Have you ever wondered what a remote first company is? With COVID making remote work a norm, we’re seeing more and more companies ditching the office altogether and opting for a remote working model.
Whether remote first or a hybrid model will reign when we return back to office work, remains to be seen. We’re looking at what a remote first company is, and why more businesses should consider it.
Remote first takes a flexible work model a step further, by making remote work the primary option for the majority of employees. It is a company strategy that focuses on decentralization of the workforce, meaning that more employees can work from anywhere.
The idea of a remote first workstyle is that remote is the first option. It means that no (or very few) employees will be required to perform their roles from a centralized office. The benefits of this are reduced office costs, a happier and more productive workforce and an agile team that can work from anywhere across several time zones.
A recent Stanford Study proved that remote working can be much more productive and actually create more comfortable work environments. The study showed that remote working increased employee performance by 13% as they took shorter breaks, and had a less distracting work environment.
In 2019, Buffer suggested that around 30% of companies they surveyed were entirely remote – which seems rather high given that 2019 didn’t have the threats of a global pandemic to contend with. It’s likely that in 2021, with a legal requirement for remote work in place in many areas, the percentage of remote-only companies is a lot higher.
However, what was also interesting in that Buffer study was that of all those companies surveyed, 40% of them put flexible work at the top of their list of priorities. It seems that people really want a hybrid work model, whereby they get to work when and how they desire.
This will be especially true post-COVID, when so many employees have had to make flexible adjustments for their employer, they will likely want to see that favor reciprocated when the return to office environments occurs. Plus, employers have seen the benefits of making remote work the norm – with decreased office costs and a more productive workforce – so they are unlikely to want to return back to an office first culture.
There are some key ways that we can set up our business to foster a remote work first attitude. These include:
It is important that the people working for you are able to work well remotely. This may mean that you need to hire new remote talent, or train your current team to understand the benefits of remote work. Remote work is often a personal preference, so it is important that you have a team who are willing to work remotely.
Businesses should be aware that they may need to send equipment to people’s homes to ensure that they are able to set up a remote workspace that is as productive as an office. By helping people create their ideal workspace, companies will manage the change to remote first much more effectively.
Working remotely relies heavily on the tools and technology that allows you to work remotely and communicate. Things like Asana, Trello, Slack, Google Docs etc. will likely become essential remote working tools for your organization if you want to go remote-first.