However, many businesses are put off the idea of telecommuting because of common misconceptions. Corporate giants, such as IBM and Yahoo, are even backtracking their agile working policies as a result of failed efforts to overcome the challenges.
But, agile working shouldn’t be something to shy away from. If executed correctly, many businesses discover better success across the board when adopting agile working policies. Seventy-five percent of millennials, for instance, believe agile working has a positive impact on their productivity.
So, what does a successful remote company look like? We’ve gathered some examples of businesses who’ve overcome the distance and have made agile working, well, work.
Although only 18 percent of Dell’s workforce are working remotely, the company still champions flexible policies and considers it a core part of their company’s culture.
In fact, Dell believe remote working has offered overall business benefits, as well as benefits to individual team members and the environment. According to Mohammed Chahdi, Director of Human Resources for Dell:
“Work flexibility allows team members options for how, where, and when to do their work. These options create a collaborative work environment between the needs of the company and the team member. A flexible workforce is just as productive (if not more so) as the traditional office model—reducing the global carbon footprint, and helping individuals balance their work life and their personal life. Bottom line: it’s an advantage and a benefit that helps Dell be successful.”
2. Articulate Marketing
Okay, we may be a little biased on this one. However, Articulate Marketing (our sister company) is a good example of successful agile working. With a team of 16 employees, spanning across eight cities and four countries, our company has proven that conquering distance, varying time zones and terrible internet connections is entirely possible.
With a healthy dose of social media, video conferencing and helpful automated HR tools, staying in contact and keeping the business running efficiently is a piece of cake. Admittedly, we do love our monthly “in-person” team meetings and drinks, though!
As a company that’s famous for its tidy, intuitive, and helpful project management tool for remote teams, Basecamp practices what it preaches.
The company not only support remote working policies, they champion them.
In his book, ‘Remote: Office not Required’, Jason Fried (CEO of Basecamp) discusses the unproductive nature of office-based working, as well as the control and flexibility one has when working for an agile company.
“[Agile working] interruptions are things you can control. They're passive. They don't handcuff you. You can find a space that fits your work style. You can toss on some head- phones and not be worried about a co-worker loitering by your desk and tapping you on the shoulder. Neither do you have to be worried about being called into yet another unnecessary meeting. Your place, your zone, is yours alone.” – Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp
With 100 percent of their workforce working remotely, WordPress believes in trust and providing autonomy. This allows their employees to work to a schedule that makes them feel as productive as they can be.
And, by sourcing remote workers, Automattic Inc (WordPress’s parent company) can hire the best talent from around the world. Just look at how far they spread:
Ditch the office: Accommodate agile working
Around 4 million UK workers would like to telecommute for at least part of their week. But they’re not given the chance, according to government research.
With the right attitudes, tools, communication and dedication, your business can embrace a successful agile working policy. And, in doing so, it will benefit from:
- A boost in productivity
- Employee satisfaction
- A reduced carbon footprint
- A bigger, and better, talent pool
So, stop anchoring your employees to the office and sail with the course of change. There’s a whole new world to explore.