Pool tables and beer on tap are out – remote work is in!
While free snacks and a tricked-out office were once enough to attract a top employees, the workplace landscape has taken a turn. The rollercoaster of the last few years has forced employees and employers alike to evaluate their priorities and goals in life.
Superficial frills and perks of having a ‘cool office’ have officially become a thing of workplaces past. But how are successful companies attracting top-tier talent today?
Most of them have one thing in common – they offer remote work.
So how can your organization join the ranks of the best remote work companies? Here are some key things companies are doing to successfully transition into fully-remote teams.
Remember when everyone was sent to work from home for “two weeks” back in 2020? For most companies, two weeks turned into a year, and a year turned into two. Many companies have abandoned the notion of returning to the office altogether in favor of going remote-first.
Remote work is undeniably one of the top trends for companies in 2022. More and more companies are saying goodbye to commuting for good and embracing a culture of remote work.
Some organizations, like Shopify, adopted their remote work policies early on in the pandemic. But many more eventually realized that the vast majority of roles and functions could be equally as effective in a remote work environment. Major companies like Twilio, and so many more, have made the shift in the last couple of years.
That’s not to say remote work is a novelty that will wear off in a few years. Look at companies like Groove that have been fully remote for over seven years. They’ve experienced first-hand the long-term benefits of remote work including access to better talent, work-life balance, and lower overhead costs.
No more offices or even home offices.
Instead of just allowing for WFH, some companies have taken remote work to the next level. How? They’ve opened the door for their teams to work from anywhere. Instead of sitting in an office due to FOMO, the work from anywhere approach means your employees can travel the world while still making a meaningful contribution to the organization.
Want to take a meeting while eating a croissant in Paris? No problem! Code on the beach? Go for it!
This flexibility empowers teams to work wherever they feel the most productive (and helps them maintain a work/life balance that works for them).
The latest company to join the remote work party? AirBnB recently announced that their entire workforce will be allowed to work remotely – and not just remotely, but anywhere in the world. They’ve also made plans to accommodate permanent moves to different locations without any impact on compensation while increasing salaries for those in lower pay tier locations.
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Creating flexible work policies
Policies around flexible work are continuing to attract talent. While remote work is important, employees are looking for workplaces that offer the flexibility to support their unique lifestyle. This includes everything from where they work to how and when they work.
Policies such as flexible work hours level the playing field for employees. They make it possible for the early bird, the night owl, and anyone in between to create a workweek where they can thrive.
More importantly, remote teams that stretch across different time zones require policies that are flexible, in order for them to be effective and inclusive. For example, requiring all teams to work 9-5 EST probably wouldn’t work for anyone in Europe. But having everyone working 9-5 in their own timezones might mean very few hours for collaboration.
This doesn’t mean a complete free-for-all either! Use calendars and schedules that work well for your organization. For example, AirBnB has built a calendar around specific product releases to help create alignment across the business. Other companies have been known to block teams by time zones or to select a few core hours to help improve coordination across teams.
Regardless of what their policies are, the best remote work companies offer flexibility to help support and empower their teams.
Remote-first ways of working
Being remote-first clearly has its benefits, but it’s not quite the same as simply “working remotely”. Building a truly remote-first team requires the entire company to have policies and infrastructure that allow people to work their best from home.
Some ways that companies have adapted to being truly remote-first include:
- Streamlining communication – This includes communication channels like Slack (another remote-first company) or Venue to facilitate communication across the organization.
- Creating effective remote-first policies – Remote companies need effective remote-first policies that are inclusive but also set guidelines and expectations for the business.
- Fostering remote company culture – Remote-first teams need a bit more love and care when it comes to culture and relationship building. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it takes a bit more effort. This can mean hosting regular virtual events on Venue or bringing the team together in person from time to time.
The best companies are remote
It’s clear that remote work is no longer a perk but a priority. While cold brew and Mario Kart are nice-to-haves, it’s simply not the focus anymore. Employees are overwhelmingly turning away from traditional workplaces in favor of remote companies.
Companies that have embraced this transition will have an easier time hiring and retaining the best teams. By taking a page out of the remote-work book from leading companies in the space, it’s still possible for your organization to level up to become one of the best.