How to Become a Remote-First Company

Is your company a "remote-first" company? Most companies in the world

work remotely, so one might assume that most companies are indeed

are remote-first. However, this is not the case. Working remotely for a limited period of time is something

different than a remote-first company. Shifting to a remote-first mentality

means taking a new approach.

The concept of telecommuting isn't just a result of the global pandemic - even before that,

companies were experimenting with borderless talent acquisition strategies and hiring

"work from anywhere" hiring policies. But it wasn't all perfect. As companies

began hiring globally, their international teams didn't always feel

in sync with their local employees.

According to the Harvard Business Review, "Employees who are geographically separated ,

can't easily connect and align with each other. The challenge for

business leaders is to solve this problem and create an environment in which

collaboration and connectivity are possible, even when they are physically remote.

This is where the concept of remote-first comes into play. A company that has a "remote-first"

mentality can significantly increase its engagement and productivity.

What is a "remote-first" company?

In a "remote-first" company, remote work is the norm. This doesn't necessarily mean,

that all employees work remotely, but rather that all activities are tailored to remote communication.

Communication from a distance.

In a remote-first company, employees at different locations are given the same

same priority as employees at headquarters. Companies that do not consider remote work

as the norm are referred to as remote work-friendly or remote work-affiliated companies.

referred to as.

Why are remote-work-friendly and remote-work-affinity companies not the same as

"remote-first" companies?

Remote work-friendly or remote work affinity companies may have

remote workers, but have yet to adjust their remote worker practices.


According to remote-first company Doist, "Remote-ish teams face even greater

challenges in terms of communication and collaboration than fully remote

working teams. In these hybrid teams, information is isolated in the office while

remote employees are left in the dark. This can lead to office employees being

more valued than remote employees.

For example, if your company allows employees to work from home,

but requires that all meetings take place in the office and everyone sits in the same room, you are not creating a

You are not leveling the playing field.

In this case, the local employees who want to work from home are

to come into the office, and the global remote teams may have to give up their

may have to give up their free time.

Remote enterprises work primarily with synchronous communications. This type of

communication favors those directly in front of you, which means most of the

decisions are made at headquarters, where employees interact face-to-face.

In distance-friendly and distance-oriented companies:

All management takes place at headquarters.

Synchronous communication is the most commonly practiced form of communication.

Work in the office is considered important work.

Critical decisions are made in formal and informal face-to-face interactions.

are made.

All meetings occur during headquarters office hours.

Performance is directly tied to office hours.


In remote-first companies:

- Management works remotely and from anywhere in the world.

- Asynchronous communication is preferred.

- All work can be done remotely, including important


- Critical decisions are made remotely.

- Face-to-face meetings are limited and recorded for all time zones.


- Performance is measured by results, not time spent in the office or online.

time spent.


What are the benefits of going remote first?

a.) Lower costs

When you develop a remote-first culture, you can reduce local costs such as office rent, the

Costs incurred by employees commuting and living near the office,

and even reduce or eliminate salaries.

Surveys by Global Workplace Analytics have found that 80 percent of employees would like to

would like to work from home at times. More than one-third would take a pay cut for this opportunity.

Take a pay cut for this option. The same survey found that a typical employer would be willing to pay for any

person who works from home half the time could save about $11,000 a year in


b.) Increase employee retention and engagement.

A remote-first approach can foster a more inclusive work environment that makes all employees

feel like they are an integral part of your organization, regardless of where they


Doist boasts a 97 percent employee retention rate, with 50 percent of employees having

have been with the company for more than four years. This is not just a result of the pandemic. In

2016, Stack Overflow conducted a company-wide survey that revealed that

88 percent of remote employees were highly engaged.

A remote-first approach is also an opportunity to reinvent many of the dynamics that were previously

were burdensome for employees. By adopting a remote-first culture, your

Company can also increase employee engagement. According to Forbes, "major

milestones in the employee experience, such as onboarding or getting to know your immediate

team, were largely taken for granted in the past."

There was a perception that "getting to know the team equals proximity

is." Today, companies are taking a much more deliberate and creative approach to the employee experience


c.) A larger talent pool

If your company is designed so that employees can work from anywhere,

you can hire from anywhere. Forget about only being able to select from local candidates.

Now you can find the best candidates worldwide.

d.) Better performance and higher productivity

Remote workers have been shown to be more productive than their office-based counterparts. If you

worried that your company's productivity will be impacted by a fully decentralized

workforce, this is not the case.

A survey conducted by Airtasker in 2020 found that remote workers spend 15 percent

spend less time at work and 1.4 more days per month working and taking more breaks.

take. The same survey also found that remote workers are less likely to be distracted by colleagues

Are distracted. On average, remote workers spend about 30 minutes less discussing

about non-work related topics.

e.) Higher potential and greater adaptability

We don't need to go into the future to know that remote-first companies have a

greater adaptability than companies without remote employees or remote-like

companies. All we need to do is look at how remote-first companies have

have been able to adapt during and after 2020.

For remote-first companies, the pandemic has proven that they are ahead of the game. If

all company processes are designed to work remotely, employees are automatically

automatically prepared for any eventuality.

In addition, a remote-first company helps its employees build relationships with colleagues across the

across the country and even around the world. This adaptability to new

situations has a significant impact on your company's potential.

f.) Opportunities to enter new markets

As we mentioned earlier, a remote-first culture promotes adaptability. Part

of that adaptability is that you and your employees learn to work with anyone

work with anyone, whether they are across town or on the other side of the world.

other side of the world.

When companies tie their functions to a physical office, it's easier to see global

expansion as a major challenge. If your company is focused on an office,

your employees may be stuck in the mindset that it's necessary to have an office everywhere

World to have an office.

By learning to work remotely, you can ensure that when you hire a global

team, you can hit the ground running regardless of distance.


How to go from a company that doesn't work remotely to one that does,

that works remotely first

1. create a remote working policy

If you want to become a remote work-first company, the first thing you need to do is create a

Establish a remote work policy.

What is a remote work policy?

A remote work policy is a set of guidelines for employees who work from home or in

Locations other than the office.

Creating a policy allows you to take a clear position on issues such as:

You can only become a remote-first company if your employees have a

Clear understanding of how your company handles remote work.


2. create a communication policy

Communication is the foundation for every other action in your company. The main benefit

of a communication policy is setting expectations; other benefits include:

Reducing conflict and misunderstanding.

Fostering a culture of communication.

Explain your mission and vision.

Help employees understand how they can contribute.

Communication is critical to remote work because it helps your organization

helps build trust and credibility.

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of communication that companies practice:

synchronous and asynchronous communication. Companies that work remotely first,

use asynchronous communication, while companies that work remotely are more likely to use

use synchronous communication.

What is asynchronous communication?

According to Doist, "Simply put, asynchronous communication means sending a message ,

without expecting an immediate response. In contrast, synchronous communication is when you

send a message and the recipient processes the information and responds immediately."


3. Improve the hiring experience and onboarding.

It's no secret that first impressions are crucial. No matter how much effort you

with a great company culture, if your potential and new

employees have a bad experience, they will feel less motivated and less engaged.


According to remote-first company SafeGraph, here are five reasons why a strong onboarding

Process is essential:

It's important to personalize each new employee's experience so they feel part of the

Team and improve morale.

Build camaraderie to help new employees build relationships.

Employee retention can be greatly improved by a good onboarding experience.

Employees who have a good onboarding experience are able to start their jobs faster and with a

higher productivity.

The onboarding process is a great opportunity to introduce new employees to the company culture

and to lead by example.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), companies with poor

onboarding processes only prepare employees for early departure.

Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal of Los Angeles-based consulting firm The Interchange Group,

tells SHRM, "Onboarding is the magical moment when new employees decide

decide whether or not to engage."


4. Let your headquarters be mobile

One obstacle to becoming a "remote-first" company is ensuring that you

Don't make your remote teams a second leg to your headquarters. If your on-site employees

work differently than your remote employees, you will continue to be a

remain a remote-only company.

In a true remote-first environment, your local employees work the same way as

Your remote employees. This means that your local employees, whether they work from

from home or in the office, can participate in meetings virtually to create a more

more consistent remote culture.


5. Promote cross-cultural communication

Hiring global employees is no longer tied to international expansion. Your

company can have remote global teams that work with your local market.

collaborate. As mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of a "remote-first" culture is to

Improving your team's adaptability and performance.

In this sense, asynchronous communication offers excellent benefits for working with

global remote teams. This approach makes it easier for all employees to contribute,

without having to connect and work in real time.

Why should you choose asynchronous communication if you want to communicate globally

want to communicate?

If your headquarters are in New York, but you have a global team in the Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific, synchronous communication forces your employees on the other side of the world to bend over

to bend over backwards to connect and catch up.

Asynchronous communication is better suited for remote teams. With this type of communication

can be conducted via platforms where materials are available to employees at all times.

available to employees at any time.

In the case of meetings, it is difficult to find a time that is convenient for all participants.

convenient. However, meetings can be recorded and uploaded to the cloud so that

international employees can watch them on their own time.

To communicate globally, companies must learn to avoid the pitfalls associated with the

international stage. This can be achieved by finding the right tools

and partners to hire employees globally.

How to become a remote-first company while expanding globally

In order to become and remain a "remote-first" company while expanding globally

expand, companies must break down the barriers of global communication.

To become and remain a "remote-first" company while expanding globally, companies must break down the barriers to global communication.

expand, companies must break down the barriers of global communication.

The good news is that companies today have several online tools that enable

asynchronous communication and allow remote global teams to stay in sync with local teams.

teams to stay in sync.