Is it possible to grow your company fully remotely?

After the pandemic took over, many tech-giants CEOs have spoken about the idea of abandon the in-office work scheme.

We get to the point to analyse the question when the news that two of the most important CEOs in the Social Media market Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively owners of Twitter and Facebook, spoke out about the idea to get part of the workforce working from home.

The two underlined how the pandemic is affecting the way we work and that a remote business structure of their company could be maintained also in the future months.

Mark Zuckerberg interviewed said that Facebook has run some test on the productivity of some of their workers and have noticed an increase in productivity.  

Apart from this, he considered the impact that a work-from-home scheme can have on emission decrease and abatement of city congestion.

Certainly, it must be said that not all businesses could apply this type of model; in fact, Facebook and Twitter develop most of their work around software code and customer care instead for example companies like Apple being product-oriented could face practical barriers with this kind of model.

And what about newborn tech businesses? Would it be possible starting from day 0 and scale a company fully remote?

That’s the question we have been asking ourselves since the first moment; is possible to create a 100% remote work environment and still grow a business with a team located in some different latitude of the globe?!

After listening to the words of Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, who owns WordPress CRM system, where more than 35% of the whole websites of the world are built on, seems like YES, it is possible but far from easy.

He explained through his personal experience how he built his company fully remotely; 1,170 employees scattered across more 75 countries, speaking 93 languages.

In the podcast, he talked about 5 stages of The Five Levels of Distributed Teams

(he prefers the term distributed then remote).

1- Non-deliberate action: Is when nothing from the company has been done to secure remote work.

2- Online office recreation: Is when the company is just trying to reproduce the offline work environment online.

3- Adapting to the medium: Is when the company adapts its structure to the online medium and take real advantage of the different software and tools. Asynchronous Communication.

4- Asynchronous Communication: Is the stage where the company shifts from the 9-5 fixed work schedule to give more freedom to their workers if it’s worth for more creativity.

5- Nirvana: Is when the company is more productive online then than any in-person team ever could.

There is no doubt that there can be also strong disadvantages in having a full online team. 

Let’s analyse some contradictions that are being made in regards to the remote work business model.

1- Loss in productivity; we underlined how that is not true, in fact, if you have a team of workers who are disciplined, well trained and perfectly coordinated the creativity and productivity can even increase.

2- Decrease in team building; I think that is one of the toughest points. Is not easy to build the same relationship between people that know each other just through a laptop screen… In that sense, I think that is vital to organize once in a while physical event to bring the team together and build a solid relationship.

3- Impossibility of business scaling; that’s another common contradiction to the full-remote business model but also that is not even true; if you manage a service-based or a non-physical goods company and you don’t have to worry about office costs that can be a big advantage.

Of course, working remotely is not for everyone; there are types of people who need to be encouraged to give their best and others who suffer from loneliness if not in an offline context.

In conclusion, we think that most of the businesses that don’t have a product’s manufactury could have a part, or the entire business structure managed remotely; at the same time, we do think that for building a solid relationship between the team members and a strong business culture inside the company it is advisable to organize team reunions and company’s events once in a while.

And you, what’s your opinion about remote work? Have you ever tried to work in a fully remote company? Have you preferred this type of work mode?

Let us know in the comment!

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