The situation around covid remains in flux, as companies are wrestling with how to continue working remotely in the future. But as with hybrid working, simply saying that you’re taking a remote friendly approach isn’t enough. This guide will highlight what it means to be remote-first or fully remote so you have the best information to help determine the right remote work strategy for your business.
There are actually 3 types of remote work organisations: remote friendly, remote first, and fully remote. Remote friendly is a solid strategy for continuing remote work while having the option to reintroduce employees back to the office. In contrast, remote first companies start with the assumption that employees will primarily work remotely. The final variant is “fully remote”, which means companies are working only remotely, often across different countries and time zones.
While remote friendly is the preferred option for many businesses, fully remote is becoming increasingly popular for companies that aspire to hire internationally and build a working culture that focuses on their employees’ needs.
Understanding the different strengths and weaknesses that remote work can bring out in your company’s work structure will help you assess which one is right for you.
Remote first and remote friendly are both variants of working remotely, each with their own flavours and variations. The difference is mainly a shift in priority of the on-site workplace.
Unlike remote first, remote friendly signals an acceptance of remote work, but it is not the primary way of working. Companies that are remote friendly will have dedicated office spaces and employees working from specific locations. Unlike fully remote companies, employees will be expected to spend some if not most of their working hours on site. Remote work is permitted, but there will be defined rules as to who can work remotely, how, where and when.
Remote first companies have prioritised a remote work structure. While these companies may have an office space or provide access to designated co-working spaces, remote is their primary mode of working. Any available office spaces can be used by employees as and when needed, but staff are never required to work from there.
Next to remote first and remote friendly, there is a third option: fully remote. Fully remote means a company most likely doesn’t have an office space for their staff. All employees are working remotely. Often this means remote workers are based all over the world. Companies working fully remotely also aim to work across locations and time zones, including the leadership team. Think of fully remote as the next step up when it comes to remote work, after remote first and remote friendly.
Remote friendly is the more common option right now: it provides companies and employees with the security of the workplace and the flexibility to work remotely for better employee wellbeing and engagement. However, it’s important that you ask the right questions to get to the answers most relevant to you:
The nature of hybrid work models is that each company has to craft approaches that are relevant and sensitive to their teams. So instead of looking for a single remote friendly formula, it’s better to discover the level of flexibility that allows you to meet your business’ needs.
At Omnipresent, we’ve been remote first since our inception.
“We realised from the beginning that we could build a truly global team and live the changes to work culture that we are helping our clients achieve. Remote first gives our employees lots of flexibility to balance their work and private lives, without having to relocate. Our team is thriving in a remote set-up and we now have 100 employees in 26 countries!” - Matthew Wilson, Omnipresent Co-Founder.
There are a number of notable remote companies, like Atlassian, Juni or Cervest, providing innovative solutions that are driving the future of work. These companies have created remote work models that help them meet their objectives, as well as support their employees. We’ve noticed that such remote companies have these 5 things in common:
Whether you want to take the leap and go fully remote, or take it slow and develop your remote friendly strategy, you will need to address the same challenges. However, clearly communicating your approach is just one piece of the puzzle if you’re looking to build a globally distributed remote team! Make sure you think about how you’re attracting the right talent and can employ them compliantly, or get in touch with a provider that knows how.
Join thousands of companies who are leading the way and employing remote teams all over the world.
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