What do you bet on - being Remote-Friendly or Remote-First? 🤨
I was browsing my Twitter feed yesterday and came across this tweet:
"If we were to start over I would have built Zoom fully remote. It's too expensive here now." – @ericsyuan, CEO of Zoom.
Naturally, it made me wonder what's stopping him from giving employees the option of working remotely, right away? Why the need to be fully remote?
So I started digging a little deeper and realised that there is a huge difference between Remote-Friendly and Remote-First!
Doist's blog has this nice graphic which compares the two quite succinctly. To summarise, when you "allow" employees to work remotely rather than "empowering" them, intentionally or unintentionally, remote team members fall to the bottom .
I'm sure you're going, "No way Hrishikesh, that won't happen". But bear with me and let me give a simple example: Consider your weekly or monthly in-office team review meetings with remote team members joining in on call.
It is so easy to imagine side conversations happening and quite naturally resulting in the dialed-in members getting ignored. Haven't we all experienced this at some point?
Solution? How do we consciously become remote-first rather than just being remote-friendly?
Rose Jen from CircleCI has put this across beautifully in this article. Tl;dr, let me summarise the action points:
1. Default to videoconferencing: Ideal scenario is to have everyone in the same meeting room or everyone dialing in via video conference.
2. Documentation rules: Document everything heavily and utilise use-case specific tools e.g. Jira for planning meetings & Standups, InVision for design reviews, etc.
3. No hallway work-talk: All work-relevant conversations should be digitally recorded.
4. Team offsite bonding: Make sure to bring your distributed team together be it a small outing or a planned retreat periodically.
In essence, remote employees should never be an afterthought and being remote-first means being intentional about making remote workers as inclusive as possible.
12 years an in-office worker, now a 50+ country traveling free soul
Reid introduces himself as a Voodoo Sorcerer and is trying to master minimalism. I really loved the way he articulated his advice: "Very few people are born into an environment that suits them best; some people never realize where they live inhibits their happiness. Zebras don’t belong in zoos and I believe humans don’t belong in offices." Intrigued? Read his story here.
Hubstaff - Building a $6mm+ ARR business with 50+ remotely distributed contractors
We had a super-interesting conversation with Dave, who has been building companies for about two decades. He shared his thoughts on bootstrapping vs. external funding, Hubstaff's transparency in sharing all numbers and lots more! The discussion also helped us uncover how strongly Dave believes in remote working. Tune in to the podcast here!
As always, here are our top picks of remote-first products -