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Companies Are Going Remote-First: But What Does This Mean?

We don’t need to tell you about the growing popularity of remote working. There’s no need as remote work has embedded itself into almost every industry and truly has become a landmark within the ‘new normal’. 

Naturally, remote work has accelerated since the pandemic when lockdown’s literally left most of us with no other option (how many times did we hear the words ‘work from home, if you can’ in the news?). However, many companies were integrating a work from home scheme as far back as the early 2010s when high speed internet really and truly took off. 

Public platform company Stack Overflow conducted a 2016 company-wide survey which revealed that 88% of remote workers felt high overall engagement with the company (as compared to an overall response of 85% among the whole company, with the average being 71% among employees at other companies in our industry). 

The difference between companies that ‘allow you to work from home’ and companies that are remote-first is that for remote-first companies, working remotely is the default. It means making sure your remote employees are as much a part of the team as those in the office. Wishu is proud to be a remote-first company, for example. 

Oftentimes, companies that are remote-first will implement strategies to ensure that remote work is as effective as possible since, as mentioned, it is the default for many employees. There are several ways a company can stay on top of this. 

Meetings

It’s hard to feel connected to someone when dealing with them purely in digital matters. There’s only so much humanity and compassion that can be delivered over email. Face to face remote meetings over Google Hangouts, Zoom or what have you are extremely crucial in order to develop that human connection. This benefits work because in gaining a sense of the employer to employee personalities and perspectives, each party can best understand and thus respect how the other works. 

Communication & Organisation platforms

Here at Wishu, Slack and Trello are our preferred platforms for communication and organisation (in that order). Via Slack we are able to send update links, quick questions and even chat colloquially (the water fountain chat essentially). Trello allows our employers to layout daily and weekly tasks in a to-do list format that’s very easy for the employees to understand and tick off. 

Home Office Help

Many companies, especially larger ones with many employees working from home, like to support their workers by providing comfortable items for home offices. This mostly applies to full time employees who can be offered stationary, comfortable chairs and even computers.

Happy Hour 

In the same way that employees might go grab a drink at the pub every Friday evening for a post work chat, offering full time employees the opportunity to finish an hour earlier on Friday for the chance to chat is a much needed relief. Our Christmas drinks at Wishu was particularly fun, everybody brought a beverage of choice, it’s completely informal, and naturally spins out into whatever random direction our chat takes us.

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