Decentralizing the Office Space: Distributed Workplace is a New Norm
This is a rather telling instance of how, when provided with freedom of choice regarding where to work, employees are now taking the new way of working – remote working – over the established model. And, while it’s clear there was a cost-cutting element behind Automattic’s decision-making process, to say the final decision was purely based on saving money is too simplistic. After all, there are evidently real, impactful reasons for giving employees geographic freedom.
With this in mind, it makes the norm of traipsing to a company office – either on a freelance or full-time basis – a rather archaic process. If full-time employees, freelancers, and contractors alike are happier living where they want to live as opposed to where they should live, and no matter if they’re working in sales, product development, marketing, or the finance department, wouldn’t their productivity increase by a staggering amount?
What’s interesting, however, is that 65% of respondents believe remote working would consequently increase their productivity, but only 19% are given the go-ahead by their employers to work away from the office. Employees actively want to work remotely, but aren’t always given the opportunity, even though findings from the same SurePayroll study suggest that “more than 2/3 of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters.” As a result, the companies already facilitating a distributed workplace are benefiting massively, while those who aren’t are lagging behind.
“Instead of taking the mediocre candidate in your area, you can hire the superstar who lives on the other side of the country. Limiting yourself to hiring within your locality restricts you to a small talent pool.”
Adding to Reshef’s point, companies needn’t find candidates in their own country – they can search for talent across the globe. After all, all that’s needed is a shared language, a decent internet connection, and the personal drive to effectively manage time as a remote worker.
With the decentralization of the physical office space – a place that, now, ultimately constrains and restricts – the process of hiring talent is fundamentally changing for the better as well. The HR department (or, whoever is at the helm of recruiting new talent, which varies depending on business size, and especially with start-ups) will have to vet employees to a magnified degree, really analyzing CVs, portfolios, application tasks, and voice call interviews, seeing as a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible. This isn’t a negative, however – it’s exceedingly positive.
Prospective employees are assessed on their strengths in relation to a strong pool of other candidates across the globe, meaning that a candidate who will truly excel in the role is chosen. Perhaps the overall process will be longer, sure, but putting in that extra time equates to a correct hire. Employees win. The company wins. Everybody involved, therefore, wins.
“We’re going to see an era of everyone employing remote tech workers, and it’s not too far away. In fact, now’s the time to prepare for it.”
Is your business switching to a remote team? Or are you already operating with a semi or fully distributed workforce? Tell me how remote working culture is changing your business in the comment section below.