The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way businesses functioned in the world altogether. Employers realized the pros of remote hiring and working remotely. Conducting business operations no longer required the need of having offices or employees in the office but a systematic way of managing remote teams and ensuring asynchronous communication is carried out effectively.
A remote team gives an edge to employers by establishing a multinational presence and extending cost-effective growth opportunities. It also presents an opportunity of finding skilled talent with relevant experiences at competitive rates and saves on costs, operations, and overheads.
Pros of having a remote team
Major tech giants have experimented with the remote work model. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, most global companies have encouraged this work model temporarily or permanently. Guess Elon Musk is now a fan of remote work as quoted by Forbes and has acknowledged the cost-cutting benefits of remote work for profitability purposes. After thumbing his nose against ‘pretense working’ and initiating Twitter’s major layoffs, he has now shut down Seattle and Singapore offices for cost-cutting reasons like rent, cleaning, and security services asking the employees to work remotely.
But there are some companies that know the advantages of working remotely since their company’s inception. Let’s have a look at the top 5 companies making it to the list in 2023 that use the remote work model to the best of their company’s and employees’ interests, ensuring business continuity while using the best collaboration tools for the same.
The top advantage of having a remote team- is cost-savings on overheads and hiring
The first added advantage of having a remote team outside your company location is that it saves on overhead additional costs like infrastructure, office services and staff, energy bills, and travel allowances.
Also, hiring a local crop of candidates turns out to be an expensive affair in comparison to an internationally hired one. To expatiate on it, the average salary of a software engineer in the States will be around $122,611 p.a. In contrast, in India, it will be 2.5 to 3.5 times lower as compared to countries like US, Germany, and the UK.
- How Gitlab saves on overheads?
GitLab, a DevOps platform software company built for businesses understands the top pros of having a remote team right since its inception. When you google the world’s largest complete remote work company in the world, Gitlab, the first Ukranian unicorn tops the list. It has a strength of more than 3900 employees spread across 65 countries and a completely remote work policy. In fact, they go all out on an ‘all-remote’ work model by having no company-owned office spaces like headquarters or satellite offices anywhere in the world, saving on infrastructural costs and redirecting it to hiring great talent, and most importantly giving them the autonomy of working from anywhere.
Gitlab reached a valuation of more than $1 billion even post the Covid-19 pandemic by working remotely. GitLab has 85% employee retention which is higher than average. Gitlab invests more in hiring top-level executives capable of handling a remote team efficiently and also follows a DRI (Direct Responsible Individuals) approach to decision-making. Gitlab is an ideal example of offering flexibility to its employees and making the most of productivity to ensure business continuity.
- How do you manage a remote team?
As we highlighted above, having a remote team saves on costs like infrastructure and overheads but managing a remote team requires a great deal of online collaboration. There are a number of collaboration tools and platforms that can be used to manage a remote team. Let’s have a look at what Hubstaff uses.
- How Hubstaff uses collaboration tools for managing a remote team?
Hubstaff, the fast-growing start-up established in 2012 does this well with its time tracking and project management spaces solutions for managing a remote team. The company has created a workforce management software suite that offers time-tracking software, proof of work, payment roll and project management, and a remote talent finder to manage a remote team.
- Hubstaff on prioritizing productivity
Established in 2012, it has a 100% remote team. Hubstaff was born from the desire of the CEO, Dave Nevogt’s thirst for finding more meaning than being restricted to a cubicle, daily commuting obligations, and corporate life, Hubstaff believes in prioritizing freedom above all else. The company cuts off the employees’ obligation of daily commutes and travel and tries to help them be more productive by offering remote work. Strongly advocating a remote-first future ideology, Hubstaff believes in maintaining a healthy work-life balance for its employees and doesn’t encourage more than 40 hours of working per week.
So when it comes to managing and monitoring remote employees without depriving them of freedom and also minimizing the company’s carbon footprinting, Hubstaff does its job best.
- What do top talent professionals seek?
A survey conducted by OWL Labs in 2021 showcased that 1 out 3 Americans would quit their jobs if it didn’t offer a remote work option whereas Upwork showed 73% of employees would work remotely in all departments by 2028.
According to a survey conducted by Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index amongst 30000 professionals in 31 countries, two-fifth of the employees are contemplating leaving their employer for reasons like not enjoying the flexibility and are voicing out for hybrid working. The World Economic Forum stated 3% of the US workforce quit their hospitality and healthcare jobs in October 2021.
An Economist from Harvard Business School, Raj Choudhury, stated that top talent doesn’t just want hybrid work but work from anywhere. Hence, offering flexibility to employees goes a long way in achieving productivity and hopefully employee retention for employers.
- How does Kelly – The global talent specialty talent solutions provider address the concerns of top talent?
Kelly, the global workforce solutions ranked 5th among the top five companies promoting remote work jobs in 2023 and was one of the 7 employers to make it to the FlexJobs’ annual list since 2014. It has been making its way to the list of 100 best companies to watch out for remote jobs for a decade and what is the reason?
Kelly believes in ditching the script of old ways and takes pride in being a part of the elite group of companies that stays committed to providing flexible work arrangements. The Chief People Officer of Kelly, Amy Bouque quoted remote and hybrid work enhancing the ability to recruit top talent and contribute to a vibrant, productive workplace where unique work styles are supported.
Kelly goes all out in extending a comfortable work-from-home environment, weekly electronic pay, bonuses, incentives, paid time-off, and health insurance options. The Kelly Anywhere program, provides corporate employees the option to work from home on a part-time basis and also gives them the option to personalize their work-life design. Kelly was also ranked as the number 1 company for hybrid working and jobs in 2022. So when it comes to aligning the company’s remote work policies with what the top talent needs, Kelly knows how to do it.
- How Zapier emphasizes transparency and manages asynchronous communication?
From day one, Zapier has always been a distributed company of over 800 plus employees spread across 38 countries working in 18 plus different time zones adopting an asynchronous culture. Being a leader in no-code automation, Zapier is a great example of ensuring the work and data flows across 5000 apps and tech stacks regardless of IT infrastructure and support team. The highlight of their company model is transparency wherein everyone in the company has access to the financials. Just like Gitlab, Zapier believes in spending at hiring a global talent pool at competitive rates rather than expensive real estate, and remote perks at a fraction of the in-office perks.
Zapier strongly advocates 3 main ingredients to make working remotely work!
Firstly, hiring a trustworthy team that is efficient in working without a social workplace and great with written communication because the crux of working remotely is ensuring information is exchanged correctly. The second is using good tools for group chats and video conferencing like Slack which they consider as their Virtual Office, Async- an internet tool, GitHub for code-related project management, HelpScout, Coda, and more. And lastly building the right working remotely culture by conducting weekly hangouts, and feedback sessions, and encouraging accountability through Friday updates. The most interesting core value of Zapier is “Don’t be a robot, build the robot” emphasizing automating any kind of work that has to be done repetitively so that professionals can focus more on contributing meaningfully.
- Spotify leveraging the remote work model in minimizing attrition rate and hiring time.
Many businesses are going remote, but what makes Spotify’s remote work policy a win-win situation for both employer and the employee is a case study in itself. With an employee count of over 6500 professionals, Spotify introduced its WFA initiative spearheaded by its CEO Daniel Ek in February 2021 along with rebranding its salary banding policy to the country instead of city or region. This showcased improvement of 3 major key metrics – the drop in attrition rate by 15% in Q2 2022, the rise in female leadership roles to 42%, and a decrease in average time hiring to 12.5% from an average of 48 to 42 days. Spotify is now closely working with the Stockholm School of Economics to publish a case study on ‘Work from Anywhere’ which is expected to release in 2024. The purpose of this initiative is to become a fully remote company by 2025.
The remote work model works great for global businesses and employers
There is no doubt that hybrid work, popularly known as phygital these days and remote work will become the future. Whether the Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle bounces back or not, offering employees the opportunity to work from anywhere, hybrid working, or working remotely will ultimately benefit businesses around the world. Giving employees freedom, flexibility, and autonomy will in turn maximize productivity, employee retention, and ultimately business continuity.
We hope this read comes in handy when you as an SME businessperson are contemplating dedicating a section of your workforce to working remotely. Interested to know how an International PEO or EOR can come in handy for hiring these resources or cost-savings?