Here’s What Startups Should Do before Going Remote

Here’s What Startups Should Do before Going Remote

The boom of remote working has made more people aspire to work in a company that supports work-life balance. 65 percent of FlexJobs survey respondents reported wanting to be full-time remote employees post-pandemic, and 31 percent wanted a hybrid remote work environment. 

When asked the reason why they prefer remote jobs, 27 percent of workers said that the ability to work from home is important to them and that they are willing to take a 10 percent to 20 percent pay cut to work remotely. Meanwhile, 3 in 4 workers (81 percent) said they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options. 

As for businesses, allowing remote working could increase job satisfaction and productivity among employees. FlexJobs noted that nearly all employees cited an increase in productivity when they are allowed to work remotely; whereas more than 50 percent of respondents reported being more productive when working remotely. Telecommuting also affects satisfaction, with remote employees are more likely to report being satisfied with their jobs than office-based workers by 75 percent vs. 50 percent respectively. 

All in all, those working from home reported more positive sentiments on almost every question related to job satisfaction and productivity. 

See also: Why Should You Join Startup Communities? 

Remote vs. inhouse 

There are various benefits of offering remote job options, especially for early founding startups. For example, going remote can save the budget of renting workspaces and related technical costs. This way, leaders can allocate the budget to other business areas. No wonder, startups have now widely adopted remote work arrangements to ensure their worker’s productivity is up to par and to compete with well-established companies. 

However, different from mature companies, startups are seen as more fragile in terms of many aspects, such as team management, money management, and business operation. As a startup founder, you might also worry that things will not run as smoothly as when your entire team works together under one roof. In fact, physical workspaces could offer many benefits in terms of work connection and collaboration in which early startups need the most. 

Workspaces could spark better work collaboration among teams and this value is crucial when handling difficult tasks. Workspaces also prompt people to keep moving during the day due to inherent layout, from desk to conference room to kitchen to desk to phone booth or coffee shop down the street. This could result in better health and productivity for some workers. 

What to consider when a startup goes remote? 

A dilemma between providing remote and in-house workspaces is common for startup founders. But you should not let this issue consume your mind, because other important tasks are awaiting. Although in-house workspaces could spark better collaboration among the team, remote options accompanied with the right tools and strategy can also yield much more advantageous outcomes. 

As you carefully weigh whether remote work will work for your startup, here are some considerations you should keep in mind. 

  • Set the right tools for remote collaboration and ensure your team has enough resources to do their jobs. If you are ready to go full remote, you should consider how much the company is able to support employees and whether their additional demands will add to higher budgets. For example, you might need to spend money to buy laptops and desktops for your remote team or compensate them for required internet upgrades. You should also use the right tools for remote work to ensure collaboration and productivity. There are plenty of free tools you can try as a startup, but you might need to upgrade them as the team grows. Some of the free tools include Skype, Trello, Asana, Slack, Canva, Hootsuite, Google Hangouts, Yammer, and many more. 
  • Set a time for communication with your team. As an early startup founder, you might be busy with everything, but you should spare some time and schedule a one-month meeting or weekly meeting to talk with your team to share updates or motivation. 
  • Be ready for miscommunication. The bigger the team, the more you might have to deal with issues like miscommunication. So consider the size of your team before you create any remote setup policies to ensure your startup still operates like a well-oiled machine. 
  • Be mindful of the customers. Just like your team, customers are a vital part of a startup to grow. They are the ones who will consume your products or services. Thus before moving to a remote setup, you should be mindful of how the working arrangement affects your ability to serve customers. As an instance, if your business model requires in-person customer-facing teams, then those teams might not be able to work remotely. But if your startup focuses on products over services, you might have the capacity to work remotely. 
  • Grow trust and teamwork before anything else. The level of trust your employees have in you and your business affect their work motivation and productivity greatly. If your team lacks communication and collaboration skills, that might prove to be a big factor against going remote. But you can always improve communication and collaboration over time which eventually allow trust in your employees to grow. 

There is no right or wrong in going remote. As long as you adopt the right tools for your businesses and ensure collaboration and communication are always your priority, any workspaces can work for you and your team. What’s more important is that you should make sure that your team’s expectations are met while also weighing importance in your business’ goals. 

Read also: How to Prioritise Social Responsibility in Your Developing Startup