Are you considering a remote team for your startup yet? We’ve outlined the top three reasons why you should.
Remote may be the future of work, but is it the future of startups?
Startups are notoriously challenging to scale, with two-thirds of them failing to deliver a positive return to their investors. Those that succeed share a few things in common: they attract and retain great talent, focus on creative solutions, and run a lean business.
And remote teams check off all the right boxes for those success factors.
3 Reasons Your Startup Needs A Remote Team
While there may be several reasons why your startup can benefit from hiring a remote team, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 3 reasons you should consider.
Top-notch talent wants to work remotely
Having no geographical barriers when you’re hiring employees allows you to tap into the best talent. Instead of being limited to finding a talented front-end developer to work with in California, you can access some of the best minds in the world.
Besides, most workers don’t want to return to the office.
In a 2022 Buffer survey of over 2,000 remote workers across the country, 97% recommend remote work and would like to continue. Companies that don’t understand employee needs and force employees to return are seeing workers quit in what is now referred to as The Great Resignation.
Remote employee productivity is higher than in-office
According to data from Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom, remote workers report being more productive when compared to those who work in office. Although this data is reported, we also have corroborating data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on growing output per hours worked.
The reason for this boost in productivity is also the increased flexibility. Having more flexibility leads to employees being happier, and thus more productive.
Office costs can be reduced or eliminated
Office space can cost $100-$1,000 per employee per month. Startups can save on rent, overhead, maintenance, and other costs associated with a physical office by switching to remote work.
Even if you’re not fully remote, the costs you save per employee can be put to better use. Many companies that are saving money on office rent put the funds towards having an offsite annually, or offering other more important benefits to their employees like a team culture app or home office stipends.
Proof of Concept: Successful Remote Companies
If you’re still not convinced about remote teams being the future, these successful remote companies might change your mind.
David Darmanin, CEO of Hotjar, believes remote work removes physical barriers: “I think when you are in an office together, there are obviously huge advantages — like the fact that you can bring everyone together and just talk directly.”
But Darmanin believes remote has a significant advantage over working out of an office.
“I think remote offers an interesting opportunity, which is, it instantly gives you equality. As long as your internet connection is as good as everyone else’s, I’m the same distance.
As the CEO, I’m the same distance away from everyone on the team. We all sit next to each other. “
Hailley Griffis, Head of PR at Buffer, shared how Buffer measures productivity in a remote environment: “Everyone at Buffer has to deliver on their goals according to what needs each team has. Their output is a sign of their work and consistent output increases trust with managers.
If someone weren’t hitting their goals it would affect their team and their manager would know about it.”
Sid Sijbrandij, the CEO of GitLab, shares, “The last two years have shown us that remote work is now just… work. And work is work, whether you’re doing it in an office building, in your home office, or in a coffee shop.”
“A study from the Becker Friedman Institute projects that the post-pandemic economy will experience a productivity boost of 4.8% when compared to pre-pandemic working conditions, mainly due to time saved by not commuting.
The Becker Friedman Institute’s study data also tells us that we’ve been working more efficiently from remote locations like our homes than we did while in the office. For any leader to suggest otherwise disrespects the hard work employees have been putting in for the last two years, amid some of the most turbulent times in recent history.”
Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier, shares what it takes to build a 100% remote company: “It’s in our DNA to work this way. Bryan, Mike, and I started working on this project through chat, pull requests, and Trello cards. So we figured out a way to make remote work, and it makes sense to us.
Office companies face this problem too. You add more people, you have a bigger office, and communication breaks down. Your response to that isn’t, “Hey, we’re working in an office. We need to go remote to fix this.” No, your response is, “There’s something wrong with our communication structure. There’s something more fundamental that we need to fix here.”
The potential downside to hiring remote teams might have an easy fix
While there are many upsides to having remote teams, success depends on constant and clear communication. That can be challenging for companies new to remote work. Without the right processes in place and managers who trust teams to get their work done, employees get stuck in endless meetings and productivity takes a hit.
The first step to fostering a thriving remote workplace is to look at successful remote companies and understand how they solve some of the most common challenges of remote work.
We recommend starting with these interviews:
- Sketch’s CEO Pieter Omvlee on why he recommends going 100% remote
- Articulate’s CEO Lucy Suros shares how they’ve been fully remote and thriving for over 20 years
- Prezly’s CEO Jesse Wynants explains why remote is the new perk — and how to do it successfully
The second part of the equation is finding the right technology to support remote work. In the office, employees would step away from work to connect and recharge in the breakroom, happy hour, or at team lunches. Unfortunately, most remote workers don’t have those same opportunities to recharge with their coworkers.
Luckily, those key moments can be recreated in a remote environment using technology. Leading companies offer their employees tools (like Airspeed’s Slack apps) that empower them to build great relationships, increase creativity, and avoid burnout.
Take the first step to make your team remote
Transitioning to remote work requires effective processes and constant communication.
If you’re currently thinking about switching to remote work, here are a few resources for you: