The global COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on the business world in ways that have affected it permanently. What once felt experimental has become conventional as employees round the world have accustomed themselves to seeing their colleagues on screen rather than in person.
From the tech hubs at Silicon Valley to the tightly packed Square Mile in the City of London, offices have been looking emptier by the month. The post pandemic business world has become a very different landscape and start-ups are successfully capitalizing on these seismic changes.
But is remote work really the new normal and is it here to stay? Read on for a startup perspective on why remote is undoubtedly the future.
The Benefits Of Remote Work From A Startup Perspective
Young enterprises that are in their early stages are seeing some excellent benefits from a more worker-friendly model. Even if the workplace transformation was out of need initially, the pivot to decentralised work setups has unearthed many new possibilities. As such, full-time in-office employment is becoming the exception rather than the rule, with employees opting for hybrid or remote contracts in their droves.
By adopting a startup mindset in the approach to remote work, businesses are realising an excellent range of benefits that positively impact performance as you’ll discover below.
Striking a healthy work-life balance is beneficial to both personal and professional life. Since working for a startup is already known to come with a lot of pressure, maintaining some stability is key to relieving some of the stress. An increasingly tech savvy workforce has made the transition to off-site work easier and this has led to better job satisfaction.
Satisfied employees are ‘more present’ when they’re on the job, allowing them to maximise productivity and boost the company’s bottom line. They also stay with company’s longer, which helps to increases retention and develops the type of continuity that’s so important to startup success.
A Wider Pool Of Talent
As the demand for remote and hybrid working setups continues to soar, the talent pool is now as large as the planet and as wide as time zones. There’s no longer a need to limit talent searches to the local vicinity. The best candidates for the job could be further afield and there’s now every chance to bring them on board.
With the startup failure rate hovering at around 90%, building the right team is critical especially in the company’s early stages. Casting the hiring net wider expands the talent pool, which opens up more opportunities for the highest calibre talent and leading businesses of tomorrow to find each other, regardless of geography.
Bootstrapped startups, in particular, always have one eye on cash flow. Decentralising the office and allowing the team to work remotely slashes expenses like rent, utilities, and high on-premise technology costs that impact liquidity and eat into profits.
Cloud-based tools like CRM, Slack, Teams, and Zoom have all proven to be effective ways of maintaining business processes, communication, and collaboration to keep operations running smoothly. And when face-to-face meetings are an absolute necessity, hired venues that come with cost-effective hourly or daily rates are excellent solutions.
By significantly reducing overheads through remote work, startups have realised another useful avenue for reinvesting more money back into the business, which helps drive sustainable growth.
The previously held notion that remote work negatively impacts concentration and productivity has been put to bed in the last couple of years. Study after study throughout pandemic actually pointed to a boost in productivity thanks to the remote working paradigm shift.
According to The Remote Collaborative Worker Survey:
- 77% of remote workers report higher productivity.
- 30% of remote workers produce more in less time.
- 24% of remote workers produce more in the same time.
- 23% of remote workers are willing to work longer from home than they would in the office to accomplish more.
This uptick in overall efficiency because of the decentralised workplace is a big boost for startups that can make massive gains for every additional inch of market share.
Removing the daily commute to and from work can free up to 15 hours a week in busy metropolises. People got a taste of what it felt like to spend the extra time with family, enjoying fun hobbies, or even getting a few extra minutes of sleep every morning, which has done wonders for physical and mental wellbeing.
The widespread positivity has carried through to each strand of many startup enterprises, leading to some excellent results including:
- Higher commitment and efficiency
- Greater resilience
- Less absenteeism
- Establishing a great image, which attracts the best talent
All these components add up and help startups reach their full potential.
The Camaraderie Clause
Despite an overall increase in staff wellbeing because of the move to remote work, it’s understandable that some people miss in-person interactions with colleagues on a daily basis. But home working needn’t mean isolation. It’s very easy to incorporate virtual hangouts such as Friday breakfast via Zoom, for example, to nurture to team dynamic.
There are also opportunities to organise social gatherings whether it be at awards ceremonies or Christmas parties, and the like. It doesn’t have to be a 100% remote working policy either. A hybrid approach of some days on site and the rest of the time at home is appealing to many people. At the end of the day, it’s just important to ensure that any compromise benefits both employer-employee relations as well as teamwork.
Remote Work Is The New Normal
It goes without saying that the business landscape is one of constant change and adaptation, especially for startups. Office convention won’t fully return to the traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 pattern and startups that expect to succeed recognise the need to remain open to remodelling processes.
In the case of remote work, the payoff has been rich — a healthier work-life balance, access to the best talent, better retention, lower overheads, and higher productivity are just some of the benefits. The future is bright but requires some flexibility. With a fluid business model, successful startups are leaving the old ways of rigidity trailing in their wake.