Photo by Christian Bouvier
We admit when we read this headline, we scoffed a little. A few of us are almost positive we remember some “The 2010s are Going to be the Decade of Remote Work” thinkpieces, too, and fully distributed teams are still few and far between.
We’ve been advocating for it since the decade began; in fact BiTE has been a fully remote company since we opened our (figurative) doors 11 years ago. We’re so passionate about it it’s always baffled us that more companies don’t follow suit.
Why do we love it? Because breaking down the boundaries a physical office has allowed us to craft the best team from the biggest talent pool, and to ensure that they’re the happiest and most productive they can be.
(I, gentle reader, am typing this while sitting on my sofa. So…)
Rather than just selecting candidates from the talent pool in your area, you’re limited only by your willingness to get up at odd hours. Your team becomes that much more finely tuned to your needs, staffed with exactly the right people, unbounded by geography.
Remote workers are enormously productive. While remote employees have to be careful to create their own boundaries between work time and personal time (I, gentle reader, will probably unwisely check my Slack messages at 3 AM. So…), the autonomy remote work allows gives people an opportunity to feel in control.
And to flourish.
Interestingly, while tech companies were the pioneers of remote work (if we do say so ourselves), investors were often hesitant to back remote teams, fearing that a lack of transparency and team governance would lead to problems.
But with tools like Slack that keep everyone on the same page without a lot of stressful micromanaging, and a generally better understanding of how people work when they are allowed the freedom to determine the course of their own day, investors have warmed up to the idea.
Now everyone from the stealthiest disruptive startup to the biggest multinational is allowing at least some remote work, and 70% of the global workforce does so from home at least one day a week.
And that number is steadily growing.
So maybe this is the year, or at least the decade. The thinkpieces have gone from lists of hopeful statistics to forceful manifestos of worker freedom:
“Make no mistake, remote work is exploding to prominence right now. We are living through the inflection point today. Shortly, workers will realize their power and influence to demand remote work. I actually think I’m being pessimistic when I state that remote work will be the dominant form of work within a decade. If the right tools exist it will be more like 5 years.”
And if we weren’t so incredibly comfortable, we’d stand up and cheer.