Out on the street, the traffic starts jumping
With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5
For your information: Some entrepreneurs left their regular job to find a startup after hearing this song. Other people have joined a startup’s team just for the culture of remote work.
Fact: Most professionals can work from anywhere in the world, with just a laptop and internet connection.
We think Dolly should write a new song, only this time for remote work. Legit has previously written about the importance of using the right terminology when referring to “remote work”.
In this post, we want to dig deep into the benefits this working culture brings for startups.
Benefits of working remotely
Working remotely brings benefits to both parties: the business (as the employer) and the employees. In this article, we will dig deep into the advantages (and disadvantages) of having a team/staff/employee/collaborator working remotely first.
Access to a wider group of professionals
This may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but hiring international talents with different employment experiences, who have different cultural backgrounds – is a great opportunity to foster the entrepreneurial spirit within the team.
Flexible working hours
Flexible scheduling may seem like a one-way benefit, serving only the employees, but it is not. (Remember the founders we mentioned at the top of the article?)
Think about it this way: You can hire people in different time zones. Consequently, the business will be able to provide customer service for 24 hours, at no additional cost. (And which startup wants extra costs?)
In other words, if you provide flexible working hours for employees, you will have staff on the other side of the world responding to the urgent needs of the client from the comfort of their bedroom, while you are having your own night sleep.
The present (and future) of work
A study by Gartner predicts that this year (2022), 31% of employees worldwide will work remotely (remote first or hybrid).
“Remote work is the future.”
– Ranjit Atwal, Senior Research Director at Gartner
Actually, it’s already the present for many ventures. At least for us at Legit, yes, it is.
Going back to the studies: FlexJobs, in one of its surveys, concluded that 65% of the interviewed employees expressed the wish to work from home (full time) even after the pandemic. Whereas 33% expressed the willingness to reach a hybrid remote work agreement.
Challenges of founding a remote startup
Establishing a startup is not an easy process. Besides the benefits (which we have addressed so far) challenges need to be listed. However, these challenges have been calculated by the startup founders who have built products with the purpose of minimizing the difficulties of working from home.
Hiring people to work from home doesn’t have to change the recruitment procedure, besides it might last longer due to the need for new employees to adapt to the work culture of current members, and the latter attempt on reaching full communications with the candidate – to get to know him better.
This is exactly the case with Oxolo.
“To assess cultural adaptation, we involve all team members in the interviewing process, even to have a simple conversation, quite different from what happens in an office recruitment process. For leadership roles, the candidate is required to present a practice case to the entire team. This way, we make sure they are comfortable enough and ready to work from home. Team comments are always welcomed.”
– Elisabeth L’Orange, co-founder and CCO at Oxolo, a platform that uses AI technology for entertainment
These last two years, numerous startups have built products and services that facilitate remote work, especially the recruiting processes of international employees. Lano, a Berlin-based startup provides facilitative tools to the companies which want to expand their teams globally- through the use of a comprehensive platform that assists in the process of recruiting, hiring, and payroll management. Other founders have argued that the use of digital platforms has facilitated all their project management processes.
What needs to be done?
We are done with benefits and challenges. Now let’s focus on some tips you need to know for having a fantastic team in your startup.
Communicate clearly and consistently to ensure that the team is functioning smoothly. There is no ‘one size fits it all’ formula; people – even when they are part of the same team, are different – so it’s up to you and your team to try different forms of communication and apply what works best for you and the startup.
There is no need to exaggerate team meetings, but if you are in the position of team manager, you can arrange weekly meetings or 1:1 meetings with each team member and an early week meeting with the whole team.
Keep in mind that communications can also be about non-work-related topics. When was the last time you asked your employee about his favorite movie?
Startup culture and team spirit
As technology and its tools enable startups to operate efficiently remotely, it is essential for building at first a decent work culture, before using tools to implement it.
If your whole team is remote first, the startup culture cannot be built on a fancy furnished office or table tennis games. For a startup, the work culture starts by writing down the company values, then finding ways to bring those values to life. For example, if one of your values is “learn by working”, you can offer your team free courses of your choice or create a monthly event where each team member shares their expertise on a specific topic/area.
“The last two years have helped us discover that the secret of change is to focus all our energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. The Stone Age did not end because people were left without stones. Innovation should stand at the core of our success! ”
– Federico Mattia, CEO and co-founder of BOOM, photo technology startup
To sum up: It is important to understand that remote work is not the same as work from the office; therefore it should not be treated or expected to function in the same way. Definitely, there are a lot of challenges to be faced, but with them come the benefits. We are all different. While one might be prone to working from the office every day, someone else might be more productive when working in the neighborhood café, in bed, or by the beach.
We strongly believe that:
- People should do the work they want.
- When people do the work they want, they are more productive.
- Productivity People = Successful Startup.
- The success of a Startup depends (also) on the information.
If after this post you ask your employee about his favorite movie, we kindly ask you to share his suggestion with us. Feedback on the above eGuides is more than welcome.
Wishing you a refreshing weekend!
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