Many people are not so familiar yet with remote-first companies. When they hear about working remote, they think about traditional companies that have Work From Home Policies in place. And for many, this (occasionally) working from home is merely considered a perk for employees, rather than something that benefits the company.
But actually, setting up a remote working culture is not just an employee perk, but a smart business strategy, and remote teams are often more successful than office-based teams.
Remote-first as the logical choice
Since the last decade or so, some tech start-ups understood (or learned the hard way) that setting up a remote-first company was essential for them to make it.
These startups sometimes just started off as a remote side project that turned into a proper company, or they saw themselves having to deal with distributed teams across the world because of strategic reasons.
For many, forced by having little resources and a need for quick on-boarding of smart people from around the world, setting up remote-first became the logical choice.
After that, with success derived from the advantages and with efficient remote working culture in place, transitioning to a more office based culture would have been a step back. These companies, even after growing into scale-ups and more mature companies, decided to keep working with remote teams around the world, thus creating the first bigger companies where people collaborate online only.
Remote-first is not the same as a work from home policy
Running a remote team is not just introducing a Work from Home Policy when your default culture, people processes, and management style reflect a traditional office setting and the remote workers are defiant.
Instead, remote-first companies have adapted to creating an environment where online collaboration is the default way of working.
At this moment, you can find different variations in working, from full office based to having fully distributed, nomadic teams.
The more you move more into the right side of the spectrum, the more you will need to make fundamental changes in your company compared to the traditional office-based organizations.
To become a remote-first company requires a different approach to many aspects of your organization, adjusting all your processes, communication, management and culture to what is needed to become a remote-first company.
Remote-first, the model of the future.
There are more and more companies that are creating remote-first or remote-friendly organizations. At Hello Monday Club we strongly believe that remote-first is the organization model of the future – even for companies that have physical offices.
Since online collaboration in bigger teams is fairly new, and many of us have a default “office mindset”, it is important to learn from the pioneers of the remote, fully distributed teams, the ones who created remote-first cultures on the go and grew their teams worldwide distributed.
We need to look at the ones who learned by making mistakes and finding out what works best. Often young, and not hindered by a lot of corporate experience, they embraced the remote-first paradigm AND they figured out all the practicalities to work remotely, successfully. In this article, you can find out how Toptal built their culture in a remote-first company.