At UpWave, we love our home city of Oslo, Norway, with its abundance of black metal, hydroelectric power and herring. However, we’re building a remote team of people based around the world to make UpWave the best product it can be — and we’re going to tell you why.
1. You get to hire the best people
Oslo’s great, you guys! But we also know that plenty of other talented people are equally in love with their home cities — and we’d still love to be able to work with them. Operating as a remote team means you’re not restricted to hiring talent that lives near your office. Instead, the world is — quite literally — your oyster. We’re not alone in our thinking — companies like Automattic (the people behind WordPress) and Buffer are also big believers in the power of remote teams.
Yes, you’ll need to consider time differences and ensure that your team has at least a few hours’ overlap each day, but the talent pool suddenly becomes a lot bigger, making it much easier to find the perfect candidate for a role. And as your team spans new continents, it’ll naturally be filled with more diverse personalities, cultures, and ways of doing things.
2. Your team communicates better
One concern people have with remote working is that with the absence of face-to-face connection, communication will be thrown out the window. However, the research suggests exactly the opposite.
Restricted to written communication (instant messaging, email, etc.) and bursts of face-to-face (Skype), teams tend to regard their time as being precious, and therefore are more considered with how they talk to one another. The result is focused, purposeful communication.
3. Your employees are more engaged
Yep. One would think that the absence of those ‘water cooler interactions’ (side note: does anyone actually have a water cooler anymore?) would perhaps make the team feel isolated and disconnected. But again, that seems to not be the case.
Free from distraction, and with the flexibility to work how they please, team members respond well. The data suggest that not only are employees happier, but they’re more productive than their office-confined peers — and less likely to quit.
4. Your overheads are lower
With your team working out of cafés and living rooms around the world, you’ll save a tonne of money on renting office space. Better still, there’s no need to buy office furniture, and no expensive electricity bills.
5. It’s all about the work
Rather than fretting over whether someone arrived ten minutes late for work, spent half an hour playing Candy Crush on the sofa, or insists on wearing flip flops come rain or shine, the focus is entirely on the work. Stripped of all those external factors that come with working in-person, everything becomes about people’s output, instead of an obsession with presenteeism.