Startup Growth Via Remote Working

What do you do when one of your best team members from the tech team suddenly needs to return to their home country? It’s an unavoidable situation like… a family crisis. Do you simply let them go and hope you’ll find someone to replace them? Or do you offer them remote work to minimize disruption by putting into place a remote working arrangement? Many start-ups are opting for the latter. 

There is a good reason to implement more remote working: reduced turnover. The State of Remote Work recently showed that companies that support remote work often observe a 25% lower employee turnover when compared to companies that don’t. Interestingly, most of the companies using the remote working approach are startups. In the same state of remote work approach, the report found that smaller companies were twice as likely to hire remote workers than large companies.

Also, recent data done by Upwork shows that up to 63 percent of companies in the United States allow some form of remote work. Of course, when assessing their level of development, innovative tendencies, and hiring demands, it is relatively easier for startups to adapt to the cultural shift and work ways to facilitate smooth remote working. Another interesting point to note is that by allowing its workers to work-from-home or a preferred location, the startup also enjoys a number of other benefits of remote working. 

Firstly, allowing remote working expands the startup talent pool. An important responsibility for startups is finding the best team member for the job. Hiring can be a long and costly process: hiring remotely can avoid that. Moreover, the reduced costs of remote enabling technology, cheaper flights and the normalcy of such practices have made them increasingly popular. Start-ups have found that by allowing such a small ‘concession’ they can keep a team intact and keep a valuable employee motivated. Although, it is important to note that the more the work the team handles remotely, the better the relationship between members and the overall efficiency of the team. For instance, Hotjar; a growing start-up in the tech space, allows her workers to work remotely. However, the organization also hosts physical retreats and meetups to further improve relationships between members.

Allowing staff to work remotely has also been shown to build employer-employee trust. By allowing an employee work from a remote location, the employer is placing the employee on a higher level of trust than he normally would if such an employee had to do the job strictly under the close supervision of the employer. Building trust early enough is important to improving the productivity of the establishment early enough.  Trust is very important in organizations, a study on the psychological contract of trust revealed that; “Trust in organization strategies and top‐management direction is the critical component in creating a commitment towards a common goal.” The study also argued that senior managers should place a high value on trust and be able to communicate this value to everyone. This is even more important in remote working. 

Apart from all this, allowing remote working enables Startups to be able to achieve some level of flexibility in the course of their work. The State of Remote Work report showed that about 51% of remote workers chose to work remotely to achieve good work-life balance. This balance can be a big deal for startups. Remote working helps this life-work balance in workers with the ultimate goal of improving overall productivity.

Lastly, could repatriative remote working could prove useful for other reasons? From a talent perspective, they could open the company up to new pockets of skilled workers, especially if the company is able to tap into the wider network of that newly remote team member. The remote team member’s new location might be another new market to enter or highlight a previously unnoticed market. Companies shouldn’t be afraid to seek gains beyond the obvious and look for other benefits.

 

About the Author
Anna Pierz