In a recent interview with Blinkist Magazine, the author of Company of One, Paul Jarvis, said- “I live in the middle of nowhere, in the woods, on an island—and love it. All I need is a computer and the internet. I don’t have to travel much, and I can work when I want, and more importantly, not work when I don’t want to.”
For the most part, it does sound like a dream. And with the world being forced to accept "working from home’"as the new normal, the nomads at BUZZVALVE have little to complain about because we had been embracing this culture well before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a boutique outfit, our independent team has been working remotely since 2013. What began with appointing remote writers eventually became the norm for the entire team. Recognising the value of our combined capabilities while working remotely for many years, we now believe working from home is not only a good substitute for an office but also a well-informed priority. Here are a few reasons why we endorse this “new” phenomenon:
Better opportunities at building non-intrusive relationships
Most businesses usually organise events to break the ice between their employees. It is a legitimate way to set a certain kind of work culture. But sometimes, and for some people, it can also feel forced and distracting. For many personality types, this can even become intrusive.
When a team is working remotely, they have to bridge the gaps in communication and build a relationship. There is simply no way around it. It can be as simple as taking a moment to ask how everyone is doing. Often the duration of such "small talk" is short because there’s work to do, and the HR team isn’t just trying to check boxes.
This is just one of the examples of the way we collaborate. Swift and thorough communication is the cornerstone of our productivity. For example, we send detailed instant messages outlining the tasks of each team member at a certain time period. This helps everyone to be on the same page despite being in different time zones.
We believe people perform better when they are physically in a familiar environment, where they are not constantly conscious of their behaviour or appearance, or when they are not feeling a certain sense of pressure.
Bigger and diverse talent pool
There are many companies hunting for great talent to take their business to the next level. But, unfortunately, the bitter truth is that it is not always possible to find a match in the same demographic. The Economic Times asserts, "The cost of a 'bad hire' to an organisation is five times the bad hire’s annual salary." We cannot agree more.
It has been our priority to build and nurture a team of A-players who are self-motivated and mimic the same work ethics and personal values as each other. The quality of our work is a reflection of the people behind it. And hiring remote independent consultants continues to give us access to top talent across the globe.
Higher productivity and efficiency at work
We believe that our work best represents a creative craft, wherein our team of ingenious minds are accountable for curating meaningful marketing content for our clients. It is unfair to expect our people to be the best at their craft only between set working hours. The more mundane working hours are, the more uneventful the output is. A Stanford University study conducted over nine months reveals that remote workers took fewer sick days and were 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts.
Conversely, if there is no structured workflow. However, when we emphasise a streamlined work process, the communication and proactive involvement of team members at all levels become smoother.
Working from home allows our team members to work at their own rhythm. Any part of the house can be their office, and they don’t need to compromise with their comfort. There is no inconvenience of commuting miles away to the office, which saves time and reduces stress. Our team members often share how they use this additional time to indulge in hobbies or passion projects, which further fuels their productivity. When the team members enjoy work, which leads to efficiency, there’s no need for a physical office building.
Greater work-life balance
In recent years, the work-life balance has been disrupted for a majority of the working population. The pandemic had no less than a chaotic effect on working professionals. There was a looming fear of lay-offs. People working in bigger cities began relocating to cut their cost of living. Organisations struggled to create a system where they could function virtually at the onset of the pandemic. People were either adjusting to working alone in the gloom of their homes or amidst the bustle of their families.
Fortunately, we did not experience this. While working remotely for several years now, our team managed to find a sweet spot where they were able to draw clear boundaries between work and leisure.
Opportunity to live the "digital nomad" life
For people working full-time from an office, vacations are a luxury. However, we believe thrilling new environments give people an opportunity to evolve and grow their skills.
With a remote working culture, our team members may choose to travel or move to another location every few weeks or months while still working full-time. This is what Priyanka- one of our writers had to say about it, “In my time working remotely, I realised the money I spend to rent an apartment could be utilised to rent BnBs in the mountains or beaches. When work seems so enjoyable, I find myself willingly putting in additional hours to make it better.”
Flexibility to scale teams rapidly
Working remotely offers a lot of flexibility to our business, paving the way for more experimenting and growth. We brainstorm new ideas to improve the quality of our work and to implement something new. Everyone contributes with his or her thoughts and ideas
Allow us to share how this works. Imagine professionals from several specialisations sitting in various parts of the world, combining individual experiences towards a common purpose. Large and complex projects demand that we onboard specialists, often on short notice. Because we are not tied down by complex HR processes, we are able to discover and recruit talented professionals swiftly, regardless of their base of operations. This is how we are able to deliver richer, fuller experiences to our ambitious clients.
An additional advantage of remote working is that we allow members working on one project to assist or guide others on their tasks whenever needed.
Members take up more or less work depending on their availability and interest. It is often hard to make difficult decisions in a traditional workplace. In comparison, it has been relatively swift to scale teams for us because quickly taking decisions is implicit and expected.
That being said
There’s much talk all over the web about "Work from home is the new normal". For many companies such as Basecamp or Buffer, however, it was always normal. It is indeed a welcome shift as several other companies unlearn the old ways of working in physical buildings and are willing to incorporate the remote element in business. What is important to note is, having the right system or pipeline for workflow, right people and exceptional communication, remote working is arguably a more efficient way of achieving goals. We do hope this new normal stays normal in the long term as well.