Here Come the Frogs (Fully Remote Organizations)

Fully remote organizations, or Frogs, are quickly emerging across all categories of knowledge work. From software to social impact and fashion to financial services and everything in between, these Frogs are popping up and winning the talent war against the incumbents. With that advantage alone, they are growing much more rapidly and will soon dominate the marketplace.

What is a Frog?

Frogs (Fully Remote Organizations) are a new type of organization that, like frogs, were not born on land, but instead in a more fluid digital environment. As people found each other online and started creating together digitally, they just kept building and growing their organizations the way that they always had — online.

Rise of Remote Work

80% to 90% of the US workforce would like to work remotely at least part time. In one sense, this is a pretty shocking statistic, but anecdotally, it totally makes sense that workers want the freedom and flexibility to work when, where and how they want. Honestly, who LIKES having to commute into an office so that their boss can see that they are actually working, or bear the constant interruptions of ‘popular’ open office plans? Workers are demanding remote options and either forcing legacy companies to adopt remote working policies or voting with their feet by taking new jobs that have that flexibility. This has taken what used to be a fringe behavior into the mainstream. 70 percent of professionals now work remotely at least one day a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half of the week.

Advantages of being a Frog

Increasingly, the way to win in business is having the best people on your team. Google is famous for their in-office perks and lavish salaries that have allowed them to assemble the best team in the world, which in turn means they have the best products and services in the world. Google and the other big tech companies now have huge amounts of resources to invest in even higher salaries and perks, making it basically impossible for new companies to compete with them for talent within 200 miles of Silicon Valley.

InVision In Real Life (IRL) 2018 (Hollywood, CA)
Buffer teammates working together in person (one of the few times each year they’re together IRL)
“Automatticians Work from Anywhere”
Product Hunt team map

Traditional companies transitioning to hybrid

Since most companies were started before this model was even possible, the majority of remote work is still done at traditional companies who are migrating to a hybrid model. While it seems like this is working very well for many companies, including Amazon, Dell, Salesforce, SAP, Wells Fargo and more, who are aggressively hiring remote workers, it is still a challenge to do well. Making a hybrid remote culture work requires real buy-in across the organization, including from the top. Reworking policies and norms within the company to support remote co-workers means rethinking how communication is done across the board. If meetings are still in conference rooms and the remote team is just a face on the wall, or worse, a voice on a speaker in the middle of the table, it is very hard for them to participate on equal footing as the rest of the meeting participants.

Over 100 known Frogs

We found over 100 Frogs, but there are definitely more out there. If you know of any that weren’t included, please let us know! As more and more companies adopt this structure and realize the benefits in hiring, retention, diversity and cost savings, they will grow faster than their peers and become the largest, most powerful organizations in the world.

Founder @RemoteYear. Hydration Specialist. Dreamer.

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