Join Digital Nomads and Remote Workers to Ask Questions, Share Experiences, Find Remote Jobs and Seek Recommendations.

How to Maintain a Remote-First Mentality in a Brick-and-Mortar Environment

The world of work is rapidly changing, and remote work is quickly becoming more popular. While some companies are fully remote, others have recently transitioned to remote work in response to a global pandemic. However, even with a remote workforce, some companies still operate from brick-and-mortar establishments. In this blog, we’ll explore the challenges of maintaining a remote-first mentality in a brick-and-mortar environment and how to overcome them.

What is a Remote-First Mentality?

A remote-first mentality is a philosophy that prioritizes remote work when possible. It focuses on the advantages of remote work, including increased productivity, reduced overhead costs, and a better work-life balance for employees. In contrast, a brick-and-mortar mindset prioritizes the traditional office environment over remote work. Maintaining a remote-first mentality in a brick-and-mortar environment can be challenging. But it’s essential to create a work environment that allows for the best possible outcomes for your team.

Challenges of Maintaining a Remote-First Mentality in a Brick-and-Mortar Environment

When a company operates from a brick-and-mortar location, there are several challenges to maintaining a remote-first mentality. The following are some of the most common challenges:

  1. The lack of work-life balance: A traditional office environment can lead to a lack of work-life balance, particularly if the employees are required to work long hours. In contrast, remote work allows employees to work from anywhere in the world, which can promote a better work-life balance.
  2. Difficulty with communication: Communication is essential in any workplace, and it can be challenging when employees are working remotely. In a brick-and-mortar environment, employees can communicate face-to-face, which can become difficult once everyone has transitioned to remote work.
  3. The need for collaboration: Collaboration is important for a successful company, and it can be impacted by a remote workforce. When employees are working remotely, it can be challenging to collaborate on projects or tasks.
  4. Monitoring productivity: The lack of physical oversight of employee activity represents a significant concern for managers of remote workers. A lack of proper reporting and monitoring techniques can result in a decrease in productivity.
  5. Distraction and Environment: Brick and mortar establishments often offer a very structured environment that fosters productivity while working remotely presents a lot of distractions that could negatively impact productivity.

Strategies for Maintaining a Remote-First Mentality in a Brick-and-Mortar Environment

Now, let’s explore some of the strategies that can help maintain a remote-first mentality in a brick-and-mortar environment.

  1. Implement flexible work schedules: Traditional office environments typically require employees to work a standard 9-5 workday. However, flexible work schedules can help support employees’ work-life balance, allowing them to work remotely when necessary. For example, you could allow employees to work from home on designated days, like Fridays.
  2. Invest in Communication and Collaboration Tools: To support remote work, companies must invest in communication and collaboration tools. These tools include video conferencing software, messaging platforms, and collaboration tools like Asana, Trello, and Slack. Having these tools in place can help ensure that remote workers can communicate effectively with their colleagues.
  3. Emphasize Company Culture: Companies with a remote-first mentality must create a strong company culture that promotes collaboration, communication, and productivity. For example, some companies have weekly virtual happy hours or virtual team-building activities to support remote employees.
  4. Promote Trust: Trust is essential to a successful remote team. Managers should trust their remote employees to do their work and meet their deadlines. In turn, employees should feel valued and trusted by their employer.
  5. Invest in Technology: Technology is an essential tool for remote workers. It’s crucial to have a reliable internet connection, company laptops, and software programs that support remote work. Furthermore, it’s important to invest in cybersecurity measures to protect company data from cyber attacks.
  6. Create a Schedule: One of the most significant concerns of remote work is the lack of structure that can negatively impact the employee’s productivity. A calendar or a schedule outlining what needs to be accomplished on a specific day can create some structure and effective time management.
  7. Establish a formal Onboarding process: When hiring new remote employees or converting onsite personnel to remote, there is a need to create a seamless transition process. The proper training, equipment and creating a reliable line of communication can create transparency and build trust between employees and management.
  8. Focus on Results: Shift the focus from the hours put in to the results achieved. Encourage results-oriented workflow to increase productivity and deter micromanagement as much as possible.
  9. Make Remote Work More Social: Create opportunities for remote workers to socialize, give praise, and foster a sense of community to boost morale and engagement levels.
  10. Find Ways to Celebrate Milestones: To keep employees engaged and motivated, celebrate their milestones, like work anniversaries or positive performances. It fosters morale and helps invigorate your team!
  11. Provide Opportunities for Employee Development: Implement training, webinars and facilitate conferences. Ensure such opportunities are available to all employees regardless of their location to promote equity and a sense of inclusivity.
  12. Encourage Dynamic Workspaces: Striking a balance between video conferencing sessions and face-to-face meetings creates an inclusive work environment where every employee feels valued.


Maintaining a remote-first mentality in a brick-and-mortar environment can be challenging, but it’s essential for companies that want to succeed in the new world of work. Implementing flexible work schedules, investing in communication and collaboration tools, emphasizing company culture, promoting trust, and investing in technology can all help support remote work in a brick-and-mortar establishment. By prioritizing remote work, companies can create a work environment that supports their employees and encourages productivity, innovation, and success. The world of work is transforming, and remote-first thinking is becoming mainstream. Forward thinking companies that embrace a remote-first approach will be better prepared to succeed in the years ahead.

We Work From Anywhere

Find Remote Jobs, Ask Questions, Connect With Digital Nomads, and Live Your Best Location-Independent Life.