For tech businesses, remote working isn’t going away any time soon. What was seen as a perk a few years ago is not only becoming the norm, but many businesses are choosing to be remote-first and having office spaces as optional, occasional meeting spaces. Over the last two years, hiring managers have concluded that the option of remote work is what employees want, giving them more flexibility and work-life balance. Companies that didn’t offer remote as life started to become more normal saw higher attrition rates, and candidates often speculate that it’s one of the most essential elements in a new role. Therefore, as competition for talent intensifies across the globe, companies are emphasising their remote working policies to try and hire and retain the best staff.
As flexible working becomes more commonplace, companies who want to stand out cannot get away with remote working policies as simple as “work from home if and when you want to”. However, this is standard practice and is what the best tech candidates expect from their employer in the future of work. Realistically, any employer in tech should be able to offer this and have had time to establish the cloud systems and remote infrastructure to make it possible. However, it won’t set your employer brand apart or help future tech recruitment strategies. Therefore, to stand out and attract a better quality of candidates, some of the most exciting tech scaleups are taking it one step further.
We’re investigating some of the remote-first tactics these scaling tech businesses are using to entice top talent into their organisation and retain their best players.
Hiring Heads of Remote
Nothing says you’re committed to remote working, like hiring someone specifically to manage a remote workforce. The role of Head of Remote hasn’t been widely adopted yet, but it’s thought that to succeed in both working remotely and attracting tech talent in the future, companies will have to consider creating the role. It shows a proactive stance in creating a remote-first company, ensures best practices are always followed and can create a remote strategy that complies with your employer brand.
With employees working apart, ahead of remote can help bring them together and ensure employees are not lonely, isolated or burnt out while working from their homes. This will enhance employee wellbeing and internal employer brand perceptions, as employees will feel supported, and company culture will remain strong. Maintaining a strong sense of company culture is one of the biggest challenges for remote and hybrid businesses, with employees often feeling left behind and neglected. A Head of Remote will also handle operations and advise to ensure remote teams are productive, happy and can be scaled effectively. Working from various locations presents many challenges. It would be their job to ensure systems and processes are in place to make remote work a success in the long term, not just as a temporary solution to the pandemic.
Of course, the role will eventually evolve as remote working becomes more commonplace and businesses become more accustomed to dealing with the challenges it brings. Much like hiring someone to manage digital transformation, it’s not a permanent role but rather one that serves a purpose until the business adapts and adjusts successfully.
Global Office Spaces
Some employees prefer to be in the office. They may need social interaction for their mental wellbeing, not have a home environment that is suited to working from or have other reasons. Therefore, flexibility, autonomy, and choice of where people work will be a massive factor in whether people join a company or stay there. So how can you be remote-first and flexible?
Well, co-working spaces are a great solution. WeWork, for example, has over 800 office spaces across 23 countries. This means companies can embrace hybrid like never before, as employees across the globe can have spaces to work if necessary. Where previously, if you hired individuals who lived further away from your permanent office space, they would have no option but to be fully remote, co-working spaces provide flexibility and options. In addition, giving staff access to working spaces across the globe helps everyone have a secure environment to work when needed. It also encourages travel and the option to visit family and friends, significantly impacting employee engagement and wellbeing.
Tech startups and scaleups are no strangers to co-working spaces. However, as remote working becomes more popular, it may be seen as a crucial step in becoming remote-first as they give employees proper control and autonomy over where they work, all over the world.
Helping Employees Relocate
Remote working means that employees can essentially work from anywhere globally, so long as time differences don’t interfere with business. It means that employees are no longer tied to living in a specific region for their job, which is often the primary reason for living somewhere. For example, the pandemic saw many flooding out of cities like London and Manchester because remote working meant they could afford better housing options further away or be closer to family. As companies become more flexible over the next five to ten years, experts predict more employees will migrate away from the office to enhance their work-life balance.
Employers, if they wish to be genuinely remote-first, should encourage this. With apps like Perchpeek helping people to relocate, employers could do the same. Helping their teams to find the tools they need to move to other cities and countries successfully. This even means supporting them for house viewings and helping to subsidise travel costs when employees are required to come together. All of which will be a great reflection on a remote-first employer brand and show you truly support your workforce even without the office. If scaling tech businesses encourage their workforce to work from wherever they choose, supporting through relocation could be vital in retaining and attracting talent.
The Rise of the Workcation
Italian grocery startup Everli is among the European startups taking a creative approach to remote work. To help bring remote teams together, they organised Everlifest, a three-day retreat for their 300 employees from across the globe. As well as this, it committed to giving employees a cash grant to allow them to travel and work remotely from dream locations. Until now, employees have had to arrange their own trips and either take annual leave or organise working arrangements for themselves. Now, another startup, Smartway, is putting together workcation packages that companies can offer for a benefit in an attempt to support tech recruitment. If workplaces support a combination of travel and work, giving new meaning to “work from anywhere” culture, they’ll be more appealing to tech talent who want to see the world and gain new experiences. In addition, this benefit could help their employer brand.
Remote-first may mean less running costs for businesses, but working from home becomes more costly for employees. Arguments say that employees no longer have to spend money commuting, but rising energy prices and more time consumed at home could cause financial concerns for many. Therefore, some tech startups like Gameye are looking at benefits that can specifically help remote employees, whether it’s costs to cover co-working spaces or food at a coffee shop. If a tech scaleup wishes to become remote-first truly, it’s worth considering which benefits will be in their employee’s best interests. By talking to remote teams and seeing what small gestures can make remote life easier financially or more enjoyable, scaling tech businesses can add a tangible benefit that can help them attract tech talent and retain their key players.
Offices in the Metaverse
We’re less convinced about this idea, but it’s worth noting that many businesses are considering what the metaverse workplace will mean for the future of remote work. The concept of virtual workplaces is now a real possibility, with many companies already using similar technologies to interact while working remotely. Could we perhaps see 3D conference rooms and offices to bring back that company culture and rebuild employee relationships? Nick Hedderman, Director of Modern Work and Security at Microsoft, thinks such technologies could enhance camaraderie, spark creativity, and foster water-cooler connections in a hybrid environment.” This is another significant loss that the world of remote work has created for businesses.
While virtual office spaces may be a long way off becoming popular amongst tech businesses, the idea does show the impact of tech on the way we live and work. It’s no doubt that as technology advances, remote work will become both easier and more effective. We aren’t sure whether that means using VR offices to reconnect with employees, but it’s an exciting proposition to consider.
Talent Works help scaling tech businesses recruit tech talent across the globe, whether for remote working or in-office positions. We help scaleups build an EVP that represents their business authentically and presents them as a desirable prospect to tech candidates. Our sourcing team are also experienced in recruiting tech talent across the globe. With recruiting teams in both the UK & the US, we can help scaleups grow across regions and expand into new markets.
Contact our team for more information about how we can help with your tech recruitment strategy.