Remote First ‘Forever’

Shopify (link here) and now Coinbase, both announced today, are the latest tech firms to embrace remote first; allowing a majority of their employees to work from where they choose or any office of their liking. Link here for Coinbase. They’re following in Jack’s decision to let the Twitter employees as well. 

Over the past two months there have been both small to large companies speeding up to where they would have likely been ten years from now. One byproduct of this digital transformation is allowing the entire enterprise to work from home if desired. 

Work From Home GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Yet before Covid-19, several reputable tech firms have allowed working from home to be a friendly option. It’s not new per-se, but companies are now realizing that employees can function to the necessary level without being in the office. Additionally, other benefits can be obtained from the companies side (no more expensive rents, food, beer, etc.). Some of those companies who are already successful being remote: 

  • Toptal
  • DataStax
  • Github
  • Zapier
  • Rackspace
  • Redbox
  • Intuit
  • Red Hat
  • Auto0
  • And many more.

Although, it is also important to think for just a quick second: it is known in psychology that individuals are under stress tend to overreact and move beyond (over sensationalize) the depth of actual damage. This is why it’s a sound choice to not make choices during times of stress, but after when your mind has settled back down and the event has passed.  I don’t attribute this to the sole decisions of the enterprises announcing new plans, but I do believe it played a part. After all, never let a good crisis go to waste.

I don’t believe this topic hadn’t passed board meetings at either Twitter or Coinbase: remote work is not new but emerging, considered a benefit to employees, and there are a multitude of benefits the enterprise can also achieve if successfully executed and maintained. It was likely on the docket for both companies. Of course there are several counterpoints to this in downfalls or potential traps for remote-only.

This will not be the last announcement we hear and I believe they will become less ‘news’ and more silent transitions. Regardless, I find this to be an exciting time. After all, now someone sitting in Minneapolis can be an employee for Twitter, and someone sitting in Bozeman can work for Shopify. The fight for good talent is getting even harder.

2 thoughts on “Remote First ‘Forever’”

  1. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of WFH. I enjoy the inherent separation of work and off-time, the camaraderie, the social contact I get because I (used to be able to) go to the office. For those reasons I’m not very excited about those recent trends.

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    1. I agree with you. I was just talking to my wife yesterday about how I really want to go work a day in the office and grab a beer with them afterwards. Just like in most things, too much of something isn’t desired. A choice of office/ WFH is hopefully where we land IMO. That’s without the stigma if you decide to WFH, it’s not looked upon like you’re skipping work.

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