With the world becoming more accepting of remote work, living the coveted digital nomad lifestyle is now more achievable and feasible than ever. Remote work has shifted from being a mere ideal to a practical necessity for some workers. The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to be creative; as offices around the globe closed down, companies have learned to balance people’s health and safety while keeping their business afloat.
With a cultural shift to remote work already happening prior to the pandemic, it was inevitable that “remote-first” solutions underwent a swift increase in development and implementation by companies.
But what exactly do we mean by “remote-first”?
There are two major aspects to remote first work. First there’s asynchronous and digital communication, and secondly location doesn’t matter but available time frames do. As a consequence of having less in person managerial oversight, this means that there is less focus on attendance or hours worked and a greater emphasis on results and outputs. Although this isn’t always the case as some companies choose to use management software that tracks everything a worker does on their work computers and sends reports to managers.
As an organizational strategy, it puts emphasis on making work as flexible and decentralized as possible. Location-wise, this means that workers are no longer compelled to work within the physically confines of an office. While there is often more flexibility to people’s work schedules, many companies still have regularly scheduled meetings and work hours as well.
So, what specifically are the benefits if a company adopts a remote-first culture and solutions?
Allowing employees to work-from-home or work wherever they want means that businesses no longer have the expense of maintaining or renting an office space. Without a large physical office to maintain, companies and organizations can reduce if not completely erase their real estate footprints. The savings that remote-first solutions allow is massive as the cost of commercial property can be absurdly expensive, especially in major cities. Having employees also work remotely would help decrease overhead expenses associated with utilities, food, cleaning services, and property taxes. Many companies also choose to downsize by removing individual work stations and instead rent out a smaller space for collaborative team meetings and customer meetings, as well as maintaining a business address for mail.
A Stanford study conducted in 2015 found that employees who get to work from home were more productive and enjoyed a 13% increase in work performance. This seems counterintuitive given that it’s reasonable to think that less supervision would lead workers to slacking off. However, the data contradicts this. Moreover, another study revealed that a vast majority of people prefer working outside the office to accomplish critical tasks.
Remote-first companies and organizations also focus less on man hours and instead measure productivity through actual output. As a result, they monitor and supervise less, providing more autonomy to workers making them feel more trusted.
Remote-first companies gain access to industry-leading talents who may not be available within the city or state where they operate. Great workers are available globally, and companies and organizations with remote-first solutions can take advantage of this. Companies no longer are restricted to hiring talent in their geographic region, or have to worry about moving new hires closer to the company, so they’re able to focus on choosing candidates that are best suited to the job.
Moreover, companies that widen their search pool for candidates will tilt the supply of available talent in their favor which allows them to possibly save on relocation costs, or higher salaries brought about by labor shortages in their area.
Remote workers are able to save on expenses relating to transportation. Cooking at home is also now an option for them which is cheaper than buying meals or eating fast food. For workers who lease space to be near the office, they now have the option to move back home in order to save on expensive rental costs in major metropolitan areas.
Aside from these financial advantages, the morale boost that workers get from feeling that the company trusts them by providing them autonomy is invaluable.
Companies who hire remote workers and build global teams are able to provide better opportunities to a greater number of people. This democratizes wealth and opportunities, especially for talents and workers in developing countries. This also gives more opportunities to parents, immunocompromised and individuals on disability, as well as part-time workers who may not have the time or access to long commutes.
Upstock provides a remote-first solution for companies that want to build global teams and develop true worker-company alignment. We do this by enabling companies to issue equity in a matter of minutes and at a fraction of their normal cost.
Our equity plans have been vetted by experts in various jurisdictions making them viable in 70+ countries. Upstock also makes use of electronic contracts that can be signed by workers remotely. Our dynamic dashboards allow workers to track and log their own time, simplifying payroll as well as letting worker’s track their monthly progress of required time or assigned tasks. We believe that the use of intrusive time tracking software does not facilitate company trust or alignment between a worker and the company’s objective. Now workers can share in corporate wealth wherever they may be!
All of these features make Upstock a great remote-first tool that companies can use to create a more inclusive and equitable world through meaningful worker-ownership.