Remote Working

10 Reasons for Building a Company Remotely

8 Mins read

It’s a no-brainer

Few people can argue against that if you are to build a company today, there’s a lot of evidence that the smart thing to do is to build it remotely.

The most clear benefits are:

You will save time.

You will save money (and the planet).

You can offer your people true flexibility.

You can double your team’s productivity.

You can build a thriving company culture.

You will be able to attract and retain the best talent.

You will be able to reduce absenteeism for your people.

You will get a better work-life balance for yourself and your people.

You will have access to a global talent pool and build a diverse team.

We all know that talent is one of the most important things for a company to become successful. If not the most important thing. You need to be intentional with talent and hiring. As a remote employer you have the potential to literally give your people the best quality of life.

These are the employers that will win the war for talent.

It’s a no-brainer. Build remotely.

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Founders of remote companies

This week we are going to zoom in on 6 founders that are building their company remotely. I received a massive interest from founders to be featured with their company in this edition. I wish I could feature everyone. Don’t hesitate to share your remote company journey in the comments of this newsletter. Together we are building the future of work!

Firstbase

Chris HerdFounder & CEO

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What does your company do?

Firstbase enables companies to manage the entire employee equipment lifecycle from onboarding through off-boarding. The Firstbase platform combines SaaS workflow automation and visibility including asset tracking with world-class physical supply chain, logistics and IT operations. A unified administrative hub enables IT, HR, finance, and facilities teams to collaborate effectively to provide incredible self-service experiences to workers. From laptops to standing desks, Firstbase ensures that remote and flexible workers have everything they need to stay engaged and productive throughout their employee journey. Gain operational efficiencies, maximize assets through sustainable reuse, boost retention, enhance security, and empower your best workforce.

What has been the biggest benefits of building your company remotely?

I’m from a small city in Scotland and still live here. As great as it is, I didn’t think I could have convinced all the incredible people we need to build a global tech business to move here. Being remote meant that they didn’t have to be and that we could hire the most talented person for every role, not just the best person we could afford in a 30-mile radius of our office.

On top of that, it changes what you need to manage talent. It’s no longer about command and control type leaders who need their teams in office because their only way to understand performance is to see workers sat in an office chair for 8 hours. Remote and flexible working demands that companies manages for outcomes. This is a huge benefit for building a business remotely.

What would you say are the biggest challenges for remote companies and teams?

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First off, let’s distinguish between companies that are hybrid in some fashion, and companies that have gone all in on remote work.

One of the chief challenges in hybrid companies is indecision about what degree of flexibility to give workers. According to all the research, workers value flexibility more than just about anything these days. Tons of workers would trade salary for workplace flexibility. Lots of workers are leaving companies when there’s insufficient flexibility. Those are the facts. The challenge is that a lot of management teams aren’t ready to come to terms with that, so they say they’re hybrid but they are still quite inflexible. That is the messy middle where you don’t get all the benefits of hybrid, and it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy of poor results that have nothing to do with the term “hybrid” in your workplace model, and everything to do with going towards greater flexibility, trust, and empowerment of workers.

Gartner talks about the need to adopt “radical flexibility” for today’s workforce, and they have some great research that deconstructs myths around the office versus remote work. Those myths get in the way of granting workers the flexibility they want. For example, there’s a myth that you get less positive engagement with company culture when employees are remote, but the Gartner research shows the opposite. Remote workers view their company culture more positively.

In regards to companies that have already adopted a fully remote stance, then the challenges are really about how you balance synchronous vs. asynchronous work, in-person time vs. remote work, and freedom vs managerial coaching. You don’t need to be in-person to do good synchronous work, but you do need some amount of in-person time on a regular basis. You don’t need to monitor everyone in a controlling fashion to get great innovation and productivity, but you do need to manage, coach, and guide with attention to the individual so people can be as effective and grow as much as possible. Theoretically that has always been true, but I think we all know that it hasn’t necessarily been practiced. In a remote work environment, that nurture and connection to growth goals is quite important.

Ultimately, intentionality is key to every work outcomes these days, and that becomes incredibly evident in a remote work culture.

Pento

Jonas Bøgh Larsen, Co-founder, CEO – Forbes 30 under 30

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What does your company do?

Pento is an automated payroll solution for UK SMBs that comes with reliable support from qualified payroll experts. Companies replace their old-school outsourcing process with Pento to automate everything from tax calculations to payments and usually save up to 80% of the time they previously spent on payroll every month.

What have been the biggest benefits of building your company remotely?

The biggest benefit of building a company remotely has been access to talent. Whenever we open up a new role, the question is not whether we’re able to find the right candidate – the question is how great are we at convincing them to join Pento.

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What would you say are the biggest challenges for remote companies and teams?

Communication and culture. This is not something you can half-ass. You need to invest in it, and you need to go all-in. Working from home and working remotely are two different things, and the companies who don’t realise that will never be able to retain remote talent as well as the ones that do.

Flexa Careers

Molly Johnson-Jones, Co-Founder & CEO

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What does your company do?

Flexa is the global directory of verified flexible companies. We enable individuals to search by “how” they will work as well as “what” they will do, making it easy to discover which companies are flexible, and fit your ideal ways of working. In addition, we enable companies to build world-class employer brands by leveraging their number one asset – their flexibility.

What are the biggest benefits of building your company remotely?

There are so many! We can access talent we wouldn’t be able to otherwise, we can travel the world, people are happier and more productive, hiring is (relatively) easy for us because we offer a brilliantly flexible working environment, and we can offer an environment that helps people to thrive because of the choice and freedom that being remote-first affords. In fact, I’d argue our culture is better for being a remote-first organisation.

What would you say are the biggest challenges for remote companies and teams?

Like with any company, building a great culture takes serious work, and when you’re remote, the cracks can show faster. We spend a lot of time ensuring that we come together for virtual sessions (like Slacking Off – where once a week a team member presents on a random topic; we’ve had “birds aren’t real” conspiracy theories through to a very involved “two truths and a lie) and carve out collaboration time, as well as focus time, so that we don’t spend too long on video calls.

In addition, understanding how people like to work can take longer when you aren’t face to face, but we do Manual of Me, so that everyone has a guide to who they are and how they like to work.

Collaboration and socialisation aren’t bad when done remotely, but they are different, and moving away from the status quo takes work. But if anyone should be carving our new norms, it’s startups!

Claap

Pierre Touzeau, Co-Founder

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What does your company do?

We’re building a new alignment system for the distributed era to reduce time spent in back-to-back meetings. Claap’s async video collaboration platform helps you share your work with quick screen-recording, get contextual feedback with annotations and time-stamped comments, and make decisions with threads and votes.

What have been the biggest benefits of building your company remotely?

On our side, we’ve seen a couple of benefits that are strongly linked to the product we’re building. First, we eat our own dog food as being fully-remote forces us to be the first users of our product. Second, we can hire talent that are harder to find in France for example, especially profiles with a strong expertise on Product-Led Growth + hiring software engineers is much easier. Third, we wanted to build an international company from day 1 as our market is global. This is much easier to do when you hire people from multiple locations (we have people in 5 different countries with a 14 people org) vs in just one location.

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What would you say are the biggest challenges for remote companies and teams?

Breaking silos. It’s quite easy to speak with your teammates but it’s much harder to have a sense of what’s happening outside your team. Team cohesion. You don’t get the same kind of belonging vs. seeing people in person. We need to be much more intentional building that with activities or off-sites. But even with that, it’s not made for everyone.

Reef – The Third Workspace

James Coughlan, Founder & CEO

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What does your company do?

We are a platform that showcases discounts at over 400 laptop friendly venues across the UK for teams and individuals who does remote/hybrid work (soon to have venues across the globe).

What have been the biggest benefits of building your company remotely?

The access to a wider pool of talent. Being able to recruit anywhere, means I am not stuck with the talent local to the “office”. It is also a great way to attract and retain a team, but only if a plan and structure are set out first in detail.

What would you say are the biggest challenges for remote companies and teams?

To have a solid plan and structure in place before fully committing to a remote/hybrid working structure. Make sure you have the right tools and software in place to make this change more seamless.

Modern Loop

Lydia Han, CEO

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What does your company do? 

ModernLoop helps companies scale recruiting operations and save costs while delivering a great candidate and interviewer experience.

What have been the biggest benefits of building your company remotely?

We’ve been able to hire the best talent and build our team quickly so that we can build a great product fast.

What would you say are the biggest challenges for remote companies and teams?

The biggest challenge by far is the time zone difference. We have a globally remote team with folks across North America and India. This has forced us to be really good at async communication and using video recordings to communicate projects.

Remote work is the future

If you are a founder and you are about to build a remote company, there are so many people in the remote community to reach out to for guidance.

The remote work community is growing fast around the world.

Make sure to become a part of it.

Remote work is the future.

If you enjoyed today’s newsletter, please share it with your friends and family.

 

 

Source: Hanna Larsson

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