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August 11, 2021

Remote Workforces: Taking the Lead to Design the Companies of the Future

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The working world has come to a conclusion: Remote work allows most people to be at their best, on the job and in their personal lives. Companies are catching the drift, too. It's not so much about whether or not staff will have options. It's more like, what will those options look like?

In a recent panel, REMOTE VERSUS HYBRID: WHAT'S BETTER FOR COMPANY CULTURE?, Virbela Chief Customer Officer Craig Kaplan moderated a discussion between remote work experts. The panel shared their insights on how to design a company that fosters collaboration and innovation from anywhere.

Here are a few of the top takeaways to help you approach your planning—or watch the panel now.

Getting Intentional

Each panelist agreed that the key to a thriving remote or hybrid culture wasn’t dependent on how you split your time. 

The secret to whatever choice you make is documentation. 

Documentation requires you to be intentional. Brian Schmidt, Chief of Staff at Trello, made a great point for companies everywhere: documentation is vital for any kind of scaling. 

So if you expect to grow, you need to document your practices, priorities, values, goals, and objectives.

This documentation is your roadmap to going remote or hybrid. It provides a framework for your staff to feel secure in their roles. It leaves a history to develop greater innovation around structure or collaboration. It provides an open-source look at your company’s culture, so that everyone can participate in meaningful ways.

The Panel Line-Up: Remote Work Experts

  • Betsy Bula - All-Remote Evangelist, GitLab
  • Louise Farrar - Director of Student Recruiting, PWC
  • Brian Schmidt - Chief of Staff, Trello
  • Mike Vein - EVP People, eXp Realty

If you want to get serious about a remote or hybrid work plan for your company, start documenting processes and procedures.

It’s Not All About the Pandemic

For many companies, this is a great time to get intentional, because staff may be shifting back to office hours as pandemic restrictions ease. But as we find ourselves adapting to a mid-pandemic world, it becomes clearer every day that public safety issues may not have a finite end. 

Mike Vein, Executive Vice President of People at eXp Realty, looks at it differently.

At his company, everyone has always been all remote. The pandemic may have accelerated certain trends, but from his perspective, the rest of the world is catching up with his company's culture. That's because there are so many benefits to allowing staff to choose their own work arrangements.

At this point, everyone understands what's in the pro column: less commuting, more control over work-life balance, fewer costs related to dining out or childcare, plus the basic comforts that come from knowing you're in your own space.

Vein calls upon leaders like him to look for the growth power in going remote. eXp Realty has employees in 17 countries, compared to less than five countries just a few years ago. The innovation, scalability, and ability to attract people from all over the world make the case for flexibility.

The Dawn of an Era of Diversity

The future of business rests on creating an environment that has space for people from everywhere. Innovations aren’t bound by geography. And as more of the world opens up to e-commerce, service economies, and tech offerings, you're likely to find that your market expands if you’re properly positioned.

Betsy Bula of GitLab has always taken this tack. A hardcore proponent of remote work, she believes in her company’s mission that everyone has something to contribute. Similarly, for Louise Farrar at PWC, recruiting has been a frontline tool for expanding a talent pool. 

By moving into virtual workspaces, remote work schedules, and hybrid arrangements, each panelist can attract a range of ages, skill sets, geographies, and backgrounds to their companies. 

As Kaplan puts it, it’s the dawn of a new era of diversity, one that will lead to greater innovation, progress, and growth over time. 

Watch REMOTE VERSUS HYBRID: What's better for company culture? now.

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