With advancements in collaboration tools and technologies, it’s now easier than ever to become a remote entrepreneur. While many entrepreneurs have been forced to take their companies fully remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic, startups have the added advantage of being technically savvy and innovative, making them even more suited to be run remotely.
It’s commonly held that traditional in-person environments foster stronger connections, promote creativity and establish a clear company culture. True or not, it is becoming increasingly clear that these objectives can be achieved to an even greater extent with a remote team.
I founded a remote app/web development agency 12 years ago and have a team of 60 plus employees around the globe. The advantages I’ve experienced managing my remote-based agency led me to take this business model to my next company. In 2018, I founded my next startup, Sparrow, based on this remote-work structure.
With today’s climate due to the pandemic, companies have no choice but to embrace working remotely. Despite being forced in this direction, the businesses whose teams can adapt and embrace these changes may actually find they are experiencing unexpected benefits.
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So, what are the benefits of running a business remotely? Here are the top three:
Increased employee productivity
Working from home can result in increased employee productivity. The time and energy traditionally spent commuting can now be repurposed, and employees can increase their workday output. In the traditional commute to the office dynamic, your team members don’t actually begin their work until they have gotten ready to leave their home, commuted to the office and then settled into their workspace. An employee working remotely, however, can use this valuable commute time to start work earlier, be much more prepared to tackle the day, and generally gain an edge on productivity.
As an added benefit, a remote company is better suited to offer flexible work hours because of the remote-based infrastructure. Working with flexible hours means employees can contribute at their peak hours for higher performance. To foster connectivity, team building and communication can be upheld through virtual meetings. These meetings offer company transparency and allow employees to see how their work contributes to the overall agenda. For example, at Sparrow, we capitalize on having open communication and choose to incorporate daily milestones to boost motivation.
Unlimited talent pool for recruitment
Being able to hire talent worldwide gives your business an edge. Without geographical boundaries, your company can recruit the strongest candidates to build your team and move your business forward. The variety of ideas and cultures shared within a national and/or global company opens the door for increased innovation and creativity.
Sparrow has benefited greatly from this unlimited remote talent pool. As an innovative company on the forefront of advanced AI technology, it was essential that we had a highly qualified technical co-founder. We launched an expanded search for talent and found that the best fit for our team was in North Carolina. If we weren’t a remote company, finding a location-specific candidate would have made our quest for a developer much more difficult—with nowhere near the results.
Higher employee satisfaction and retention
Remote workers have more autonomy and flexibility, which are important benefits that are attractive to employees. Additionally, high stress levels are often present in office environments, in which little privacy and frequent engagement often leaves very few opportunities for employees to recharge.
Working remotely gives your team the ability to destress in their own unique way, which is pivotal to mental health. Our technical co-founder at Sparrow is a trained pilot and has been known to go flying during his lunch break!
When discussing the upsides of a remotely run company, many entrepreneurs highlight the benefit of lowered business expenses. While, yes, this is a benefit, it has never been a motivating factor in my decision to have a remote team. I find that it’s important to allocate these saved resources to company team building events and activities. At Sparrow, we have annual in-person team experiences that host employees at a set location. These physical events are an important part of building a successful company culture.
The remote workplace is not a passing craze or fallback option to reduce costs. With proper planning and communication, a remote team is not only practical, it’s also an advantageous option for growing a new business.
With employees able to manage their work and home lives more efficiently, satisfaction levels dramatically increase. Furthermore, recruiting the ideal employee becomes easier and less restricted without location requirements. Overall, remote businesses will see an increase in productivity and success. With strong benefits for business owners and team members alike, remote work is here to stay.