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Going Remote-First: Why More Companies Are Embracing the Remote Office

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become more commonplace than ever before. However, the truth is that empowering people to work from home or any other location they choose has been a growing trend for years. The remote-first working style is set to gain even more traction in the years to come, and for good reason.

This article explores the benefits and challenges of a remote-first approach, how to create a sustainable remote workforce, ways to measure the success of a remote-first approach, and the future of the remote office.

Benefits of a Remote-First Approach

Increased Productivity

One of the most significant benefits of a remote-first approach is increased productivity. According to a study by FlexJobs, working from home can increase productivity by 65%. With no office distractions, such as impromptu meetings, office chatter, or commute time, remote workers can focus on their tasks more efficiently. Additionally, flexible working hours allow remote workers to manage their time more effectively, taking breaks when needed, without affecting their work schedules.

Cost Savings

A remote-first approach can lead to significant cost savings for companies. Rent, utilities, travel expenses, and office supplies are known to be a significant portion of a company’s budget. By offering remote work, companies can save on overhead costs associated with running an office, while employees save on their transport and travel expenses.

Expanded Talent Pool

Allowing remote work means that companies can access a larger talent pool. Geography becomes irrelevant when hiring, meaning that companies can afford to expand their search beyond a local pool of candidates to a global one, thus allowing them to select the best talent available for the role. This can translate to a huge competitive advantage, as companies that can hire the best talent, regardless of their geographical location, are much better positioned for success.

Increased Employee Satisfaction

Remote work often means that employees have the flexibility of working in a location of their choice or even in the comfort of their own homes. Working in a familiar environment, and having flexible working hours, can drastically boost an employee’s overall job satisfaction. Moreover, remote workers can spend more time with their families, which can lead to better work-life balance, thereby contributing to overall employee satisfaction.

Environmental Benefits

Remote work has a reduced carbon footprint compared to workers traveling to an office. Remote work can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and by working from home, employees can save on the energy consumption of an office – lighting, heating, air conditioning, etc.

Challenges of a Remote-First Approach


Communication is key to the success of remote work. As team and individual communication is no longer done face-to-face, companies must invest in communication tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, project management tools, etc. Remote workers must have access to the necessary technology and training to use these tools effectively, to maintain a high level of collaboration and communication across incoming and outgoing projects.

Maintaining Culture

Maintaining the corporate culture can be a significant challenge when employees work remotely. It can be hard to build a sense of community when your team members are located across different regions and in different countries. Companies must invest in various team building activities and make an effort to build a strong culture of inclusivity.

Managing Time Zones

Working across different time zones can be challenging, and scheduling meetings or having real-time communication can be difficult. Time zone challenges often result in longer timelines for projects, difficult meeting schedules, and a delay in critical decisions.

Maintaining Productivity

Remote working can take a toll on productivity if it is not managed well. Without an office environment, where there is a clear distinction between work and personal life, remote workers can work for longer hours or struggle to switch off from work. Overwork is a common issue in the remote workforce, and companies must ensure that they provide their employees with the necessary work-life balance and the tools and resources they require to achieve it.


Remote work can increase cybersecurity risks. Employees may not have access to the same level of cybersecurity software as they would in an office environment, which can make it easier for cybercriminals to access sensitive business information.

Creating a Sustainable Remote Workforce


What works in the office may not work in a remote work environment. To be successful, companies must put in place a clear and effective communication strategy so that team members stay engaged, informed, and connected. This includes the use of communication tools such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and project management software.

Training and Development

Employees who work remotely must have access to training and development opportunities to grow and hone their skills. The development of online courses and other learning opportunities can help remote workers remain engaged, supported, and motivated.

Performance Management

Setting clear expectations, objectives, and outcomes are critical to managing a remote workforce. Regular check-ins and performance feedback keep team members engaged and motivated. With effective performance management, team members will have a clear understanding of their targets, how they are progressing, what areas they need to improve on, and how their performance affects the larger company goals.

Creating a Strong Company Culture

A company’s culture must transcend physical boundaries to be effective in a remote working environment. Companies should celebrate important milestones and occasions that are important to their employees, ensuring that their daily work routine is enriched with motivation and inspiration. Organizations should create time for team-building activities, hold virtual happy hours, and organize games and other fun activities.

Collaboration Tools

Remote workers require access to collaboration tools to communicate, share information, and stay functional within the team effectively. This includes tools such as team messaging apps, video conferencing, and shared drives.

Measuring the Success of a Remote Office


Productivity is a key metric that defines a remote office’s success. Companies can measure their employees’ productivity by tracking their output—tasks accomplished, deadlines met, and project milestones achieved.

Employee Satisfaction

A remote office’s success can be measured by employee satisfaction levels, which can be evaluated by conducting regular surveys and comparing employee engagement levels with those of traditional office-based workers.

Stakeholder Satisfaction

Additionally, stakeholders should provide feedback on job performance and offer ideas for improvement, which will help remote workers feel seen and heard, and provide leadership with much-needed insight into what works and what doesn’t.

Cost Savings

Cost savings from remote working should be considered to be one of the most significant benefits of a remote-first approach. Cost savings can be calculated by comparing the company’s overall expenses pre-remote work to its work from home expenses.


With the freedom to work in their own environments, and without the constraints of the traditional office environment, remote workers have a knack for innovation. A successful remote office should be an environment that promotes innovation, and sparks creativity across teams.

The Future of the Remote Office

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of remote work adoption, and many companies, big or small, have had to embrace remote work to survive, leading to a significant shift in the way we work. Offices, as we know them, might never be the same again.

Remote work’s future is looking bright, with more employers offering remote work options as a permanent solution for many positions. The future of remote work is set to be more flexible, with hybrid remote working models becoming the norm. With the increasing popularity of remote work, remote-first companies will become more common, and companies with traditional office setups will have to adapt to remain competitive, embracing remote work as a viable option or losing out on talent.

The concept of the remote office is also set to evolve; there will be a greater emphasis on customized workspace for remote workers. Traditional office buildings may become less common, with coworking spaces and shared offices taking center stage as companies seek flexible working solutions. Virtual reality technology could also come into play, creating immersive remote working environments for teams to work in more meaningful, collaborative ways.


The remote-first approach is serving as a model for the future of work. More and more companies are finding ways to incorporate remote work into their overall operational structure, taking advantage of the benefits such as increased productivity, cost savings, access to new talent pools, and employee satisfaction. With the challenges of communication, time zones, maintaining productivity, and assuring cybersecurity, companies must put in place the right tools, strategies, and most importantly, strong leadership, to guide remote workers in achieving their goals. The future of work will demand a remote work culture that embodies flexibility and continuous innovation, with hybrid work models, personalized office spaces for remote workers, and an emphasis on company culture. The remote-first approach is not just the future of work, it is the present. Companies that embrace this way of working will be well-positioned for success, now and in the future.

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