Is remote work the answer to the future global workplace?
Remote work is nothing new, but some of us might have got to experience it for the first time during the pandemic, when companies retreated employees from offices to avoid interpersonal contact. Since then, WFH (work from home) has become a buzzword summarizing the new normal in the global workplace.
Adopting distance work appears to be an optimal option to rebuild the disrupted workplace during the pandemic, but this work mode has traditionally held a bad reputation. What makes people cast doubt on the new trend? Will remote work thrive or die out after the pandemic? Co-founder and COO of Remote, Marcelo Lebre, elaborates.
A steadfast advocate of remote work
While 2019 signaled the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic, it also welcomed the birth of Remote, a leader in building, managing and supporting global, remote-first distributed workforces within the human relations (HR) and recruitment industry. Remote has constantly been striving to be the robust backup of global companies since its inception.
Over the years, Remote has launched initiatives, such as Remote Relocation (a program that helps employees relocate and stay with foreign companies), while adding more and more countries to its global HR management network. In doing so, it helped companies adapt and transform their business models during the volatile epidemic.
Given that Lebre is a leader who aspires to promote remote work, it comes as no surprise to see Remote keeping a distributed team itself. At the moment, the company has more than 975 employees worldwide, working remotely from six continents and 75 countries. As the leading light of distance work, Remote always puts its employees high on the list of priorities, providing them with the most suitable care and support. In December 2021, Remote partnered with Modern Health (a leading workplace mental health platform) to offer unstinting mental health and wellness support to its global staff.
Misconceptions surrounding remote work
The onset of the pandemic has led to many companies strategically (or sadly, forcefully) turning to remote work. While it appears to be an optimal solution to deal with the pandemic, some people have been blaming remote workers for their lower productivity than their in-office counterparts owing to distractions at home and lack of supervision.
In Lebre’s opinion, these skeptics get the wrong end of the stick. “Offices come with many of their own distractions, like talkative coworkers or noisy surroundings. The idea that results are more important than time spent at a specific desk in a particular building is one of the benefits of remote work,” explains Lebre.
Believe it or not, remote workers are found to be more productive than their office-based counterparts, as they work an additional 1.4 days per month (nearly 17 additional workdays a year). Despite the success of the remote working model, some companies slipped back to conventional in-office work as anti-Covid measures began to ease.
Lebre explains, “Many executives believe in the old model of work and aren’t ready to embrace new ways. They believe that they need to see their employees doing work to know that it’s being done. At Remote, we’ve seen that management and productivity doesn’t require being in-person, and in-office work can be a roadblock,” he adds.
Taking remote work further
Cloud-based collaboration tools, like Google Workspace, enable companies to operate and remain productive outside the office. On top of that, Lebre also sees potential in technology in building and consolidating the global remote workforce. “Technology can enable async work (a work mode that allows employees to work on their own time without having to stay online simultaneously), which is critical to creating a truly global remote workforce. Tools like Loom, Slack and Notion allow for collaboration and transparency between employees in opposite time zones,” evaluates Lebre.
Beyond maintaining the basic workflow, technology has allowed companies to operate day and night. Still, for some, managing a remote team is demanding—imagine setting up meetings with everyone being in a different time zone. While this may be a glaring shortcoming of remote work, Lebre sees it as a benefit that companies can leverage to boost productivity. “Companies that embrace async [work] are able to move projects forward much more quickly and ensure greater team visibility on work, meaning that even if someone must suddenly be offline, their team can continue a project,” clarifies Lebre.
As technology makes asynchronous work possible, companies can build their remote teams confidently because employees can always stay on the same page with each other whenever and wherever thanks to modern technology.
Build your remote teams with Remote
Now that you have recognized the benefits of remote work, if you want to try your hand at building a remote team and growing your business, Remote is here for you. “Hiring internationally can be very complicated. Each region has its own unique and complex requirements. It’s very easy to run afoul of international payroll requirements and tax obligations if you’re not an expert, and penalties can be hefty,” Lebre reminds us.
With experts on its team, Remote can take care of international payroll, legal, benefits, taxes, stock options and compliance for global companies of all sizes. This can surely empower businesses to start, manage and expand their remote teams from nearly every corner of the world with peace of mind.
Currently, Remote has its global HR and recruitment network extended to 64 countries and regions and some more will be added later this year.
Remote work is not a fad
Looking ahead in time at the future of the modern workplace, Lebre predicts, “Remote work is here to stay, and we’re going to see a better workplace because of that.” With the imperative support of modern technologies and leading HR and recruitment companies like Remote, neither working in physical offices nor hiring locally is necessary anymore.
“The workers have spoken, and they prefer remote work. We see that in some of the biggest tech companies in the world, where employees have spoken out against return to office plans,” Lebre tells us. Global companies, be it startups or behemoths, should recognize that remote work has become and should remain mainstream. The reason is simple—not only does it provide employees with more working freedom and flexibility, but it also opens the door for global talent.
Will Remote continue to keep a distributed team? “The remote workforce is a permanent part of the way we work and the way we will continue to work,” declares Lebre. Before long, who knows, we might all work from home while connecting with the global talents.
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