The distributed workforce isn’t new to the technology scene, and the concept’s success has been well-proven. There are over 50 well-known companies that are completely distributed; names you’d recognize like:
We use many of these company’s products here at UpTrending, and you may, too. It could even be argued that some of the best products and services come from companies with a partially or completed distributed workforce (but that’s a different article).
So why hasn’t the distributed model truly taken a hold in the mainstream economy?
Is it the fear of individual accountability? Fear of losing face-to-face interaction to build relationships? Fear of communication breakdowns, or reliance on technology?
It mostly seems to be related to fear of the unknown.
For us, being remote was a no-brainer. Since our founding in 2008, UpTrending has been a distributed, U.S.-based workforce. We are in the digital realm; it is what we live and breathe as a company and as individuals. This is where we are comfortable.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why we as a company benefit from a distributed workforce:
1. No limits to finding talent
We are not geographically challenged to find the talent we need to service our company and client needs. All you need to work here is a solid skillset, a desire to produce great work, and a speedy internet connection. We do seek to hire U.S.-based talent, as a 3-hour time difference from east to west coast has been little to no barrier for us to overcome with clients or team members.
2. Unique work environments for individuals to thrive
Each person on our team has different needs when it comes to environments that promote their maximum productivity. Whether it is a co-working space, a coffee shop, a cold, dark room, a comfy couch or recliner…the ability to offer up what works best for them has been crucial to our productivity. Also, identifying how our team works best, whether it is heads-down time in the morning, a little bit of playtime in the afternoon…it is all on the table and attainable. We are not focused on our team sitting at their desk from 9am-5pm every day. We focus on the work they turn out, not where they get it done.
3. Better work/life balance
One of the most common factors that non-remote employees complain about is the office commute. I know it was my least favorite part about my last job. Not having to wear business casual clothing, drive an hour to work, sit in a cold office from 8:30am-5:30pm, and sit in an hour of traffic again is, in and of itself, a huge bonus of this job and a huge win for me. Outside of that, our distributed team environment also comes with the advantage of flex time and scheduling.
Flex time is huge for our employees, especially those with families or interests outside of work. Being able to take a few hours in the morning to spend time with kids, or to cut out early to attend a school play, or to work at night to be able to surprise your husband for lunch in the afternoon gives our team the ability to have control over their lives, instead of feeling like they are just living to work.
In addition to flex time, our team also creates their own schedules when it comes to meetings with clients. We suggest our team work in the hours that work for them. Of course, we are a service-based company, so there needs to be a level of understanding there, but we do not expect or require our team to work over 40 hours a week, or on weekends.
4. Low overhead
We don’t have to support a staff of 25+ in an office with the typical expenditures accrued in that setting. Lucky us! However, we still make sure our team is equipped with the essentials for the job.
5. Early adoption of latest technologies
Because we are always digital, our team is on top of new tools to improve our communication and workflow. We don’t just stick with IE8 because that is what the whole company is on and has been on for years. We participate in beta releases and early testing of the latest and greatest platforms to streamline communication, workflow, and a growing remote company culture.
6. Increased collaboration and communication
Whether it’s email, Slack, Basecamp or another method to get stuff done, we are forced to communicate, and communicate often with our teams. We have all worked in the typical office setting where you barely interact with your coworkers – but not here! We are constantly on Slack, screen-sharing in Hangouts, sending pictures of our lunch, making custom emojis that fit our daily conversations, and sending hysterical gifs for a daily laugh and break from the work.
For real though, we communicate, which is why our projects end up on time and on budget. And our team and clients are happy.
These are just a few of the many benefits we have as a company with a distributed team. Don’t even get me started on the amazing culture we have built and the exceptional team of talent we have. I could go all day.
Sounds Great…Now What?
If you are interested in knowing more about our team, how we work, why we continue to love what we do…feel free to email me any time. I will sing all day about the benefits of working for a distributed company and how awesome it is to have a life AND a full-time job as a working mom.
Or, if you’re ready to make the jump to full-time remote yourself, check out our job opportunities. Working remotely is just one of the many reasons our team members love being a part of UpTrending.