaction, increased availability, and meaningful staff-client relationships. Lastly, a huge benefit of going remote is business growth. We have doubled our revenue, our margins have remained stable, and we have lowered our billing rates, enabling team compensation to increase. Moreover, since we no longer have costly overhead and the numerous fees associated with running an office, we are more able to take on smaller clients that would of previously been unprofitable.
Working remotely gives InVision team members authorship over their lives in a way many people can’t have if they’re working a traditional desk job. We place the emphasis on outcomes, not physical presence. If an employee wants to spend more time with their children, pursue a hobby, or simply structure their day in a way that’s more conducive to tapping into their best work habits, they can do that.
Being remote also lets us tap into talent that isn’t limited by physical location. We’re able to bring on team members who are great at what they do regardless of where they’re located.
Being able to hire people from all walks of life and from all over the world definitely brings a worldly balance to the team and this is a huge benefit. For me, the biggest benefit is that giving people the autonomy to manage their work and life commitments makes for a happy, engaged, and fulfilled team.
The implied foundation of trust. We give our team the autonomy to figure out how they can do their best work. This can only happen when you trust them to do that effectively. That foundation permeates everything as that trust is returned to the team and company where, as a CEO, I have zero concerns about motivation, politics, titles, etc.
One of the greatest benefits of a remote workforce is workspace freedom. Our employees have the flexibility to do work on their terms, which enables creativity, workplace satisfaction, and exploration. That type of flexibility means our team can travel, learn new things, and develop a strong work-life balance. And, remote work is integral to our company culture.
I think there are several huge benefits. Since we are not geographically limited, we can seek the best team members from anywhere in the world.
- With remote work and flexible hours, it is much easier to achieve greater work-life balance. Many of us have kids and it allows us to do things like volunteer at school or attend important daytime events while still being productive workers. Not only are balanced workers an asset due to their great attitudes and productivity, but it allows some people who might not be able to work on-site to contribute with us.
- We all avoid the stress, time and financial costs of commuting – this helps keep our whole team happy, healthy and focused on the work instead of the freeway traffic.
- Team members report great satisfaction at having flexible hours and being able to telecommute. We think happy team members are more productive and just great to work with!
The first is that it gives you a much better work-life integration. You’re no longer limited by a 9 to 5 schedule, or being stuck in traffic on the way to a boring old office. You no longer have to be awake at an ungodly hour and still unable to properly function at noon. Or on the other hand, if you like getting up before the sun does and you feel the most energetic and productive, then you have the freedom to work before anyone else is up. You take back control of your own time and instead manage your own energy.
Another thing is the mode of which we work. Since everything that we do is online, all the information and work that we do sits in the cloud. This means that the information will always be backed up, is always real-time, and is accessible at any time of the day by anyone.
Attracting top talent. In tech, there is a never ending war for talent and being tethered to a particular market, San Francisco for example, ends one up in a zero sum game. Talent hops around constantly and the costs from salary increases impact the business. This is radically reduced when one adopts a distributed model. We can hire talent from anywhere and they are incentivized to stay, because our work/life policy is heavily favored toward life. We have an incredibly high retention rate.
The benefits are many: you work with great people from all over the world, you learn from different cultures, you can choose where to work from, and you save money and precious time on commuting (time that you can use to do things you love, or simply spend more time at home with your family).
The flexibility it offers some of my highly-talented staff who are in situations in which remote work is just easier on them; for example, those with families, younger children to take care of, or just an itch to travel a bit and work from wherever they happen to be at the moment. I enjoy this very benefit myself. To the company, the biggest benefit is really the ability to find the best talent independent of location, and how it increases our ability to scale quickly.
- Unique recruiting advantage, with access to a wider pool of talent
- The costs savings are substantial
- The convenience factor of not having to commute
- The access to inexpensive tools that facilitate the process of communicating remotely
- The ability to focus on work with fewer distractions
Diversity of talent pool. Global time zone coverage. Culture. Successful remote employees/workers have defining traits that make them exceptional employees overall, among those traits being self-discipline and self-direction. Every single team member we have is a top performer—it’s their DNA.
Parse.ly engineers report that the biggest benefit of the fully distributed team is being able to really focus on their work, and thus produce great things. Almost everyone on the team used to work in an office environment where it was not uncommon to be interrupted throughout the day by the people sitting next to you.
Our CEO and Co-founder Sachin Kamdar has said: “For engineers, the working day mimics the way a car operates. In a car, you can’t go straight to gear six where it has the most optimized performance. Instead, the car has to go through gears 1 through 5 before it gets to that final ‘flow’ state. And if you stop the car, it doesn’t then get back to gear six just because it was there before. Engineering productivity works in much the same way where there are a select few hours during the day where they have revved up to the flow state and are producing the best code. If you interrupt an engineer, then you’re disrupting this state and it can take them a while to get back there again.
“Giving each engineer the opportunity to create their environment that’s most conducive getting to and maintaining the gear six is a huge benefit. It allows us to be more productive as a team, create better product for our customers, and create a sustainable business that gives every employee the flexibility to find their rhythm. The Parse.ly team has become happier, more productive, and more focused as a result.”
A remote workforce encourages all team members to contribute. Tasks are expected to be completed, and each person understands the specific duties that they must accomplish day in, day out. There is no way to micro-manage a remote workforce, so providing flexibility coupled with expectation has enabled employees to feel more responsible for their role in the company’s success.
I have found this culture to be just as friendly and intimate as an office setting, if not MORE so. Our chat rooms allow newcomers to build rapport with many more people in a shorter period than they could build in an office environment. For quiet and introverted team members, especially on engineering teams, we have found that many of them are even more comfortable, at least at first, interacting in a chat environment. So people just communicate more than they typically do in an office setting and thereby develop more, and better, relationships quickly.
Employees are constantly sharing experiences, thoughts, and photos, asking about each other’s days and weekends, or challenging each other to keep fit and healthy with an exercise lottery in Slack. All of these things happen while we multi-task, meaning much less wasted time. And when these teams do get together in person, it is like a reunion of old friends, not one of those cold and awkward office social events. The bottom line is that you don’t have to sacrifice a tight-knit culture in a remote environment.
As a company, we see our remote workforce as a massive competitive advantage. It permits us the ability to have a footprint in markets that businesses aren’t able to have access to. Having a workforce that spans the globe also infuses every department of our company with an optimistic energy and waves of creativity that a tethered business might struggle to inject into its four walls. Along with an expanded footprint comes access to a global workforce that brings diversity of experience, culture, and work style. The diversity of our global team operating in a distributed structure that embraces diverse thought, background, and execution is a key driver in our remote workforce success.
The freedom. This is what I, as well as my colleagues, believe. The mother/father who takes off to spend more time with her/his kids, the hobbyist who need to book a tennis court at 10 a.m. instead of 5 p.m. due to availability and better pricing, etc. It’s like freelance, but with a company culture. Most freelancers I know want to work for a company, but they don’t allow the freedom they have as a freelancer.
Everyone seems much happier while still producing great work. It’s been a shift where work gets integrated into our everyday lives, instead of being a big chunk of time blocked off every day. It allows us all to respect each other’s personal lives and commitments, while still getting the job done.
The main advantage is that we are able to hire top talent not otherwise available in any single location, be it Montevideo, Cork or even San Francisco. Cost saving is also an important factor at the beginning but as you grow attracting and retaining talent is more important. Our strong technical team and embracement of remote working have allowed us to keep turnover rates very low. I could have never imagined assembling a world-class team like Scrapinghub here in Montevideo and I am convinced that the level of engineers we have in Scrapinghub well exceeds most companies of the same size (even in San Francisco or any other real-world tech hub).
We have remote workers located across the globe, which is why we are able to offer our services 24/7. In addition, our pool of potential candidates is much larger, which allows us to hire and cultivate only the most talented editors. We also have access to a unique pool of workers—those who either cannot or do not want to work in a traditional environment with a traditional schedule. Our editors work where and when they want, tailoring their schedules to their lifestyles, preferences, and other commitments. Whether editing from an apartment in Toronto, a house in Sydney, a cabin in the Alps, or a beachfront bungalow in Fiji, as long as the work is done well and on-time, it doesn’t matter if the editors work at 2 a.m. or 2 p.m.
The thing I love most about Skillcrush’s remote culture is that our team is made up of top talent from around the world that bring such unique perspectives to the table. Since we are an online tech education company, the lives that we are able to touch are limitless, and that all starts with our globally diverse team.
A remote workforce not only allows you to hire the best and brightest, but it also helps to keep them working with you through whatever life changes come their way—relocations, new babies, and new side hustles.
The ability to recruit talent anywhere in the world, to me as CEO, is massive. My team is the most important factor in our success. I need to be able to select from the best talent the world has to offer, and not be limited by something as irrelevant as physical location. Additionally, a happy team is a productive team – our team has no commutes, more time with family, flexible schedules… all of these are important factors in keeping our productivity and motivation high.
I think remote teams end up being more productive than local teams. Yes, there’s an upside to face to face meetings, but there’s a downside to being in the same office too. Namely, a lot of time gets wasted chatting with your coworkers about random stuff. Since our team is 100% remote we rarely waste time talking about nothing. Everyone’s always getting stuff done. Occasionally we ping each other for a quick chat, but overall productivity seems a lot better with a remote team than what I’ve seen previously in my career.
The ability to focus for long stretches at a time. So we can turn off IM, email, slack, etc. and have hours at a time of pure focus with no distractions. It gives us a competitive advantage of being more productive with a smaller team. We go up against companies with much larger teams, but we are able to compete since we work remotely.
Happiness, productivity and retention. People love having the flexibility to work this way, and because you don’t score points for sitting at your desk it’s impossible to pretend you’re working. Not being in an office greatly reduces office politics and employee conflict, yet our always-connected tools like Slack and Google Hangouts means that we actually know our co-workers better than many companies where people share cubicles in the same building.
When work doesn’t happen 9-5, in one building, a lot more work can get done a lot more hours of the day.
Ability to attract the top talent for their skills and values, not worrying about the added constraint of “who happens to be close to us”. If you’re building a global product as well: ability to mimic the diversity of cultures, timezones and market nuances of your own (future) user base to make sure you’re building what they need and love.
The elimination of commuting. Instead of fighting rush hour traffic, we’re able to focus on daily goals from the start without aggravation. Research shows commuting contributes to job burnout, and not having to drive to work every day saves thousands of dollars on car expenses.
Also, being able to take effective breaks! Instead of going to the break room to get another cup of coffee or wasting time on the internet, I can visit with my kids who are with the sitter or go for a quick run.
There are many “big picture” reasons, such as the fact that it’s good for the environment (reducing drivers on the road); good for families (increasing parents time with children); and good for communities (people are around more to help each other).
But it’s also good for business. Not only are there cost savings, working remotely can be an excellent tool for creating uninterrupted work time – this can translate to employees getting their work done more effectively.
Happiness. When you allow someone to work remotely they are trusted and valued. You also give them freedom to do things that are important in their life whether that’s family, friends, or personal wellbeing. When you’re next asked at work how you’re doing, try answering “I’m really happy thanks.”
We’re able to expand the impact of our work – and improve the lives of thousands of kids – by working on the ground in districts all across the country. We’re also able to attract and retain incredibly talented staff for years because of the flexibility that a virtual role offers, even after their lives change with marriage, children, and moves.
Many of our staff – including leadership – have young kids. While it’s never easy to juggle parenting and a demanding work environment, our parents have flexibility most others don’t (for example, stepping out for a couple hours in the middle of the day to volunteer in their child’s classroom), and a supportive network of peers in the same boat. Child-free staff benefit from this flexibility as well; I love that I can schedule appointments with the hair salon and doctor’s office between meetings, during off-peak hours.
Commute. No travelling. No commuting. People are working from their homes and do not have to spend time for going from one place to another. This could save hours.
Interruptions. In case a person feels most productive at home, then why stop them. Office environment often has too many distractions for focused tasks or some people simply prefer the solitude of their own place.
From 9 to 5. These have been the working hours for ages now. Not making any sense for some modern professions. If one’s daily routine is different and tasks do not require co-working with others, let the employee choose when and how they do their things. It’s about productivity, not hours spent in office.
Amount of candidates. By removing the country-borders for the job, the selection of people is much, much bigger. And we can get the best of the best. Not just the best who are available in the region.
Support. As our products need to have a fast customer support, with the remote people working in different time-zones it is much more reasonable and efficient to be available during more hours.
Being a remote company means that I can open up LinkedIn or any platform and hire just about anybody there. Think about that for a second. Very few companies can say that. If you’re limiting your hiring search by location, you almost certainly won’t be hiring the best people because you’ll only be considering a tiny subset of all potential candidates.
Having a remote workforce gives us the ability to have the most talented workers, and also the ability to focus on productivity. Being in an office means being surrounded by distractions, whereas remote teams can focus on getting projects done. It also empowers people to get work done at times when they are the most productive- not necessarily a 9-5 schedule for a lot of people.
Flexibility. There is almost always someone available to service the clients. We have agents on-call early in the morning and late in the evening. Many of our consultants have children and this gives everyone the availability to do their jobs well, plus care for their families in a more effective way.
For us, it makes recruiting teachers much easier. That’s how we were able to scale to 14,000 teachers in just a couple years. No need to deal with relocation, visas, or language barriers in daily life.
There are also great benefits for our teachers. Most of our teachers are stay-at-home parents who have to be at home to care for their own kids. The time difference to China from the U.S. (12 hours for New York time) actually works to the teachers’ advantage.
After their own kids go to bed at 8 or 9 p.m., they can log on and teach a few classes to make some extra money.
The biggest benefit is absolutely the ability to have a true work-life balance. I have employees here that have literally taken a 50% pay cut just so they can work here. After years and years of people working long hours and commuting in cities, people want this job because the company has a great culture and allows us to enjoy our families.
- Less time getting to work and getting back home.
- More quiet time. This is super important for the kind of intellectually challenging work that we do. You don’t have the constant distractions that you find in many office environments.
- Multiple timezones. At 5am in Seattle it’s 8am on the east coast and we already have a few people working at that time. If there’s an urgent issue we’re more likely to have someone on deck to deal with it.
- Our ability to bring on board people anywhere in the World. All our permanent team members are spread across the USA but we’re actively recruiting around the World. One of our contractors is in Paraguay and with Skype he might as well be in the next office.
Superlatives are challenging. People who choose to work remotely typically have other passions that drive them in life. We work remotely so that we can work around our lives, versus live around our work. The cross pollination that happens between diverse personal passions and work passions breeds creativity, efficiency, respect, inspiration, empathy, good work and a huge social impact. It allows us to support our communities wherever we’re living, whether it’s a rural area or thriving metropolis.
One of the biggest benefits is an almost unlimited hiring pool. Since we are not limited to a specific geographic area surrounding a physical office, the talent pool is significantly larger.
Another large benefit is the impact on the staff. The time everyone saves without having a commute to a physical office directly translates into a happier staff and less wear and tear on vehicles!
Having a remote workforce also helps avoid situations such as illnesses and viruses making their way around the office. It also allows staff the ability to travel anywhere in the world while working!
Productivity, happiness from true work/life balance, and the power of documentation.
We’re infinitely more productive when we don’t arrange meetings for the sake of meetings, and every conversation we have is focused on moving things forward. You don’t realize how little work happens in an office environment compared to when that same staff then goes home at night and has privacy to get actual work done. There are challenges that come with staying productive when working remotely, but they’re much easier to solve than the infinite distractions that come with an office. It’s incredibly powerful when people have very limited distractions and only one goal: moving things forward.
The satisfaction level of our developers is incredible — more than 96% on our bi-weekly surveys. A lot of this is tied to how we constantly help them grow, but a big part of it is also simply because of the freedom that comes with remote working. Many of our developers travel the world while working (and still stay more productive than any other developers I’ve known!), and many also have children they get to spend more time with thanks to working remotely. Once you get a taste of freedom and flexibility, you’d be amazed at how grateful and more willing people are to work for you.
Finally, the power of documentation is one that you can only learn when you work 100% remotely as a company. We’ve limited our video meetings as much as possible so that all of our most important conversations and knowledge can be captured in Slack and stored for future use. When everything that is said in a company is documented, no one ever falls behind and knowledge can always quickly be accessed at any time.
Also, when you need to onboard new employees, most office-only companies don’t have onboarding documented — in a remote company, it has to be, there’s no other way to onboard people. This makes it faster and easier to onboard new staff, as it’s guaranteed to be a documented process that gets updated and can be referenced at any time.