The way that companies look at remote work has changed and is constantly evolving. Leaders who recognize and empower remote workers start by trusting their employees to be successful. Studies have shown that remote workers cost companies less to hire and are more productive than their in-office counterparts. A study from Stanford also showed that remote workers saw 50% less attrition and took less sick days and time off.
In 2018, 56% of global companies allowed remote work. Owl Labs' 2018 State of Remote Work also found that employees who work remotely at least once per month were 24% more likely to feel happy and productive in their jobs than their desk-bound colleagues. Plus, the 2019 State of Remote Work report found that remote workers say they are likely to stay in their current job for the next 5 years 13% more than onsite workers.
For these leaders, including investor Alexis Ohanian and former first lady Michelle Obama, remote work and flexible jobs are the way of the future.
1. "Women are working more, men are understanding their value as caregivers, women are primary breadwinners — I mean, we could go on and on and on. Things are different. So we can't keep operating like everything is the same, and that's what many of us have done. And I think it's up to us to change the conversation." — Michelle Obama, Former First Lady
2. "Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries, and continents. " — Michael Dell, Dell
3. "Even when I worked in an office, I would often bring work home with me. When I started working remotely, it was just a recipe for disaster. Over time, I've found two things to be very important. This is a bit cliche and everybody says this but it's really true: Rest is very important. And time off is very important." – Gonçalo Silva, Doist
4. "Working from home is great for a lot of people because they get to spend more time with their family, their kids, and their pets." – Brian Peters, Buffer
5. "When you're at home, rig up a good video setup with nice headphones, a quality microphone, and lighting. And devote blocks of time to video calls. One of the things that emerges from the research is that switching costs are high. If you switch from a physical meeting to email to another email on a different subject to a calendar to a video meeting to another email – every time you switch modes, you waste time. Have dedicated blocks of time for virtual contact and dedicated blocks of time for face-to-face contact." – Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy
6. "In teamwork, silence isn't golden, it's deadly." — Mark Sanborn, Author
7. "We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will." — Sir Richard Branson, Virgin America
8. "It is about workplace flexibility. It's about giving our associates the opportunity to be who they are as an individual, whether that is a community member, a spouse or parent, or anything in between. That flexibility has come to be very important for our associate base." — Amy Freshman, ADP
9. "There's a great opportunity to begin to explore how we create an environment that is safe for people who want to have conversations about flexibility, who want to be flexible, vs. fighting that change." — Peter Yobo, PwC
10. "One of the secret benefits of using remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone's performance." — Jason Fried, Basecamp
11. "Remote work is the future of work." — Alexis Ohanian, Reddit
12. "The whole conversation is about how remote work is different, instead of being about the amazing tools we have at our disposal that remote teams and non-remote teams are able to use at any time. We have this opportunity to have a lot more freedom in our environment compared to when we had to be in an office, or even in school, 40 hours per week." — Hiten Shah, FYI
13. "Do you want to access talent everywhere, or just in specific markets? If the answer is everywhere, you need to be at least open to the possibility of remote work — it opens doors to attracting and retaining talent around the world, literally and figuratively." — Katie Burke, HubSpot
14. "Remote work is this incredible invitation to really get good at building inclusive cultures where there's a wide variety of types of people, and to build a culture where everyone feels included and everyone is experiencing ongoing growth and development on a regular basis. That's the challenge, and it's not an easy one. But the business isn't easy." — Shane Metcalf, 15Five
15. "You can never over-communicate enough as a leader at a company, but at a remote company, nothing could be truer. Because you don't physically see people in-person, information doesn't spread in the same way, so leaders need to do the heavy lifting for evangelizing the message." — Claire Lew, Know Your Team
16. "It's a misconception that remote workers are lazy or not as productive or don't get as much done. Trust is so important. If you have relationship mistrust and you require your team to be in front of you so you can stare over their shoulders and look at their computer screens, they're also not going to operate with a level of trust. In a remote environment, you have that trust and people are generally getting more work done. They're more productive and are able to succeed." — Greg Caplan, Remote Year
17. "... Remote work isn't a privilege or a special accommodation. It's a way of working, and that's a strong statement for some people. It shouldn't be a question of rewarding top performers with the ability to work remotely." — Nickie Bellington, Atlassian
18. "If you're running a centralized company and then you try to attach remote work as an appendage, that usually doesn't work. But if you design a company to function under the assumption that people won't be in the same office, then remote work perfectly doable." — Gonçalo Silva, Doist
19. "Part of the beauty of remote work is being able to work on a schedule that works best for you, but if you're online and working at all hours, you'll start burning out quickly. We'll need to build clear rules around how technology can be used to help us maintain those boundaries for work-life balance." — Ryan Bonnici, G2 (formerly G2 Crowd)
20. "Many companies hiring for remote positions prefer candidates with previous remote work experience, but that shrinks the talent pool and eliminates people who have previously been excluded by the digital economy (e.g., people returning to the workforce.)" — Tammy Bjelland, Workplaceless
21. "So many people think the remote work community is made up of only spoiled, privileged millennials and Instagram influencers, and that's not who we are. We're people of all ages, from all countries and all socio-economic classes, and what brings us together is our shared mindset that we want to do something different and have adventures sooner, rather than later in life." — Spencer Jentzsch, Hacker Paradise
22. "Remote managers need to consider things like imposter syndrome, communicating intentionally with their remote teams, finding ways to talk about productivity, and communicating in writing rather than face-to-face chats." — Becca Van Nederynen, Help Scout
23. "There are so many positive aspects of remote work, especially when you are commuting less and doing good for the planet. I would say education and showing the real-world case studies is the way to go to convince the rest of the market. Employees are already demanding remote work flexibility, but companies need to feel comfortable with that and they need to understand what the benefits are for them before rolling it out." — Iwo Szapar, Remote-how
24. "The old rules of what makes a great team still apply, whether you're a remote team or not. You can't build a culture if you don't have trust, accountability, and mutual respect. The best way to kill a culture is to stop trusting people and stop giving people the respect and the responsibilities they most likely want in their jobs." — Tracey Halvorsen, Fastspot
25. Work is important, but people connect when they're not working and the discussion isn't focused on work. On each call, if you have five minutes to ask, 'Hey, how are you doing?' you can build a relationship with someone. This can be a game-changer in knowing your team better and creating a good culture for your company." – Gonçalo Hall, Remote Work Consultant
The remote work community is here to help your team make the transition to remote, support hybrid teams, and help employees who need remote work resources. To learn more, read about how to achieve work-life balance working remotely next.